Home > Woodworking > “What’s the box for?”

“What’s the box for?”

My daughter Callie saw me working on the benchtop router table and asked me, “what’s the box for, is that to hold your tools?” I asked her if she had ever heard of a router and being the modern 14 year old she is said, “isn’t that what you use to get on the Internet?” Thus ended that day’s chance to discuss wood craft with my kid.

So last night I was very pleased to find that the glue-up had been successful and that my router plate/lift fit nicely and the bolts lined up! Given the good news it was time to chuck up my flush cut router bit on my little Bosch Colt trim router and go to work trimming the top flush. I have to say that of the many new activities I’ve tried for the first time, this one pretty much went as I had hoped. I only had the router try to grab one time and this is because I accidentally lifted the base and canted the bit to the wood. I was careful not to do that again and it was also a good lesson on what can happen if you try to take too much wood off in one pass. I have to say that until you have seen it, you just simply can’t believe how much saw dust that tiny amount of hardbard makes when it becomes disintegrated by a router bit.

With the sides trimmed flush I decided that it would be a nice touch to add some edge trim. I had several lengths of 1/4″ x 2″ red oak on hand so it came to me that I could now actually use the router table to mill the stock to 1″ for the trim. Carefully following the instructions on my router lift, I clamped up my Bosch 1617, screwed in the plate insert and clamped a piece of 2″x 2″ as a temporary fence. I used my calipers to transfer the top width to my stock and scribed a rip line. I would probably have ripped off the excess material with my table saw if I had one but I decided the jig saw would do the job. I was very careful once again to cut outside the line, leaving the stock between 1/16″ to 1/8″ oversized. Then I chucked up a 1/4″ straight cut bit in my router and milled the 4 pieces of stock to thickness of my table’s edge  which was approximately  1″.

With my 2 hrs of Thursday night shop time up, I called it a night.

What I learned during this session.

  1. My 1/4″ Ryobi router bit starter kit will mostly be used with my Bosch trim router. I’ll get 1/2″ bits for the table.
  2. Unless you’re climb cutting, one typically hand routes from left to right but move stock from right to left with table mounted routers. Well, that depends young padawan. I was pushing the stock between the fence and the router bit which means the cut rotation is on the opposite side of the bit. Can you say “kickback“? We all have to learn about it and understand it. I had reinvented a tennis ball cannon or perhaps more accurately, a marvelous mechanical ballista. It didn’t take me long to figure out the feed direction I needed but I had to think about why it was backwards to what I had expected. I was cutting on the “wrong side” pinching the work between the fence and the bit. When I make a proper fence, one with a gap for the  bit, I will be safely routing and the directon will be from right to left as expected. As Bugs Bunny once exclaimed, “What a Maroon?”

Trying to safely learn by doing and having fun in the process.

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