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Thread: handheld router with big bit

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    handheld router with big bit

    Hi all,

    If I get a custom made router bit for this chamfer and I only take small passes at a time (like 1/16") will handling this router bit be an issue?

    This is a chamfer on a table top that I don't have room to do with my router table. I am will to change the dimensions some. I think it looks good though in my drawings.

    I can sub it out if safety is going to be big concern.

    custom bit.jpg

  2. #2
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    Mar 2003
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    The big concern is that the router might rock a bit. I'd mount the router to a base extension which goes quite a ways on the surface of the table -- either the top or the bottom, I can't tell. You could even put a weight on the extension to make sure the router doesn't rock down.

  3. #3
    I would cut it with tilted blade table saw. Then finish with plane and sandpaper. I think the router will be messy,slow,and
    more work to smooth up.

  4. #4
    Having asked the question you are obviously not in the “hold my beer” mode. Can it be done? Sure! The question is, what can go wrong and what happens then. The answer I think is, lots and you don’t know. The inertia on that is enormous. I have done this on a router table and with that large a bit I was nervous. I’m not a pro, but I bet once you mount that bit in a router big enough to spin it and turn it on, you will get a little weak in the knees at the prospect of putting it on wood.

  5. #5
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    I'm with Mel.

    This is basically the same as doing a raised panel on a table saw. Plenty of videos on that are available. In a nutshell: High fence that wraps your TS fence...work clamped to fence... push the whole thing along your TS fence.

    If you have a horizontal raised panel router bit, you could make a quick, one time horizontal router table out of a couple hunks of melamine and use spacers to gradually lower the work to the final cut. It's a lot more trouble though. Lots of videos on that also.

    Of course this all depends on how big a table top we are talking about.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2014
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    Swampscott, MA
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    I did something similar to the underside of a cherry dining table. Got as far as possible with shallow cuts using a big 45deg (Freud) bit in a handheld router and finished the rest with handplanes. Did a practice run first on some scrap poplar to convince myself it would work ok - both came out fine

  7. #7
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    What about a (big) circular saw and homemade jig? I think I would be tempted to try it with my 8-1/4" worm gear, then hand-plane the "chamfer."

    One side note: Are you sure that having just a 1/4" edge on the tabletop isn't going to make it look (and be) too fragile/vulnerable to denting/damage? I've found that even putting too large of a 1/4-round profile on the top edge of a tabletop makes the top "appear" too thin -- even it it's made from 4/4 or 5/4 stock –– so I generally just use a file/sander for this radius for that reason...
    Last edited by Jacob Reverb; 05-27-2019 at 7:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    I would cut it with tilted blade table saw. Then finish with plane and sandpaper. I think the router will be messy,slow,and
    more work to smooth up.
    I would also use the table saw as suggested above.
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  9. #9
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    To hand hold a router for this you need a LOT of mass / weight for the router. It will want to grab at times due to grain changes. If I was doing this hand held I would use my Festool 2200 on a wide offset base or my PC 7518 still installed in the router lift for increased mass. If possible I would take it in 2 or 3 cuts. I have done something similar cut wise with a massive bit but was cutting MDF so constant density so no surprises.

  10. #10
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    Hi Andrew, that's a piece of cake on a shaper with a tilting spindle, do you know anyone who has one near you?

    I wouldn't do it on a tablesaw or with a hand held router.............Regards, Rod.

  11. #11
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    You say "I don't have room to do on my router table". Rather than make the cut handheld, I'd seriously consider moving machines around your shop, or moving the router table elsewhere.

  12. #12
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    That cut looks very much like a raised panel cut. Raised panel bits are run in router tables, using one handheld would be .... exciting I think, too exciting for my tastes. If you were to try using a raised panel bit in a hand held router, you'd need to be sure the entire bit would fit in the router's base. The bit would likely be 3 1/2" diameter so your router base would need an opening larger than that. I don't know how many routers have that large an opening but it'd be something to check for starters. I wouldn't check because I wouldn't consider the idea.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 05-27-2019 at 10:14 AM.

  13. #13
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    Anything over about 1.5" in diameter really shouldn't be considered for hand-held use. Based on your diagram, that's going to be a very large diameter cutter...in excess of 3". That's a table mounted situation for sure and even there, multiple bites are generally a best practice. I use a Freud cutter from a "Shaker" door set for this purpose on the Shaker style side tables I occasionally make, leaving the edge at between 3/8 and 1/2"...whatever it ends up with with the bit adjusted to provide the angle to flat transition which is largely out of sight.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    Last year I posted a couple of pictures of a 42”x9’ dining table with a big undercut bevel. I used a porta-planer. The name of the thread was dining table. It worked quite well.
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  15. #15
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    Andrew, how big is this table top? Is it a dining table? If so, the idea which folks have proposed of standing it on edge and running it through a table saw would be a challenge.

    Does the top have any curved edges? If so, a router or a shaper may be the only workable approach. A table saw or a power planer won't do.

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