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Author Topic: near death experience with a router  (Read 5891 times)

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thefox

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near death experience with a router
« on: May 30, 2013, 12:58:08 pm »
I finally got around to my first attempt at routing the slot for the T-molding on my bartop yesterday.

I had already assembled & primed the cab. I know I should've cut the slot before then, but.. well.. anyway..

I also know I should have probably splashed out on a decent quality router, but I saw this one for 30 (about $50?) and figured I am not going to have a great deal of use for a router other than this particular task, so why pay more ?



In setting up the cutter blade, I found that the router had to be locked in the plunge position before the cutter is attached, because the diameter of the cutter is wider than the gap in the router's baseplate, and so would not plunge down through that gap, if that makes sense.

Tested on a spare piece of wood. Then I began routing. I found it incredible just how easily it cuts the MDF. I ad seen a youtube video where the guy describes it as "like a knife through butter", but it really was, literally, like a very sharp knife through butter. I didn't notice that the slot-line had gone off centre.

Then it happened - all in a brief and terrifying moment: At max speed, just towards the end, the plunge lock on the router released itself, and the cutter sprang back through the gap, tearing a piece off the corner of my beloved cabinet, and cutting a slice through the actual metal on the router's baseplate, then it came off, and span through the air, cutting a slice out of a nearby tree in the garden, and just missing me.

There are moments when life seems precious and precarious. I had one of those moments.





Now to repair the damage on the cab...



 
« Last Edit: May 30, 2013, 01:03:19 pm by thefox »
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wp34

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 01:09:01 pm »
Ouch.  Glad to hear you were not hurt.

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 01:13:54 pm »
Never trust a powertool named "Xtreme"!  >:D
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

TopJimmyCooks

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 02:47:26 pm »
Make sure the plunge lock is very tight and check it periodically while working.  make test cuts before attacking your finished product.  If not, hopefully you'll take yourself out of the gene pool before you reproduce.  #darwinawards.   :cheers:  Just kidding good luck be safe peace out.

Nikrom

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2013, 12:22:05 am »
I think you've helped me make up my mind...  I'm going to splurge a bit more for a router with both plunge and fixed bases.  :)

I'm glad you made it out unscathed.

Ond

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 01:13:13 am »
......because the diameter of the cutter is wider than the gap in the router's baseplate,

I started getting nervous as soon as I read that!  The kinetic energy of a router in full spin is nothing to take lightly.  They are great tools but need lots of respect for their power and potential to do damage to flesh and bone let alone our cabs.  Always check the collet is tightened down properly and as already mentioned the plunge lock also (if you are using it in locked off mode).  Even after many years of using routers I still check these things religiously and then make sure my concentration during routing is set at hyper intense.

Unstupid

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 02:53:12 am »
Never trust a powertool named "Xtreme"!  >:D
:laugh2:

thefox

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 09:23:20 am »
Thanks guys.

I started out with bad judgement and bad taste in powerwtools, but I am older and wiser for the experience.  ;D
 
If this thread makes another noob just that little bit more cautious when routing, then that's a god thing.
Born in the early seventies
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spoot

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 11:16:12 am »
Yikes!  Glad you made it without injury.

kahlid74

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 11:42:35 am »
......because the diameter of the cutter is wider than the gap in the router's baseplate,

I started getting nervous as soon as I read that!  The kinetic energy of a router in full spin is nothing to take lightly.  They are great tools but need lots of respect for their power and potential to do damage to flesh and bone let alone our cabs.  Always check the collet is tightened down properly and as already mentioned the plunge lock also (if you are using it in locked off mode).  Even after many years of using routers I still check these things religiously and then make sure my concentration during routing is set at hyper intense.

This is pretty much what set me off right away too, like Ond.  If you can't move the router out of the way of the base plate (plunge) then you can't use it, period.  The more surface to grip the better, so when you loosely sit a bit in the colander like that the sheer force of the router can easily dislodge it.

This is a learning experience for you.  Take it with you and use it often.  Things in life are almost ALWAYS done better when we take the time to do it properly and when we stop and trust our gut "something about this doesn't feel right".

thefox

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 05:01:56 pm »
If you can't move the router out of the way of the base plate (plunge) then you can't use it, period.  The more surface to grip the better, so when you loosely sit a bit in the colander like that the sheer force of the router can easily dislodge it.

This is a learning experience for you.  Take it with you and use it often.  Things in life are almost ALWAYS done better when we take the time to do it properly and when we stop and trust our gut "something about this doesn't feel right".

Not that it matters much, but reading this, I realize maybe I didn't quite explain it properly. This picture might help, taken from the underside of the router, after the event:



You can see the black 'baseplate' with the cutter blade in a plunged position beneath it. See that semi-circular edge either side of the cutter on baseplate? That was made, by the cutter, cut out when the lock gave out and the cutter recoiled, trying to go back  through a gap it wouldnt otherwise fit through. The "hole" in the baseplate was just a rectangle, and I had plunged the router then locked it in position before fitting the cutter.

In my own feeble defense, I am pretty safety conscious - I wore mask, gloves and goggles, I checked the collett was very secure, I checked the plunge lock was on properly,  I did 3 short test runs on spare wood, then I tightened and double checked everything before "the real thing". What I didn't plan on was the plunge lock suddenly giving way.
Born in the early seventies
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Built "The Fox-Box" in 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M8z2QqTPAI

https://fromtheoldarcade.wordpress.com/

Ond

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 05:15:50 pm »
You described it just fine, that's exactly what I thought you meant.  That's an unusually small aperture in the base plate (rectangle??).  Anyway you got away with it, and are aptly named 'thefox'  ;).  I'd never use a router set-up where the bit can't move freely past the base-plate for the very reason you've experienced first hand.  It's a good post tho, with plenty of value for other people new to routers,  you took the time to share the learning which is what this place is all about.

 :cheers:

Drnick

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 10:55:40 am »
I had a similar router,  the plunge lock kept on coming free so I disposed of that one and got a Bosch   :applaud: No more issues for me.  I've pretty much given up on el-cheapo tools. 

sabreerbasAlpha

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2013, 04:15:04 pm »
I had a similar router,  the plunge lock kept on coming free so I disposed of that one and got a Bosch   :applaud: No more issues for me.  I've pretty much given up on el-cheapo tools.

Yep I agree. I was tempted a while back to buy a router of eBay that was 30 quid. I'm so glad I didn't and went for the bosch at 89.00 pound. The bosch router is awesome.  :applaud:

thefox

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2013, 04:39:42 pm »
Well, one day when I start work on my 2nd project, I am definitely, definitely, upgrading to a bosch !
Born in the early seventies
Grew up in the arcades in the 80's
Built "The Fox-Box" in 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M8z2QqTPAI

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nemesismachine

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 04:41:22 pm »
What direction were you travelling with the router? Clockwise?  Ive had work blow out like that coing counter-clockwise (a no-no)

selfie

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 06:35:07 pm »
Good to see you have come out unharmed and wiser for the experience.

What direction were you travelling with the router? Clockwise?  Ive had work blow out like that coing counter-clockwise (a no-no)

This is a SUPER important tip for newby router users. ALWAYS cut against the spin of the cutter. The ONLY exception is CNC cutting.

I had a moment like this recently. I stupidly assumed one of my staff was not a complete moron and used a router someone else had setup without checking it myself. A big 1" roundover bit with a 1/2" shank, it weighs nearly 4oz, genius had it running with about an 1/8" of the shank in the collet and was wondering why the cut was so lumpy. The bit was visible wobbling in the router. I sh!t my pants then had a sit down for a while. Scary.




Ond

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2013, 08:47:06 pm »
The bit was visible wobbling in the router. I sh!t my pants then had a sit down for a while. Scary.

 :laugh2:  Sorry man but I totally laughed out loud when I read that, only because I know just how scary that would have been.  :o

I got a bit of a cold sweat when I started reading the Ops original post. 

selfie

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 11:39:45 pm »
The bit was visible wobbling in the router. I sh!t my pants then had a sit down for a while. Scary.

 :laugh2:  Sorry man but I totally laughed out loud when I read that, only because I know just how scary that would have been.  :o

I got a bit of a cold sweat when I started reading the Ops original post. 

No need to be sorry. The only other thing that has scared me that bad in my workshop was having a 1/2" straight bit break running the CNC and watching the broken piece of the bit destroy the dust shoe.

Then there are the funny ones... well sort of funny.

Running the laser cutter and knocking something off the top of the machine on to the bed. I played cricket for years and I haven't lost the instinct to try to catch something as it falls, so I reach out and catch whatever it was as it falls. As my hand went out it felt a bit warm for a second. "That's weird..." I thought. Then I realised I had passed my hand through the unfocused beam of the laser. :laugh2:

Making a cut on the bandsaw to leave a piece about 1mm wide I have brushed my thumb on the blade. Didn't visibly cut me, just left a clean stripe of skin.  :o

Unstupid

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2013, 12:36:43 am »
Ahh that's nothing... You should see when a 10 inch long, 1 inch diameter endmill explodes at 24,000 RPM.  I call it a day even if its 10 in the morning....   See ya tomorrow!

TopJimmyCooks

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2013, 09:15:04 am »
What does a 10" 24K rpm cnc end mill run these days?  a few hunge?  At least you're being decapitated by a finely crafted industrial tool rather than some crappy handheld router with a wing cutter. 

thefox

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2013, 09:34:44 am »
What direction were you travelling with the router? Clockwise?  Ive had work blow out like that coing counter-clockwise (a no-no)

Clockwise, I think. It's all a bit of a blur now !!
Born in the early seventies
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M8z2QqTPAI

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2013, 05:20:08 pm »
Ahh that's nothing... You should see when a 10 inch long, 1 inch diameter endmill explodes at 24,000 RPM.  I call it a day even if its 10 in the morning....   See ya tomorrow!

Yeah... I'll take your word on that one. One of my clients has a 10" table saw blade stuck in the wall that was left there after coming off the saw at speed.

jdbailey1206

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2013, 03:16:06 pm »
Its a dangerous world out there fellas.  Better to take a few minutes to tighten stuff down then a full life time being called stumpy.  I've had a few close calls in the demolition business.  I misjudged a pipe hanger and after cutting one end of a pipe with a burning torch it swung around pitched a 8 inch diameter pipe into my chest which in turn almost knocked my out of my manlift that was 15 feet off the ground.  I had a huge bruise on my chest for a week after.  Fun times.

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2013, 08:58:45 pm »
This was a good post, especially for a noob like me, glad to have seen it.  As someone planning his first arcade build and having zero experience with a router, I'll be sure to purchase a reputable brand with solid reviews.  Also planing to get plenty of practice on scraps before embarking on the big project.     

kahlid74

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2013, 03:10:02 pm »
This was a good post, especially for a noob like me, glad to have seen it.  As someone planning his first arcade build and having zero experience with a router, I'll be sure to purchase a reputable brand with solid reviews.  Also planing to get plenty of practice on scraps before embarking on the big project.   

Before you make ANY cuts, always hit a piece of test wood.  I can't tell you the amount of "Crap, my T-Molding slot is off by 1/5 inch" threads arise because people don't take the time to test and simply eyeball it.

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2014, 08:09:53 pm »
I finally got around to my first attempt at routing the slot for the T-molding on my bartop yesterday.

I had already assembled & primed the cab. I know I should've cut the slot before then, but.. well.. anyway..

I also know I should have probably splashed out on a decent quality router, but I saw this one for 30 (about $50?) and figured I am not going to have a great deal of use for a router other than this particular task, so why pay more ?



In setting up the cutter blade, I found that the router had to be locked in the plunge position before the cutter is attached, because the diameter of the cutter is wider than the gap in the router's baseplate, and so would not plunge down through that gap, if that makes sense.

Tested on a spare piece of wood. Then I began routing. I found it incredible just how easily it cuts the MDF. I ad seen a youtube video where the guy describes it as "like a knife through butter", but it really was, literally, like a very sharp knife through butter. I didn't notice that the slot-line had gone off centre.

Then it happened - all in a brief and terrifying moment: At max speed, just towards the end, the plunge lock on the router released itself, and the cutter sprang back through the gap, tearing a piece off the corner of my beloved cabinet, and cutting a slice through the actual metal on the router's baseplate, then it came off, and span through the air, cutting a slice out of a nearby tree in the garden, and just missing me.

There are moments when life seems precious and precarious. I had one of those moments.



Now to repair the damage on the cab...

I feel ya. I learned a while back....stay away from off brand power tools. Particularly, Harbor Freight stuff. This stuff is all made in China - if it works at all you are lucky.

PixelPaul

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2014, 08:54:46 pm »
I feel ya. I learned a while back....stay away from off brand power tools. Particularly, Harbor Freight stuff. This stuff is all made in China - if it works at all you are lucky.

I stay away from Harbor Freight completely, but have some friends that get some stuff from there. The saying goes don't buy anything from Harbor Freight that you have to plug in.

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2017, 05:28:27 am »
Thanks for the heads up. About to use a router for the first time think I'll be on high alert.

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2017, 06:06:14 am »

Mike A

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Re: near death experience with a router
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2017, 07:52:44 am »
Since this post is resurrected here is a tip. Please take the time to really learn how to use a router, or any power tool for that matter. There are plenty of classes people can take to familiarize themselves with safety measures that could help avoid serious injury. Before I bought my first table saw I took classes at a local Woodcraft store. They were taught by an old timer cabinet maker. He had amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience over decades.

  
 

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