A Router Safety Reminder

Article - May 12, 2010

Here’s a viewer submission by Henry. I thought it was a great tip so I wanted to share it with you folks.

Hi Mark, since you are promoting ‘safety week’ at the moment, I thought I’d share a simple piece of router safety for a beginner. We’re all aware of avoiding climb-cuts, it’s one of the first router operating procedures we learn right after ‘don’t touch the spinning bit’ – yet I still managed to do it accidentally.

My router came with a small bench-top router-table, which works ok. It also has a big arrow on it to show which direction to feed the wood to prevent a climb-cut. So far so good – so how did I fail? I had just cut a groove in a piece of wood, and saw that it hadn’t quite cut to the line I was looking for, so I moved the fence forward about 1/16″ and ran the wood through again. You experts know exactly what happened next. By moving the fence forward – towards the bit while cutting a groove – I was now cutting with back edge of the blade, and despite feeding the wood in the direction of the arrow, this was a climb-cut.

My piece of wood shot across the garage like a bullet, and the bit bent like a banana. If you look closely at the photo of the bit, you will see a few pieces of the steel cutting blade also broke off – I have no idea where they went, but that is another reason I wear eye-protection.


So, did this ever happen to you? I can think of a number of times when I forgot about this and paid the price. Definitely something to keep in mind when making multiple passes at the router table.


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