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Being Safe Around Router Bits

April 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

Workshops are places where people can spend hours just building wonderful things. With all the heavy machinery and sharp objects in a workshop, they can also be places where accidents can happen. If you use a woodworking router, you have to remember certain things so you can keep safe while working with that machine and its router bits.

Working with your router

Unless you are intimately familiar with the machine, you should always take the time to read your router's safety instructions and user's manual. Be sure to follow its directives, or at least the most important ones. You might even want to put a checklist near the machine to remind you of important things you should do before, during and after its use.

You should also remember to unplug your router when changing router bits, as these have metal parts. Aside from possible electrocution, you can get seriously injured if the machine somehow activates while you are trying to remove a bit.

Also, remember to never start the router if your bits are in contact with the wood. When you are ready to work, make sure that the shank of the bit is completely into the collet. Pull out about a sixteenth of the bit. You must avoid "bottoming out" the bit or partially inserting it in the collet.

Do not force feed the bit or overload the machine. Use a constant speed when feeding so the wood will not get burnt. Also, do not face the discharge path of the router even if you are wearing protective gear.

A bit about router bits

For the bits, never work with ones that are dull or damaged. Aside from affecting the quality of your work, this can make it harder and even damage your machine should a dull bit get stuck in wood. It could even hurt you. Always make sure that you are using sharp, high quality router bits.

Make it a habit to check if the bit is secure in the collet. Inspect it periodically for signs of slippage due to wear and tear. You can never tell what will happen if a bit suddenly slips from its collet while performing a high-speed cut. Also, remember to use a lower RPM as the size of your bit increases.

Remember to keep your router bits clean and lubricated. Do not leave them lying around as some of these can hurt someone if they fall. Always store them in a box or tray so they do not get damaged or suffer from exposure.

General guidelines to remember

Since you are working with wood and heavy machines, make it a habit to wear eye and ear protection. Remember that you are hollowing out wood with a high-speed cutting tool that is mounted on a heavy machine. Eye and ear protection should be enough to keep the sawdust away and your ears from getting deaf.

Always keep in mind these safety tips when using your woodworking router and its router bits. Many workshop accidents are avoidable, so no matter what you are making, safety should always be a primary consideration.

Rudi Kennedy uses a woodworking router and quality router bits for many projects.

Source: EzineArticles
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