The end of a board is a problem area for router work because of the way the cutter spins, which causes the router to tear out at the end of the board. Find out how to clamp another board when working with a router on the end of a board with help from an experienced woodworker in this free video on using wood routers.
Hi I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida and I'm going to talk to you about how to router the end of a board. The end of the board is generally a problem area when you're working with a router because of the way the cutter spins it tends to tear out when you get to the end of the board. Most of the time it's not something you can avoid. There are a couple of things you can do to minimize it. If you're just working the end of a board, what you want to do is take another board of the exact same thickness and clamp the two together so that as you come across the piece on this corner can't tear out because it's supported by another piece on the side. If you're routing the entire face of the board, being the end grain as well as the long grain, the important thing to do is run your end grain first then if you get some tear out as you do the long grain, the profile should take out any of the tear out that happened as you're working. Today we're going to be working with a hand held router which is something most people are going to be working with and the key thing to remember when working with a hand held router is you want to work from left to right. So if we were going through the entire board, we'd go left to right, adjust our stock where it's clamped down, do the long end, the opposite and then come back to where we started. What I've setup here is a round over bit in my router with a fairly deep cut and I'm hoping that it's going to be deep enough that I will in fact get some tear out over here to give you an idea of what's going to happen. What I would recommend as you're doing cuts of this nature, take two or three lighter cuts and that way you'll minimize the damage to your piece. Go ahead and put my safety gear on and set my router depth and I'll go ahead and make my cut. Well despite my best efforts to have this chew up my board, I got very little tear out at the end but it is noticeable so if you're only doing the end grain of your board, this would be fairly easy to clean up. Another option is to leave your board a little bit wide so that as you make your cut you can then go back to your jointer or with a hand plane and clean this up. Another thing you want to keep in mind is the speed of your bit, the fact that it's nice and sharp, I recommend a carbide bit, steel bits are notorious for getting dull very quickly and will burn your end grain. And also the speed at which you move your router across the stock. If you move too slow or if you have a dull bit you're going to get burning and burning on end grain is very difficult to sand out especially on wood such as cherry and maple and things of that nature that burn fairly easily. So that's a little bit on how to router the end of a board. I'm Dave Trull at the Trull Gallery, the fine are of furniture making.