Woodworking tip – Router technique and safety

Over 38 years of toy making I have hurt myself two times, not counting dozens of splinters, bumps and bruises. Both of these serious injuries happened decades ago and involved shaping small wooden pieces with my router. Luckily they were not life threatening and I was back at the bench the next day, if a bit hampered by bandages and pain. The round-over router bits I use generate quite a bit of sideways force on the workpiece and after the eighth or ninth piece the mind begins to wander, the grip loosens, the wood slips and it can get bloody. (BTW: Blood is difficult to remove from wood and its best to avoid spilling any on the work.) So I developed several fixtures to hold small parts to be routed. The one pictured below is used as I round over the edges of an auto train car. You can see the padded handles keep my hands away from the sharp bit. Since using such fixtures I have had no injuries. I’m not always a fast learner yet surely one injury should be enough motivation to think of a better way. I needed two. Duh!

routing safety 1routing safety 3routing safety 2

“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”
― Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

Listen to my rather ancient interview on Public Radio

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1 Comment

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One response to “Woodworking tip – Router technique and safety

  1. Miracle you still have all your fingers, and your sense of humor. BTW: Blood is difficult to remove from wood and its best to avoid spilling any on the work.)

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