Climb Cutting, Routers, and Tool Safety
Fine Woodworking issue #220 featured an article by Chris Gouchner on climb cutting with a router that briefly touched upon performing this technique on a router table. While climb-cutting with a handheld router is an acceptable procedure when done properly, performing this maneuver on a router table is another story.
In his article, Gouchner stipulates that a woodworker should never climb cut on a router table…unless they’ve got a specialty jig to hold the workpiece down. A climb-cutting jig should also have appropriate hand-holds, so that the craftsman, or woman, can have a firm grip on the piece being shaped. Of course, these precautions need to be taken to mitigate the fact that climb cutting causes the workpiece to want to sail away from you.
But in speaking with various woodworkers over the years, I’ve heard differing opinions on the idea of router table climb-cutting. Most, like Gouchner, advocate the technique’s use as long as the appropriate jig is available. Others however, are of the belief that it should never be done. Period.
Do You Climb Cut on a Router Table?
I thought I’d put the question to our readers: is the technique safe? Do you practice it? What are your experiences? Let me know in the comments section below. Your experiences may very well save a finger!