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    • CommentAuthordusty
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2009 edited
     
    I need some advise on cutting many 1/2" mortises, 3/4" deep on a router table. I have only done three. I reached the desired depth incrementally in 1/4" steps. I am mortising in poplar and every one of them shows signs of burning. The bits are relatively new and are sharp. At least they were when I started.

    Your comments will be greatly appreciated.
  1.  
    Dusty

    The router table is not the best method of producing the joint. Have you ever considered working with template guides and making a simple jig. The one enclosed is suitable for producing mortices in 19mm material.
      Jig Complete.jpg
    •  
      CommentAuthorNick
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2009
     
    Dusty, the burning problem is because you're "hogging" the wood -- trying to take too much off in one pass. Cutting 1/4" deep with a 1/2" bit is seriously pushing the edge of the envelope. I suggest making your mortises in 1/8" steps, less if you want a really smooth cut with minimum burning. Also make sure you've got a "top-cut" router bit. Not every straight bit is made for the plunge cuts that a mortise requires. You might also consider using an "upcut" spiral bit -- these help clear the wood chips from the mortise as the cut progresses. (Of course, in a router table, these become "downcut" spiral bits.) Clearing the chips will help the bit run cooler.

    As for the method, Tom's template is a good way to go. You'll need a guide collar slightly larger than the diameter of the bit and you must cut the slot in the template to fit the guide collar. If you don't want to mess with guide collar, you can also use a pattern-routing bit with a pilot bearing between the cutting flutes and the shank. If you'd rather continue with the router table, I suggest you watch http://www.shopsmithacademy.com/SS_Archives/SS118/SS118_Routing_Blind_Joints.htm . The method for routing a blind joint and a mortise is one in the same -- a mortise is simply a double-blind groove.

    With all good wishes,
    Nick
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