Wednesday, September 19

Slotting the Handles

I’ve spent the entire day (to this point) routing the slots in the bag handles that allow a bag of some sort to be attached.

This is a fairly straight forward process; using the router table, the fence set to cut the slot at the proper distance in from the lower edge of the handle and a pair of stop blocks limiting the end-to-end travel, thus the length of the slot.

The only head-scratcher is the fact that if we try to cut the slot all the way through the handle in a single pass, the bit jitters about, making a rough cut, and tends to burn. Rather than making a pass that cuts part way through, raising the bit and making another pass (on 220 pieces) I simply set the bit to cut just a hair more than half way through the blanks thickness. Make one pass, flip the blank over and make the second pass to complete the cut. This makes things go much more quickly and smoothly.

It takes about an hour to run 30 pair of handles. At this point I need to sharpen the bit because it’s starting to tear the wood. But I don’t want to mess up the set-up by moving the fence to lift the router out and remove the bit. But, I don’t need to; the motor portion of my router can unlatch and drop down out of the housing under the table, then I sharpen the bit while it’s still in the collet. When that’s done I simply slide the motor back up into the housing until the latch clicks and it is right back where it was and locked in place ready for another run.

With the slotting is done in all 110 pair of handles, it’s time to break down and clean the router table, and sweep the ceiling and walls around this piece of equipment before cleaning up the floor. These past few days have tossed a ton of wood dust around my shop, it’s time to get it cleaned up. I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon doing that. Tomorrow we’ll get to the *really* exciting part…


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