Hello I'm new to the forum and I'm new to woodworking as well. I'm starting to learn by making a couple of jigs, push sticks and push blocks for my router table and table saw. RIght now I'm working on the push block handles (modeled after a hand-saw, For example, http://images.meredith.com/wood/imag...pushstick1.jpg) and I'm noticing that my general method of cutting the detailed curvery parts is not working very well.
To cut details/curves/etc into the wood I first make the closest possible straight cut with my table saw. Which leaves sections on the edge that need to be "carved out" some how. I've been trying to sand them out with my hand held orbital sander but that seems to take way too long. I'm guessing a scroll saw is probably the recommended way to do this type of controlled cutting? Other ways???
I don't have a scoll saw. I have a table saw and a router. I'm wondering if it is safe to use my router to free-hand carve out the details & curves. The idea is to mount the router to the router table and remove the fence. Then turn the bit on, let it come up to speed and slowly guide the work piece into the bit moving it from right to left while my straight cutting bit carves out a section of the wood. I would simply guide the bit along my pencil lines making a few passes until the unwanted sections of wood are carved away... being careful NOT to take off much more than 1/8" on any pass.
Any tips or thoughts on the feasibility & general safety of such operations would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for the advice I was not aware that free-hand routing was such a dangerous operation. Its a good thing I asked too because I like all my fingers and I'd be quite annoyed if I had to part with any of them. I'll get myself a Jigsaw
A related question: I've seen mention of routing free-hand using a bit with a guide bearing and a starting pin to ease the work piece into the bit. What makes this operation safer than what I've described above?
Using a bearing on the router will prevent the bit from climbing into the work, as only the part of the cutter protruding past the diameter of the bearing will contact the wood, you still have to be careful but less danger.
A starting pin helps to hold the work back so it cannot be drawn in to the cutter, however routers can be fed from any direction, so if the work is fed so the pin is behind the cutter it no longer serves the intended purpose. This method should only be used for larger material.