Using a pin router can make woodcarving operations a lot easier, a lot faster and a lot more precise. An over arm pin router operates with the rotating bit above the work piece instead of below it. This allows you to see the cutting at all times, unlike typical router tables that do the cutting on the underside.
There are many woodcarving operations that can be performed with an over arm pin router. Basic straight lines, decorative edges, surface designs, cutting precision dadoes, grooves, dovetails and other structural joints, all types of stopped cuts, repairing furniture or veneers, jointing edges, sawing straight or irregular shapes, drilling holes and pin routing duplicate work pieces with exact repeatability are some but not all of the operations you can do.
Pin routing is the process of quickly and easily making duplicate copies of a project or piece and have them turn out the same. The process is done by cutting a template or fixture that matches the shape of the pieces you are making. Then you insert a straight router bit in the router motor which is on the over arm.
A tracing pin is inserted into the router’s table plate and the pin and the router bit are aligned. Then a work piece blank is temporarily attached to the back side of the template. The template is flipped over and its groove is dropped over the tracing pin. The router is turned on while the groove is traced over the table pin, resulting in an exact replica of the original piece.
Always wear eye protection. Safety glasses can be worn all the time, goggles will fit over regular glasses or a face shield will protect your entire face. Use ear protection. Prolonged exposure to high-intensity noise from power tools will eventually lead to ear damage.
Use guards and safety devices. Tuck long hair under a hat or tie it up in a pony tail. Roll up long sleeves. Do not wear a tie or any other loose flowing clothing. Be careful not to overload your electrical circuits.
There are generally four types of router bits. They are grooving bits, edge cutting bits, panel bits and laminate and veneer cutting bits. Proper handling, use and sharpening will prolong their life. Only use bits for the purpose they were intended. Make sure to mount the bit rigidly in the cullet.
Cut the work pieces at the right speed to prevent heat buildup that can reduce bit hardness. When not in use keep your bits in a safe place where they will not get hit or dropped.
If you are getting poor cutting results, try reducing the depth of cut on each pass. Another solution may be to feed the work piece into the bit at a slower rate. You may also need to sharpen or replace the bit.
If the work piece is burning you may need to sharpen or replace the bit. You could also need to slow down the router motor speed.
If the guide pin and router bit work out of alignment, try tightening the screws, the table insert, the arm clamps or the motor clamp and guard. Then re-align the guide pin and router bit.
If the dovetail slide sticks or grabs, loosen the adjustment set screws. If the walls of your cuts are stepped, adjust the work table.
If the router motor overheats, stop and allow the motor to cool. Try slowing down your rate of speed and reducing the depth of cut. If these don’t fix the problem try loosening the motor and raise it to allow one eighth of an inch clearance between the bottom of the router motor and the deflector.
If the depth of cut changes while making a cut, tighten the bit and tighten the clamps by tightening nuts.
Photo by banalities, Creative Commons Attribution License