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Thread: how can I stop cherry from splintering/chipping out

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,188

    how can I stop cherry from splintering/chipping out

    seems no matter what speed I set my router to, no matter what feed rate I use, Im getting splintering with both the rail end cutter and sometimes with the raised panel bit.
    I ran a piece of spanish cedar out of curiosity, and it ran through smooth.
    I had some problems with the ash also.
    I cleaned the bits, tried a few different speeds, and tried adjusting the rate at which I fed it, so is it just cherry, or is it just my cherry, or is it just me?
    any tidbits of advice are greatly appreciated.(I had to junk a few sections of stiles, and some of my raised panels splintered on the edges, so I just sanded them down, it wont be seen inside the stile mortises, but Id rather have smooth cuts)
    Human Test Dummy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    5,321
    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    seems no matter what speed I set my router to, no matter what feed rate I use, Im getting splintering with both the rail end cutter and sometimes with the raised panel bit...
    I use a piece of MDF as a backer board when cutting the rail ends. First, I cut the 'rail' cut along one edge of the MDF, and leave the opposite side square (plain). I can then cut one end of the rail using the plain side as a backer, and to cut the other end I can fit the 'stile' cut edge of the rail into the 'rail' cut edge of the MDF and then run it thru. No chip/tear out that way, and using the MDF backer makes the whole process seem a bit easier and safer.

    BTW, don't forget - rail ends are cut with the face side down against the router table!
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,188
    my coping sled has backer boards, but maybe its time to change them.
    IM thinking make a new backing board for each few doors. I gotta try something for cleaner cuts.
    Human Test Dummy

  4. #4
    You have photos of the splintering? If your only talking about the cope cut then the backer should have a small amount cut off it each time you pass it thru the bit. Otherwise the edges where the bit cut start to become rounded allowing tear out on the back edge. At work we always cut about a 1/64" off each end when we cope our rails and that gives us a new edge on our backer board every time.

    The other factor is the cherry could be too dry and is causing the tear out and splintering.

    Have you looked at the grain direction?

    On raised panels are you starting on the end grain and rotating the panel 90 degrees with the final pass being on the long grain?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    new york city burbs
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    10,188
    you bring out a point I told the lumber guy, the cherry, well, some of it, seems almost brittle.
    I built the entire bedroom set and another queens sized bed out of cherry, and didnt have this problem.
    Ive been cutting the stiles first, been corrected and told to do the end grain of the rails first, and Im going to replace or cut off a bit like you do on the backer blocks.
    I sanded and smoothed out and small splits, hard to notice with stain and poly.. But theres no reason for me to continue having it.
    Im going to use your suggestion and larrys run the end grain first On the panels, I always run the end grain first.
    The panels dont pose a big problems as the tearout is hidden in the mortise.
    IM having my Ivig therapy this week, but when I start cutting new panels Ill post a pic if it happens again.
    Human Test Dummy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Dennison, MN
    Posts
    512
    I make all my rails an 1/8" big and take a 1/16" off both sides with the coper. My backer sticks are sacrificial, meaning they keep getting smaller.

    For the panels you can climb cut them, same with the stick cutter.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



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