Poor Man's router lacking reverse gear

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  • #550165
    Brian A
    Participant

    I made Paul’s first ‘poor man’s router’ (eg. a bevel edged type chisel driven through a drilled hole in a chunk of wood) but I can’t back up the cutter. I can tap the chisel deeper, but no amount of tapping the block seems to reverse it. I thought the hole was too small (1/8″ smaller than chisel, poplar) so I made one 1/16″ smaller than the chisel (pine this time), with the same result. Any ideas about what I might be doing wrong?

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    #550181
    deanbecker
    Participant

    Are you using a metal hammer ? The shock seems to make a difference. With poplar it may be too soft and the wood is absorbing the hammer blow

    #550220
    Brian A
    Participant

    Good point. I used a 3 pound oak mallet, which can hit pretty hard, though I shortened my grip on the handle to mitigate that on the second try (in pine). I didn’t want to expend oak as I thought I’d need to try it a few times. Next attempt I’ll tap even more softly. I’m also wondering if the shape of the chisel is wrong for this. It’s a typical hardware store, beveled type, and has a slight taper along its length.

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    #550221
    harry wheeler
    Participant

    I’ve made those routers a few times when I wanted to have one set to a specific depth so I could go ahead and freely adjust my Stanley until I got close. It’s finicky to set or at least all the ones I made were. Backing out is another story altogether. It has to do with the inertia of the chisel vs the friction forces holding it in. If the hole isn’t tight enough, the ones I’ve made will back themselves out while you’re trying to use them. If it’s too tight or the chisel is too light weight, you have the problem you’re talking about. May the wood gods forgive me, but I’ve just grabbed the chisel handle and given the block a tap before. That will work for sure.

    Harry

    #550226
    Brian A
    Participant

    I think I’m beyond forgiveness with the wood gods. I tried your doomsday release method, but it revealed that my chisel’s design is unidirectional. The chisel literally dismantled itself in my hand, into three loosely connected pieces. I briefly thought about using the vice grips, but I knew that road would surely lead to perdition.

    After reassembling the chisel, I reviewed Paul’s video more closely and watched for a very short stretch, which lasted about three taps of the hammer. Then a lightbulb lit up over my head, “Inertia!” (as also reinforced in your post). I had been holding the chisel the whole time. When I let go of the chisel and gripped the block instead, and then tapped on the block, the chisel backed up. A small woodworking miracle.

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    #550227
    harry wheeler
    Participant

    Well there you go! Sir Isaac comes to the rescue once again. Those things work suprisingly well and cost nothing. I think I’ll make a new one just for fun.

    Harry

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