I was doing some cleanup on my front apron post-lamination.
After routing out one of the leg rabbits on the skirt, I decided to wait on the other until after gluing the skirt to the main apron. It’s called lack of confidence in my measures – which turned out to spot on.
So there I was cleaning up the second rabbit, using the router, and noticed some of the knots on the back of the apron. The apron is Douglas Fir, combining bands of hard and soft wood. Next time I’ll spring for some better material. Anyhow, the knots add a third level of hardness, and for some it was about impossible to flatten them. Sharp blade, light passes, soften them up first with a chisel, use a jack plane, and the surrounding wood cut away as fast as the knot. Argh!!!!
So while routing I wondered, what if I set the blade even with when sole of the router? Will it go that high? Will it cut the knot?
On the Stanley 71 (at least) it will go that high, and it cut through the knots without trouble. So now they’re even with the rest of the board.
Has anyone else done this? Is it a common use of the router?
I suppose, the advantage of the router over the planes was the narrow blade. And the advantage over the chisel was the easier handling. In Germany, spruce is very common, and the spruce you get here, can have very tough knots. When planing fails, I usually attack them with a small chisel, starting on one side. I even tried a file once, but I can’t remember, if it worked well.
If it’s just one high spot knot and you’re having trouble with the router plane, you could just go bevel down with a chisel and hammer and work on the knotty area until it is not a high spot–better for there to be a hollow than a high spot for that part of the leg/bench. Or maybe you just need to sharpen up a bit before hitting that particular spot. Knots can be a pain but a sharp enough iron can usually get through them with patience and persistence.
In Q&A 11, Paul Sellers shows, how to deal with nasty grain around knots. This does not help you, but it fits well in here.
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