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when routing bindings goes wrong

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Total Posts: 2
This was my first go at routing binding and excatly one half of the job went fine. I'm using a porter cable laminate trimmer with Mr Cory's trim guide. I set up and made a few cuts on some scrap and decided I was as ready for this as I was ever going to be.
The problem is with the router like i said one side cut fine ,the other side while cutting the router bit height adjusted itself to a new deeper setting. When I spotted this happening I stopped took a min to clam down. I can't tell you the words that spilled out of me. I knew this was where I was going to screw up. Anyway checking out the router sure enough the bit was set much deeper now than before. I checked the height adjustment wheel it was locked down tight and the collet was also tight? What could I be missing? I was routing 3/32 binding and now I am over 1/4. I think some 1/2 binding will fix this for me but I have only one more shot at it. Any insights ?
Portland Oregon

Mar 02, 08 | 10:50 am
Ken Cierp

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Total Posts: 2262
What kind of bit are you using? Did this happen on the top or the back? It would seem that the bit walked out of the collet. Check to see that there is not a metal shaving or chip is lodged in the spindle split section of the collet assembly, When that occurs the collet will seem very tight but in reality the chip prevents the slit from closing and good contact with the bit shaft. Did you install the popsicle stick shims to the router base as instructed by Bill Cory? All that said, If your setting in fact changed, something, either the base or the bit were not tightend properly. Check the bit shaft for score marks -- a sure sign that it spun loose.


Mar 02, 08 | 11:33 am
Bill Cory

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Total Posts: 3584
Gary -- Sorry that happened to you! I think Ken's explanation is probably correct, seeing as how one side was cut correctly. If the (not popsicle stick) edge guide worked for the first side, it likely wouldn't have failed for the second side.

On my first guitar, routing by hand, I had this happen; my fix was to rout both sides to the same depth and install a bit of purfling to fill the deper slot. I had to add about 1/16 to the 1/4 I was using on the back binding. Nobody has ever noticed but me; if they have, they've not said anything.


Mar 02, 08 | 12:24 pm

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Total Posts: 2

Okay I took apart the router cleaned the hell out of the collet, I did not find a smoking gun in there but it was dirty with burnt wood ect. The shank of the router bit was mared some. I did'nt get very far before seeing this had happened.
I guess on the brighter side of all this I get to buy that sexy tortise binding now. adding some purfling is a great idea, i think 1/2 of binding is a bit much for a 00 sized body. This all happened on my top I was saving the back for after i got my feet wet.
Thank you for the help

Mar 02, 08 | 2:18 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I had that happen on an electric, Gary, and it was the bit walking loose. It was a cheep wilson router that walkd no matter how clean or tight or what you were routing. I think part of the issue happens when you let the router spin up to full speed in open air, the bearing starts vibrating and if it is not perfectly tight, the bit will walk.

Mar 02, 08 | 2:27 pm

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Total Posts: 567
Been there... done that.... got the guitar to prove it. It sure sounds like the bit walked up the collet to me also. After ruining an entire back binding route because of it I learned to check the collet each and every time I route. I take it apart every so often and completely clean out the collet socket and the split compression assembly.

What I ended up doing was routing the channel wide enough for the binding and a perfling strip to cover up the mistake. I didn't try to hide it, I used a different colored strip to act as an accent strip. In all reality, it is a reminder to double check my tools before using them.

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Mar 02, 08 | 6:40 pm

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Total Posts: 2
Thank you,
I think I have ordered what I need to fix this problem. Stew/Mac had some binding at .375 the deepest section of my mistake is at .330 . I looked at a combination of purfling and binding but really could'nt get the size needed. Now I just need to run the router up and down a few boards and see if it still wants to walk. I'm not falling for the same trick twice.

Mar 03, 08 | 4:19 pm

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