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  • Table Router starter pin

    My old router insert had location for one, but when I installed the new plate with the router lift it did not have a starter pin (AKA router safety pin) location.
    I'm thinking about drilling one, a 1/4" hole is needed just outside the red insert circle.
    I have both a brass pin and a DIY pin I made.

    Do you guys use a starter pin and where do you have it located.

    I'm thinking about 4 o'clock where my old one was located.

    Any comments or advice?

    For those who don't know about router starter/safety pins: https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...-routing-issue

    AKA router guide pin, router safety pin, router fulcrum pin, router starting pin
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 10-31-2020, 01:02 AM.
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

  • #2
    I looked at the starter pin feature years ago and almost decided to get one and use it, but never did. I am a router junkie but that is a feature that I never pursued. DO you mind telling us/me the advantages of how using it helps, and in what situations?
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

    Comment


    • #3
      I have always used the edge of the hole in the router fence I built so many years ago for the BT3K. The opening is large enough to put either edge at a good distance from the bit center line to work. In addition, it allows some chip collection into the hole in the fence the vacuum attached. I think the fence design article is still in the articles section here.
      Jim Frye
      The Nut in the Cellar.
      ”Sawdust Is Man Glitter”

      Comment


      • #4
        The various router plates I've used over the years have all had threaded holes for starter pins. I currently have the Incra lift sold at Rockler stores; it fits in the same table openings as Rockler's plain plates. The starter pin hole is around 4 to 5 o'clock as well. I don't use it often as I have not needed to profile too many non-straight edges. Within the last week or two however I did use it to round over a piece similar to the center divider + handle of simple tool carry trays. I think the pin needs to be to the right of the bit so you can hold the workpiece against the pin and rotate the left-most end of the workpiece INTO the spinning bit direction. If the pin were on the left side of the bit you'd end up feeding the workpiece WITH the spin direction - bad. Somewhere between 3 to 5 o'clock works well - keeps a long workpiece more-or-less lined up with the long side of your router table. Anywhere else and you'd end up holding the workpiece at awkward positions relative to your normal stance at the router table.

        my opinion anyway.
        mpc

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by leehljp View Post
          I looked at the starter pin feature years ago and almost decided to get one and use it, but never did. I am a router junkie but that is a feature that I never pursued. DO you mind telling us/me the advantages of how using it helps, and in what situations?
          Hank, the starter pin is variously described as a fulcrum and limiting stop for feeding work into the spinning bit.
          When you freehand a workpiece into a spinning bit it sometimes wants to grab it if you overfeed it. So it takes care and feel that most of us have developed but in a careless moment or for a newbie the piece can be gouged or thrown. Especially when routing end-grain.

          A starting pin about 3 or 4 o'clock allows you to press the workpiece against the pin and rotating around the pin feed the edge of the workpiece to the bit and limit the depth and prevent grabbing by using a shallow cut at first, Once you've found the angle for a smallcut, feed the piece forward and make a shallow pass with the depth under control.
          Repeat for successive deep cuts until you are limited by the bearing on the bit.
          When doing rounded end and end grain objects it is also handy to feed, easier to do than to explain. We like to slow when approaching corners and the often ends up burning. A pin makes routing around corners completely under control and less likely to burn from slowing down too much.

          I would recommend you read the discussion in this old thread
          https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...-routing-issue


          And these
          http://www.newwoodworker.com/usestrtpin.html
          https://www.google.com/search?q=rout...cqQsAXgtLr4CQ8
          https://youtu.be/5sDHctfXS1M


          And I make my own instead of buying one for 3 or four bucks, but you get a nice shiny one if you buy one.
          DIY: 1/4" dowel and 1/2 inch x 1.25" dowel.
          Click image for larger version  Name:	image_25791.jpg Views:	6 Size:	28.5 KB ID:	841165

          Click image for larger version  Name:	DIY router safety starter pin installed 2007.jpg Views:	0 Size:	28.5 KB ID:	841166
          Last edited by LCHIEN; 10-30-2020, 03:36 PM.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks Loring. I missed that thread on this site back in 2007 when it was going on, or at least my mind has probably forgotten it.

            I took time read and now understand it, and I "think" I know why I basically stayed away from a starting pin. I always calculate the feed of the wood based on bearings or a fence. I know that I have gone to lengths to construct (a mental picture of) a method that allows me to shape the edge with a portion of the edge against a bearing. I have top bearings and bottom bearings on some of the bits. I even added bearings to a couple of straight bits on the shaft back before they were readily available.

            I see now that that even with pilot bearings, the pin gives added leverage and control! I get it now! Thanks!
            Last edited by leehljp; 10-30-2020, 05:23 PM.
            Hank Lee

            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

            Comment


            • #7
              Several years ago, when I first set up my router table I decided to use a Rockler table top which I set upon my own knock-down leg set. Nothing fancy, but it works well for me and I can easily take it apart and move it. The router mounting plate is basically 1/4-inch aluminum and it does have a couple of tapped holes for using a "fulcrum" or "starting pin". Actually there are two holes located at 3:00 and 9:00 o'clock. Most everything I've done on the router table has been edging of one kind or another using the fence where the I'm dealing with just straight edges. Not long after I set it up though, I do recall making a couple push sticks which are curved edges to fit my hand and stance. Of course, rounding over a curved edge, a straight fence doesn't come into play and the "starting pin" was perfect for feeding the start of a curved cut into the router bit where the pin acts like a pivot point, with which to ease the stock into the cutter without having it gouge or jump on me. Once the cut has started you just use the guide bearing on the bit to move the curved edge through the the length.

              At the time, I had purchased Patrick Spielman's, "The New Router Handbook", and there I found several pages describing the setup and use of "fulcrums" including "starting pins". While I do love the router and have a few, the task and skill is not one that I am overly familiar with and I'm never quite comfortable with. (That discomfort fits me with most power tools, perhaps why I still have all my fingers.) Hence, I do a lot of reading before I try anything for the first time. The use of a "starting pin" was exactly that way, and I've found it essential for starting any cut that is not guided by the fence.

              I read this post late this morning, but honestly I couldn't remember enough detail to write any comment, and it's been a few year's since I did this and it's not something I've done more than couple of times. So after supper I went out to the workshop to take a look and of course couldn't find my pin. When I moved everything out there last year, it was sort of a hurry as I was changing the basement shop space into a work area for my family photo restoration project. Doing so sort of left me with, "where did I put this or that" questions and at the moment that "starting pin" is among the missing.

              CWS
              Think it Through Before You Do!

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, I decided to put in threaded holes.
                I thought the plate was phenolic but upon drilling it was aluminum.
                Anyway the popular pins are threaded 1/4-20. I made real sure nothing was below and marked two points, one for a near and one for a far pivot, on the right side.

                I ordered the Rockler threaded pins, but they are a couple of weeks backordered so I said hey I can make this so I took a bolt that was partially threaded except for about 3/4-1" and cut a 1/2" dowel and drilled it through 1/4", and reamed it until it slip fit the bolt shank. The length was just a hair shorter than the unthreaded shank so it would not be compressed but could spin when the shank bottomed out to the threaded hole entrance.

                I left about 6-7 threads to engage the plate and cut off the end of the bolt.

                Here's a trick... when cutting off a bolt to make it shorter, thread a nut to the head side of the bolt from the cut point. After cutting, running the nut off the raw cut end will straighten out the damaged cut threads and make them easy to start in a good nut or threaded hole after cleanup. That's 40 years of experience talking.

                So I have a low friction rolling pivot pin and two locations for it now for my router table.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by LCHIEN; 10-31-2020, 06:46 PM.
                Loring in Katy, TX USA
                If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Here's a trick... when cutting off a bolt to make it shorter, thread a nut to the head side of the bolt from the cut point. After cutting, running the nut off the raw cut end will straighten out the damaged cut threads and make them easy to start in a good nut or threaded hole after cleanup"

                  I can't remember where I learned that, but long ago someone told me, perhaps my Dad. If you have a 'die' that works best, but a nut is a lot handier most of the time. I just cut an aluminum 3/8-16 bolt to make a connecting stud for one of my tripod last years and remembered that great little trick. It's good that you passed it on!

                  Still haven't found my starting pin, it will turn up but it's frustrating when you misplace such things. I'm missing a small box of such router accessories and I've spent a couple of hours looking. I did look for one on the internet and they all seem to be rather short at just 3/4 inches. I may be wrong, but I'm sure the one I originally got from Rockler (I think it came with the aluminum plate) was about 1-1/2 to 2-inches after the thread. Your example is probably the easiest path to having a new pin. I'm not sure I would want a short one.

                  Thanks,

                  CWS
                  Think it Through Before You Do!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm pretty sure a 3/4" one is every bit as good as a 1-1/2 inch one. I don't think the extra height really helps any.
                    Loring in Katy, TX USA
                    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You're right, after I gave it some more thought, I don't see the advantage of a taller starter pin. Like I said earlier, I've only used the starter pin a couple of times as most everything else I've done on the router table has been against the fence. My memory just recalls a longer pin, which someday I will find and probably prove myself wrong!

                      CWS
                      Think it Through Before You Do!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Found IT!

                        So, as things usually go for me, I stopped looking for my router starting pin after spending a couple of hours looking here in the basement and out in the work shed. So yesterday afternoon I was cleaning up some stuff in the shed and there it was, with one of my tool bags sitting on top of the router accessories box.

                        It wasn't as long as I had remembered in my previous comments, but still it was about an inch and a half long and threaded on both ends. I keep it stored with three nuts on the longer threaded end and one nut on the top, shorter thread end, in order to protect the threads when not in use. Here is a couple of pictures with my router plate removed from the table.

                        Attached Files
                        Think it Through Before You Do!

                        Comment

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