Having the ability to easily make multiple shallow cuts on the router table will improve the quality of your work with smoother, cleaner cuts and will extend the life of your router and router bits.
In the video below see how to make and use a jig that allows you to make a series of shallow, increasing depths of cut on the router table without readjusting the router bit depth.
Benefits of Multiple Shallow Cuts
Making a single deep pass, especially in hardwoods can cause burning, tear out and sometimes splintering. It can also overload the router. Multiple shallow passes results in a smoother cut. This is the reason behind the stepped turret on plunge routers which allows a series of 1/8″ deep passes to accomplish what would otherwise be done in a single deep cut.
Don’t Readjust the Bit Height
A plunge router avoids the need to readjust the bit height with each pass as would have to be done with a standard router. The problem with readjusting the bit depth for each pass is that when the router motor is turned to adjust the height, the router motor changes orientation in the router base and the bit doesn’t always stay the same position laterally, or side-to-side. this causes ridges on the cut face.
With the stepped cut jig the bit height doesn’t have to be adjusted each time and thus avoids the out of alignment bit.
Using the Jig
Since discovering this technique I use this jig on most cuts I make on the router table. I find making relatively shallow cuts in hardwood I get much smoother cuts using multiple shallow passes. It also is less taxing on the router motor and extends the bit life by avoiding overheating.
Do you think this technique would improve the quality of your cuts?
Do you plan on trying this technique yourself?
I would like to hear your thoughts abut this technique.