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Safety Guidelines

These safety and operating instructions are not intended to be and are not totally comprehensive. They do not, and cannot, cover every possible safety problem which may arise in using specialized and standard tooling on varying machines and applications. These guidelines are intended to generally describe many of the basic safety and operating procedures which should be followed and to describe the types of safety considerations which should be considered in operating cutting tools.

None of the statements or information presented should be interpreted to imply any warranty or safety protection. The drawings do not depict any particular design, type, or size of tools, equipment or machines. The drawings are illustrative only and are not to be construed to establish any exact mode, method or procedure.

All Federal and State laws and regulations having jurisdiction covering the safety requirements of cutting tools at the point of usage take precedence over the statements and information presented in this publication. Users of cutting tools must, of course, adhere to all such regulations. As an aid to cutting tool users a number of such regulations are listed below. The list does not
include all regulations that may apply.

1. The Federal Register dated June 27, 1974, Dept. of Labor, Office of Safety and Health Administration (The OSHA Act)
2. American National Standards Institute, 01.1-1975 (Safety Regulations for Woodworking Machinery)
3. American National Standards Institute, 02.1-1969 (Safety Requirements for Sawmills)
4. American National Standards Institute, P1.1-1969 (Safety Requirements for Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Mills)
5. Other ANSI, State and/or Federal Codes and Regulations which may apply in your operation

1. Safety Rules Which Apply to the Operation of ALL Cutting Tools

* Always inspect the cutting tool completely before mounting. Never attempt to operate a tool which has chipped or bent teeth or cutting edges or teeth that are not sharp. You must be familiar with normal wear conditions for the type of tooling to be used. The tool must be completely clean to allow proper visual inspection.

* Do not attempt to operate cutting tools or machinery with which you are not familiar or have not received operational training - get assistance from your supervisor, his designated representative or a trainer who is familiar and properly trained and experienced on the machine to insure your safety. Become completely familiar with all of the machinery manufacturer's written instructions, guides and manuals before operating machine. You must use and be familiar with all controls, safety devices and emergency stop mechanisms to operate a machine safely.

* Never operate a cutting tool that is not properly aligned to the direction of feed. Do not allow sideward, twisting or other than forward pressure on the cutting tool in feeding material into a cut.

* Make sure the tool is mounted to rotate in the proper direction before cutting any material. The tool must rotate against, rather than with, the direction of feed on all hand feed machines. Do not climb on hand feed machines.

* Do not cut materials of a type, hardness or density other than that which the cutting tool was designed to cut. Never attempt to cut materials with a tool unless you have personally checked with your supervisor to make sure the cutting tool was designed for the specific type of material you wish to cut, and for the depth of cut desired. This is particularly important when attempting to cut "stacked" material, i.e., cutting more than one piece at a time.

* Never force-feed materials into a cutting tool such that it causes the tool or machine motor to slow down below operating speeds. A safe and proper cutting operation will not require much force in feeding material. If material begins to "ride up" on the cutting tool, or requires undue pressure to feed the material into the tool, or if undue vibration is experienced, do not continue the cut - turn off all power and correct the condition.

* Keep body and clothing well clear of all cutting tools and other moving parts while the machine is in operation. Use work holding fixtures and mechanical feed devices in all possible cases. When cutting material of such size, shape or type that it necessitates close approximation to the cutter and mechanical feed mechanisms cannot be used, use a wood "push stick" to feed the material so that no part of your body or clothing comes close to the cutting tool.

* Never attempt to clean a cutting tool or clear pieces of material from the cutting area while machine power is "on" or when cutting tools, material or any part of the machine is moving. Allow cutter rotation to stop by itself, or by use of a brake if supplied on the machine. Never attempt to stop or slow a rotating cutting tool by applying a hand-held or any other object to the cutter, arbor, spindle or drive as a brake.

* Do not place your body in the rotational path of a cutting tool unless absolutely necessary , and then only if there is a complete and adequate barrier between you and the cutting tool. Remember that carbide tips are very hard and, therefore, brittle. The tips can break away under incorrect side thrust or twisting forces, or if foreign material is allowed to contact the tips. An operator can reduce the danger of being hurt by a "kickback" of the material if he always stands beside the material he is feeding into the machine rather than in back of it.

* Never leave machines unattended while cutting tools are still rotating or any part of the machine or material is moving.

* Never operate a machine without using all of the hoods, guards, hold downs and safety devices for the machine being operated.

* Machines must be maintained to the manufacturer's standards and current safety standards.

* Always wear safety glasses or face shield to completely protect your eyes when operating cutting tools.

2. Router Tool Mounting Instructions

Remove the collet chuck and collet (see the machine manufacturer's instructions) and clean them. Also clean the spindle and tool. Remove all nicks and burrs by very lightly honing (do not use coarse files or coarse abrasives). When removing parts and tools from a machine, handle them carefully. Never use hard metal hammers to loosen machine parts or tools, and never allow the teeth of cutting tools to touch steel even when they are dull, for this will cause the cutting edges to be damaged.

Safety Guidelines Fig1

* WITH ALL MACHINE POWER OFF AND LOCKED OUT, push the machine spindle up and down and to and fro by hand pressure (without rotating the spindle). There should be no feeling of movement. Next, rotate the spindle by hand. The spindle should turn freely without sticking or rubbing if the bearings are in proper condition.

Safety Guideline Fig2 

remove the test bar and mount the router bit or router tool in the machine after inspecting the tool. Do not mount any tool that is dull or damaged and check shank of bit to be sure it fits securely into collet. Be sure the router bit or tool is positioned completely into the collet to the full depth of the shank and clamped only on the smooth, straight surface of the shank (see Fig. 2). Never clamp only a portion of the shank to "extend" the cutting depth, or clamp on the body below the shank. If there is a radius between the tool shank and body, be sure to clamp above the radius. Check the tool with the dial indicator (as in Fig. 3). Tools that have an excess runout (more than ±.002) or that wobble, are unsafe at the high spindle rotating speeds of router machines, and must be corrected or replaced.



* WITH ALL MACHINE POWER OFF AND LOCKED OUT, check the condition of the collet chuck by mounting the collet and collet chuck in the spindle with a ground test bar positioned full depth into the chuck. A 3 inch length of drill rod will serve as a test bar. Set up a dial indicator as shown in Fig. 1, and check the runout of the test bar, turning the machine spindle by hand. Runout of the test bar in excess of machinery manufacturer's recommendation could indicate a worn or damaged collet, or worn spindle bearings or spindle assembly. Make all corrections necessary before mounting the cutting tool.

Safety Guideline 

* SPECIAL NOTE: Whenever a router bit is removed from a machine, inspect the shank for collet markings (brown or black spots, or lines on the shank). If markings are present, the collet may be worn and should be checked. Worn collets cause undue vibrations in the router bit, which can work harden the tool causing it to break.

3. Router Tool Special Operation Precautions

* Never run router tools in machines other than router machines. Do not operate router tools in drill presses, portable drills, etc.

* Operate only router tools and router bits that have the shortest possible cutting edge length in order to maintain the cutting load as close as possible to the collet chuck support (never use a longer cutting edge length to "reach" the material). Material should just clear the collet chuck as it moves through the cut. Do not operate router tools with only part of the tool shank
clamped in the collet to make the tool "reach" deep cuts. The entire shank must be clamped in the collet. Do not clamp the tool on any radius between the shank and body.

* Router tools are often limited in capacity of the chip pocket (area in front of the cutting edge which carries away the chip) because of the small diameter of the tool. Over-feeding (forcing material into the cut) can cause compression of chips that can result in bending or breaking of the router bit of tool. Small diameter router bits are limited in the amount of clearance that can be designed and manufactured into the tool due to the need to maximize strength in the tool body. Fast feeding of router bits can result in overloading the clearance space between the material cut and the steel behind the cutting edge. When such an operating condition occurs, dangerous, high overload pressures rapidly develop that can cause bending and breakage of the tool. Don't force-feed material into these tools.

* If the cutting tool and the material tend to push away from one another, or if they bounce or vibrate against each other, stop the machine immediately. Do not use force to continue the cut. Do not operate the machine until the machine or tool condition is corrected.

* Never feed material into a router tool when the material is not supported by the machine table and table guide rails, or that requires the hands or clothing to be dangerously close to the rotating parts of the machine. Keep body and clothing well clear of the cutting tool while in operation.

* Always wear safety glasses to completely protect eyes when operating routing tools.

Special Notes On Portable Routers

* Follow machine manufacturer's recommendations on proper
inspection and operation of the portable router.

* Insure that the unit is unplugged at all times during inspection.

* Make sure that the router motor is clamped securely in the base at all times.

* Insure that the router bit shank is always inserted a MINIMUM of 5/8" up into the collet.

Safety Guideline Fig4

* Total router bit runout should not exceed ± .004.

* Inspect the collet frequently. The collet should be replaced when use causes wear at point A or at point B (see Fig. 4). Continued use of such a worn collet can cause bit vibration and set up stresses that result in bit breakage.

Safety Guidelines Fig5



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