Oops! Runaway Router

Oops! Runaway Router

By Tom Hennek

My first router, a 1968 Stanley, was a heavy, single speed machine. I remember it well because of what happened the very first time I used it.

I chucked up a Roman ogee bit and made my first pass. As I marveled, spellbound, at the professional-looking profile I’d just created, I switched off the router, removed it from the board and let it drop to my side, while holding it one-handed. Unfortunately, the bit was still spinning—
it caught my shirttail and instantly wound all the way up to my armpit.

Eyes bugged out and adrenalin pumping, I extricated the tool from my ruined shirt, walked to a far corner of the shop and sat down to recover. I vowed to stop wearing loose clothing in my shop and to never, ever remove a router from a workpiece until the bit has stopped spinning.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker December/January 2009, issue #139.

December/January 2009, issue #139

Purchase this back issue.