This simple router tip trick will ensure that your projects come out clean, perfect, and yield a professional result. Currently installing a custom fence and rail on top of a new stone wall and patio. The top rail and the bottom rail had to mimic the post caps detail. Using a router and a makeshift table, the process begins. Setting the router to the correct setting and using a scrap piece of wood to test the cut. Satisfied, with the result I start the process of making the first pass then the second pass on both sides of the wood rails.
Router First and Finish Cut Second
The idea, as I found out is to make all your router cuts before you cross cut all your pieces to finish size. The reason and logic is simple, your first plunge with the router on the wood is usually not perfect. Once you get past the first inch or so, you find the perfect speed and get into a zone of concentration until you complete the span. Then, cut a fraction of one side to have a clean square edge. Measure your area and mark and with a pencil then a speed square. I tend to cut just on the other side of the line to compensate for the thickness of the blade. Better to cut long and trim as needed.
This method works great when the two handrails meet on a 45 degree, the results are perfect and very pleasing. The fence that I have been working on is paint grade so using pressure treated woods, priming, and applying 2-3 coats of Benjamin Moore Soft Gloss on everything.