Many woodworkers have learned the trick of clamping a fence at an angle to the tablesaw blade so they can hollow out a workpiece and create a cove. The trouble with this technique is that it takes a long time—the sawblade can only remove a little with each pass. And the finish is rough because of the sharp corners of the saw teeth. But using a roundnose cutter in a molding head allows you to take much bigger bites. And it produces a smoother cut.
Smooth results. You can quickly c ut a cove with a relatively smooth finish usinga set of roundnose knives in a molding head.
Making the cut. Using a straight board clamped to the saw table for a fence, feed your workpiece steadily over the cutterhead.
cnt knife sets and you can also vary the fencc position and cutccr height. (See uGctting the Most From Your Molding Head," below.) In either case, you can avoid confusion and false starts if you follow an orderly merhod of defining and setting up your cuts.
First, make a catalog of profile samples. Cut a sample molding with each set of knives in your collection. The extra time this cakes will pay off in layout accuracy. You can use short sections of these samples for tracing the actual molding contours, whether on paper or on a setup block. (See next paragraph.)
Tracing against the knives themselves won't yield accurate results, since the knives are mounted in the cutterhead at an angle to the work.
Use your profiles to make a setup block. The setup block is a portrait of the finished profile; it will contain all the information you need to set up the saw to cut the moldings. To make a setup block, prepare a short piece of wood the same width and thickness as the rectangular blanks you plan to use when making the actual moldings. Using sample pieces from your profile catalog, trace the desired profile on the end grain of the setup block. (See top left photo, opposite.)
You can use all or part of a profile; and you can orient profiles at an angle, provided you will be able to duplicate the cut by tilting the saw arbor. For straight cuts and rabbets, you'll need to remove the cutter and replace it with a regular saw blade.
Mill a test piece. This is an important step, because it will enable you to establish the safest, most efficient cutting sequence. Use your setup block to adjust fence position and cutter height. (See top center photo, opposite.) Mill your test piece from the same stock you'll be using to make your finished molding. In many cases, you'll want to begin by ripping away any large areas of waste with your tablesaw blade. This practice will save time and minimize wear on your knives.
During this trial run, you can also determine how deep a cut to take. Don't try to remove too much in a single pass, especially if you're working with hard, dense woods. Always make the final pass a light one and slow down your feed rate. These two strategies will produce the cleanest surface possible.
Cut your molding. If your test piece comes out to your liking, you've got a working prototype and the cutting sequence you can repeat to produce your molding. Empty out your dust collector, prepare your molding stock, and enjoy the benefits of a tablesaw that works like a shapcr. A
Was this article helpful?
There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.