To flute a round, you need an indexing wheel.This is a disk marked off in regular increments, which you attach to the blank in place of the crank.The index wheel allows you to rotate the blank a specific number of degrees, then lock it. You can then make a straight cut the length of the blank.

If you use a straight, mortising, or bottom-cleaning bit, \ihi can create pentagonal, hexagonal, or octagonal billets. With a core-box, you can rout traditional, deep flutes into a spindle. With a coving bit, you can create broad, shallow flutes. With a plunge-point roundover bit, you can rout beads. What's more, if the jig is set up for tapering, you can easily perform these cuts on tapered spindles.

Making the Indexing Wheel

Layout is the biggest part of the job. The drawing Index Wheel Layotd Tricks depicts how to use a compass to segment the wheel as you lay it out. I suppose you could use a protractor and lay out a wheel with a couple of doz.cn

Number of Segments


5 segments

72' each

6 segments

60' each

8 segments

45' each

12 segments

30" each

24 segments

15' each



How Make Index Wheel Layout


indexing marks, but simpler is better, to my mind. I'd recommend making a wheel with only those marks you'll need for the job at hand. When a new project demands different segmentation, heck—make a new wheel. It doesn't take long.

1. Lay out the wheel. Use vi-inch plywood or medium-density fibcrboard (MDF);for layout purposes, start with a 12-inch square. Locate the center of the square; using a compass, scribe a 6-inch-diamctcr circle.

You can divide up the circle in a variety of ways. Don't get carried away and mark too many segments, though. Pick your arrangement and follow the appropriate sequence shown in the drawings. Once you've stepped off the segments, label them with degrees. The cable on this page converts the number of segments into degrees for you.

2. Rout out the disk. With the layout work done, drill a '/«-inch pivot hole on the ccntcrmark. Set up your router and trammel, and cut the disk.

3. Drill the locking-pin holes. You have to be able to lock the wheel in specific positions.The locking system I used is really simple and works just fine. At each of 12

The indexing wheel replaces the crank for fluting and beading. This one is laid out with 12 positions, each with a locking-pin hole. By inserting the locking pin through a hole in the wheel into a hole in the jig end, as shown, you lock the blank.

!4"-dia. X 2va" dowel Locking-pin hole &"-dia. X H"-deep counterbore

Ya" 20 stop nut

Ya" 20 stop nut



Crank plate

-Locking pin V\C clearance hole



A. Draw a circle and two diameters at right angles to each other. Find the midpoint of a radius, as shown at M.

B. Set a compass to radius AM. With the compass point on M, strike an arc, locating P.

C. Reset the compass to radius AP. Start at A, and step off four additional points around the circle's circumference.

D. To double the number of points, set the compass on Z, which evenly divides one of the five segments. Step off four additional points around the circle's circumference. Extend a radius from the center to each mark on the perimeter.

Circumference Drawings

6/12 segments

6/12 segments

A. Scribe a circle. Keep the compass set to the circle's radius throughout the layout process.

B. Mark a point-any point-on the circumference. Label it #1. Step off five more points around the circumference.

6—5 C. Split the arc between two points. With the compass on point , strike an arc outside the circle. Move the compass to point #2, and strike an arc across the first. Use a straightedge to connect the arcs' intersection to the circle's centerpoint.

D. Put the compass on point #7, and step off five more points around the circumference. You can now scribe radii from the center to the 12 circumferential marks.

V081 Up

8/16 segments

V081 Up

8/16 segments

A. Start with a square. Quarter it. then scribe diagonals. A circle scribed in the square will have its circumference divided into eight equal segments.

B. To get 16 segments, set a compass to half the length of a diagonal. Set the compass on each corner and mark each adjoining side.

C. By this process, each side will get two new marks, bringing the total to 16.

D. Scribe a circle. Extend a radius from the center to each mark.

Spots, I drilled a '/»-inch hole through the disk. I also drilled a hole in the jig's end piece. A dowel thrust through the hole in the wheel into the end pins the wheel and prevents it from rotating as I rout.

Drill the holes on die drill press. Clamp a scrap to the drill press table. Chuck the appropriate bit in the machine, and line up the disk for the drilling of the first hole. Then run a screw through the disk's pivot hole into the scrap worktable. Drill the first hole.Turn the wheel to line up the next hole, and drill it. Keep going until all the holes are drilled

4. Make the locking pin. The pin I use is made from two pieces of dowel. 1 drilled a stopped hole into the end of a length of '/2-inch dowel, then glued a piece of 1 »-inch dowel into the hole. I trimmed the grip to a 1-inch length, and the shank to a 1 '/»-inch length.

5. Mount the wheel. The indexing wheel is mounted the same way as the crank. Drill the necessary counterborc, and open up the small pivot hole for the ^inch-diameter hanger bolt.

Assemble the hardware as you did the crank hardware, and install it in the wheel.

Using the Indexing Wheel

Before you actually use the jig for fluting, you need to sketch out what the finished pan should look like. How

Fluting Jig

To rout flutes or beads into a spindle, use the indexing wheel to distribute the cuts evenly, as well as to lock the workpiece. Feed the router from one end of the jig to the other, making the cut. Note the stop clamped to the side of the jig.

many segments? What bit will you use? How deep should the cut be? With these guidelines in hand, you can set up and use the jig.

1. Mount the blank in the jig. The technique is the same as for mounting a blank for rounding. Instead of the crank, use the indexing wheel.

You do have to drill the locking-pin hole in the jig's end. The position of this hole depends on the height of the blank in the jig. Best approach: Mount the blank, then use-one of the locking-pin holes in the wheel as a guide in drilling the end. Obviously, the hole should coincide with an appropriate alignment point on the end.

2. Set up the router. Mount the baseplate on the router. Select the appropriate bit for the cut you want to make (a core-box for fluting, for example), and chuck it in the router. Adjust the bit extension. Caution growing out of inexperience suggests keeping the first pass cuts shallow. After you have a feel for the operation, you probably can get the depth of cut set correctly at the outset and make each cut in one pass. «j

3. Make the first pass. Tip the router up so the bit 2 is clear of the workpiece. Try tipping it along the axis of the ^ blank, so when you lower it, the bit will sweep into the cut on the correct line, rather dian across it.

Switch on the router and lower the bit. Slide the router 2 along the jig, making the cut. As you reach the end of the cut, switch off the router and lift the bit clear of the work- ¡?T piece. Set the router clear of the work.

Pull the locking pin, and rotate the wheel to the next position. Reinsert the pin. locking the blank. Put the router back on the jig, its bit clear of the workpiece. Switch it on and rout. Keep repeating this sequence until you've make a first pass on each segment of the blank.

4. Make additional passes. Assess the condition of the workpiece. If your first cuts were shallow, adjust the router's depth of cut. Rotate the blank to the starting point and lock it in position with the pin. Make a second, and if necessary a third, series of passes in the same manner as the first passes.

Squaring an Irregular Workpiece

As strange as it may seem, you can also use this turning jig to plane a round or irregular workpiece flat and square. Here's an example: You get your hands on some small-diameter logs that you want to turn into lumber.

Here's how you do it. Drill spindle holes in the log. Mount it in the dowel-turning jig. but lock it so it won't turn. Remove the guide strips from the router baseplate so that you can move the router side to side on the jig as well as end to end. Rout a flat surfacc on the log.

Unlock the workpiece and rotate it 90 degrees. Relock it. Now rout a second flat on the workpiece, this one at a right angle to the first. Finish up the job by routing the remaining two sides in the same manner.

wer Joinery

Cut drawer joints with one setup of one cutter. Two simple jigs help you do it.

he drawer lock joint is a machine-cut jfflm used in making drawers. You've probably seen it in showings of different woodworking joints, but it may be that you've never tried or used it.

It's a strong joint because die two parts interlock.The drawer front is given a rabbet with a little tongue that fits into a slot in the drawer side. Unlike a plain rabbet joint, the parts arc hooked together mechanically, even before you drive nails or brads into the joint. It doesn't look any better or worse at the front of a drawer than a rabbet joint. The drawback for me has always been mental: It seemed to involve a lot of setups.

Then someone showed me an approach that suddenly made the drawer lock joint a whole lot more attractive. That's because with this setup, it is a whole lot easier and faster to make.

The joinery is cut with a '/»-inch slot cutter chucked in a table-mounted router. You set the bit. position die fence, and forget them. H:tch joint is cut in four passes, all with the bit and fence in the same position. To make the system work, you need two extremely simple jigs: an auxiliary facing for the router table fence and a booster sled.

Although the drawer lock joint can be customized to work with all sorts of stock thicknesses and drawer configurations, this particular setup docs have limitations.lt works with '/¿-inch stock. You can use thicker stock for the fronts, but the sides must be '/¿-inch thick, no more and no less.It produces a flush drawer. If you want an overlapping fnjnt. you have to add a false front after the drawer trays arc assembled. On the plus side, you can use this joint between the back and sides, as well as between the front and sides.

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    How to make a index wheel layout?
    9 years ago
  • fikru
    How deep should fluting be woodworking?
    5 months ago

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