Flat Miters

Cutting slots for splines in a flat miter joint can be done with a hand-held router or on a router table. Use common sense in matching the router and bit and setup to the particulars of the job. Assuming the workpieces aren't totally unwieldy, 1 think these slots are cut most easily and safely on the router table.

As a hand-held operation, cutting these slots, especially stopped ones, is problematic. To cut a through slot, a laminate trimmer (preferably an offset-base model) and a slotting cutter work swell. The router rides on the broadest face of the stock; the slot cutter makes a clean, consistent groove. But stopped grooves are another matter. When you make a stopped groove with the slot cutter, it has a somewhat oval section—a lot like a biscuit-joiner cut. This is okay if you are using biscuits (see "Biscuit Joinery with a Router" on page 258), but it creates extra work if you arc making splines from wood or plywood scraps.

Hand-held routing of stopped grooves is really a job for a plunge router with a straight bit. But moving that tool over the area to be worked is touchy. A flat mitered surface is typically narrow and short, making a precarious pcrch for a plunge router. You can fit the machine with two edge guides to create a kind of chute for the workpiece (sec "Grooving the Work's Edge" on page 237) or you can double up the work-pieces to expand the support surface. But all this demands a lot of jockeying with the router and edge guides, the vise, and clamps.

Save yourself some time. Do it on the router table.

For ruffing through grooves in the ends of relatively narrow stock, a small, easy- to-maneuver router, like this offset-base laminate trimmer, is ideal. Fitted with a slotting cutter, you can plow from edge to edge.

If tear-out is a problem when cutting through grooves in flat miters, use a pusher made from scrap, mitered so it fits tightly against the trailing edges of the workpiece. To back up the cut on the other end of the workpiece, turn the scrap over. It should fit perfectly into the acute angle between the work and the tabletop.

For ruffing through grooves in the ends of relatively narrow stock, a small, easy- to-maneuver router, like this offset-base laminate trimmer, is ideal. Fitted with a slotting cutter, you can plow from edge to edge.

To set up the router table, close down the baseplate's throat as much as possible, and use a tall fence. You'll be standing your work on end and sliding it over ihe bit, so you must be sure the work surface is as free of snags as possible and that the work is well supported as it slides over the bit.

To set up the work, cut die miters as accurately as possible, of course. But mark a reference face on each piece, too. By a/ways placing the reference face against the fence as you cut, you can ensure that the joints will line up properly at assembly time.

Through groove. If you don't mind having the spline be a visible part of the joint, cut through slots. This is a "zzzppp zzzppp" operation. (Because, as Fred says, you just take the router and, zzzppp zzzppp, the job's done.)

Set the depth of cut, set the fence. Holding the marked face of the workpiecc against the fence, feed it from right to left, cutting through the piece from edge to edge.

If tear-out is a problem when cutting through grooves in flat miters, use a pusher made from scrap, mitered so it fits tightly against the trailing edges of the workpiece. To back up the cut on the other end of the workpiece, turn the scrap over. It should fit perfectly into the acute angle between the work and the tabletop.

Stopped groove, t'se the same basic setup to cut a stopped groove that you use to cut a through groove. What you need to add arc a couple of erasable markings on the router i- TRY THIS!

It's possible to accurately slot work for splines without laying out each slot on each piece. You can save a bit of layout rime, especially if there's a need to slot a lot of pieces.

Because the alignment of the slot will undoubtedly be different in one end of each piece than the other, you actually have to do two setups. Do the setup for the left end, then cut all the slots in the left ends of the workpieces. Then redo the setup for the right end. and cut all those slots.

To set up your router table, lay out the slots on both ends of a test workpiece. Cut the two slots. Now, with the router switched off. slip one end of the slotted piece over the bit, and on the tabletop, mark the position of the workpiece's leading edge at the start of the cut. Move the piece to the end-of-cut position, and mark where the trailing edge is.

To cut duplicate slots in that end of the other pieces, you now need only align the leading edge with the starting mark on the tabletop. Plunge the work onto the bit, and feed it right to left. Stop the cut when the trailing end of the work aligns with the appropriate mark.

After all the lefts are cut, redo the setup in the same way for the rights. Then cut all of them.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

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.

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