Rabbeting Curved Work

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The most obvious examples ofcurved workpieces that need to be rabbeted arc frames. In many cases, the technique of choice is to use a piloted rabbeting bit. The pilot bears on the edge of the work, regardless of the contour.

A rabbet that deviates from the dimensions that piloted bits cut. however, calls for a different technique. This is a situation in which to use the router table's pin routing accessory. (Construction details for diis device arc found in "Pin Router Arm" on page 91.) Fixed directly above the router bit. the pin serves as a pilot and controls how wide the cut can be.

Vlm PLYWOOD BASEPLATE

THIS RABBETING BASEPLATE TURNS A STRAIGHT BIT INTO A RABBET CUTTER!

Vlm PLYWOOD BASEPLATE

THIS RABBETING BASEPLATE TURNS A STRAIGHT BIT INTO A RABBET CUTTER!

PLYWOOD _

BASEPLATE^

1

WORKPIECt

CUIDE BAR

:

FOR A COOO CUT.TUt OJIOE. BAR MUST BEAR ON THE WORKPIECE BELOW TUE RABBET

MAKE THE GUIDE BhR HIGH ENOUGH FOR DEEP CUTS

FOR A COOO CUT.TUt OJIOE. BAR MUST BEAR ON THE WORKPIECE BELOW TUE RABBET

MAKE THE GUIDE BhR HIGH ENOUGH FOR DEEP CUTS

inches by 10 inches; or bigger if your router's base is more than 7 inches in diameter. (You need t urning clearance for the guide-bar wing nut; if the base crowds it too much, you won't be able to adjust the guide bar easily. I discovered this the hard way!)

As shown in Rabbeting Baseplate, the router is offset. Position the router s baseplate, and transfer the bit-clearance bole and the mounting-screw locations. Next, mark the pivot-hole location and the end of the adjustment slot closest to the router base. Drill holes of the appropriate size for the mounting screws, and drill Winch-diameter holes (or the pivot and the start of the slot. (You can also bore a 1-inch-diameter hole in the off corner, as I did, so you can hang the "out-of-service" base on a nail.)

You can cut the slot with a router mounted on a trammel base, or on a router table. (See the chapter "Routing Circles and Curves.") The bored hole serves as a starting hole. If you capture the router's bit in the hole, it helps you set up the trammel (or a pivot fixture on the router table).

Cut a guide bar. Bear in mind that the guide bar has to extend below the bit, so that it will ride on the work. If the bit extends below the bar, then the bar will contact the work only in front of the bit, not below the cut and behind the bit. You need contact all around to keep the router—and the cut— steady and bobble-free.

A good basic size is Yi inch to I inch square by 18 inches. This will serve for the usual '/-»-inch-deep, y«-inch-widc rabbets. If you need DEEP rabbets, you also need a DEEP guide bar—say, 1 Vi inches square for rabbets up to 1 inch deep. Lay out. bore, and countersink holes to match the pivot hole and slot in the baseplate. Use a stove bolt, washer, and lock nut to mount the bar to the base at the pivot. Use a stove bolt, washer, and wing nut at the adjusting slot.

To cut the bit opening in the new base, mount it on your router, and lit the router with the biggest-diameter straight bit you have. With the guide bar swung out of the way, turn on the router, and slowly advance the depth of cut until you have bored through the base. Vers'carefully, swing die guide bar against the bit as it turns, notching the bar.

If a finished appearance is important to you. disassemble the new base, sand it to smooth it and soften the edges, then apply a coat or two of your favorite finish. Or do as I did: Apply several successive coats of paste wax. Reassemble the base, and it's ready for use.

The width of cut made by a particular bit is determined by halving the difference between the diameter of die pin and the diameter of the bit. For example, a y*-inch straight bit used with a Winch pin will yield a Winch-wide rabbet:

By altering the diameter of the bit as well as the diameter of the pin, you can vary the width of the rabbet. The longer the cutting flutes of the bit, die deeper the rabbet can be cut.

Cutting a deep rabbet in a curved frame is easy with a pin routing accessory. An arm extending over the router table holds a pin directly above the bit. Like a pilot, the pin controls how far into the work the bit can penetrate, thus establishing the width of cut. Any irregular shape can be guided along the pin.

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