Router table

Tongue & Groove Joineiy |

" .oj're looking for accurate, perfect-fitting tongue arc z : . t : its, 15cover why the router table is the tool of choice.

But just because you can make this joint on the table saw doesn't necessarily mean that it's always the best tool for the job. There are times when using a router table makes more sense.

Using the router table to make the same joint has a couple advantages. Unlike a dado blade (which will often leaves ridges along the bottom of the groove), a router bit will give you a flat-bottomed groove. So your joints will fit together better and look nicer when the project is assembled.

Second, since router bits are made in standard sizes, there's no messing with dado chippers and shims. If you want a VV groove, you use a W bit. If s that simple.


PROCEDURE be - ■■ - ; complicated - - - - making tongue ac : "is on the router tab - a . - ~ght bit to plow a - Tirst piece. Then you " . " t* on one or both sidt - .: die ^ d piece to create tt"-' "---. ~~ - J there is to it. Bu: _ rest results, there are a -- « . . n - t so over.

GROOVES I m using a table saw or : ■ . - table, when it comes to tor^r-e ir.d groove joinery, I'll almost always start with the groove The raaon for this is simple. It's a lot eas t :ut all the grooves and then :_: tr.t . t -to fit than the other u ay around

Cutting the groove tor dado) is the simple part of the equation.

No. 157

T . and groove joinery lias a lot C iL It's strong, simple, and . . . : - t need any special equip-t tic make it. In fa<jf> all you need ■atib : ;aw and dado blade.

A caco often leaves rages on the bottom of the groove

Usrng a router table will give you tight, perfect-fitting joints

All you have to do is select a straight bit according to the width of the groove you wish to cut. Then use the router table fence to position the groove on your workpiece.

The key is to rout consistent grooves on all your vvorkpieces, To do this, hold the workpiece tightly against the fence and down on the router table. For grooves deeper than 'A", you'll need to rout the groove in two or more passes, raising the bit in between each one.

If you want to make a groove that is wider than your bit, you'll need to reposition the fence slightly to make an overlapping cut. This allows you to fine tune the width of your groove to match plywood or other sheet materials.

CHIPOUT. One problem you may have with routing grooves and dadoes is chipout as the bit exits the wood. To combat this, you can use a backer block, just like you se e in the first drawing at right. For routing across narrow workpieces use a large, square backer block like the one in the second dravi ing in the box below. This will help keep the workpiece square to the fence as you push it past the b :

TONGUE. Once you have : groove routed, the next - :.

Backer block

Keep workpiece tight against fence

■- Set fence to position groove

Rout deep grooves in multiple passes

Edge Grooves. To rout a groove on an edge, center the router bit on the thickness of the workpiece.

Rout the Groove. To rout a groove (or dado) in an exact spot on a workpiece, use the fence to establish the position of the groove.

roui a tongue on the mating workpiece. Here again, you'll use the router table fence to establish the shoulder(s) of the tongue. But this time, you'll have the straight bit buried in die fence, as shown :n the lower drawing at right. (I ally use a Vl" or 'V-f-dia. bit for making die tongues.)

The trick to getting a good fit is _ creep up on the thickness of the by raising the bit slightly r_r.-,een passes. Take your time ur.tilyou get it right, then go ahead and rout the tongues on all your workpieces for a perfect joint 55

Backer block

Sneak up on tongue thickness

Rout the Tongue. To make the tongue, rout a rabbet along one (or both) faces of the workpiece. Sneak up on the thickness of the tongue until it just fits the groove.

Rabbeting — bit

Wide backer board stabilizes workpiece

Rout groe, e in one pass

Raise or lower bit to position groove

Straight bits work fine for occasional tongue and groove routing. But if you're going to be doing a lot of this type of joinery, you might want to consider investing in a slot-cutter bit and a rabbeting bit. Slot-cutter bits can cut even deep grooves in a single pass, speed-

Rabbeting bit

Slot-Cutter Bit. A slot-cutter bit works like a mini saw blade, allowing you to cut a full-depth groove in a single pass.

Rabbeting Bit. To make the tongue of the joint, a rabbeting bit is used to rout a rabbet on each side of the tongue.

ing up the time it takes to make the joint. And rabbeting bits make quick work of routing the shoulders to the create the tongue.

Taper Cut Set the fence at5k" and raise the blade to 1" high and at a 7° angle to make the first cuts for the wineglass hangers.

Remove the Waste. Avoid pinching waste between the blade and the fence, or the waste becomes a potential missile.

to 90"

Lower blade to remove waste tips from our shop

Make End Hangers.

the end hangers is off-center rogive you enough wood to sere /, into.

Taper Cut Set the fence at5k" and raise the blade to 1" high and at a 7° angle to make the first cuts for the wineglass hangers.

Remove the Waste. Avoid pinching waste between the blade and the fence, or the waste becomes a potential missile.

Make End Hangers.

the end hangers is off-center rogive you enough wood to sere /, into.

tips from our shop

Making the Hangers

Although you can buy wineglass hangers from commercial sources, you are limited in the choices of u ood the hangers are made from. Since our cabinet was built out of chern we decided to make our own " r.nge rs out (if cherry to match. HO JIG REQUIRED. As you can see in How-To" section below, all it s reallv required to make both the single-sided and the double-dec! hangers — other than some -t~ stock — is a table saw. M a al was to make the angles fine hangers fit the wineglass stem .are First, I set my table saw .":. raised the saw blade to the " _ " - eight, and angled the blade, _- . . can see in detail 'a' below. I _- ran all the stock through. Arter the first cuts were made, I lipped all but two of the stock : end over end and ran them thr . cr the saw setup again. The :r " lining two stock pieces will _ n tu allv become the end hang-

How-To: Wineglass Hangers to 90"

Lower blade to remove waste ers (thus, single-sided), so they only need one side cut.

I then lowered the blade and reset the angle to 90°. After adjusting the fence, I ran all the stock through to remove the waste. Then, I turned all but the two end pieces around arid ran them through this saw setup (see middle drawing below). I3e careful not to put too much pressure alongside the fence, or the blank might tip and lift off the saw table.

SAFETY NOTE. When removing waste from a "notch" type of cut, make sure r. side oi the ? drawing : _ waste ma; :-the saw shoot be.:: -

CUTTING E* cut a twc~j middle t _ ID* : pieces, enough ■■ : c 1 ™ » -. Tew into it. To com : ,'i!* ^ . eoes, I set the saw ■. - ■ _■ away the waste off tr - r in the drawing b . . - ■ - ar right.

Installing the Pulls

Screws for attaching drawer pulls usually fit 3/4M-thick drawer fronts. But since 1 used false drawer fronts on the library cabinet on page 32, that screw length wasn't long enough. Instead of buying longer screws, I decided to bury the screw-heads into the drawer fronts, so they don't stick out inside the drawers.

First, I marked the holes for the drawer pulls before mounting the false fronts {Step 1), and drilled the holes. I then damped the false fronts onto the drawer fronts, making sure they were where they should be, and marked with the drill bit where the corresponding holes in the drawer fronts would be (Step 2).

Next, I removed the false fronts and clamped a scrap piece of plywood on the backs of the drawer fronts to prevent blowout when 1 drilled the holes (Step 3). I then drilled holes the same diameter as the screwheads of the drawer pulls.

After removing the scrap plv-wood, I reclamped the false fronts onto the drawer fronts and lined up the pull holes before permanently screwing the false fronts onto the drawers. Finally, 1 inserted the pu screws through the holes in the drawer fronts from the inside out and attached the drawer pulls. C5

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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