Best way to cut a long thin slot in wood?


I need to make a cupboard door frame from wood. The panel is one of those thin nmetal mesh types usually found in radiator cabinets. The frame itself shouldn't be a problem as I have a cut-off saw and a 80-tooth blade for the mitres. The panel is only 1mm thick so the goove needs to be around that size. I thought of routing it but don't have a thin enough cutter and would probably break it if I did! I also have a small table saw, could I do it using this? Any suggestions gratefully considered.
Thanks
Bob
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curious wrote:

1) Use a marking gauge. Profile a point to give the required width of cut and run it along repeatedly until the (shallow) depth needed is achieved.
2) Use a router in a table with a bit 1mm larger than a strip of hardwood backfill. Put the panel in the groove then secure it in place with the backfill strip. Very quick and easy to do and the strip will appear to be decoration (if on the outside) and not show (if in the inside).
3) Use a Dremel-type tool fitted with a router attachment. You can then make a very fine groove - but it will need a lit of patience.
4) Cut a rebate to take the panel, on the inside. Use putty/silicon sealant/triangular section strip to hold the panel in place.
5) Make the frame in two pieces. Rebate one of them to take the screen. Fix the two halves of the frame to each other.
etc,etc.
No, I wouldn't try using a table saw.
--
Sue



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A Fein supercut would do this, but would be a big outlay for a small job.
Mrcheerful
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Table saw sounds a bit scary to me!
If you're likely to use it for other things (they aint that cheap), I'd recommend a Dremel. Mines a mains one: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/7106505.htm
Plus I got the accessory kit for it: http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/7000735.htm
The accessory kit came with a fibreglass reinforced cutting disk about 1mm thick which would likely do the job and will probably be this product:
http://www.dremeleurope.com/dremelocs-uk/Product.jsp ;jsessionid\A956916B90653D7534A400A521988C?&ccat_idP4&prod_id(1
Word of warning though - this is one tool you really must use eye protection with - esp. if you use the very thin non-reinforced cutting disks as they can shatter if you inadvertently bend them.
HTH Midge.

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Some good ideas there, thanks all. I didn't know a Dremel could be used as a router, I don't have a Dremel but I do have a similar mains powered hobby tool which takes similar accessories, I might have a play with that, it was a gift which I've never used.
Thanks for the tips.
Bob
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Depending how big and clunky your table saw is (preferably not) I've done it this way successfully a good few times:
Use a piece of wood clamped to the saw table as a guide, but if necessary set it at a slight angle to the saw blade, so that the a slot is cut the right width in one go. (actually you may find a straight cut is about the right width anyway). Set the blade height to the required depth and use another piece of wood to push your frame section along. Keep pressure on top of the frame to stop it lifting up. As long as the blade is sharp you can make slots up to 10mm deep and 5mm wide with no problem (obviously you have to do it before the frame as assembled). Best to try it on an old bit of wood first to make sure you've got the depth and angle right, but once set up you can just do all the frame pieces without resetting anything.
I also used this method to make the plate grooves on the shelves of a welsh dresser I built.
Let us know how you get on.
David
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curious wrote:

Bob,
To me the simplest ways is:
Rebate the frame, joint and assemble the frame, fit the mesh panel, make and fit 'planted' beads to suit and fix these in the rebate against the mesh - as you would when fitting a piece of glass in a window without using putty.
Why?
1 - You are unlikely to get a cutter that is 1mm thick and if you can - it will easily break.
2 - With a material as thin as this, there is a possibility of damage to it during everyday use and this method allows for an easy repair.
3 - Trying to assemble a ploughed and jointed frame *AND* manipulate a thin piece of mesh to me is a nightmare in itself - especially with an almost impossible 1mm thickness and flexible to boot!
You can use the table saw to successfully make a rebate - especially if it has a TCT blade quite easily and with no risk to the fingers - on a cupboard frame.
Brian G
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