router help for a novice

A few years ago I bought a used Crafstman router and table with the best of intentions. Never used one. Well, I am very busy with two careers, so it has sat unused.
So now I am building something that I can use it for. It is basically a small four-sided cabinet (top, bottom, two sides, no front or back) to house a guitar amplifier. Roughly 17w x 6h x 11d. I would like to round off the outer lengths and corners.
What I am wondering is, do I need to take the wood off in small increments, getting larger every time? Or should I set the router to do the full profile cut one time through? I am using poplar. Also, is it best to do each board before, or run the whole cabinet after assembly?
Thanks very much, MK
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Using roundover bits to take off sharp edges of cabinets/projects is easy to do and quite common. Figure out the size of the bit, usually expressed in terms of the radius of the cut. then adjust the bit to do an even roundover by trying it out on some scrap. Then go to it. On softer woods, you can often do it in one cut. but slow and easy makes for better work. On stuff like this, you can make multiple cuts by just pressing the router against the wood easily.
I often go over everything after I am done, just to make sure I got everything and did not leave any gaps or unmachined areas. And depending on how the cabinets are put together, you can do the rounding over after they are assembled. One thing to consider is that you can make some cuts ahead of time and put them together and the corners will not match.
I don't know if you will have any holes in these cabinets. Sometimes I put in holes in drawers without hardware for a handle of sorts. Those I do ahead of time. I have rarely used anything over a 1/4" roundover bit.
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wrote:

Doing multiple runs prevents burning. Light burning can be fixed easily by sand paper though. The trick is, as soon as you see any burning whatsoever, stop making cuts and let the blade cool off a bit. If you get excessive burning, then switch to doing multiple cuts. For rounded edges doing multiple cuts can be done by lowering the blade a bit for the first cut, and then raise it again for the final cut.
John
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It depends on how much round over you're taking off. Best suggestion is to test it out on a scrap piece of poplar. One thing you should watch out for is tear out right at the end of a run with the router. To minimize that happening, you can back up the end of the cut with another piece of wood. If that's not feasible, then slow your routing down, but know that slowing it down too much will mean that you'll burn your wood. It's a middle of the road approach.
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A four sided box isn't a stable shape. You should have something for a cross-brace (triangles are stable) or back panel. It doesn't have to be a complete back, perhaps a back with a cutout.

How much of a round over? 1/8"? Are only the top and bottom being rounded? What about the corners? If only the top and bottom panels, I'd do it before assembly. If the corners (all three sides) have to be done, I'd to it after assembly. Are you going to finish the box before or after assembly? In short, it depends. ;-)
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This message is in MIME format. The first part should be readable text, while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.
---559023410-959030623-1251394518=:5498 Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: QUOTED-PRINTABLE
On Thu, 27 Aug 2009, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Thanks. It doesn't need to be very stable - It will completely surround the amp, sort of like a "cover," attached by 4 rack screws in the front. Here is a picture of something similar:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2231/2413277857_a81b9d1973.jpg

                    -------------------------------                     Michael Kankiewicz                     Manager, Capen Multimedia Center                     221 Capen Hall                     University at Buffalo                     Buffalo, NY 14260
                    P 716-645-1329                     F 716-645-3710                     e snipped-for-privacy@buffalo.edu ---559023410-959030623-1251394518=:5498--
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wrote:

The problem with doing the routing after it's put together is that it won't be very strong without the electronics inside. I wouldn't put the electronics through the vibration and dust so I'd vote for rounding over before assembly. That'll make the corners "interesting", so perhaps it would be better to do a rough cut before to get most of the wood hogged out and then a cleanup pass after? If you're only rounding over 1/8-1/4", just do that after.
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Looks like you want to do it after it's put together. As other stated, can probably do full depth cut as long as it isn't like a 3/4" radius round over.
If cutting by hand held then move the router to the left. If the router is mounted in a table then move the part to the left.
You will get blow out as you exit an edge where you are cutting across the grain. In some cases you can avoid this by adding another piece butted against the edge (a backer). But in some cases you can't. So then multiple finer cuts can help but the best plan is to be sure to cut the cross grain section of a corner first and then when you cut the other side in line with the grain you should cut away the blow out. So some planning about which sides to do first is needed.
What kind of amp? I built something similar for my buddies Mesa Boogie Big Block 800 watt bass amp.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Define put together: I believe I would do all of the construction including routing before I installed any electronics.
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On Thu, 27 Aug 2009, Keith Nuttle wrote:

Of course. I'm a routing novice, but I'm not *dumb* :)
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Michael L Kankiewicz wrote:

I have managed people for a many years. The most frequent question not asked is the most simple. It usually causes the biggest problem. ie Did you use the correct size pipet? Always is immediately answered YES, but sometime comes back NO, when they check the dirty glassware.
Sorry did not mean to insinuate you were dumb, it was a just something that had to be stated.
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On Thu, 27 Aug 2009, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Purely coincidence, but the same kind in the picture - Pearce G1. Currently it's in its original combo cabinet identical to this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16522994@N07/2414101464/in/photostream /
But it weighs about 70 lbs and I want to use the head separately with a lighter extended range cab that I just bought: Raezer's Edge Stealth 12ER (400Watts only 33 lbs!)
http://www.raezers-edge.com/p_stealth12_er.html
As far as the radius goes, I'd like it to have pretty much the same shape as both cabs above. By any chance can any of you tell from the above pictures how wide the radius is?
Thanks, MK
ps - I hope to stain it to match the panel at the bottom of the cab, and then add black metal corners. They sound awesome together, I hope I can get them to look awesome too.
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assuming the material is 3/4 or 5/8" thick or maybe even 1/2" I would say that is 1/4" to 3/8" radius round over. It looks like it is about 1/2 the thickness of the material.

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On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:18:25 -0400, Michael L Kankiewicz

You have some good suggestions so far. If you have to buy a round-over bit, get one with a ball bearing pilot. Although it might not be terribly necessary with poplar it will make life easier. Also, if you want to route it after assembly beware (during assembly) of where any fasteners might be. You don't want to run over fasteners with your brand new router bit.
Mike O.
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On Thu, 27 Aug 2009 10:18:25 -0400, Michael L Kankiewicz

Two passes are usually the recommendation. The last pass should take off a little bit, maybe 1/16". Assemble first, then round.
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