In my ongoing bookcase saga, I've decided that the faceframe stiles will
Ideally, I'd like them to be "stopped" flutes, that is the fluting end
in a rounded routing prior to the physical end of the stile. I have two
concerns with doing this:
1. How do I consistently start & stop the fluting. Stopping isn't so
much of a problem (I'll just carefully run the pieces to a line), but
consistent starts initiated by dropping the frames on the router bit
seems problematic. Can I drop them on prior to the start point and do a
climb cut to the starting point?
2. Given the above, how do I prevent/minimize burning in the (cherry)
I use a start and a stop block. Consistency is the key to flutes looking
good. I do drop them onto the router bit and climb cut to one end and then
move to the other. I take care to keep the workpiece tight to the fence.
Clean any burn marks with a small scraper ground to the profile of the
Good constant down force is also required for symmetry as well.
When I do something like that, I run the flutes all the way top to bottom on
a 3/4" thick piece of stock. That way, I don't have to worry about stops.
I then glue this to the stiles. I leave the fluted piece short and put 1"
thick blocks at the top and bottom. The blocks have a chamfer going to
13/16" which leaves a slight reveal between the chamfer and the flutes.
This way, the stiles appear thicker (like a pilaster), giving a more 3
dimensional look to the front. You have to make the fluted piece lesser in
width than the stile to allow for the door to open.
If you are running cherry, the above method will keep you from burning the
cherry. If you use stop blocks, or run to a line, you will almost certainly
get burn marks, even at a slower rpm. Removing the burn marks is not easy
and the profile of the flutes will almost certainly be affected.
I'm assuming you are using a router table, since you
mentioned "drop them on"?
make multiple passes to avoid burning and don't use too high
a speed. Don't move too slowly and anticipate the end of
the cut and shut off the router (I can use my knee to shut
her down on my router table) before getting to the very end.
Hold the piece still until the bit comes to a COMPLETE
STOP! The second pass should remove just a tiny bit of
wood (clean-up pass) and give you your final desired depth
I've gotten excellent results doing stopped cuts. set up a
stop block even if it will be off the table. rig up
something to create a positive stop. Mark the spot on the
table where you want to drop the piece onto the spinning
bit. Be sure to use feather boards to prevent the workpiece
from moving away from the fence. You can't use a feather
board to hold the piece down, since you need to drop the
workpiece down to begin. You won't even have to climb cut
(too much chance of burning while you are jockeying back and
forth) and if you are careful in beginning the cut. For
additional accuracy, extend the line up the fence from the
table so that when the piece is lifted, you will know
EXACTLY where to position the workpiece BEFORE you pivot it
down onto the bit. It sounds harder to do than it is. If a
relative newbie such as myself can get it to work, you
OR, and I should have mentioned as others did, that you
could use a plunge router and avoid some of the "trickier"
aspects of doing it on a router table. But it CAN be done
that way if you choose. I use my router table about 98% of
the time I do routing and I have an extra router at my
disposal for handheld use, so it's not like it's a hassle
for me to remove the router from the table; it stays right
there and I grab the other one.
I understand how this will permit precisely stopped flutes (I just set a
stop block at the appropriate places on the boards). I also understand
how this will permit precisely symmetric flutes about the centerline of
the faceframe (I just swap the router left to right like I would swap
the piece on a router table against the fence).
What I don't understand is how (as your example shows) this prevents
burns in the cherry. Does using a plunge resolve this? Are you plunging
"up" at the end or plunging down to start? In either of these cases, you
need to do a climbing cut, right? Thanks.
Routerman P. Warner wrote:
Taking the last pass at .010" will not burn stock, plunger is
critical. You'll burn without it. A single cutter width pathway cut is
a hybrid, neither climb nor anti-climb. These are shallow cuts, the
router is stuck on the work, you have to be major klutz to screw this
up whether you rout to or fro.
A plunger makes the job easy, it's true. However, I have done this job
successfully in the past using a fixed-base router and a ramp. It was
slightly more involved than that sounds, but I hope it conveys the idea.
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