I have 40+ small pieces of wood to rout rabbets in and need some advice
as to how to safely hold the work. They are 2-3/4 x 3 x 5/8, small
drawer fronts, and I need to rout 7/16 x 7/16 rabbets in 3 sides of each
Any suggestions or links?
Assduming you have a router table....
First thing that comes to mind is holding them in a clamp.
Second thing that comes to mind is to make a block that is the female or
negative of the piece your are rabbeting.
Cut those dimensions into a block of some kind, into which the pieces
will sit, or be cradled.
Third thing that comes to mind is to just use a hold-down pad and a
backer block. Hold the piece down and against the fence with the pad,
use the backer block to push it through the bit. This is probably the
easiest and quickest way.
In any case, make sure there is no gap in the fence at the bit.
This may mean installing a sacrificial fence to the existing fence.
"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
Build a carrier with an over center clamp to hold piece.
Use a router table with a starting pin.
Use a rabbeting bit with a bottom pilot bearing.
Plan the cutting sequence so you eliminate any chip out or use a
What he said, and this is why:
(1) your table saw can run dozens of air-cooled teeth through the
work, while the poor router only has two edges doing it all
(2) your carrier can have any handles you find convenient, and
hand-feeding the wood will be finger-safe
My preference would be for a no-clamp carrier, just a plywood
plate with a socket and some hold-down piece on top; your
hand pressure holding the work against the sacrificial fence, and
your down pressure on the handles, is enough.
After a bit of thought, I took your advice and made a little gripper
kind of like tongs that pinched the drawer fronts in my tenon jig so I
could use my dado stack. Then it was just zip, zip, zip, about 130 times.
Assume you have a router table with fence. I made a wooden clamp to
hold such little pieces. I would also wear a face mask for protection
in case one took a notion to fly away. I would not use a metal clamp
because of the danger of it getting into the spinning router bit.
Like others said, make a sled that you can clamp the piece on to.
Another approach to small pieces is to do some or all of the work on a
larger piece and then cut it down. Like when you do the moded edge of
a wide board and then rip off the edge to be used as a thin piece of
modling. So maybe you could cut rabbets on two sides of a wider piece
first and then rip it down into several smaller drawer fronts. then do
the other cuts.
I said wider because its best to do the cross cuts first on a wider
piece and then rip down and do the long grain cuts.
Bingo!!! (I like the way that man thinks... :) )
I'd probably make them from blanks of three or four -- better grain
matching that way, too, in all likelihood and certainly easier to keep
matched through the process so they are in order for that purpose.
I'd also likely cut the middle "rabbets" as dadoes on the tablesaw
(accounting for the extra length overall/width of dado for separating
them) then the pieces are all big enough to do w/o any clamping or
special fixtures needed. At the end I might clean up the rabbets w/ a
very light touch over the router but that would be such a light cut that
even there only a fence would be needed to run the edges against.
Also, too, since each piece needed three rabbets, it would be a miracle
of precise measuring and saw setup to precut all of the rabbets in long
stock, then cut out the fronts (first cut a rabbet in the long edge of
the stock, then cut double-wide dadoes across the stock, including
enough for the saw kerf between each piece to be cut off, then actually
cut each part from the stock exactly in the middle of each of those
dadoes). Also, I am using up little bits of scrap I have collected over
the years, so I didn't have much long stock (actually, one piece).
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