I have always had a problem routing style ends to produce the tongue
that fits the grooved rail so I purchased a cross-cut sled from MLCS but
am still not totally satisfied.
My problem is that you have to raise the bit substantially and you still
end up routing the edge of the sled that rides on the fence at least up
to the backing block. Wouldn't it be better to have a sled where the
edge that rides against the fence from the backing block to the back of
the jig is extended out something like this _______/------- Or even
have it ride the fence both before the cut as well as after, something
like this ------\________/---------
Also, should I be taking 2 or 3 cuts rather than one, especially in
hardwood such as maple.
Thanks in advance for any help.
That might depend on the power of your router. . .I do one-pass cuts
with my Porter Cable 3.5hp, using nice sharp bits, of course.
One tip is to do the (I think you meant "stile ends") rail ends before
you rip to width. Then you can cut off any blowout.
I gotta say that I am clueless about that you are asking or complaining
about. I have no problem at all using rail and stile bits on the router
table. I cut my rail ends first and push them through using a piece of 3/4"
thick plywood about 10" square. I use this piece behind and not below the
rail. This keeps the rail square to the fence and provides a backer board
to help prevent tear out on the back side of the cut. I then cut all the
side edges for the rails and stiles with the outer bit.
Since you're using a router rather than a shaper, and you're probably
doing 3/4" thick stock and not 1 1/2 - 2" thick stuff like for entry
doors, slap together a mini-jig as shown here (all one line so watch
the line wrap. Hold the stock down on the table, the sand paper as well
as the long part against the fence helps keep the part from twisting
as the bit begins cutting and it acts as a backer board to minimie
tearout at the end of the cut. Having a zero clearance insert in the
fence will also help, especially at the beginning of the cut.
Just make sure the bottom of the thing IS THE SAME THICKNESS as the
stock you're routing. You can skip the dowel handles if you want.
Hope this helps.
Can't comment on the sled without pix, but, to be sure, if you're
eating sled/jig, some countermeasure is necessary.
Can comment on depth of cut: Defititely take 2 or 3 passes.
Routed my first stile ends last weekend, and finally produced a half
decent result this weekend. So far, the most difficult thing I've
done in woodworking. We probably spent half a day just shimming the
rail and stile sets to match properly. I bought the set used (guy
used it once, still looked brand new) and I'm guessing the original
owner didn't realize you could move the shims around and that's
probably why he sold it. Cuts great now, but the next set of doors
I'm going to plan on making twice as many stiles as I need since I
know I will eff up a bunch of them.
I ended up using a 1x4x12 sled and clamping the stile to the front (4
inch side) of the sled. With this method, the stile is still flat to
the table, and the sled acts as a backer board to reduce tearout. I
made a zero (or close to zero) fence out of a 2x4 I jointed flat.
Pressing down with a rubberized pad on the stile, and using the clamp
handle to slide the whole unit past the spinning bit. It is VERY
important to keep the sled tight to the fence. Any wiggle and you can
"cup" out the cut and you will have a little gap when you piece the
door together. Also, the clamp I used had enough depth to be able to
fit the push pad underneath it, which was important.
All this was done by clamping the router, baseplate and fence to a set
of saw horses. Once my table is done it should go a lot easier.
Actually I believe you are talking about the rail ends which is the coping
cut. I also can't get the bit high enough to use a sled. The rail is too
high off the table. Instead, I have a foot square piece of plywood with a
handle on the top. The right side goes against the fence and the rail goes
on the table with the edge against the plywood and the end against the
fence. With hand pressure, I hold the rail against the plywood and push it
past the cutter to cut the cope in one pass. I also have a replaceable wood
strip (1/2" thick by 3/4" wide by 1 foot long) that attaches to the front of
the piece of plywood. When I get the router bit height adjusted, I put on a
new strip. That provides a zero clearance cut to eliminate blowout. You
can also put sandpaper on the strip to keep the rail from slipping.
I cut the cope in one pass. This would require a 2-3 hp router. If you run
it more than once, there is a good chance the rail will move slightly and
the stub tenon will be to thin. Always cut the cope cut first. I make my
door material a 1/16" wider than final dimension. That way, if there is
blowout from the cope cut, it is taken out with the stick cut or cutting the
rail to the final width.
This is assuming you are using a router table and not a shaper.
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