Ribs. I call them ribs. Because to me that’s what they look like. You could also call them drawer handles because that is their function. At least some of them. The others are just plain ribs. You see?
This is another exercise in pattern routing pure and simple. I used the same techniques and steps on these as I did on the drawer fronts and bending blocks. Make a (perfect) pattern, use it as a template to draw a few, rough cut them to shape on the bandsaw, then pattern rout them to exact matches.
First, a word of caution. I find this type of pattern routing to be among the most dangerous (risky) operations in the shop. The bits are large and spinning very fast and very close to your hand. They also want to grab the wood so you need a lot of control and to mind your feed direction and feed rate. But by incorporating a couple of safety items mentioned below, a handle and extra long pattern, the machining can be tamed and more enjoyable. Also for these operations I experimented with a number of different types of bits, not shown. Those too, can make a huge difference.
Here’s about where we want to end up.
Make the pattern, sand the edges smooth, and make sure the inside fits snugly against the outside of the drawer front. I also added a handle across the top to keep my hand away, make turning the pieces much easier, and so I can more easily and safely control the piece as I feed it into and across the cutter. Also be sure to mark the tops and bottoms of all the parts and patterns so the machined part is aligned with the pattern. Especially important if you end up machining them upside down as I did.
Since these are very narrow pieces I chose to screw them to the pattern. The holes and up being on the bottom of the rib, thus out of view. Also notice how the pattern is LONGER on both ends that the finished (rough cut) piece. This is to allow you to press it against the bit’s roller first without engaging the cutters. You also want to remove as little material as possible; again for safety reasons, reduce chatter, and ensure a smooth finished cut with no burn marks.
It is also critical to make sure you are feeding AGAINST the cutter’s rotation. Otherwise the piece will be grabbed by the cutter and launched possible breaking the piece and your hand to boot!
After cutting all the parts on the router table they should all be duplicates. For these I used the crosscut sled on the table saw to cut them to length.
And what do you end up with for all your hard work? Well it better be a perfect fit (or the ribs won’t stick)!
And here’s a taste of where we’re heading.
-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com