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Routing a rabbit in MDF

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Forum topic by Walt posted 09-20-2010 03:47 PM 2480 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Walt

174 posts in 1527 days


09-20-2010 03:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am in the process of making a sanding vacume box. The plans call for a box of 3/4 MDG with a perferated top secured to the top with screws. I would like to place a recessed set of pererated boards to make the project better. However I did assemble the box before I cut the rabbit. I was wondering if I could safely use a trim router with a rabbiting bit and a fence to do this? I would appriciate any input. I have done this on a router table in the past but my portable router experience is limited to DADOS.
Walt

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com


11 replies so far

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Walt

174 posts in 1527 days


#1 posted 09-20-2010 04:30 PM

I plan to make an base that will span the box to support the router.The rabbit will be 1/2 in deep to accept 1/2inch MDF

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com

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Walt

174 posts in 1527 days


#2 posted 09-20-2010 04:48 PM

Started to follow some plans and then realized it would be better with a rabbit. I want to make the box as air tight as possible. The plans call for a flush butt jointed bottom and I think it would be better and tighter with a rabbit. Should have done it before. That what happens when you follow directions without reading through them fully.

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com

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smitty22

615 posts in 1635 days


#3 posted 09-20-2010 05:06 PM

The rabbet joint will definitely be better for that application, but I’ve discovered that MDF is hard on regular router bits, not sure how the carbide react to MDF though.

-- Smitty

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Triumph1

836 posts in 1767 days


#4 posted 09-20-2010 05:27 PM

How come you just don’t do it on your router table? Are you just wanting to try out a new technique?

-- Jeff , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

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Walt

174 posts in 1527 days


#5 posted 09-20-2010 05:45 PM

Jeff The box is assembled and it is 18 in. w 27 in long 6 3/4 deep. Kind of hard to work it on the router table. I would still have to square up the corners. I have seen this process of routing a rabbit in a box on the Wood Smith shop videos but they did it with Baltic Birch

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com

View Radu's profile

Radu

299 posts in 1731 days


#6 posted 09-20-2010 06:19 PM

Here is just a thought. Cut some 1/2” x 1/2” strips out of MDF and glue / nail them inside the box to form a lip for your top board to rest on.

Edited:
You can make you top board a little bigger (say 1/2” on each side) and set the strips, so it fits like a lid (I hope it makes sense what I’m trying to say).

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1538 days


#7 posted 09-20-2010 07:09 PM

+1 for Radu’s comment/suggestion, but solid stock would be better—1/2×1/2 MDF will distort where you nail and not want to be straight.

Use a marking gauge or adjustable square to strike your line, then apply 1/2×3/4 strips for your ledger. If you have a brad nailer, that will work well; if not, just clamping carefully and walking the piece along the line will suffice. This project is not for your PhD in physics—it’s a tool, and it will work well, and we’re sworn to secrecy about how that perf top is supported.

Incidentally, don’t use the gravel paint that some kit mfrs recommend unless you’re sanding stuff that always has a bad side. I recommend Dri-Dek or a similar product over the top. It holds stuff in place yet won’t scar it at all. Comes in 12×12 pieces that interlock. You can screw it down through the tabs on one side only and it will stay in place.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1526 days


#8 posted 09-20-2010 07:22 PM

Dri-Dek, Now that smart!

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Walt

174 posts in 1527 days


#9 posted 09-21-2010 01:44 PM

Update: I completed the rabbit last night with the use of the Aux. base that spaned the box. It came out perfect. It Took me 5 mins to cut the rabbit and 35 mins to clean up the mess. Routing MDF creats far more dust and chips than any type of wood. This project is a sanding box and it will now be much more air tight with the rabbit but any future milliing or MDF will be done at the Router Table or out side the shop… It is Imparitive that you ware a resperator. I had to change my cartriges after this process. I will try to post some pictures when I get the time. Tonight we glue in the bottom and install the internal baffels. Should be done by the weekend.

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com

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Walt

174 posts in 1527 days


#10 posted 09-21-2010 01:46 PM

RADU
Your suggestion is exactly what I plan to do to the top. I also plan to place some weather striping on the inside of the lid to form a more air tight structure

-- Walt Wilmington Delaware, http://waltlumley@yahoo.com

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Radu

299 posts in 1731 days


#11 posted 09-21-2010 03:52 PM

Walt,
I’m glad you got it figured out. Great job. It’ll serve you well.

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