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Forum topic by NBeener posted 10-19-2010 08:23 PM 2146 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3140 days

10-19-2010 08:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router bit glue line glue line router bit glue-ups flattening panels panel glue-up edge joining

A router bit.

A brand spanking new, still in the Cosmoline router bit.


I’m not particularly impulsive. Whether or not I made the BEST purchasing decisions regarding the stuff in my shop, I DID give each one a fair bit of thought, before pulling the trigger.

And I KEEP hearing little snippets about “Glue Line Router Bits.”

The other night, I decided to buy one. I bought Amana’s version.

I understand only a FEW things:

1) Setup can be tedious, and is critical. Be meticulous and patient, and

2) When they work, they WORK. NO sanding (other than for finishing purposes). Dead-flat glue-ups.

For those of you who like to build furniture, as you know, the whole WORLD is a glue-up.

Any experience with these ???

Any thoughts about the pros and cons ? Any thoughts about THIS bit, by Amana ?

Any sage words of wisdom that I can learn from YOUR time and trouble, instead of my own ? ;-)

Thanks much !

-- -- Neil

18 replies so far

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3236 days

#1 posted 10-19-2010 08:52 PM

I have several bits for glue ups and locking joints. Most of them came as part of a set and most of the sets are made for cabinet or furniture making. I use them now and then (typically and more often the domino will work just as well)...I haven’t had much of a call for them in my latest projects.

I use a glue up bit more than the lock joints – The one I used makes small triangular fingers that interlock together – The lastest use was for making a long upper frame for a cabinet and it made a very strong joint (I could also have domino’d it…but I felt the glue up would make a stronger joint then just a domino – the frame was not that thick) you said though…the set up must be precise – I spent a lot of time doing the cuts on pieces of scrap before using it on the final piece (and I am glad that I did as the first several tries were washouts).

The bits usually do not come with much instruction…so you have to learn by trial and error…always make sure you have a bit of scrap the same width and thickness as your final to set up the depth of cuts and the location of the splines or fingers.

The glue up bits are best for cabinet frames, furniture frames, doors and drawers – the lockers are pretty much the same but for intersecting joints (the glue ups are mostly for straight lengthening)....I do not think they would work well on visable pieces that you would have showing – but they are making new and better ones continuously so I may be out of date.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4265 days

#2 posted 10-19-2010 10:37 PM

When I built my kitchen cabinets back in 1974.

I used this type of bit on all of the door panels.

They didn’t have carpenters glue at the time, only white Elmers Glue.

This is much better than biscuits. You’ll be happy with it.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3269 days

#3 posted 10-19-2010 10:41 PM

well i dont have any of those bits , but i have seen some articles on them and they look to be a good way to get a good glue up…especially if your doing larger panels and or table tops and the likes…i dont have a router table yet, so ive strayed away from them …good luck with yours and let us know how they work for you…i wonder if there is any test results available showing the benefit of using one verses not..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View cabmaker's profile


1720 posts in 2775 days

#4 posted 10-19-2010 10:41 PM

Neil, wish I had caught you in time. I have one similar I bought approx. 25 or so years ago. I did use it one time and found it to be very non productive in my application. It will however do what it is intended for. It will require a little fettling for the mateing profile. Just to slow for me. It offers two points: increased glue line area for striength and alighnment. Good luck JB

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#5 posted 10-19-2010 11:05 PM

I have some and I’m afraid I agree with cabmaker,but if Dick likes them they can’t be all bad.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3140 days

#6 posted 10-19-2010 11:14 PM

Great responses. Thanks much.

To reggiek’s point, a lengthy conversation with my (know-it-all) brother told me much the same thing about test cuts. Perfect sense.

Then he suggested I find the nearest plastics supplier, and buy some scrap UHMW bits, in various thicknesses, to use in making “setup blocks” for the bit, in every thickness that I could.

What a great idea !

So … there IS a plastic place, in town.

They sell scrap UHMW by the pound.

Fifteen bucks got me good sized pieces in 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1” thickness—pretty likely to cover ANY boards I’ll glue up, and then some.

My brother said …

—dial the bit in ONCE, for each thickness, using scrap material

—run the UHMW through, first pointing “up,” and then pointing “down.”

—take a Sharpie, and put a “1” and a “2” or an “up” and a “down” on the two sides of the routed UHMW.

Voila—simple setup blocks for next time.

Dick don’t know WHEN you did that kitchen, but …. it just looks great !

JB & Jim: obviously, you didn’t think it was worth the time investment, but … do you think you’d feel differently, if the set-up blocks approach worked ??

In other words, there’s a difference between how a thing works and whether it’s worth the time/trouble/$$. Do you think the thing WORKS, if you get the fussy part to go away ???

-- -- Neil

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4265 days

#7 posted 10-20-2010 12:07 AM

I didn’t have a router when I made these cabinets in 1974.

I did these with a router, & shaper attachments on my Wards radial arm saw.

Once I had it set for the material thickness, I ran all of my joints with one set up.

A piece of cake.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3140 days

#8 posted 10-20-2010 01:00 AM

Good advice, Jarrod.

I’m really trying to form habits of using featherboards in lots of my cutting and shaping processes.

I also learned (the hard way, of course) that I should use fence clamps to equalize downward force when running wood over my TS dado stack, for cutting tenons. Flat is only flat with a bit of pressure, and even is only even, under the same circumstances.

It’s so funny: not much of this is truly “rocket science.” What it IS is … if you want to do it well—particularly on the first try—then patience is a must, and a few minutes spent thinking about it pays big dividends.

I betcha’ that’s one of the reasons that the demographics among woodworkers tends toward slightly older people. Young whipper-snappers want it all done yesterday :-)

-- -- Neil

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 3676 days

#9 posted 10-20-2010 02:00 AM

check out Tom Hintz’s take on it

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3140 days

#10 posted 10-20-2010 02:05 AM

Thank you, Fred.

I’m a BIG fan of Tom’s site, but … even doing a Google search … didn’t find that page.

I’m on it !!

-- -- Neil

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2949 days

#11 posted 10-20-2010 03:35 AM

Hey Neil, I feel your pain. I have one like it by Freud and have had no luck getting dead on. I have come pretty close but would still have to do some sanding. They sell the set up blocks for the bits and I have considered getting me some.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4265 days

#12 posted 10-20-2010 05:59 AM

Here’s a video from MLCS.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3140 days

#13 posted 10-20-2010 06:34 AM

Thanks again, Dick!

I have this feeling … and others (like Greg) are reinforcing the feeling … that using this bit is going to be simple (as in … not many steps, and not overly complicated), but NOT easy LOL !

That vid was very helpful. I overlooked the simple idea that the setup block would ALSO serve to reference your fence placement. Makes sense !

My goal, for tomorrow, is to try to CREATE my setup blocks. I’ll get a fair amount of 1/2” and 3/4” scrap, and give it a try. I’ll post my results.

-- -- Neil

View cabmaker's profile


1720 posts in 2775 days

#14 posted 10-20-2010 07:19 AM

Neil, for me the set blocks would not make a diff. That is certainly not a new science by any stretch. Just that most of my panel buildups are forcabinet doors and the like. I use shapers for pretty much everything like that and glueline knives for shapers have proved to be a bit pricy and time consuming for little return. For me (in most cases) having a perfectly true plane where boards are joined is a non-issue as they typically go through the planer. Have a good one! JB

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3140 days

#15 posted 10-20-2010 03:47 PM



Sounds like you’ve got a lot of years behind you.

Part of me says … I already SPENT the $$$, so … I’ll go as far as to make the setup blocks, and try the bit on the QSWO project that I’m just starting.

I think the “more trouble than it’s worth” part will be rather obvious, rather quickly.

I actually milled a nice set of slightly curved cauls, so … I’d have no problem going back to those. But the theory behind the glue up bit makes sense.

If you’re right, though: that—in practice—it really is more trouble than it’s worth, then … I’m not THAT stubborn. It’ll either collect dust, or become a local CraigsList find for “a greater fool than me” ;-)

Quick question for you, though: do you buy the notion that the bit will produce a stronger joint, or are you saying that a reasonably well made edge joint is already plenty strong, so you simply don’t see THAT as a benefit, either ?


Hey. At least the thing was fairly cheap, in the grand scheme of things :-)

-- -- Neil

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