Issue with routing grooves. Milling?

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Forum topic by seturner posted 04-03-2017 01:25 PM 539 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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29 posts in 622 days

04-03-2017 01:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cabinet router milling

Hi all,
I am having an issue with making rail and stile cabinet doors on my router table. I have the Benchdog extension on my table saw with an Incra lift.

I made the rails and stiles today for some 42” tall doors, and when I began assembly, I noticed that the groove in the stiles were not consistently spaced along the stile, which is 42”. After checking, I found the stile was bowed, which brings to question my milling operation.

I milled this wood on the same day I did the router operations. I used 4/4 soft maple and my milling process was this:

1. crosscut to approximate lengths
2. face joint
3. edge joint
4. plane to thickness (dw734)
5. rip to width
6. crosscut to final length

Does that sound reasonable?

I have found that even though I have a 8” jointer, I have had better luck jointing the pieces after ripping to width, but is obviously more work.

I think one problem is I planed only on one side. I did this because i have run across wedge shaped lumber before and I want to be sure to get it parallel with jointed face. How can I ensure this, but also plane both sides?

These are the last two of 45 doors and drawer faces, and the second time this happened. The first time was caused by the router lift leveling screws vibrating loose and causing lift to sink on one side.


9 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117332 posts in 3780 days

#1 posted 04-03-2017 01:40 PM

Hi welcome to Ljs.
It seems like you may have one of a few issues, did you check the moisture content of your material?
Another possible issue is that you didn’t let your wood acclimate before milling your wood. Lastly, if you stored your wood on a flat surface that would mean one side of your material dried out more than the other, the same thing applies to just planning one side, you opened up one side to more moisture than the other.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 967 days

#2 posted 04-03-2017 02:27 PM

a1Jim is spot on with moisture content, acclimation, and balance your milling.

I’d just add a couple items:

1.Its a good idea for both rails and stiles (especially stiles of your length), to select lumber originally milled to as close to quarter sawn as possible. In general, quarter sawn lumber will move much less then plain sawn lumber. Rift sawn lumber will move more then quarter sawn but less then plain sawn.

2. Cut couple more pieces then you think you need.

View seturner's profile


29 posts in 622 days

#3 posted 04-03-2017 02:34 PM

Thanks for the responses. I need to read up on identifying quarter sawn.

After my initial post last night, i went out and made the two doors out of 3/4 MDF to see how it turned out.
They were perfect, and would have required no sanding to even up joints, which I did have to do plenty on the other doors.

Since these will all be painted, can I mix solid MDF doors with wood framed and MDF panel doors?

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 967 days

#4 posted 04-03-2017 02:38 PM

Since their being painted …. you sure can.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1422 posts in 1932 days

#5 posted 04-03-2017 02:44 PM

You didn’t say whether you used a feather to hold your wood flat on the router table as you made your passes. My guess is if you had, you wouldn’t be asking what happened. I don’t get why people joint the edges of wood, and then shape it. It seems to me that if your fence is straight, and your cutter is set up properly, it will clean up saw marks as you make your router pass. ................ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View a1Jim's profile


117332 posts in 3780 days

#6 posted 04-03-2017 03:07 PM

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3269 days

#7 posted 04-03-2017 03:23 PM

All here have give you good reference. Only thing I’d add is besides aclimating your would, I take it down in stages.

I only use quarter sawn or rift sawn for rails/stiles if at all possible due to the wood tending to move on ya.

QS is the best but I will use rift sawn as well (not quite 90 degree rays).

Also, when I start the milling process I get that wood in the shop and lett it be for a couple weeks if possible.

I joint and skip plane just to get the board opened on all sides. I then sticker the parts and let it sit a week (if i can) and then take it down close to final sticker and let sit over night and watch it. If it moves don’t use it.

Final cut and let sit overnight. As others have said, mill both sides equally.

Finally, QS is expensive but better in the long run. If you can buy wide (10+”) or better flat sawn (cheapest), you can a lot of times get the outside edges of those boards and rip your R&S from there. Those will will be QS( almost 90 degree growth rings). I do that a lot and use the middle of the board for other places where QS is not required.

Good luck and know we’ve all been there.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View seturner's profile


29 posts in 622 days

#8 posted 04-03-2017 09:47 PM

Jerry-I did not use a featherboard. You are right, we probably wouldn’t be talking about this! Also, I only edge jointed the stock to get a good edge to put up against my table saw fence when i ripped the strips.

Bones and Jim-thanks for the link and the information

Jay-I should have cut a lot of extra pieces!

View TungOil's profile


1059 posts in 697 days

#9 posted 04-04-2017 02:22 AM

Where did you get your wood? Wood from a reputable hardwood dealer should be properly kiln dried. Even so, you should always plane even off both sides.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

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