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Oak return air floor vent for hardwood floor

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Forum topic by skubakirk posted 01-19-2011 06:49 AM 2235 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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skubakirk

3 posts in 2151 days


01-19-2011 06:49 AM

I’m trying to build a return air vent cover made of Red Oak, it’s a 24×24 grate that goes in the floor and matches the red oak hardwood floor.

I have checked out the Incra Universal Precision Positioning Jig at Rockler, but it won’t do the job since my stock is 24” long and the inca only does up to 8”.

I wondered if anyone knew of a jig, or miter for a table saw with incremental mechanical movement so I can make perfectly spaced dado cuts.

These vent covers are almost impossible to build without mechanical precision cuts….believe me I tried by hand.

Here is a link to see what I’m trying to build: http://www.americanwoodvents.com/coldairreturns.htm the top picture represents the one I’m attempting to make.


4 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#1 posted 01-19-2011 04:18 PM

This will be easy. You just need to research box joints. It’s exactly the same process.

What you end up with, after spending no money on gizmos, is a board screwed to your miter gauge with a small piece glued in which is exactly the thickness of your stock, which is exactly the thickness of the slot your dado blade cuts.

Just make your stock longer than needed so you can trim it to fit, and make a few more pieces than you need. Or a bunch more, because it will be so much fun. And you’ll find places to put your swell new grates.

-- "...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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skubakirk

3 posts in 2151 days


#2 posted 01-20-2011 03:20 AM

I have looked at box joints, but the stock I’m using is 24 inches long and none of them will handle that much length. I think I need a miter gauge system for my table saw that will extend the table wider to accommodate the 24” board.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile

FirehouseWoodworking

689 posts in 2738 days


#3 posted 01-20-2011 04:00 AM

I think there may be a simpler way, but you will need a couple of practice pieces of scrap to get all the settings correct.

The grate is nothing more than half-lap joints. Decide how wide each slat will be. Probably half inch wide, three-quarter thick. Take your 24” board and cut all the half-laps, spaced out as you wish. A router table would be best but a dado blade on the table saw will also work.

Once you’re done with those half laps, take the piece over to the band saw. Set up your fence for a bit more that the finished width (this is where those practice pieces were worth their weight in gold!) and cut the strips. (The table saw will work, but there will be more waste.) Once the strips are cut, send them through the planer to finish both sides.

Now it’s nothing more than assembling the pieces in the criss-cross frame.

I hope I explained that clear enough. Good luck.

Cheers!

-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#4 posted 01-21-2011 12:18 AM

OK Kirk, I’ll try again. 24” is fine. On my table saw, I could make one 8’ square.

Here’s pictures of what you’ll need, but understand they are making a box and sawing the end joints in it. You are making a grate and so your stock will be horizontal.

Also, you’ll be cutting the notches in a board that is doubly wide, and then ripping it into two pieces.

The north-south pieces are identical in length, in the rough, to the east-west pieces. Make them 3 inches over length.

Follow these instructions. You don’t need a jig. You will start at one end of the board and make notches as far as you can. Then flip it upside down and do the same. Rip this piece in two (in your mind) and you have two pieces that can be NS or EW. Make as many as you need (plus a few), drop a little glue in the notches and start assembling. Then cut it to finished shape and sand it.

I can send you pix of some scrap that I have and my miter gauge block of that will help.

-- "...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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