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best way to use a router table for board ends?

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Forum topic by mzimmers posted 1279 days ago 1509 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mzimmers

121 posts in 2542 days


1279 days ago

Hi, all -

I just invested in a router table. One of the things I’d like to do is use it for cutting profiles into the ends of boards (such as for glue joints). What’s the best way to do this? Miter gauge and some clamps to hold the workpiece to the clamp?

Thanks for any suggestions.

-- M. Zimmers


11 replies so far

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William

8976 posts in 1469 days


#1 posted 1279 days ago

I think you’re talking about routing across the grain. If so, the biggest suggestion I can make is to alway use a backer board. Follow the board you’re routing tightly with another board. I usually use a scrap piece just in case. If you don’t, routing across the grain, when you get to the edge, it tears out easily. Sometimes so bad that it looks more like a blowout than a tearout.
I tried explaining that the best I can. If it doesn’t make sense, I hope someone better with words can exaplin it better than me.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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mzimmers

121 posts in 2542 days


#2 posted 1279 days ago

Thanks, William. Yes, I was referring to routing across the grain. The real challenge is that I may want to do this to some pretty narrow boards. How do you suggest I keep the workpiece at 90° to the fence? That’s why I was asking about a miter gauge with a wood extension on it, then clamping the workpiece to the extension. I could use this method with the backer board as you suggest.

I was just wondering if there were any slick setups for doing this, and/or if I’m not using the right tool(s) for this kind of work.

Thanks again.

-- M. Zimmers

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DaleM

910 posts in 2011 days


#3 posted 1279 days ago

I use a jig I made in a “T” shape. The “top” of the T is offset from the upright part and is used to slide along the front edge of the router table, which then keeps the upright part of the T 90 degrees to your fence. Of course, I don’t use the fence with this, just put the piece to be routed up against the T and slide it from right to left. I cut most of my tenons this way. You can use a backer board with this too. I may have to get you a picture later so it makes sense.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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mzimmers

121 posts in 2542 days


#4 posted 1279 days ago

Hey, Dale -

Pics are always nice, but I think I get what you’re talking about. I probably should have mentioned that this is the table I bought:

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00961181000P?mv=rr#specs

As you can (hopefully) see, it has a 3/4” track running the width of the table. This is why I was thinking of some kind of miter gauge.

Two questions about your set-up:

1. do you clamp the workpiece to your jig? If not, how do you prevent the workpiece from getting a mind of its own and jumping out of your hand?

2. if you don’t use your fence, how do you know where to position your workpiece so that the cut is of the correct depth?

Thanks.

PS: I really don’t mind spending a little money on this, if it will take some of the guesswork and risk out of doing these cuts, which appear to be a bit tricky.

-- M. Zimmers

View levan's profile

levan

405 posts in 1606 days


#5 posted 1279 days ago

It would probably be good to clamp several together since they are narrow. If you make the backer board wide enough it should keep things square.

-- Lynn "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

683 posts in 1562 days


#6 posted 1279 days ago

Sounds like a job for a coping sled. You can buy or make your own. A backer board should be used too.

View mzimmers's profile

mzimmers

121 posts in 2542 days


#7 posted 1279 days ago

OK, thanks, Lynn. So…any recommendations for a miter gauge? It has to have a face that’s not too deep, otherwise it will come too close to the router bit, and I have to leave room for clamping.

I assume that traditional C clamps are right for this? Any brand recommendations here?

-- M. Zimmers

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levan

405 posts in 1606 days


#8 posted 1279 days ago

I never use a miter gauge. Just make sure the backer board is wide, like 6-8” and 10-12” long with your pieces clamped to it. If you use the fence it will keep things square. I like to use the jorgensen deep engagement clamps for something like this.

-- Lynn "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

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DaleM

910 posts in 2011 days


#9 posted 1279 days ago

Here are the pictures of the jig I mentioned earlier. I do have an adjustable stop which answers your question of what I do without the fence. You can see how I use it to make the tenons. I make a couple passes, nibbling away at it, with the last pass being the one with the piece up against the stop. It is very rough, because I used scrap that I had laying around, threw it together really quick to see if it would work, and haven’t changed it since I made it six years ago. I also have another router table now, but still use this with the router I mount to the underside of my workbench. I’ll be happy to answer any more questions about it. I didn’t come up with this idea. I saw a picture of one years ago somewhere.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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mzimmers

121 posts in 2542 days


#10 posted 1279 days ago

Thanks for all the help, everyone. Chuck: I think you may be right that the coping sled is most appropriate for what I’m doing. Any brand recommendations? The Infinity looks appealing because it has an adapter bar that should work with the 3/4” slot in my table top. I’m open to other suggestions, though.

This is something I really would like to do right.

Thanks again for all the assistance.

-- M. Zimmers

View William's profile

William

8976 posts in 1469 days


#11 posted 1279 days ago

The table you said you have is real similar th Ryobi one I’m currently using. If so, the problem with the miter guage us the slot that is in the table. It is with mine anyway. Mine came with a miter guage that is so sloppy in the slot that I may as well do it freehand. I had a miter guage I had made for a project a long time ago. I wish I had photos for you, but it got dropped and broke long time ago too.
All I did though was carefully planed a piece of hardwood that was wide enough to fit snugly in the miter slot and tall enough that it would sit level with the table without sliding in the bottom chanel of the slot. I made it almost as long as the table was wide for stability. Then using a good square I glued a 2×4 to that piece at a 90 degree angle. After the glue had dried I turned all that over to add screws for more stability.
All that being said, what profile exactly are you wanting to rout? Many, many router bits are available with roller bearings on them. That’s what I use now instead of the miter slot headache. I just set my fence, clamp my backer board to the piece I’m routing, and run it across the bit. If I’m routing too thin of a piece, I can always clamp another piece of wood on top of the piece being routed so that it won’t be so thin that it’ll ride under the bearing.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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