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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 569 days ago 1404 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newwoodbutcher

346 posts in 1482 days


569 days ago

Like most of you I am pretty much self taught. I have taken two semesters at Palomar, one on hand joinery and another general furniture building. I’ve also taken Darrell Perl’s Greene and Greene details class. But that’s it for hands on training. All the rest comes from magazines, books and the web (including you all). I’m embarrassed to ask this question but know I’ll get an answer here. There must be a better way than I’m trying and failing to do this seemingly simple step.
The question:
I’m working with cherry, doing a set of stairs and entryway base boards in my home. One aspect is making two visually and physically proud/pillowed/exposed cherry splines joining the bottom of the stair skirt board and the first base board (sort of a Greene and Greene look). I made a jig to cut the slots on the face of the two pieces (skirt and base board) with a half inch plunge router, and they came out nice and clean (pic). What I’m struggling with is how to make the bull nosed splines (end grain). One needs to be about 6” long 1/2” thick and ½” deep with about a ¼” proud of the surface showing long grain, bull nosed on both ends to fit into the ½” routed grove. The other one is shorter.
What I’ve been trying to do with terrible results is to cut the bull nose on both ends of the spline on my router table with a bull nose bit. My router table is on the right side of my TS and I don’t have a router table fence. What I’ve been doing (for a long time now) is attaching two plastic laminated 2” thick MDF boards to my TS fence with a gap between them for the bit (pic) attached to the TS fence with those Rockler Fence Clamps. For edge routing it works great.
After three tries I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a better way to hold the material, or a different approach. I can’t control the piece well enough to make a good fit. I have a coping sled and that would seem to do the trick, but I (a) never used my coping sled before and (b) can’t figure out how to use it. I can’t see a way to keep the sled against the fence (and holding the piece) without running it into the bit. I walked out of the shop shaking my head at my incompetence and decided to reach out to you all.
I apologize for the length of my question. Just trying to provide the facts. Can anyone help?

-- Ken


19 replies so far

View mds2's profile

mds2

238 posts in 576 days


#1 posted 569 days ago

Just to clarify this in my head. You want the piece routed on 3 sides; the end grain on both ends and the long grain sticking up out of the joint?

Edit: or is this a skinny piece routed on all edges?

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10737 posts in 1322 days


#2 posted 569 days ago

Unless I missing the point here (which is certainly possible), why noy use a template and bushing set up to route both the slots and the inlay pieces (like doing butterfly inlays)? Looks like you already made the template.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3097 posts in 1307 days


#3 posted 569 days ago

I am with gfadvm. I might have this pictured incorrectly but if I understand you correctly will this work. Attach a piece of straight wood to the bottom of the fence you have now and use the outside edge for your coping sled to run against. Then feed the board to be cut further out and left it ride against the fence. You will have to cut clearance for the router bit.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13305 posts in 1307 days


#4 posted 569 days ago

Would it be possible to shape, the endgrain bullnose, by hand on a belt/disk sander? That may not be feasable if you have a lot to make, but may work for only a few.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4836 posts in 1209 days


#5 posted 569 days ago

Shape it with a rasp and or file.

If, I understand you correctly.

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

346 posts in 1482 days


#6 posted 569 days ago

MDS,
Thanks for the clarifying question. I’m only trying to rout the two bull nose ends. I will rip the (bullnosed on both ends) stock into strips that fit into the grooves. The show face will be “pillowed”, not routed. I’ve been “Pillowing” ebony plugs with sandpaper for a soft natural look.

-- Ken

View Gunney's profile

Gunney

14 posts in 663 days


#7 posted 569 days ago

If I have a correct picture in my head of what you’re trying to do, I would use a wide piece of stock and rout the bullnose on it. It should be wide enough that it comfortably spans the gap in the fence. Then rip it into 1/2” thick pieces for the splines.

-- Patrick, Mobile, AL

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

346 posts in 1482 days


#8 posted 569 days ago

Hey guys, thank you. Yes it seems the solution for me now (this time) is to use two pieces of scrap against the fence protecting the sled from the bit. Is that how the sled is always used? Do I have to attach the scrap pieces to the fence? Double sided tape?
Thank you as well for the idea that they are only inlay pieces that can be routed to fit just like any fat intarsia piece. Next time I’m doing something like this I will definitely use that approach.
Having you all out there supporting each other, and me is a wonderful thing. I am very grateful to you all.
Ken

-- Ken

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10737 posts in 1322 days


#9 posted 569 days ago

Gunney, Now that sounds like a plan! WAY easier than my suggestion.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

346 posts in 1482 days


#10 posted 569 days ago

Hey Gunney,
That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do. My challange (as dumb as it sounds) is routing the bullnose. I cand control the small pieces well enough to get a good fit.

-- Ken

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2490 posts in 983 days


#11 posted 569 days ago

Use a 1/4 round bit and sneak up on the fit from both sides.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

346 posts in 1482 days


#12 posted 569 days ago

Hey Gunney,
I see your point. As you can see from the photo I’m working with too narrow a strip Saving that precious cherry). You can see the width I’m working with in the photo. Yes, start with a wider board. Thank you.

-- Ken

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2525 days


#13 posted 569 days ago

Not sure if I read this right but

skip the fence on the TS, and use a plunge router with a fence to guide the router, most plunge routers come with a guide or you build a double sided fence with appropriate stops, thus plunge down, and route the length of groove needed to apply the bullnose

also, as this is adecorative item ? its some what inconsequential to the structural integrity of the stairs you could glue and fasten the bullnose as trim and skip the whole nonsense by using a mechanical device where it isnt seen, be it steel or wood ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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newwoodbutcher

346 posts in 1482 days


#14 posted 569 days ago

Hey Moron,
This is totally esthetic. Not weight bearing, joint holding or anything structural, only for looks

-- Ken

View Moron's profile

Moron

4666 posts in 2525 days


#15 posted 569 days ago

They call that trim

buy trim and cut to suit and join as per instructions on labels ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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