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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Default sliding on the rods

Some time ago I commented that I was going to experiment with sliding my router across the rods. I did some preliminary experiments a while ago but I got into it in greater detail today. Here's the results:

The objective was to cut lap joints quickly and accurately. Well, accurately -- not bad but quickly -- no way.

First, my setup:

1. my shop runs on 2' x 4' modules that are on casters and locks. Some tops are fixed and others slide off for access to "bins" underneath.

2. some of the tops are MDF that are fixed into place and others are plywood of various types and these are usually removable.

3. the module that I used to setup the experiment uses plywood for the top and the top is removable. This is important, later.

4. I'm building two rolling bases to raise the washer and dryer to a more convenient height. My wife says she wants them to be 6" higher.

5. I size four sticks to 1 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 31" long and four others to 1 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 33" long. That means that I need to cut two dados in each stick.

6. I took four of the sticks, located them on the table top and locked them (I thought) in place with a caul. Except the table top flexed and they were less solid than I expected. I ended up having to take a chunk of something large and heavy and use it to support the table top. That worked.

7. Next I assembled my short skis (18" rods) and laid it over the workpiece with the router "loaded." There wasn't enough room to slide the router across the workpieces. I tried a bit of a cut and it was obvious that this wasn't going to work. I took off the short rods and put on my long ones (30"?) Now I was loaded for bear!

8. Now, I'm not blind but details are a bit harder to see so I use a magnifying glass when I'm trying to work with close tolerances. Except, the magnifying glass was useless where it was and nowhere could I put it where it seemed useful.

9. Next the router was on the wrong side of the cut so I moved over to the other side of the table and tried that. It worked but it was rather uncomfortable trying to wrap my rather copious stomach around the sticks hanging off the back side of the table while I leaned forward attempting to see what's going on.

10. That wasn't the answer either. Also the clamps supporting the table top were in the way and I just couldn't wrap myself around an squeeze in to accomplish what I wanted to. I completed the cut but wasn't happy with the contortions.

11. I switched the skis over to the other side of the caul, pushed the supporting clamps out of the way and now things started to work.

12. I controlled the forward and backward of the cut with the skis and kept the cut straight with the rods. It worked a charm. You'll notice in one of the pictures I mark "the perfect cut." I mark where the cut should be with a striking knife. This cuts a deep groove in the fibres of the wood so when I use a saw or router, the cut remains clean. Holding one side of the skis and using it as a guide and sliding the router across the rods with the other hand is the way it's done. I watch the scarf coming up from the router cut into the knife cut and when there is no scarf, that is a perfect cut. You can see a bit of it in the picture. The others parts of the cut are only off by a few thousandths but they're not perfect.

All in all, the method is feasible. But my observations provide the following:

A: square your stock to the cauls. Then, use the caul as the equivalent to a fence so the skis are restricted by the cauls.

B: I thought that the router sliding across the rods was all the control that I needed. I found that I located the router with the skis but controlled the cut with the rods.

C: My original notes on skis found that control was absolute and control was to the thousandths of an inch. This is further borne out by the sliding of the router across the rods controlled by the skis.

D: Now, this works. The downside is the degree of assembly and the preciseness required in the setup. Somewhere I'm going to get a parallel ruler and see if that will help make setup feasible.

E: The third picture was the final working position that I tried. Notice how the caul is restricting the movement of the skis, like a fence. I also worked looking over the router as it cut. I controlled the start of the cut with the left ski, I pushed the router along the rods with my left hand, looking over the top of the router, and controlled the width of the cut with the right ski.

F: one more observation. When I pushed down on the router to set the depth of cut, the rods deflected. You'll notice in the second picture a small piece of plywood beside the ski. I used that as a "starter" to set the depth of cut. I would start the router, off the workpiece, set the depth with the block, then move the router into the workpiece.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 09:25 PM
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The pictures are good Ron, but after reading the commentary, I think a video would have been better. It reminded me a bit of Tool Time on tv. What did you use for rods? I would have thought at that length that big Hitachi would make them sag in the middle.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 10:42 PM
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Ron

You know I'm big fan of the ski jig but why not just put it the planer ,quick job of it about a 5 min. or 10 min. job, the block you are working on looks less than 12" wide..
Jim is going to post some snapshots of his new work bench and milled down with the Woodhaven jig
Video | Woodhaven
You may want to take a hard look it, it puts the ski jig to shame..


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Quote:
Originally Posted by allthunbs View Post
Some time ago I commented that I was going to experiment with sliding my router across the rods. I did some preliminary experiments a while ago but I got into it in greater detail today. Here's the results:

The objective was to cut lap joints quickly and accurately. Well, accurately -- not bad but quickly -- no way.

First, my setup:

1. my shop runs on 2' x 4' modules that are on casters and locks. Some tops are fixed and others slide off for access to "bins" underneath.

2. some of the tops are MDF that are fixed into place and others are plywood of various types and these are usually removable.

3. the module that I used to setup the experiment uses plywood for the top and the top is removable. This is important, later.

4. I'm building two rolling bases to raise the washer and dryer to a more convenient height. My wife says she wants them to be 6" higher.

5. I size four sticks to 1 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 31" long and four others to 1 1/4" x 2 1/4" x 33" long. That means that I need to cut two dados in each stick.

6. I took four of the sticks, located them on the table top and locked them (I thought) in place with a caul. Except the table top flexed and they were less solid than I expected. I ended up having to take a chunk of something large and heavy and use it to support the table top. That worked.

7. Next I assembled my short skis (18" rods) and laid it over the workpiece with the router "loaded." There wasn't enough room to slide the router across the workpieces. I tried a bit of a cut and it was obvious that this wasn't going to work. I took off the short rods and put on my long ones (30"?) Now I was loaded for bear!

8. Now, I'm not blind but details are a bit harder to see so I use a magnifying glass when I'm trying to work with close tolerances. Except, the magnifying glass was useless where it was and nowhere could I put it where it seemed useful.

9. Next the router was on the wrong side of the cut so I moved over to the other side of the table and tried that. It worked but it was rather uncomfortable trying to wrap my rather copious stomach around the sticks hanging off the back side of the table while I leaned forward attempting to see what's going on.

10. That wasn't the answer either. Also the clamps supporting the table top were in the way and I just couldn't wrap myself around an squeeze in to accomplish what I wanted to. I completed the cut but wasn't happy with the contortions.

11. I switched the skis over to the other side of the caul, pushed the supporting clamps out of the way and now things started to work.

12. I controlled the forward and backward of the cut with the skis and kept the cut straight with the rods. It worked a charm. You'll notice in one of the pictures I mark "the perfect cut." I mark where the cut should be with a striking knife. This cuts a deep groove in the fibres of the wood so when I use a saw or router, the cut remains clean. Holding one side of the skis and using it as a guide and sliding the router across the rods with the other hand is the way it's done. I watch the scarf coming up from the router cut into the knife cut and when there is no scarf, that is a perfect cut. You can see a bit of it in the picture. The others parts of the cut are only off by a few thousandths but they're not perfect.

All in all, the method is feasible. But my observations provide the following:

A: square your stock to the cauls. Then, use the caul as the equivalent to a fence so the skis are restricted by the cauls.

B: I thought that the router sliding across the rods was all the control that I needed. I found that I located the router with the skis but controlled the cut with the rods.

C: My original notes on skis found that control was absolute and control was to the thousandths of an inch. This is further borne out by the sliding of the router across the rods controlled by the skis.

D: Now, this works. The downside is the degree of assembly and the preciseness required in the setup. Somewhere I'm going to get a parallel ruler and see if that will help make setup feasible.

E: The third picture was the final working position that I tried. Notice how the caul is restricting the movement of the skis, like a fence. I also worked looking over the router as it cut. I controlled the start of the cut with the left ski, I pushed the router along the rods with my left hand, looking over the top of the router, and controlled the width of the cut with the right ski.

F: one more observation. When I pushed down on the router to set the depth of cut, the rods deflected. You'll notice in the second picture a small piece of plywood beside the ski. I used that as a "starter" to set the depth of cut. I would start the router, off the workpiece, set the depth with the block, then move the router into the workpiece.



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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-05-2011, 10:50 PM
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I'm sorry Ron, but what is a VERY simple job, you've made to sound like a B.Sc. degree is a requirement.Please don't lose sight of KISS, keep it super simple.

Harry



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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 01:36 PM
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+ 1 on the Woodhaven jig although I could see some issues with it in elevating multiple pieces in order to do them all simulataneously. I would have been inclined just to put a couple of guide strips down and use a bushing. The groove doesn't appear to be wide enough to create problems because of baseplate size.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
The pictures are good Ron, but after reading the commentary, I think a video would have been better. It reminded me a bit of Tool Time on tv. What did you use for rods? I would have thought at that length that big Hitachi would make them sag in the middle.
Hi Charles:

Yup convoluted as hell but I was having so much trouble with it. Thanks for the comment but it will have to stand for the moment. Maybe when I get to it again sometime I'll be able to "improve" on it.

As for the rods, I'm using 12.5mm (1/2") drill rod. They do sag when I set the depth so I set a block under the router to compensate for the rods moving. Other than that, sliding works a charm. I've done rabbets a bunch of different ways and this is the most precise and easiest. If I didn't have problems with the table, it would have been much easier.

I did have a big problem with visibility. I couldn't get the magnifying glass in the right position. The next time I'm going to use the modified router. When you're working with a striking knife cut it's hard to control the cut unless you can see it.

Allthunbs
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
+ 1 on the Woodhaven jig although I could see some issues with it in elevating multiple pieces in order to do them all simulataneously. I would have been inclined just to put a couple of guide strips down and use a bushing. The groove doesn't appear to be wide enough to create problems because of baseplate size.
Hi John:

I took a look at the Woodhaven stuff and find them just expensive jigs. None of what I saw would replace what I was doing.

I had considered using the bushing and that is a viable alternative. This was as much of an experiment to see if I could duplicate a pivot frame action on skis. I'm satisfied that I can and do so proficiently. Now I have to learn to control it better and see if there is some way to accelerate the setup. Perhaps a redesign of the skis might be in order. Hmmmm, interesting thought.

Thanks for taking the time to comment John. My little grey cells are well stimulated now!

Ron

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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Hello all - some of my MVPs on here (Most Valued Posters!) - so thought it worth asking a question. I've just received my 12mm stainless rods back from the engineering shop, where they cut shoulders and threaded the ends so that I can used washers and wingnuts - the lock collar/spring thing just wasn't easily adjusted for me.

Anyway, I'd like to put them to use - and having seen the pics in this thread, have wondered if I could use the skis and my camboard for my latest project - cutting a whole lot of tenons. Please see my post re that here : http://www.routerforums.com/general-...-method-2.html

I've got the current project (dining table) then another big one (a single bed) which will also involve lots of tenons - probably even larger than what I'll be cutting for the table. The idea of man-handling long and heavy rails on a horizontal router table (which is what I was leaning towards) doesn't sound at all practical. Hence the thought of keeping the stock fixed, and moving the router across it - is better. The fact that I have several tenons the same to cut could mean that I could line them all up and cut them at the same time - as in Ron's picture.

My camboard has two perfectly spaced and parallel rails glued and screwed, for the skis to run outboard of - so that should make cutting square easy...one would hope!

Opinions please!

Matthew
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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HI Matthew:

For tenons I'd use a table and fence with a squared block to support the tenon cut. Another method is to cut a mortice in the end of the stick where the tenon would normally be, cut another mortice in the mating board and make a spline to connect the two.

Skis aren't the easiest method to make tenons with. Mortices can easily be done with a standard baseplate and stock handles. You'll have to make a jig to cut a mortice in the end of a stick. OakPark sells two bearings that go in the opposite corners of their 7" baseplate. You can easily put these together yourself and the baseplate isn't difficult to make either.

Hope this helps. Good luck with the skis. Use a silicone lubricant on the rods if you're going to slide the router on the rods. Wax is OK too but stainless really needs something to cool it as well as lubrication.

Allthunbs
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2011, 06:05 PM
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Hi Ron

Thanks - at this stage I'm only thinking about the tenons, as will probably build a jig to do the mortises - or do them on the mortising machine at my wood work night class.

I have considered floating tenons, however have moved away from them due to the size of the project (a dining table, then a bed) so need joints as strong as possible - and apparently, traditional mortise/tenon joints are stronger than floating tenon joints.

The reason I didn't think that moving the stock across the router (ie on a RT) was a good idea : how will I easily do that when the stock is a 5" x 2.25", and 50" long? That's why I figured lying the stock down and moving the router over it was a better option - but please let me know if I'm wrong.

Matthew
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