Setups to rout a wide and long area? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Default Setups to rout a wide and long area?

Hi, all,

I have 21 - 2x6 SFS white incense cedar boards that are to be used as decorative cross-members on a long trellis.

These boards are all 36 inches long, identical in profile. I need to rout a square-U-shaped area in the 2" (actually 1 7/16 inches as milled) direction of each board, that's about 6 inches wide. This U-shaped-area of each board will fit "over" the top of the trellis, and I intend to screw each into the top of the trelllis with 2 - 1/4 inch x 6 inch exterior screws.

I'm thinking that I could rout all of these together in one session by clamping them all together (I do have enough long clamps to do this [new "on sale" purchase from Rockler!]). My question is about the best way to rout what would then be a U-shaped-area that's 6 inches wide and now 21 x 1 7/16 inches long (a little more than 30 inches).

I don't have a router table, but I do have a (new!) router. I don't have a table saw or any other nice tools like that - yet...

Any suggestions on setups would be most appreciated!
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 12:19 PM
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I'm not 100% sure I understand what you want but here goes with what I think it is. You can clamp all the boards together edge to edge or flat to flat.Then mark across all of them the 2 lines that will define the outer edges of the channel. Put the bit you are going to use in your router and set the bit so that it just touches or just barely misses. Put it down so that the edge of the bit just touches the line on one end. Rotate it a bit to make sure you are just up to the line and not over it. Clamp a straight edge guide against the base of the router and go to the other end of the line and do it all over again. Do the line on the other side the same way. Then go back and double check the starting points.

I'm not sure just how deep you want to go but only go as deep as the diameter of the bit is wide each pass. Start in the middle and work your way out to the edges.

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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Chuck,

Thanks for the guidance. You did interpret my need properly - I intend to clamp the boards together face-to-face (or "flat to flat") so that all of the 1 7/16-inch sides are facing "up", for a total length when clamped together of about 20 inches.

Your points make sense. So, I rout the outer slots first (the depth will be 1 1/2 inches), in multiple passes for each slot so as not to do too much at one time. I will be using a 1 inch straight bit with a 1/2 inch shank. ...and I know I need to pay attention to not making a climbing cut, so I'll run the router from right to left...

How does one replicate the depth for each of the final passes? Do I use the plunge base on my Bosch 1617 kit and set the maximum depth the same for each final pass? That seems to make the most sense to me...

Tim
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 12:49 PM
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I would make a simple dado jig set up expressly for this job. A piece of 1/4" mdf or ply gives you something for the router to ride on without falling into your wide dado, and fences keep the router in a straight line. The side guides run along the outside of the boards and keep the guide square. You can just use a 1/2" straight bit.
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 12:53 PM
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if you hog out the dado w/ your circular saw before you router...
and use Oliver's jig...
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Oliver,

I'm stricken mute by the diagrams! How in the world did you do that? It looks like they were custom-made for my question? Unbelievably helpful...

Thanks so much to both you and Chuck here.

Chuck's suggestion about routing the slots to mark the outside edges makes a lot of sense, and combining that with the custom dado jig is perfect.

You guys are amazing.

Tim
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Stick,

Good idea. That seems like a lot of cuts with a circular saw, at 1/16 inch per pass.

Is it generally a better idea to get rid of this much waste wood with a saw before routing? I don't have any experience here...

Thanks,

Tim

BTW, someone mentioned in one of my conversations (maybe it was Cherryville Chuck) that you also live in Colorado. I'm in Aurora - anywhere close to me?
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csscouter View Post
Good idea. That seems like a lot of cuts with a circular saw, at 1/16 inch per pass.
Make your saw cuts about 1/8" apart or so, and the bits that are left between the cuts will snap away easily. Hitting them at a shallow angle with a hammer is a quick way to do it. Then you can flatten the bottom of the area with the router - or with a chisel if you prefer.
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Last edited by AndyL; 03-10-2015 at 01:41 PM.
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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Can do, Andy - so it seems that getting rid of waste wood with a saw is "better". Is it better because it's typically faster, or because it preserves expensive router bits longer, or maybe some other reason?

Thanks,

Tim
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csscouter View Post
Oliver,

I'm stricken mute by the diagrams! How in the world did you do that? It looks like they were custom-made for my question? Unbelievably helpful...

Thanks so much to both you and Chuck here.

Chuck's suggestion about routing the slots to mark the outside edges makes a lot of sense, and combining that with the custom dado jig is perfect.

You guys are amazing.

Tim
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