How would you cut this? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Default How would you cut this?

I have already asked the following question in a scroll saw forum and the majority of the members who responded thought a scroll saw is the way to go but I thought I might get a different response if I ask the same question in a router forum.

The template in the picture is 1/2" MDF the size is:15"X15",I am planning to use this template to cut six new pieces like it out of soft pine or 1/2" plywood.

The plan is to build a headboard with them by joining them together,inside a 30"X45" frame ,I could either use a scroll saw to cut them or use the piece as a template and cut the six pieces with a combination of jigsaw/router.

I know most of you are practical and only would use a router if it is the best tool to get the job done and not just because you it's the tool you are most comfortable/experienced with.

I would appreciate your inputs.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 12:21 PM
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 12:23 PM
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About the only router solution I could think of for that would be a CNC router setup, which is most likely how the original was made (citing the rounded inside corners) The details look like they would be too fine for a pattern or flush trim router bit to fit into.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 12:37 PM
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Ken, I'm no expert, so not sure if this is the best answer , but I'd like to help - we'll see what the experts say later on.

I'd do it with a drill (starting holes) and router with a template bit - something
like this : Wealden Tool Company Limited Template Trim
(you can see there are short ones, so you can make a couple of passes on the height of the template). The only problem may be the radius of the corners - maybe you'll need
2 router bits (redo the corners with a smaller bit).

You could also do it with a bushing if the template was made oversized accordingly eg with :
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 01:06 PM
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I would say the answer depends on the size of the narrower gaps and if a halfway matching copy-bit for the router could be found.

If my measurements from the picture and calculations are halfway right, then the narrower gaps would be about 8mm wide.

If a bearing guided bit that size could be found, then the router is surely the better and especially faster choice.

Even if there would be minor tips and details, where an almost fitting copy-bit for a router might just not get in totally - the smallest bits I'd know of have 3/8", a router still could be the faster solution to hog out the majority of the material - only using e.g. a scrollsaw for the last tiny bits and details.

After all, you want to create 6 copies of the "master", not just one.
Therefore, only if not an even closely matching bit could be found, I'd go for 100% scrollsaw.

In regards to the choice of material, starting from about 8-10mm or thicker, personally I would perhaps prefer soft pine over plywood. Pine gives a warmer feeling than ply - which might be very welcome for a headboard of a bed. And since you plan to set the copies into a frame, stability would not be that much of a problem.


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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies,as I gathered from your comments the best possible way to make this pattern is a scroll saw although a router would probably be the quickest way to achieve it but too difficult to find a source for the correct size bits.

I'll start cutting asap rather than talking about it , I have in mind to make some changes like reducing the actual headboard width , building 3 pieces instead of six,and make some similar design on the bottom portion where the bed and pillows will cover.

I will be starting it soon and will keep you all posted.
Thank you all again for your inputs.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 03:06 PM
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Whiteside makes flush trim spiral bits down to 1/8" diameter which should easily be small enough for those corners since they don't appear to, or need to go down to sharp points. Using spirals will save days of sanding to remove saw marks. I would still use a scroll saw to get most of the waste out. The spirals will last longer if you do and that is a lot of cutting and routing. You might want to go with the 1/4" spiral for most of the routing and just switch to the 1/8" to finish the corners. That would be a lot of routing for a 1/8" diameter.

The numbers for the bits are RFT 1600 and RFT 2100. Those are up spiral, down spiral is RFTD. I didn't check pricing.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 03:26 PM
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Scroll saw, hands down.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-21-2013, 06:07 PM
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I do stuff like that a lot, except I call mine 'masters', instead of 'templates'. I start by laying out the template onto the project piece; I tack mine down with nails. Then drill a pilot hole. Depending on my mood, I might cut out the excess with a sabre saw, then rout, or just rout it out with a 1/2" flush trim bit; the larger the piece to come out, the more likely I will cut, instead of simply rout. If the corners aren't quite sharp enough, then I'd go over it again with a 1/4" bit in the corners - I figure that would be more than sharp enough for anything I do. However, as a rule I make my templates to be used with 1/2" bits, then don't have to change anything, just rout.

Then repeat with the other pieces. When I put it together, I'd make sure the nail holes were not on the front of the pieces.

Here's an example of one of my masters.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:15 AM
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Yeah, you can certainly do this with a scroll saw, if you have lots of time to invest. A CNC router is far better, and quicker. You'll also get matching pieces. I realize not everyone has a CNC, but there are plenty that do, so check the CNC forum, as well as other CNC forums, you might find someone willing to do it inexpensively.
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