Hidden spline jig for cabinet making - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Default Hidden spline jig for cabinet making

I am making a tv cabinet out of 3/4" plywood with miter corners. It is 6' long by 18.5" wide. I can cut the miters on the table saw but because it is a left tilt saw the spline cut could be tricky. It will be hanging way off the table. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there an easier way using a portable router or router table?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 11:55 AM
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I assume you mean making the 45 cut on the 18.5 side...?

If so, and you have a problem guiding and supporting at the same time, you might consider a fine blade on a circular saw and an edge guide...?

If you're talking about the slot for a spline between the wide (tops and bottoms) and the vertical sides, a handheld trim router with a slot cutter blade and edge guide will do the trick for that...a table route will give you the same support problems...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 12:14 PM
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The problem with using a router is that the groove has to be 90* with the miter to mate with the other side and that means running the router at a 45* angle to the face of the panel. You should be able to do it if you flip the piece upside down. Two x 45 is 90 and that's what the groove needs to be.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 12:22 PM
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Roller support off to the side of the saw to support the workpiece. Pointed edge of the piece up against the fence. Full kerf blade, like a glue line rip blade.

Here are three options. A long roller stand, medium and a shop made support. Put a strip of low friction tape on top of the shop made item. Adjust the height of any stand to match the height of the table. Big table is about $200, the short about $100, shop made maybe $25. You can get a simple one to four roller (or ball bearing) stand, but the longer ones would offer better support throughout the cut. There is also a scissor type, expandable table, but it's about $360. (As happens here, the pictures actually posted out of order, an annoyance I wish someone would fix, or at least give us a way to resequence them.)

If you make the shop made support, consider making it with a couple of length tops so you can support a variety of sizes of sheet goods. I would make this using a wide sheet of ply to square it up, then add some cross members, then remove the ply. The support bar needs some way to adjust the height to a slight angle to match the top of the saw. A shim of some sort would make this easy, perhaps a threaded insert with a small bolt under the cross piece. Fold out legs would be nice for storing flat.

Note that the shop made drawing has a ply sheet that fits on pegs, with holes for the table saw and the band saw. It could also be drilled for the miter saw, or even a set for the height of the work bench. Alternatively, you might also add some kind of castor on top so the workpiece rolls easily, but I think the low friction tape on a hardwood cross bar will do. Cut a slightcurve on the top end of the runner so the workpiece doesn't tear off the tape.

A couple of the tables have no or marginal height adjustment on the base. Set these up next to the table saw and put some straight dimensional boards on top, snug those up to the table and mark the height. Cut and then attach this piece under the stand and you will have a nice level surface. If the floor is uneven, you should definitely add a height adjustment as described. Mark your floor with exact location of the saw and the support so you have repeatability if you must move your tools. Not all shop floors are truly flat.

You could do the low friction tape, shop built stand on sawhorses, but it's not as elegant. Or, mount the roller head only (available online) on a saw horse and adjust the mount to exact height. My preference would be the shop made stand first, the $100 stand second, the longer stand third, but the scissor stand is too expensive to justify for me, and I think it would be prone to twisting or other breakdowns.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 01:33 PM
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tilt base router and a spiral cutter..


This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 01:40 PM
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Go the cheap route buy a Domino
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
Roller support off to the side of the saw to support the workpiece. .
keep in mind those type rollers can influence material travel...
ball style is the way around that..


This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
The problem with using a router is that the groove has to be 90* with the miter to mate with the other side and that means running the router at a 45* angle to the face of the panel. You should be able to do it if you flip the piece upside down. Two x 45 is 90 and that's what the groove needs to be.

Whoops...thanks for the reminder...

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 03:13 PM
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You can also do it quite well using biscuits and a biscuit cutter, but be careful to get the alignment right when you cut the biscuit slots. A diy jig to keep the biscuit cutter positioned correctly usually is the best way. Offsetting the biscuit slots close to the inside surface of the corner will prevent the cutter from cutting out through the outside surface and it produces a stronger joint too.

If you will be making full length slots using the table saw, the best way that I've found to make cross grained splines is to use my Tenon Jig on my table saw. I set it up so the distance between the saw blade and the working surface of the jig is exactly the thickness of the spline that I want. I then cut the first spline from one end of a board and then flip the board over to make a second cross grained spline. I then use my miter saw set to 90 degrees with a stop and cut the two splines and the tenon off the end of the board. The tenon becomes firewood and you have 2 cross grained splines. You can then repeat this and even cut them from both ends of the board to get 4 splines with each pass. The width of your donor board doesn't need to be the width of your spline joint. You can use 2 or 3 splines end to end to fill the joint. Once you have the setup, you can make more splines very quickly.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 07:49 PM
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Lots of ways to do this. If you don't want the spline to show, the edge of the splined joint has to remain untouched, which means a stopped groove for the spline, which would be easiest with a router or the biscuit joiner. My biscuit joiner has a 45 degree setting. I would not consider doing this with a router without a jig to guide the router through the entire cut. I'd want both the workpiece and the guide clamped down firmly. A wandering bit could instantly render the piece unusable.

Or, if you have the spline showing, you could use it as a decorative element, or glue something on the edges to cover it up.

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