Channel routing a hardwood tabletop - Router Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default Channel routing a hardwood tabletop

I am planning to router a 1/8" x 1/8" channel in all the plank lines for my 5' x 3' x 3/4" Manganus Hardwood tabletop. The table top planks were glued and screwed together. I will be positioning my Bosch router to move along two clamped rails. I am worried about hardwood tear-out and/or breakage of the router bit while routing such a long channel. Is there anything I should be wary of while doing the channels with such small bit.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-06-2020, 09:03 PM
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I doubt you'll get much tear out cutting with the grain and it looks like a good part of the groove is already in place. Use a downcut spiral bit and you'll reduce the tear out possibilities even more.

You'll be cutting with both sides of the bit, assuming you're using a 1/8" bit to cut the 1/8" channel. So one side will be climb cutting and the other will be conventional cutting; make sure your guide is on the correct side for the direction you'll move the router or it will try to walk away from the guide. Do a test on scrap if you're not sure.

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Last edited by difalkner; 04-06-2020 at 09:06 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2020, 12:09 AM
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I think if I was going to rout an 1/8" slot freehand along the edge of a board like a tongue and groove, or a spline down the center of the edge, I would put a guide on both sides of the edge so as to center the bit and give it no reason to veer off to one side or the other.
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If you are doing it down the jonts like the picture seems to show, then you have the right idea to use 2 guides.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2020, 06:05 AM
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Good approach...make sure there is no bowing in your guides...they need to be perfectly straight so as to minimize jamming or loose fit of the router base.

Wax the edge and face of the base so it's as smooth as can be.

Be careful of too much pressure against the guide...you may bow the guide towards the middle...let the bit do the work.

Test drive along several spots along the plank lines to make sure the bit is centered along the joint...it will otherwise exaggerate the error after the cut. You could use a V-bit to test the edge guide straightness.

Mark the base so you're always using the same face while you're cutting.

A V-bit would give the joint a nice look...just a thought...

Nice table...

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2020, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all. I guess my description was slightly off. I will be moving the router base between the two rails (except the first groove). I will make sure I moves easily between them. Wax is a great idea. I will also sand and wax the rail guides. I like the idea a cutting the edges of the channel with slight v-bit cut first to minimize any tear out. I am planning to fill the the channels with turquoise sand and thin CA glue.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-07-2020, 05:00 PM
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Every one of those responses were spot on! Hardwood guides would be ideal too - I try to use scrap hardwood for router tables guides to hold accuracy. A running blank router test run will add some confidence to your cutting. Keep the cord free from snags and check extension cord travel too. You’ll do great!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-08-2020, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone. All great comments and they cut down on the possibility of having Murphy's law cause a mistake. I also will test out on a scrap piece to learn what technique I need to use. Either good or bad I will post a result. Waiting for CA glue and router bits to arrive at my doorstep, so posting may take a while. Thank again.
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