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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Default routing drawer grooves

Hi all,
A question for the experts - I'm building my first project that includes drawers. I have the drawers assembled, and am at the point where I need to rout the grooves on the drawer sides for the runners. I guess my question is two fold. The plans call for 3/4 runners, and to cut stop grooves with a 3/4 inch straight bit. does that sound right? I'd think the groove would need to be a 1/16 or so wider than the runner?

The second half of the question is with orientation. To keep the grooves oriented correctly, would I rout right to left on the table for the left groove of the drawer, and then left to right for the right side of the drawer to keep the tops aligned? I'm a little dubious of going left to right - can you do that, or does everything need to start from the right?
thanks,
pbg
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 11:37 AM
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The dado for the drawer runner normally would have some extra space - both for wood expansion, and for reduction of unnecessary friction.

As a general rule, stock movement on the RT should always be from right to left (i.e., against the rotation of the bit). Start and stop blocks can be used to establish starting and ending points of "hidden" cuts. Usually, those cuts would be made prior to drawer assembly.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 11:57 AM
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Hi Peter

It's best to use the plunge router for that type of job, just clamp the drawer to the work bench,,,and put in the start / stop slot in place..just use the standard router bit for the job ,just cut the rail part and little smaller so it sides nice and free, it's always a bit tricky to make the slot a bit wider..and real tricky to do it on the router table..

I'm sure you have a edge guide for your router now's the time to use it..and do it the safe way...with the plunge router..

=======

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Originally Posted by pbg View Post
Hi all,
A question for the experts - I'm building my first project that includes drawers. I have the drawers assembled, and am at the point where I need to rout the grooves on the drawer sides for the runners. I guess my question is two fold. The plans call for 3/4 runners, and to cut stop grooves with a 3/4 inch straight bit. does that sound right? I'd think the groove would need to be a 1/16 or so wider than the runner?

The second half of the question is with orientation. To keep the grooves oriented correctly, would I rout right to left on the table for the left groove of the drawer, and then left to right for the right side of the drawer to keep the tops aligned? I'm a little dubious of going left to right - can you do that, or does everything need to start from the right?
thanks,
pbg



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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 12:48 PM
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Hi Peter,
Do your drawers have an applied front? If so you can route your drawer runners normally on the router table. The applied front will provide the stopped groove. If the drawer front is the front wall of the drawer box then you can just use a starting block & drop the drawer down on the bit for a plunge cut & push thru as normal. Finally there is always the plunge router as Bob suggested.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for everyone's input. I really appreciate it - I've learned to size the runner to dado, not the other way around - I have already built the drawer frames with the 3/4" runners, so I ordered a 13/16 bit - (I love having an excuse to order stuff)

The plunge router / edge guide is a possibility. I looked at the plunger and edge guide today, and it seems like when attached to the guide the handles on the plunger are oriented at 12 and 6. Seems a bit weird. I would have thought they'd be 3 and 9. (The rookie I am, I've never used the plunge.)

jlord - the fronts are not applied, they are the front wall. Are you saying I can put a stop block on the table to the right, and then just sort of angle it down on the bit, then route as normal?

thanks again -
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbg View Post
Thank you for everyone's input. I really appreciate it - I've learned to size the runner to dado, not the other way around - I have already built the drawer frames with the 3/4" runners, so I ordered a 13/16 bit - (I love having an excuse to order stuff)

The plunge router / edge guide is a possibility. I looked at the plunger and edge guide today, and it seems like when attached to the guide the handles on the plunger are oriented at 12 and 6. Seems a bit weird. I would have thought they'd be 3 and 9. (The rookie I am, I've never used the plunge.)

jlord - the fronts are not applied, they are the front wall. Are you saying I can put a stop block on the table to the right, and then just sort of angle it down on the bit, then route as normal?

thanks again -
Yes you can do it that way. I've done this before. The stop block makes sure you start in the same spot. Usually I route these before assembly but it can be done after.

If the dado is in the center of your sides then you can just route normally using stop block on left to stop same distance from drawer front. You can route from rear of each drawer side stopping at stop block stopping short of front. If it isn't in center you can adjust fence for the other side to route from rear. Square up with chisel if needed to match runner or round off runner to match dado from routing.

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!

Last edited by jlord; 02-21-2011 at 08:11 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 09:20 PM
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If you are using plywood instead of solid wood, then the actual thickness is somewhere around 23/32. If you are using a true 3/4" bit, then this will leave a small gap (I call it the "slop factor"). Maybe not as large of a gap as you would like, but a gap will still exist.
Just my humble opinion.

Thanks,
James
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-27-2011, 02:24 PM
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I'm a newbie here and at using a router table myself, and just wanted to verify something I've read on another post. If you're cutting a groove, and you're cutting with both sides of the bit, it doesn't matter which way you cut, left to right, or right to left. Right? Thanks!
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