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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Default keyhole slots

I have a piece of hardwood (wenge) in which I need to cut 2 keyhole slots. The strip is 1" thick, 2" wide and 15" long. I'm using my router table and a slot cutting bit. I'm ok cutting the first slot on the back of the right side but not sure how to cut the slot on the left side. If I just move my Incra fence to the right, it leaves very little board left of the bit to control it. If I turn the board around, of course then the top of the slot is facing the bit and not the bottom. Can I safely just leave the original set up and cut the second slot from the other side of the bit and pull it toward me. It'll only be 3/8" deep or less and only about 3/4" long?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 08:21 AM
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I have a piece of hardwood (wenge) in which I need to cut 2 keyhole slots. The strip is 1" thick, 2" wide and 15" long. I'm using my router table and a slot cutting bit. I'm ok cutting the first slot on the back of the right side but not sure how to cut the slot on the left side. If I just move my Incra fence to the right, it leaves very little board left of the bit to control it. If I turn the board around, of course then the top of the slot is facing the bit and not the bottom. Can I safely just leave the original set up and cut the second slot from the other side of the bit and pull it toward me. It'll only be 3/8" deep or less and only about 3/4" long?
couldn't you use a plung router and do that? But let the motor come to a stop before you take router off plung or the bit will come up and make another hole. You could mark on the wood where to stop and start. The bit is small so it wouldn't be a big job to do that. I have the bit and have done that. In a table a little figering out as you found out.

del schisler
port st. lucie, florida
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lea137 View Post
I have a piece of hardwood (wenge) in which I need to cut 2 keyhole slots. The strip is 1" thick, 2" wide and 15" long. I'm using my router table and a slot cutting bit. I'm ok cutting the first slot on the back of the right side but not sure how to cut the slot on the left side. If I just move my Incra fence to the right, it leaves very little board left of the bit to control it. If I turn the board around, of course then the top of the slot is facing the bit and not the bottom. Can I safely just leave the original set up and cut the second slot from the other side of the bit and pull it toward me. It'll only be 3/8" deep or less and only about 3/4" long?
This is a quick easy procedure using a keyhole bit in a plunge router. Plunge the router, slide it about 1/2", keep it plunged whilst returning to the start point before withdrawing the bit.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 01:45 PM
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I always turn off the router and remove it from the slot when the bit is stationary.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 01:46 PM
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How did you keep it going in a straight line Harry ? Freehand ?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 03:07 PM
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Here's a jig just for that type of job..and some others on the same jig.
I always keep the bit turning and than back it up,the bit will pack the chips in the slot/pocket and it can make it hard to get out the same small hole. if not.

http://www.routerforums.com/jigs-fix...-template.html

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 07:57 AM
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How did you keep it going in a straight line Harry ? Freehand ?
Gave, I draw a pencil line the correct length and concentrate on pushing the router along that line. I rout keyholes freehand for all my one off projects but for the odd project which I make multiple copies* of, I use a template as shown for the twelve sided project of which I've made many versions*, clocks mainly but also weather instruments, even candlesticks or probably candle holders. In the shot of the tile frame, notice the board at the rear of the frame, the same thickness as the frame, to give the router full support. For such a template, a router with two flat sides would of course guarantee perfect keyholes every time.
Like Bj, I keep the router running until back at the starting point to clear out the debris.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 08:41 AM
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Just clamp a board on each side of your router so it can only go between the boards. I find the router will try and twist out of your hands if you don't have the guide boards. You can also make a stop and start board, but I haven't found that necessary.

To be honest, make sure you put the keyhole slot up the right way. My first one I did I put the larger hole at the top instead of the bottom. It was a good lesson because I always double or triple check now that I am doing it the right way up!

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2011, 01:07 PM
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I mostly use keyholes for picture frames so I put them in horizontally and openings at both ends. That way I don't have to worry about weight distribution, being dead center and they fit in narrower frame stock. I can relate to Julie putting them in upside down though
Since picture frames are narrower and guideing off the base isn't usually a good option, I purchased a template guide from eagleamerica. Otherwise, I usually DSCT a couple of pieces of MDF 5/8" apart along the path of the slot and use a 5/" bushing and the keyhole bit. Probably unneccessary but I also usually put a 1/4" slot in first and then follow with the keyhole bit. I also try to make sure there is at least an 1/8" off stock left to support the thing.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas. By the way, any thoughts on which way is best to run the slots, horizontal or vertical? The strip is 15" long and 2 1/2" wide.
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