Groove in 2x4 - Table or Not to Table - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default Groove in 2x4 - Table or Not to Table

For now I've only used my very basic setup (old sears router and table) to route and plane edges of wood. Nothing overly complex or difficult.

I'm in the process of reinforcing a general purpose cart I got on the cheap from Harbor F. with a couple of 2x4's which will serve as extra bracing as well as a spot to mount various tool hooks, etc. The issue is that the cart has 4 bolts (2 per side) that hold up a drawer under the top shelf of the cart. Therefore I need to notch some grooves into across the 2" edge and about 3" from both ends of the 2x4 so that they can lay flat on the shelf while I attach them with some carriage bolts to the metal frame on the ends of the cart.

In the past, before I had my router and table, I would simply have used a coping saw and chisel. Obviously that isn't always as neat and clean. I've tried planning out the best way for the cut on the table. Setting the fence at a 1/8" depth and hand feeding perpendicular to the fence seemed like it might work, but didn't feel the safest.

Any suggestions on the best way to approach making this cut? Is this something that would be better served taking the router off the table? Unfortunately I don't have bench space. I can however slap something together to hold those down if needed.

Thanks!
-Kirk
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TheCaptain View Post
For now I've only used my very basic setup (old sears router and table) to route and plane edges of wood. Nothing overly complex or difficult.

I'm in the process of reinforcing a general purpose cart I got on the cheap from Harbor F. with a couple of 2x4's which will serve as extra bracing as well as a spot to mount various tool hooks, etc. The issue is that the cart has 4 bolts (2 per side) that hold up a drawer under the top shelf of the cart. Therefore I need to notch some grooves into across the 2" edge and about 3" from both ends of the 2x4 so that they can lay flat on the shelf while I attach them with some carriage bolts to the metal frame on the ends of the cart.

In the past, before I had my router and table, I would simply have used a coping saw and chisel. Obviously that isn't always as neat and clean. I've tried planning out the best way for the cut on the table. Setting the fence at a 1/8" depth and hand feeding perpendicular to the fence seemed like it might work, but didn't feel the safest.

Any suggestions on the best way to approach making this cut? Is this something that would be better served taking the router off the table? Unfortunately I don't have bench space. I can however slap something together to hold those down if needed.

Thanks!
-Kirk
Hi Kirk - I'd be inclined to do it hand held. You didn't say how long the 2x4 was but trying to balance a very long stick and still concentrate on the cut isn't the most comfortable method. Clamp the two 2x4's together so the ends are even and set up guides to run the base plate against. You can cut both at the same time that way and both will be the same distance from the end. Only being 3" from the end you may need to get creative with the guide on that end, rigging something off the workpiece to supply router support and the guide. Alternatively, if you have template bushings, your guide strips would not be off the workpiece.

John Schaben

The problem with experience is I usually get it immediately after I need it.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information John. The 2x4s are about 28" in length which is more than enough to overhang my small table. That was the reason I felt it necessary to visit the forums and get some more experienced ideas.

Knowing I have only so many clamps and areas to fasten down the 2x4s could I also invert your method? That being, setup my table w/o fences (just the flat table and the router bit up through the middle. Clamping the 2x4s together I could hold them as I would the router and simply move them across the table. Obviously I'd still need to build a guide of sorts to not rely entirely on my hands keeping things steady.

Safety is my only concern with that method, but it seems like that setup might lend a 3rd hand to the mix (aka the table).

Any thoughts?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 10:52 AM
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Do you have a miter gauge for your router table? With the 2X4 clamped to a miter gauge you could rout this slot safely.

Charley
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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I'll have to look around. I think I may have gotten one when I bought the router/table combo used last summer. If not, I should certainly buy one since there is a guide for it in the table.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-19-2011, 09:17 PM
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Do them on the table with the fence attached. Clamp them together, with short sacraficial pieces on each side, and use the fence to set the edge of the groove closest to the end, then back the fence away from the bit if you need a groove wider than the bit. The sacraficial pieces will give you clean edges and help counterbalalnce the overhung end. You can support the overhung end with one hand and use the other to push them over the bit. Take off 1/4 max in one pass. You could probably eyeball the boards to get a square cut (i.e. keep them perpendicular to the fence) but it might be easier with a miter gage.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2011, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I know it wasn't rocket science but given the overhand I wasn't quite sure how to approach it.

With a makeshift guide from other wood scrap, some clamps, and some steady hands I got the grooves cut.

Thanks again!
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