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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-05-2004, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default mortise and tenon

I have limited router attachments and have decided to build a headboard and footboard using 1" by 7" fir. I want to mortise the boards into the corner posts 1" using a 1/2" straight bit. If this is possible, how do I start the mortise as the bit has a flat end ?? Would I have to drill a 1/2" hole to start the route and try to line up the bit with the hole ?? Also, how deep should I route on each pass to get 1" deep ??

Thanks, grb101
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-05-2004, 03:46 PM
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Do you have a plunge router? If so then you need to get a plunging bit to do the operation.

I would not try to lower a bit into a hole that small, I don't think it would be very safe to do. You might want to think about a template and the use of a smaller dia. bit....

To answer the basic question, with right bit and the right set-up you can do what you are wanting to do. Depending on a lot of factors you are talking about 4 passes to get the depth.

Have you found hardware for attaching the side rails yet? If not you might want to do that before you get too far on the head and foot parts. Some of these parts require slots or other cuts in the post that might change how you cut the mortising for the other boards.

Ed
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-06-2004, 04:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grb101
I have limited router attachments and have decided to build a headboard and footboard using 1" by 7" fir. I want to mortise the boards into the corner posts 1" using a 1/2" straight bit. If this is possible, how do I start the mortise as the bit has a flat end ?? Would I have to drill a 1/2" hole to start the route and try to line up the bit with the hole ?? Also, how deep should I route on each pass to get 1" deep ??

Thanks, grb101
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Are you working on a router table or plunge routing
Tom
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 10:13 AM
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GRB, I know there are many solutions to the problem you posed. Im sure Tom would design a template. I know Bob and Rick make nice centering jigs using a pin on each side to center Mortises on the work. Starting out with limited accesories I would build a fence for the router. Its not difficult to do. Get a piece of 1/4" Masonite, plexiglass or acrylic that is at least as wide as your router base and say 18" long. Remove your base plate and mark your hole pattern onto the "fence base" material. Drill and countersink the mounting holes, make the center cut out large enough for any bits you will need to use. Attach your router using screws an 1/8th inch longer than the factory ones. Mount a V groove bit in the router. Mark your centerlines on the wood and place the V bit on the line. Next attach a short piece of wood to your fence base with a couple screws to ride along the edge of the wood. Now you have a custom edge guide for your project. When working with a different thickness just relocate your guide block and screws. As a bonus you can simply remove the guide block and flip your fence upside down with a V bit installed and measure from the center down the fence 1/2 the diameter of any circle you want to cut. Remember to add half the bit diameter to this measurement. Drill a small hole for a centering nail or screw and you have a circle cutting jig. This is a fast, easy and useful project. The fact that you can make several of these for about $10 is the icing on the cake.

Mike

Last edited by Mike; 12-07-2004 at 10:18 AM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Ed. I do not have a plunge router. I made a router table and wanted to use this for mortising as I have a fence to guide and steady the material. The peices are 3" by 3" by 4ft. long and will require steadying. I don't quite understand your suggestion about using a smaller bit. Is this a drill bit or router bit you are referring to ????
Gary
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Mike, thank you for the tip on the jig. I wish I could see what you are talking about as I think I have a different picture of your jig. If I have a centering jig, how do I start the hole for the mortise and how do I get a 1/2" flat ended router bit into the wood to do the mortise ?? My material is 3" by 3" by 4ft. long so it needs steadying. I made a router table with a fence which I can use to guide and steady the material.
Thanks, Gary
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grb101
Thank you Ed. I do not have a plunge router. I made a router table and wanted to use this for mortising as I have a fence to guide and steady the material. The peices are 3" by 3" by 4ft. long and will require steadying. I don't quite understand your suggestion about using a smaller bit. Is this a drill bit or router bit you are referring to ????
Gary
As soon as I saw Tom's question about a router table I knew I should have included that in my post..... The task is quite simple with a router table. If don't already have a plunge bit I would still get one, as for the cutting operations it is now a matter of locating the fence to get the cuts where you want them, mark the edges of the bit on the fence, dropping the wood onto the bit and routing to the second mark. Do all the pieces that have that set-up then raise the bit and make a second cut etc. If you would like more details I or someone else can fill you in.

For reference if you want to use a hole to start a bit, and I do this, you must always have the hole larger then the bit that you want to start. If the hole can be hidden as in your case I might drill a 5/8" hole and use a 3/8" bit to do the operation. You of course must have a template/jig that allows you to cut the width you want with the smaller bit.

(This is now a little off subject but: I know some people tilt a router in to the wood to make plunge cuts with non-plunge routers. That never seemed safe to me as you don't always have a positive stop to work against. Hence the need for well designed jigs and templates.)

Ed
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-07-2004, 11:52 PM
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Gary, first step is to get a plunge cutting bit. You can find a 3/8" carbide plunge bit for about $10. Before attempting your first mortise and tenon on your bed frame, make a practice set out of some scrap pine. A piece of 2x4" and a piece of 1x3" will work great. Make your tenon first. Cutting a shoulder on all 4 sides will help to hide imperfections in your cut when the parts are assembled. Position your tenon against the 2x4" and trace the outline. Now you see what has to be removed. Pictures explain this process so much better than words, so tomorrow I will make this practice joint and take photos of each step. I will also include a pic of the fence/circle cutting jig I mentioned earlier, and an explanation of how to make the mortise using it. You mentioned your piece's are 3x3". For stability clamp other material the same height next to them to get a wider base for your router to ride on.

Mike
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-08-2004, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone who contributed suggestions and ideas for me. I really appreciate the input and will certainly use them when I perform my mortising.
Gary
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2004, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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To REIBLE; Ed, You mentioned getting the hardware for attaching the rails. I have been trying but to no avail. Most manufacturers are into metal frames. The attachments I am looking for are double hook type that get inserted into a slot in the rail and hook over 2 metal dowels or pins which are through a slot in the headboard and footboard posts. Do you have any idea who would handle this product ??
Thanks, Gary
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