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I've done it both ways for years - and many projects. I guess it just depends on the project at hand and what you're comfortable with. All in all, I use the template on top with a top bearing bit and often times, the project is on a sheet of 1" thick sacrificial styrofoam where the bit goes into the foam. All kinds of ways to get the skin off that ornery old cat !!
 

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I apologize. I just realized Desert Rat answered this question on an earlier post. Template on bottom, bearing on bottom.
Top/bottom is always relative to the position on a hand held router where the bit is pointed down. So a bottom bearing is near the tip of the bit, a top bearing is closest to the router. Here's a picture to make it clear. This bit is for illustration only.
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Good evening,
I have just completed cutting and perfecting my first 8 ft of caprail template using 1/4 inch MDF. I have also cut a 1 X 6 X 8 board of yellow pine just proud of the template to practice my routing. I also just purchased a Bosch router table for my DeWalt DW 618 router. Tomorrow I will go ahead and use the flush cutting bit as indicated by Desert Rat to cut the wood to the template. My next challenge is to see if I can cut the rabbet on the underside of the practice caprail as seen on the previous post I sent. The rabbet is 1/4 inch deep and 1 1/2 inches wide. The caprail is 1 3/4 inches wide overall. The largest diameter rabbeting bits are not sufficiently wide. What other bit can I use?
Thanks.
 

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For a smooth bottom in a groove, consider using a half inch shank, 3/4 inch mortising bit. They are terrific. See if you can use the outside edges of the template as a guide for the mortising bit. Clamp it all in place, and you might even want to cut the groove before you cut the rail material to shape. That way the router will be supported on both sides of the groove. I would NOT do this freehand. I wonder if you could just put a fresh coat of paint on the old rail, press it against the material so you have an exact shape to work with? Wipe the paint off after you make the impression.

Cut the outside shape with a saber saw or band saw about 1/8 th inch away from the cut line and just use the trim router and template to take off the rest and produce a smooth edge. My thoughts on the matter, anyhow. When putting in drywall, I put a little lipstick on the electrical boxes, push the drywall against the wall, so I can make an exact cut. Same idea with the paint. You can easily sand off the paint
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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Hi,
For clarification, here are pictures of the template and practice pine. The pine has been flush cut to the template. I still have to round over the edges but my main concern is the rabbet I have to create under the cap rail as delineated by the marker.
Wood Bumper Gas Automotive exterior Flooring
Wood Font Gas Audio equipment Flooring
Wood Font Gas Audio equipment Flooring
Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Fender Hardwood
Wood Bumper Gas Automotive exterior Flooring
Wood Font Gas Audio equipment Flooring
Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Fender Hardwood
 

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I wonder if hand-held with an edge guide would work. You'd have to be careful near the ends. To do it on the router table with a fence it would probably be helpful to extend the table (temporarily) because the work would be harder to keep level as you work your way in to the final pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Here is the finalized practice prototype in pine. I first used a 3/8 roundover bit on the edges. Then I used a 3/4 inch wide mortising bit to cut the rabbit on the underside of the rail. I did it using the router table and due to the width, took 3 passes. Thanks to everyone for their input! Now, I have to transition towards the real thing but I have to order the Iroko first.
Wood Table Natural material Hardwood Wood stain
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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Thank you all for all your input and support. You were key players in helping me achieve and finalize this project! Here are some pictures of how it turned out on the port side of the boat. The wood is wet after rinsing off the deck. Since then it has been treated with a danish wood sealer. I am almost finished on the starboard side.
Water Boat Vehicle Watercraft Naval architecture
Water Boat Vehicle Watercraft Naval architecture
Wood Hood Grey Wood stain Rectangle
Water Boat Vehicle Watercraft Naval architecture
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Great result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Thank you for the accolades! When I made the templates for the port side, I had the hope that I could just flip them over and use them for the starboard side. Well, there were enough differences between the sides to necessitate new templates. The boat is not perfectly symmetrical!.
 

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there were enough differences between the sides to necessitate new templates. The boat is not perfectly symmetrical!.
dude !! you have a BOAT !!! there is NOTHING square or symmetrical about any of them !
I'm pretty sure that the Marine Designers actually build this phenonium into the blueprints. (Lofting).
and again, you did an excellent job with what you had to work with.
 
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