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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to cut a very thin kerf about 3/64" in various shaped woods. They are oval, round and rectangular. The wood is 5/8" to 3/4" thick. The kerf has to be in the center of the edge. In other words as the piece lays flat I need to cut the kerf (groove) in this edge all the way around. I don't know a thing about routers but I am handy and will buy what is needed. The kerf is used by basket weavers to insert the reed to start making a basket. Thanks for any advice. Vince
 

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Welcome Vince!

The operation you discribed seems simple enough (at first) and my thought was the use of a router table and a slot cutter. The only thing that seems to be missing is a slot cutter of that size..... I had a couple of router bit catalogs laying here and they all seem to start with the 1/16" size and work up.

The other issue might be how deep the slots need to be cut. This seems to be limited to about 3/16".

Anyone know of another router method or places that sell the right size cutters????

Ed
 

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Hi Vince,

Ed is right. To make what you want will require a router table and a slot cutting bit. The problem is that you won't find a router bit "off the shelf" that will be small enough for what you want. I've never seen a slot cutter less than 1/16" in size. It could be dangerous to use such a thin slot cutter, You might want to consider having a carbide bit custom made for you. Many router bit companies will make a bit to your specification. Do a Google web search on Custom Made Router Bits and you'll have many choices of places to call. I've had 1 bit custom made and found that it was very reasonably priced to have done.

Another option may be a band saw if you have one. A band saw blades kerf is less than 1/16" wide and you will probably have to made a couple of passes for the required width. Make sure to use a tall board along your fence to support your peice.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bill,
Thanks for the reply. I tried band saw but some of the pieces are to big to fit under the saw unless a very expensive commercial band saw is used. I could probably get away with a 1/16 bit. I saw advertised a 4 wing slot cutter. Is that what I would need? I am totally new with this router stuff. Thanks, Vince
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ed,
Thanks for the advice. The depth needs to be about a 1/4 but 3/16 is close enough. Just enough for the reed to be pushed in. I saw a 1/16 4 wing slot cutter on the web. Think this would do? Also, can you recommend a reasonable router as I as yet have not purchased one. I will not hold you to it. Thanks, Vince
 

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Hi Vince, Welcome aboard. I think Ed and Bill are right. What you need is a slot cutting bit with a bearing on it, and a router. You could cut the slot without a router table, using the bearing as a guide. If you change the bearing to a larger diameter you will change the depth of the kerf. I would investigate getting a custom slot cutter with additional bearing of various diameters. Then get a router and go to it.
Woodnut65
 

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VDenchy said:
Ed,
Thanks for the advice. The depth needs to be about a 1/4 but 3/16 is close enough. Just enough for the reed to be pushed in. I saw a 1/16 4 wing slot cutter on the web. Think this would do? Also, can you recommend a reasonable router as I as yet have not purchased one. I will not hold you to it. Thanks, Vince
Vince,

Either a 3 or 4 wing cutter would work. Sometimes you need to buy an arbor for them to fit on or sometimes they come with one. As was mentioned the depth is limited so check the catalog for the one that suits your needs. The bearing can be changed to make the cut shallower (is that a word?) ie larger bearing.

As far as routers go I have just started using the new Hitachi and did a post about it back in March. I added a second one this summer so from my point of view I would and did go that way but there are a lot of good routers out there. I was in Lowes the other day and saw the fixed base version for less then $130.

Check:
www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=1045&highlight=hitachi

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ed,
Thanks again. As far as I am concerned I knew what you meant by "shallower" so it is a word for me. Will check out the routers. Lots to learn regarding cutters, bearings, etc. If I can find something with a 1/4 depth it would be great. You mentioned catalogs. Where can I see them? Vince
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ed,

I have found www.routerworld.com and they have Freud slot cutters, 1/16" that cut 9/16" deep in either 1/4 or 1/2 shank, carbide tipped @$16.37. Freud part # 63-100. Also mentioned are bearings, arbors. As I said I am brand new at this so for me to cut these slots in various patterns of wood what would I need? Hope I am not being a pain. Vince
 

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VDenchy said:
Ed,

I have found www.routerworld.com and they have Freud slot cutters, 1/16" that cut 9/16" deep in either 1/4 or 1/2 shank, carbide tipped @$16.37. Freud part # 63-100. Also mentioned are bearings, arbors. As I said I am brand new at this so for me to cut these slots in various patterns of wood what would I need? Hope I am not being a pain. Vince
Vince from the description it sounds like you get the cutter and the arbor and a bearing. Now you have to decide if you want the 1/4" shank or 1/2" shank... this is dependent on the router you get. Some routers come with only a 1/4" collet/chuck while others have both the 1/4" and the 1/2". Some people feel the 1/2" is better but for this bit I don't think it would matter. Now if the 9/16" cut is too deep you could replace the bearing to get closer to the dimension you want.

You will notice that the bit has a diameter listed of 2". As was mentioned you could do this with a hand held router but it might be safer to think about a table where it would be easier to put a guard in place to keep your fingers and other body parts out of harms way. If you click on the oak-park banner that will take you to the place that sells the Router Workshop type tables (some stuff is also on Amazon.com).

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ed,

Got a Porter-Cable 9690LR at Home Depot cause I had a $50 gift certificate. Will heed your advice on a table and other items. Whatever comes about will be satisfactory as I do not intend to go "overboard". Thanks for your help. Will let you know what transpires in the future. Vince
 
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