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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
am making a 20 x 40" frame. wanting to put a 1/4" stopped groove in top and bottom rail so as not to see it coming out the other end. wood is 11/2" thick and 20"long. would the best way to rout this groove to build up the thickness of the wood and plunge rout the groove or maybe dropping the wood down on the bit in a router table. have a plunge base for my router but have never usd it. groove will be 1/4" deep. ken
 

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Ken, Welcome to the Router Forums! Not knowing exactly what your future frame's needs are, please let me ask...will mitered corners work? Two oversized pieces grooved and two oversized pieces not grooved. Cut the miters and the grooves should be appropriate if I am making the right mental image.

I keep reptiles and this is how many situations with sliding glass sometimes work.

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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Use your plunge for the job. Dropping a board onto a spinning bit can go badly. The plunge is far safer. I would take a spare piece of panel board and put one of your pieces down and attach one more on either side of it to hold it in place and keep your router stable. On top of one of the side pieces you can attach another board of any thickness for a guide for the router. Clamp one end at least of your workpiece in the framework to keep it from sliding back and forth. You can also add stops to the frame to control the length of your grooves. Work from left to right along the guide strip as you are facing it. It will take just a few minutes to build this jig but the routing will take less than a minute for each board you do afterward.
 

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Charles:
Ken didn't say he had a router table, but he did mention "dropping the wood down on the bit in a router table..." By him saying it like that, I would agree that he doesn't have the experience level to do something like that. He said he had a plunge router... He doesn't have his profile filled out, so we cannot guess beyond that.

The title is a little misleading, as instead of creating an actual "stopped groove" or "blind dado," he just needs the groove to not continue to the outside edges of the assembled frame. Otis caught that...

Ken:
Along with Otis, it would be good to know the tools you have, your experience level and what you are building as the finished product. From the way you describe it, you say you wanted to create a frame with a groove in just the top piece and bottom pieces.

The confusion is in your familiarity of nomenclature, so how about if I try to tranlsate and tell me if I'm right or wrong, to get a "common understanding." That is what communication is, an understanding between both sides of the conversation. Right?

Here goes-- You want to build a frame for something... (What purpose would fill in some blanks?) It will have 4 sides. It will have 2 grooves, one in the top and one in the bottom... (Are the grooves on the back of these pieces or on the insides of these pieces?) These grooves will be 1/4" deep... (how wide and what will go into the groove, their purpose?)

Biggest mystery to me in your post... Is what do you mean by "to build up the thickness of the wood?"

The reason it is not a stopped groove in reality, like Otis picked up on... is with a mitered frame any inside groove can be machined in it's entirety without it extending to the outside. If it is a rail and stile construction, grooves tooled full length into the rails would not extend to the outsides (would stop where it meets the stiles.) A stopped groove is where you start a groove away for the edge of a workpiece and end the groove before the other edge, where the groove is topped before the material ends. In how you described, the tooling can go over and edge, just not when it is assembled into the finished piece.

Sometimes, a sketch or picture can be a visual aid to bring across an idea and give clarity.
 

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Ken, I think this is what you are trying to accomplish. You want to cut a grove in a board that doesn't exit the ends so that it doesn't show. I guess that is like when you make a box or drawer you want to cut a grove for the bottom but don't want a grove showing at the corners.

The way I do that is I put the router in a table (actually I keep this router always mounted in the table with the fence set at the correct location). On the fence I have made pencil marks where the two sides are the bit are located. I start the router and lower the board onto the spinning bit. I look at the markings on the fence to know where the bit is located so I know where to start and stop. I have made hundreds of boxes with this method without a problem. Another approach is to drill a hole in the work piece where you want the bit to start and stop. With the router turned off, lower the work piece over the bit to make sure the bit will enter the hole with the board against the fence. Raise the board and start the router. When you lower the work piece onto the bit you will be starting exactly where you wanted it and when you get to the other end of the work piece you will feel less resistance on pushing the board so you know you are at the stopping point. Note I alway keep my fingers away from the bit. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Malcolm, I know that a lot of guys routinely drop boards on spinning bits and get away with it. That doesn't make it a good idea, especially for a novice. Anytime you drop a board onto a spinning bit there is a risk that the router bit can grab and toss it and it is a risk that doesn't need to be taken. Plunging is safer and just requires a little jig work.
 

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Just a manner of knowing the mechanics and being comfortable with it.
If the bit grabs the wood it won't matter if you know the mechanics or not. I worked as a logger in British Columbia for 25 years, much of it knocking trees down with a chainsaw. Every time I, or anyone else I knew in the business, got hurt it was doing something we knew we shouldn't have been doing. You can do something in an unsafe or less than safe manner possibly thousands of times without an incident. It is the one time it goes bad that is a problem. Dropping a board onto a spinning bit is never a good idea and there is a way to do it more safely.
 

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If the bit grabs the wood it won't matter if you know the mechanics or not. I worked as a logger in British Columbia for 25 years, much of it knocking trees down with a chainsaw. Every time I, or anyone else I knew in the business, got hurt it was doing something we knew we shouldn't have been doing. You can do something in an unsafe or less than safe manner possibly thousands of times without an incident. It is the one time it goes bad that is a problem. Dropping a board onto a spinning bit is never a good idea and there is a way to do it more safely.
Something we'll just have to disagree on.
 

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a) I don't DROP the timber onto a cutter, I lower it onto the cutter under control.

b) with the timber up against the fence and using start/stop blocks I see no problem.

This method is used by many experienced wood workers all of whom, I presume, take their safety seriously.
 

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Hi

Here's a little tip if you have a router with a winder lift on it you can use a simple hose clamp on the column tube that will act a stop for the winder ,just set the wood in place and lift the router up to make the pass if you need to make more than one pass just push it up to the stop block and lift the router one more until the router hits the hose clamp.
You can also use the pole stop rod if you are using a plunge router in your table.
===
 

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The last thing I would ever want to do is recommend a way to do something to someone who hasn't tried it before and then a few days later see a post like one of the following. Have a good look at the pictures.
http://www.routerforums.com/shop-safety/11257-router-accident-trying-understand-what-happened.html
http://www.routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/25369-what-did-i-do-wrong.html
http://www.routerforums.com/shop-safety/34258-ate-end-my-finger-off-oops.html

These are all a result of jobs that the OP didn't expect to go wrong. Do you guys still want to recommend something which has an identifiable risk factor to someone who may not be very experienced? What you do on your own is your business but what you recommend to someone who might be a novice is something different in my opinion. I will say again that the safe way to do this job is with a plunge router.
 

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The last thing I would ever want to do is recommend a way to do something to someone who hasn't tried it before and then a few days later see a post like one of the following. Have a good look at the pictures.
http://www.routerforums.com/shop-safety/11257-router-accident-trying-understand-what-happened.html
http://www.routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/25369-what-did-i-do-wrong.html
http://www.routerforums.com/shop-safety/34258-ate-end-my-finger-off-oops.html

These are all a result of jobs that the OP didn't expect to go wrong. Do you guys still want to recommend something which has an identifiable risk factor to someone who may not be very experienced? What you do on your own is your business but what you recommend to someone who might be a novice is something different in my opinion. I will say again that the safe way to do this job is with a plunge router.
Chuck,I understand what you are saying, but everything has "an identifiable risk factor". If done with proper stops and fence, it is reasonably safe. Widen a grove on the incorrect side with a plunge router and things may go wrong as well. Especially if the board is not held down properly. There are opportunities to do crazy things with any tool, and any procedure.

Maybe we should just forget the power tool, and do it with hand tools! Oh, yeah... do crazy things with those you can get injured as well.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
thanks for all your input. will go the plunge route due to inexperience in lowering wood on to the router bit. have a plunge router about time i learn how to use it. thanks again. ken
 

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Chuck,I understand what you are saying, but everything has "an identifiable risk factor". If done with proper stops and fence, it is reasonably safe. Widen a grove on the incorrect side with a plunge router and things may go wrong as well. Especially if the board is not held down properly. There are opportunities to do crazy things with any tool, and any procedure.

Maybe we should just forget the power tool, and do it with hand tools! Oh, yeah... do crazy things with those you can get injured as well.
Indeed. Risk comes with every power tool in every operation. The operator has to know what they can handle and feel comfortable with it. That is assumed. If someone never does something, there's zero chance of learning the operation. Plunge cuts on a table is a fairly common task.

Do it or don't, it's not my concern. All I can do is recommend ways that it CAN be done. Hand or table to a novice is going to be a dicey operation either way. I'd rather keep the fast spinny part in the same spot.
 

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I will 2nd.that :)

==



Indeed. Risk comes with every power tool in every operation. The operator has to know what they can handle and feel comfortable with it. That is assumed. If someone never does something, there's zero chance of learning the operation. Plunge cuts on a table is a fairly common task.

Do it or don't, it's not my concern. All I can do is recommend ways that it CAN be done. Hand or table to a novice is going to be a dicey operation either way. I'd rather keep the fast spinny part in the same spot.
 

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Indeed. Risk comes with every power tool in every operation. The operator has to know what they can handle and feel comfortable with it.

A novice doesn't have that experience to draw on.


Do it or don't, it's not my concern.
Then why are you here? I thought the reason most of us with experience are here is to pass on knowledge to beginners.
 

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Then why are you here? I thought the reason most of us with experience are here is to pass on knowledge to beginners.
I really don't understand what your problem is. My experiences differ from yours, and neither are wrong. It's a fairly standard operation, and as otherwise suggested, raising the bit to the work would be an alternative.
 

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I really don't understand what your problem is. My experiences differ from yours, and neither are wrong. It's a fairly standard operation, and as otherwise suggested, raising the bit to the work would be an alternative.
I agree with you that whether or not I do it is my concern and I'm pretty sure that I have done it your way before. But I also have about 40 years of experience using a router so I know what to expect and I understand the risks.

There is another post running right now where the Op states that he has some router experience but very little plunging experience and that when he starts a plunge the router is all over the place. Someone suggested that he might not be using a plunge bit. So what if on this post the OP tried what you suggested but didn't know that he needed to use a plunge bit, or even that some straight bits will plunge and others won't? That could be the difference between success and catastrophic failure with pictures of mangled fingers to follow.

If we are going to offer suggestions to people who aren't familiar with a router or the process they are inquiring about then we need to make them aware of the risks of doing it the way we suggest or offer a method where there are virtually no risks. I am personally very concerned if they should try it my way and wind up injuring themselves because I didn't give them enough information to keep themselves safe. I would hope that your comment about not being concerned was directed at me and not the OP. Otherwise I would say that is an irresponsible attitude. Because I don't know the skill level of the people who ask questions like the one in this thread, I will continue to suggest that "lowering" a board (that's for you James) onto a spinning bit is an unsafe practice regardless of how many people are doing it successfully.
 
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