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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm NEW to the router world but would like to know how i can create something like this.
Its a planter box that is assembled by using dovetail cuts. For lack of correct terminology the edges of the side slats have the male cut and the female cut on the vertical corner posts.
Other that finding the right size bit, do i need additional tools/jigs to create these connections. Thanks for any guidance.
 

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Hello Owen and welcome to the forums...

About your desire to learn... We have some light reading for you...
As in, we've put some helpful information together at this here link to help you get up and running in the world of routers... We hope it to be useful to you... Enjoy...
Do take some time and read the safety PDF's... PLEASE!!!
Blood and trips to the ER, we find, are very annoying... Not to mention – expensive...
 

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I'm NEW to the router world but would like to know how i can create something like this.
Its a planter box that is assembled by using dovetail cuts. For lack of correct terminology the edges of the side slats have the male cut and the female cut on the vertical corner posts.
Other that finding the right size bit, do i need additional tools/jigs to create these connections. Thanks for any guidance.
do you have a tablesaw and what router do you have w/ what accessories???
how about a router table???...
it'd be good to know what other tools you have...

did you already make those cuts???

the corner posts are cake and pie...
this Makita router shown is set up w/ opposing guides...
set your router up like this to cut the sliding DT slots...
how the slats are done depends on what other tools you have and your choice of materials......
''hogging'' out the waste materials before you cut the DT's will help w/ avoiding so much tearout...
using better bits is a major plus...
for router bits I'm partial to Freud and Whiteside bits...

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do have a table saw. I don't have a router table although i want to get one but not sure which one will give me the best bang for the buck.
My better half just purchased this elevated planter so those were pics of the wood out of the box. I'd like to make a few others for various plant,flowers etc.
Excited to learn more about this.
 

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cut the male DT's on a wide board and then rip it into your slats...
because of the thinner board for the slats increase the hiegth of the guides' faces...
suggest you use UHMW plastic (same stuff cutting boards are made from) for this...
do the same for the bottom's supports...
 

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Router table first. I suggest you make your own. Not difficult. A flat piece of very flat plywood (coose this carefully, be fussy about flatness). If you want to get fancy, glue it to a same size piece of MDF that is very flat as well. I like a double layer table and the MDF really reduces warping on cheap plywood. There are pictures at the bottom. This is long and detailed.

That Makita router is pretty light duty for a table. If you haven't bought a router yet, this gang pretty much likes the Bosch 1617 EVSPK it, which is a 2.25hp machine with both a fixed and plunge base. You can use it under your home made table. It has the power you need and you can attach the fixed base to the underside of your shop made table. You can also buy a small key that will help you make fine height adjustments from above the table.

If you want to upgrade from there, you can buy a router plate (see pix) that is pre drilled to mount the Bosch's fixed base. You have to get that top even with the table top or your workpieces will hang up and mess up your cuts.

You will also want a nice straight fence, preferably 6-8 inches tall. You can make this with two very straight pieces of plywood, one for the base that is long enough to clamp to the table. The second is the vertical piece. If you use your table saw to cut 4-6 square blocks out of a straight chunk of 2x6, you can shore up the fence and assure it is 90 degrees to the table.

You will eventually have to cut out an opening in the bottom and front of the fence to accommodate a bit, but not necessary at first. Getting angles just right is very important, so get yourself a nice quality draftsman's square so you can set blades and other stuff to the correct angle. Use it on your table saw too, to make sure the blade is 90 to the table on the saw as well.

The fence will allow you to do the long dovetail groove very quickly and precisely. Slide it along the fence and stop when the groove is slightly longer than you need. Mark the center of the bit location on the fence, then the stop point on the workpiece. When both lines align, stop the router and slide the piece off. Repeat on the other edge. This will go fast.

Dovetail joints are actually kind of tricky to make at the ends of the long pieces you're going to be making. The difficulty will be using the same bit to make a perfect fitting tail ACROSS the width of the workpiece.

If you have cut the opening in the fence base and vertical for the bit to fit through, you can expose less of the bit. If I were doing this, I'd take some time to calculate and lay out the spacing very carefully. The widest part of the tail must accurately match the width of the top of the dovetail bit you used to cut the groove. Find the center of the end of the board you're using (They must all match!). Mark the center, then make marks to match the width of the bit. This will give you a starting point.

If the bit is half an inch wide and your workpiece is 3/4 inch wide, then you must remove ABOUT 1/8th inch from each edge. The angle of the bit is fixed, so if you cut the tail's height to ALMOST the same as the depth of the groove, you will get a decent trial fit. TRIAL is the key word. Wood isn't perfect. 3/4 is often a little wider or narrower depending on factors over which you have little control without a tool called a planer. You can use Stick's suggestion to cut the slats from wider pieces using your table saw. If your blade is a perfect 90, then your pieces will be the same throughout. If you glue two pieces together for thickness, they can't be quite as tall as your saw blade will be or you'll have to cut them in two passes. Cut 3-4 extra peices, you'll see why below.

So you'll fit by trial and error. Fit your first cut piece to match the groove. If it fits just right first try, not tight, not loose, you've experienced your first woodworking miracle. If it's too tight, loosen the fence and very lightly tap it closer to you, remember you're moving it in sligt fractions, and you're cutting both sides so each adjustment is half. Do this and repeat until the tail fits nicely, but still leaves a little room for some glue (about the thickness of a sheet of copy paper. Once it's just right, cut all the pieces, test fitting each to make sure you've locked the router down and it hasn't slipped.

One trick that will help is to use a piece of MDF that's cut pretty square, and push it against the fence, then brace the slat piece against that to hold the piece upright and square to the table and fence. You will use your hand to hold both pieces in line and against the fence. Hold your hand at least a few inches from the bit, even though it is running on the other side of the piece. The backup piece will be cut a little as well, but it will also help prevent tearout and splintering as well. The backup piece is disposable, but you can cut the bottom edge off and use the rest again and again.

That tall fence is a wonderfully useful gadget for your shop and darned easy to make. Here are some images and drawings to help you get a grip on this process.

By the way, welcome to the Forum, you've given us a great first question. Sorry about the delay getting back with a response. Hope the detail is helpful, not daunting.

There are two pictures of a home made table and fence, one is simpler and will work just fine. Note the little squared off pieces behind the fence. These will hold the fence nice and vertical. When you assemble the fence, make sure to use the draftsman's triangle to make sure it is 90 to the table. The blue thing is a router plate. You can get these pre-drilled for the router you have, well, most at least. The Bosch 1617 is the most common. The little Kreg labeled picture is a plate leveler so you can align the top of the plate precisely to the top of the table. If it doesn't align, the pieces can catch and ruin your cut.

Both fences have openings in them for the bit to fit through, and both have hose attachments to suck out the sawdust. You can mount your top on practically anything that will let the router hang underneath. BTW, on the bottom edge of the fence, use some coarse sandpaper to remove about an 8th of an inch so sawdust has somewhere to go, otherwise it will accumulate and raise your workiece as you and ruin your piece. I added a picture of a workable sawdust collection and chip separator that isn't an arm and a leg, but will do for your router table.

I added a diagram of pins and tails just for clarity. I also added my pdf of the 18+ things that helped me speed up my learning curve. It is a bit long, but has pictures and might save you from a some of the expensive mistakes I made. Don't expect to do everything and buy every tool at once. In my peak earning years, it still took 10 years to accumulate all my tools and goodies.

Wear a good dust mask. Don't go in the shop without it and start thinking about sawdust collection right away
 

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Hi Owen and welcome. Routing the channels in the corner posts will go easier if you make a groove in them with your table saw almost to the needed depth.

You can make a router table from a variety of materials. A sink cut out from a laminate countertop works really well for a medium size top. Melamine coated particle board also works but doesn’t last as long. I encourage first time table makers not to get too fancy and make something to get by with at first. You’ll learn as you go what things you need a table to do and you can add features to the ver 2 model. Most of us I think have home made tables and lots are probably similar without being the same.
 

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that makes sense. any suggestions on a decent router table?
thanks Stick
there's a subforum here devoted to RT's.. (router Tables)...

make yur own table...
that small router you have is asking for a small RT...
as time goes on you'll find that several routers isn't enough...
many isn't either...
big ''Tool Time Tim'' tables are asking for (demanding) dedicated motors w/ lifts...
me...
I'm partial to Bosch and JessEm lifts...
both companies are seriously squared away...

So, if you were to buy an all around router...
1... what would you look for in a router...
2... What is your favorite router...
3... Why...

Picking out a tool(s)...
1st and most important item, look to the company...
evaluate their CS/TS, will they step up to the plate should there be any issues...
look to see if they have a planned obsolesce program in force...
there's no sense in buying something that can't be fixed in a few years or parts to be had...
what will the company and their product do for me...
figure out if they will respect you in the morning...

and yes.. we will help you spend YOUR money and not have any qualms about it...

Next the product...
is it quality???...
will it have a long productive life???...
will it do more than I need it to. Go the extra mile and not complain or break???....
is it a good value???...
will it protect/accent my bottom line???...
will it go/be obsolete or become disposable in short order...
after the purchase; will there be intangible costs connected to it???
tools that don't cut the mustard, suffer down time, hurt production and the bottom line need to left on the store's shelf...

Online reviews...
not too much...
read a few too many that my VOE said other wise...
I prefer to use and abuse different brands and evaluate them myself and I pay attention at large job sites as to who has what and what, if any, issues they are having......
the testers should eval a tool and then put it in production mode for a few years and then do another eval..

VOE says Bosch fills the bill and then some...
2nd to none CS/TS and support...
Their tools are real work horses...
and they last, (they give the Energizer Bunny a complex) for a long time...
most importantly, they protect the bottom line...

WHY I LIKE BOSCH...
2nd to none CS/TS support (American based) that's absolutely painless... They even been known to support some of their tools that have been discontinued...
Their tools are real work horses...
planned obsolesce isn't an issue w/ Bosch as it is w/ so many other manufactures and come w/ all around less grief...
their tools last, even for decades after hard heavy use..
they make tools that protect your bottom line which makes them a very good investment...
what's not to like???...
Besides being comfortable to use routers, they are feature rich, have excellent bullet proof soft start, finite depth adjustment, quality collets, and so much more...
I think and believe Bosch to be an excellent outstanding company w/ superb products come routers...

Keep in mind, that saving some money now just may cost you a lot more down the road... So, do yourself a huge favor and get Bosch...
Bosch consistently scores high in/on all categories of quality, CS/TS, reliability and support, and they are as close as a phone call and your mail box...

Note:
the refurbished/reconditioned Bosch models are no worries purchases...

.
 

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As has been suggested above, I would look at cutting the male and female parts on a router table - it doesn't have to be fancy, my first router table was a piece of 3/4" plywood with a cutout to clear the router base and a piece of 1/4" tempered masonite screwed to the top. Bolt through the masonite to the router and you're good to go. With the smaller router, it's better to rough out the center of the female slot with a straight bit, multiple passes so as not to overload the router, before cutting the finished shape with the dovetail bit. Cutting the slats is done with them vertical and guided by a tall fence - it would be easier if you could use a double featherboard set-up as shown to prevent any rocking of the slat as you cut - showing being used on a bandsaw, but the procedure is the same for a router table except you would be feeding right to left.. As explained in the article, sneak up on the depth of cut, removing material equally from both sides and checking for the correct fit in the dovetailed slot. Good Luck.
 

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Oooh -- do you have a make/model number for those dual guides?




do you have a tablesaw and what router do you have w/ what accessories???
how about a router table???...
it'd be good to know what other tools you have...

did you already make those cuts???

the corner posts are cake and pie...
this Makita router shown is set up w/ opposing guides...
set your router up like this to cut the sliding DT slots...
how the slats are done depends on what other tools you have and your choice of materials......
''hogging'' out the waste materials before you cut the DT's will help w/ avoiding so much tearout...
using better bits is a major plus...
for router bits I'm partial to Freud and Whiteside bits...

.
 

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Oooh -- do you have a make/model number for those dual guides?
it's two separate guides set facing each other...
you can do it this w/ any brand as long as they have rods...
 

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...snip...
the corner posts are cake and pie...
this Makita router shown is set up w/ opposing guides...
set your router up like this to cut the sliding DT slots...
...snip...
That is an awesome setup. Thanks, Stick.

I have a Bosch 1617EVS and one of Bosch's guides like that. I can see I want another.

Rick
 

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That is an awesome setup. Thanks, Stick.

I have a Bosch 1617EVS and one of Bosch's guides like that. I can see I want another.

Rick
yur welcome...
and you can increase the guide's face height for additional stability...
UHMW sheet is perfect for the task...
https://www.dollartree.com/cooking-concepts-dual-sided-cutting-boards-8x11-in/300767
https://www.dollartree.com/home-collection-paddle-cutting-boards/178253
https://www.biglots.com/search/?Ntt=Cutting Boards
 

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yur welcome...
and you can increase the guide's face height for additional stability...
UHMW sheet is perfect for the task...
Yup, I have some, what remains after making my crosscut sled runners and a few other things, 1/2"x4"x44".

Rick
 
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