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I want to inlay an electrical outlet into my hardwood floor and thought that I could mill out the correct size opening with my router. Has anyone done this before? Any known problems to be careful of? I know about being careful of the nails. I only have to mill out about 7/64" and should be well clear of them
 

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Any electrical outlet you install has to be inside an approved box. Perhaps you can provide a bit more detail on what you want to do?
 

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I was wondering if anyone had any tips, tricks, etc. for milling down the floor so I can install the plate flush with the top of the flooring. I am well aware of the electrical needs and am very familiar with the electrical codes involved.
 

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mcmazoway said:
I was wondering if anyone had any tips, tricks, etc. for milling down the floor so I can install the plate flush with the top of the flooring. I am well aware of the electrical needs and am very familiar with the electrical codes involved.
What kind of router tools do you have?

This is called and inlay. First thing to do is make a pattern that is exactly the size and shape as the electrical cover. To do this we screw the cover on a 1/4" plywood pattern material and using a 7/16" guide and a 1/4" router bit cut out the shape of the electrical cover, now the pattern is 1/4" bigger all around.

With the pattern made place the pattern on the hardwood floor in the correct position and double stick tape in place. Remember you have to be exact in your positioning of the pattern because the two screws that mount the cover in position determine the placement. It might help to mount the cover with the screws and then place the pattern in position leaving equal 1/4" margin all around inside of the pattern.

Change your guide to a 11/16" or the combination of 7/16 plus the router bit 4/16". We are cutting a reverse inlay...the pattern is made with the router bit on the outside of the cover then when we are cutting the flooring we need the router bit on the inside of the pattern. The larger guide gives the margin between the guide and cutting edge of the router bit, which moves the bit inside to cut the pattern. Set the depth to the thickness of the cover and cut the pattern.

Practice, practice, practice is the big tip....might want to practice a few times on a piece of scrap flooring before cutting the real flooring. You will learn how the fit is, how the router reacts in your flooring, and any special techniques.

Be safe and good luck, Rick
 

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BobandRick said:
What kind of router tools do you have?

This is called and inlay. First thing to do is make a pattern that is exactly the size and shape as the electrical cover. To do this we screw the cover on a 1/4" plywood pattern material and using a 7/16" guide and a 1/4" router bit cut out the shape of the electrical cover, now the pattern is 1/4" bigger all around.

With the pattern made place the pattern on the hardwood floor in the correct position and double stick tape in place. Remember you have to be exact in your positioning of the pattern because the two screws that mount the cover in position determine the placement. It might help to mount the cover with the screws and then place the pattern in position leaving equal 1/4" margin all around inside of the pattern.

Change your guide to a 11/16" or the combination of 7/16 plus the router bit 4/16". We are cutting a reverse inlay...the pattern is made with the router bit on the outside of the cover then when we are cutting the flooring we need the router bit on the inside of the pattern. The larger guide gives the margin between the guide and cutting edge of the router bit, which moves the bit inside to cut the pattern. Set the depth to the thickness of the cover and cut the pattern.

Practice, practice, practice is the big tip....might want to practice a few times on a piece of scrap flooring before cutting the real flooring. You will learn how the fit is, how the router reacts in your flooring, and any special techniques.

Be safe and good luck, Rick
Rick, Me thinks the pattern is 1/4" + 3/32" , or 11/32" bigger all around. Somebody forgot to sharpen their shop pencil.
steveo
 

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steveo said:
Rick, Me thinks the pattern is 1/4" + 3/32" , or 11/32" bigger all around. Somebody forgot to sharpen their shop pencil.
steveo
We have to have the whole router bit inside the cut line that will make the shape match the cover. Inlay kits work the same way by adding a collar that is the thickness of the 1/4" router bit.
 

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Are you sure about this post? Things are not adding up for me, or I'm missing what you are doing........

Anyway I have to go do some shopping but when I return I'm going to do a drawing to see if I can figure out what's up.

Ed
 

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reible said:
Are you sure about this post? Things are not adding up for me, or I'm missing what you are doing........

Anyway I have to go do some shopping but when I return I'm going to do a drawing to see if I can figure out what's up.

Ed
You are right Ed, it just doesn't add up. If they are using a 7/16" bushing with a 1/4" bit, the "female" template will be 11/32" larger than the electrical plate. Then they will have to change out the 7/16" bushing to a 15/16" bushing to "mill" the hole in the floor exactly the same size as the electrical plate. Of course one will have to hunt high an low for a 15/16" bushing.
steveo
 

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Let me give this a shot. If you use the outlet cover as the edge you run the template against, for now let's say we use a 3/4" bushing and a 1/4" bit. Now when we cut we are cutting 1/4" from the template but the outside of the cutter is cutting a 1/2" away. The "new template" is being made then is 1/2" larger all the way around.

When we have finished the cut we take the "new template" which now has this opening that is 1/2" larger all around and put it on the floor. At this point we want to get back that 1/2" so using the same bit the same guide we would then be to the same size as the orginal template but with the bit width of 1/4" to the wrong side of the hole we want to route. This means we need to move the bit over 1/4" so we route out the hole we need. Since the bushing was 3/4" we need to add the 1/4 + 1/4 making the bushing be 1/2" larger then the 3/4" or 1 1/4".

Recap: use 1/4" bit and 3/4" bushing makes the hole in the "new template" 1/2" larger then the outlet cover. Using the same bit but a 1 1/4" bushing moves the cut over 3/4" and the outlet cover should fit in......

This is a classic case of using a look-up table for an outside cut of 1/2" and then an inside cut of 1/2". Maybe it's time for me to post this again???

I think this is correct or are we missing something?????

Ed
 

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Your right you need to add twice the thickness of the router bit or 1/2" to 7/16" making it a 15/16" guide...sorry for the math.
 

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BobandRick said:
Your right you need to add twice the thickness of the router bit or 1/2" to 7/16" making it a 15/16" guide...sorry for the math.
OK, that was you mistake for 2004 and none to soon.......

Ed
 

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BobandRick said:
Your right you need to add twice the thickness of the router bit or 1/2" to 7/16" making it a 15/16" guide...sorry for the math.
There are a great number of people out there who do not know what a 1/16" or a 15/16" are, and as for 3/32" or 1/64". They can understand 1/4", 1/2" 3/4" and maybe? 1/8". I have been responsible for at some of them over the years as I taught them the metric system from 1968. Personally I am convinced one of the reasons for not using the template guides is because of the cumbersome calculations required, and this has been a typical example.
I can use metric and imperial (I did not make the change to metric until I was in my thirties)
What are your views on the comments above?
Tom
 

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Tom and all,

When I was wearing an engineer’s hat and working for a large company we moved to “the metric” system. This forced me to learn more then just conversion but to even think metric. You know, “that looks like it is 300mm” not “gee that is about 12” so if I divide or was that multiply by….” As an engineer we normal worked in decimal as in that looks like 12.000 +/- .006. Mixing the systems made interesting mismatches with rounding so we did a lot of learning. As a wood worker and a student you get a lot of fraction practice and a lot of people still can’t take ½ of ¼ and get the right answer. The more you do the better you get at it……

Without a calculator who wants to convert 11/16 to decimal then 7/16 to decimal to do the math, you just learn to do it. For us it is a way of life.

I remember hearing that we would be a metric nation back in 50’s, we even started to learn the system and when I had physics in high school we used both systems. Time marched on but as we all know we are a long way from being a metric nation even now 50 years later.

As a wood worker I guess I will stick to the “imperial”, after all the tools are still that way, and I don’t see this country changing in my life time. I do now as of this Christmas have two metric guide bushings so things are changing.

Having said all that, back to the subject at hand. I often use a table to find my way around the size issues. (Sorry all you metric people… it is in fractions.) That way I can just look at what bits and guides I have and pick which one to use. If you want to keep doing the math the way you have been fine but using the chart to check your math is always an option. (Tom knows his stuff so he does't need the table but as for the rest of you, it can't hurt.)

Since the size is more limited here as an attachment I will post the chart in the gallery. If you have trouble reading it let me know I’ll post new instructions. This is an expansion of a chart I did a while back. See:
http://www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=163

If someone want a metric chart I’m willing to do one but I will need common sizes of bushings and bits in metric…..

Ed
 

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Well this did not go as easy as I hoped but anyway the table is now tables posted in gallery general other....... The earlies post is missing part of the table so I had to split it to make it work. The problem is on my end with my tools and I how I convert excel to .jpg. I will work on this another time and see if I can't get it back into one table.

Ed
 

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template tom said:
There are a great number of people out there who do not know what a 1/16" or a 15/16" are, and as for 3/32" or 1/64". They can understand 1/4", 1/2" 3/4" and maybe? 1/8". I have been responsible for at some of them over the years as I taught them the metric system from 1968. Personally I am convinced one of the reasons for not using the template guides is because of the cumbersome calculations required, and this has been a typical example.
I can use metric and imperial (I did not make the change to metric until I was in my thirties)
What are your views on the comments above?
Tom
A few years ago the company I was working for moved to the metric system in it's field operations here in the US.. At first my personal thoughts were that this was not the way to go. However, after getting the metric tool kit the benefit was obvious - 50% fewer wrenches, sockets, allen wrenches and so on.... Love that metric - too bad it meets with resistance in the US for that change universally. Oh well.......

All the best

cfm
 
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