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Just found a project for my new router

2667 Views 39 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Bob Bailey
Good Evening All,

I just bought a router for the first time and have a project for it, but now I just need to find the right bit.

I have 3/4in Bruce Hardwoods throughout my house, I need to install one last room to be finished with this project. However, I have hit a little snag. Why I did one of the bedrooms, I got very lucky and the grooved ends were all lined up and none were cut, so I was able to use a slip tongue instead of a transition slip from the hallway into the bedroom. On the other end of the hallway, where the current project bedroom is, the boards are all cut, so I need to route a groove to accept a slip tongue. The issue that I am finding is that all of the T&G bits are made for use on a table-mounted router and are not meant to be used handheld with the flooring already installed.

Does anyone have any experience with this or advice as to what bit to use?
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Table is far and away the best choice for T&G. If you do it hand held, it's really easy to slightly tip the router which messes up the tongue and/or groove. You can alleviate that by laying a second piece of your material parallel to the one you're cutting to support the router base.

Another thing would be an edge guide that will hold your router stable. Here's a picture of the Bosch unit, another of the DeWalt guide.
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I completely understand that table is better, but since the flooring is already installed, I'm hesitant to try to take up a whole section of the board in the hallway just to be able to take them to the bench. I was planning on using another piece of scrap flooring on the other side of the opening, parallel as a counter section to set the router on to hopefully alleviate the tipping issue.

Will the edge guides work if I am routing on the edge of the board?
It should, depending on how you set it up. The big thing is to avoid "tipping" the router by supporting the base rather than letting half float free. That spinning blade and angular momentum makes it hard not to fatigue or lose concentration, and have the slot "wander" and become unusable.
Your trim will cover a lot of small errors. And with wood, you still have to allow for expansion/contraction, especially in a humid location. So the trim becomes a hold down so you don't have to nail the edges down. Not sure how the pros do it, but with T&G or splines, I believe you only nail on one edge of each board, which allows a little forgiveness for expansion for each individual board at the joint. If you look at the sice view of T&G by Rebel, you can see there's a little space for expansion in both the spline and cut joint.

On end pieces, with T&G you could nail the wall side edge. I have a strong preference for using a screw since it would be out of sight, because it's easy to remove if something goes wrong.

Finally, make sure each piece is the same orientation, finish side up, or down, on each piece, or they won't line up properly when assembled. Don't ask me how I know this.
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