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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi -

I have a 'how-to' question. I need to make a couple hundred small stands that will hold a horizontal, cylinder shaped item (a kaleidoscope). The kaleidoscope is about 10-12 inches long and doesn't weigh much - less than 1 pound.

The design that I think is easiest would have 3 pieces of wood - a 5" x 3" base with a routed edge (roman ogee). Then there are 2 perpendicular pieces (the sides that hold up the 'scope), one near each end with a half-circle facing up and holding up the kaleidoscope. I'm not allowed to post pictures yet. I'm using 3/8" cherry for everything (to make the sides I'm using a 5" x 2.5" piece of wood. I use a 2" circle cutter in a cordless drill to cut out a full circle in the middle, and then I cut it in half to make both sides. Cutting out the circle and then trying to get it out from the cutter takes me longer than I think it should).

My main question is how to attach the 2 perpendicular sides to the base. I thought I could use a router table to make a groove on either end of the base that I could fit the sides into with glue. But a straight bit creates a groove with rounded ends and the rectangular pieces wont fit of course. I thought about routing the grooves all the way across the base but it kind of messes up the routed edges of the base. I tried making dowels and drilling holes in the base and sides to attach. Looks ok but kind of a pain in the a.. to do for a couple hundred. Also tried just thin nails with glue but I'm using 3/8" cherry, and about half the nails end up bending, plus they leave the metal showing and sinking them would add too much time to the process.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any tips or ideas. I have some tool experience, but not with small pieces I don't have a lot of router experience although I know the basics. If anyone is still reading - how would you do this? Thanks in advance

Larry
 

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A Trend corner chisel will cut 11/32 deep. Might be just right to square a 3/8 groove.
Here's a link. Trend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I appreciate that! I'm not sure I'd want to do that 800 times (or 1600 if it's once per corner). if I have to make 200 of these stands (2 grooves on each end, each groove each groove would have 4 corners). I don't know a lot about router bits - I figured there would be something simple with a router, but maybe not?! I wonder if drilling holes and using dowels is going to be the best/easiest way?
 

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If you are routing a blind groove or half blind groove (ones that don't go to one end or both ends) then the rounder end won't matter if you shoulder the end of the piece sliding into it. It's like putting shoulders on a tenoned piece that fits into a mortise. This link to a Wiki article shows the shoulders I'm talking about. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortise_and_tenon You can nip off the tip of your pieces by holding them vertically on the table saw and run them through with the fence set to depth of the groove and the miter gauge with a spoil board attached to keep them straight. The spoil board would be to prevent blowout on your grain when the piece passes the saw. Once set up you could run about at least 5 pieces per minute, maybe double that.

By the way, you can post pictures as long as they are oon your hard drive and not on a photo sharing site. Use the Advanced reply option to do that.
 

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Chuck's idea would be the easiest and fastest method.
 
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If you have a drill press, you could get a 2 inch Forstner bit to cut the circle, or a hole saw might do if you drill the top side halfway through, then turn it over and cut the other side. Use a roundove bit to make a graceful looking mount and remove any chipout. Then cut using a stop block to make certain both pieces are equal length.

Instead of making a flat bottom, consider using dowels to connect the two ends. Drill the holes on a drill press using a stop block to position the holes precisely. If the wood is beautiful use a Cherry stain, or if you want it to look instrument-ish, consider using a deep mahogany (rich-dark red) stain and then wipe on poly. If the dowels are too tight, lightly sand the ends to slightly reduce the diameter and glue. Let it dry in a jig so everything stays flat and aligned. This will greatly speed up the project, make the stands very light weight, and it will have a nice look. So quick to make you could offer them with the kaleidoscope if you're selling them. Two dowels set vertically will look nicer than the flat bottom and be at least as strong.

Actually, this would be a great item for sale at a craft fair. Get an ordinary kaleidoscope, put a new exterior wrap on it wood patterned paper or even veneer, paint the metal rima color that matches the wrap or the stand (unifies what then becomes a set).

If you don't like the dowels, I would substitute a vertical piece with rounded over edges that spans the two ends and use a router to cut a groove for it. That will require a jig to make a stopped grove with round ends. Personally, I'd prefer something like a 3/8ths to 1/2 inch pair of dowels, about the same thickness as the end pieces. A single dowel would work if you had an assembly jig to asure it was perfectly aligned.

If you're going to go with a flat bottom piece, use a thicker piece the width of the vertical pieces, then cut a groove across the full width, but add a flat piece of scrap where the bit will exit to prevent blowout. If you don't presently have a sled for cutting exact fit grooves or dados, consider making one like the picture.
 

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Theo
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If me, I might well get a Lee Valley plug cutter. for the hole.
Lee Valley Tools - Dowel, Plug, and Tenon Cutters
Whatever size will work. Or, I have seen hole saws advertised that have a spring center that will push the cut piece out. Or, you could just use a Forestner bit. Or, being me, making woodworking fun, I would likely figure out something to hold the piece for the hole, drill a hole in it, drop it in the holding piece, which will allow me to rout a hole of whatever size I want. Sometimes it is not near as much fun if you keep things simple.

For the sides I wouldn't rout at all, even if only making one. Just glue the pieces in place, then put a glue strip along the bottom of both sides of each.

K.I.S.S. principle rules.
 

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If you have a drill press I would...

...make a jig to hold the prepared base and both stands upside down. Place the base on the stands, drill through the base and into one of the stands then do the same by sliding the jig left or right. I would use stops on a fence appropriately aligned on each end to speed up the process. Use a bit that will leave a taper on the base and use screws to hold the stands onto the base.

When done drilling, lift the base, apply some glue on the stands, realign the base and screw down...

I would second using a Forstner bit to cut the hole...use a backer piece if you go all the way through or turn it over cutting from each side...again, a jig will aid alignment and assembly line production.

Using the jigs suggested will aid in your "production" mode...

Good luck...and welcome to the forum...
 

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I can't picture what you are saying but to attach the strips I would use an 18 gauge air brad nailer which you can get at Harbor Freight for under $30 dollars and a small compressor. I would also make a simple jig that holds the strips at a pre determined distance and use it to quickly placed the strips where you need them. Once you start using air tools you'll never go back to a hammer.
 

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Paul
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I think that I can picture what you're making. Maybe just glue and screws? If you make two drilling jigs to make sure the parts are in the right place. Drill big enough to pass the screws through the bottom piece (counter sunk) and small enough for screws to bite in the uprights. Perhaps peel n stick, felt or rubber, feet on the bottom?
 

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Have you considered a mortising machine, once the set up is done, it is quite fast and will give you square holes. I paid a little over $200 for mine but you might find a used one or maybe HF might have one for less.
 

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Mike
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It would help to know what tools you have available. Please fill out your profile so we have a better understanding of what recommendations we could make.

One question I would have is are you making the kaleidoscopes yourself and what material you are using if you are making them. If you turned your own from wood then I would recommend making a nicer stand using mortise and tenon joints using the same wood I made the kaleidoscopes out of. If these are just made from cardboard and you just want to add the stand then butt joints might be the best way to go.

If you don't mind the but joints I would pre-drill countersunk holes in the base and use screws and a little glue to mount the uprights. You can use a bit like one of these, there are other brands and in all price and quality ranges:

https://www.amazon.com/Snappy-Brand...id=1538490598&sr=8-4&keywords=countersink+bit
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I was hoping to use the router table; probably because I'm new to it and I think it would be "fun" to do it this way. But I think a blind groove (if I'm using the right terminology) that has rounded ends with a square cornered hole/mortise wouldn't look right and I wasn't sure I understood the suggestion to cut the tenon on a table saw - it still wouldn't be round.

I was then wondering if I could use a biscuit bit (don't have tool)...I'm still not sure if that would work. since the wood is only 3/8" and only 2.5" wide.

I tried pre-drilling holes and used small nails and glue - it worked but I don't like it and doesn't feel very strong. I did the same thing with screws. The screws may be the easiest, fastest, all around best way given my tools and wood...but using screws is so boring!

Anyway, thanks everyone for the advice...I'll let you know what I come up with!
 

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Theo
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Before making a final decision, I would make at least one test piece of each design, to make sure you actually like the design in wood, and if it is strong enough to suit you.
 
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I was hoping to use the router table; probably because I'm new to it and I think it would be "fun" to do it this way. But I think a blind groove (if I'm using the right terminology) that has rounded ends with a square cornered hole/mortise wouldn't look right and I wasn't sure I understood the suggestion to cut the tenon on a table saw - it still wouldn't be round.

I was then wondering if I could use a biscuit bit (don't have tool)...I'm still not sure if that would work. since the wood is only 3/8" and only 2.5" wide.

I tried pre-drilling holes and used small nails and glue - it worked but I don't like it and doesn't feel very strong. I did the same thing with screws. The screws may be the easiest, fastest, all around best way given my tools and wood...but using screws is so boring!

Anyway, thanks everyone for the advice...I'll let you know what I come up with!
Not cut a tenon on a table saw but shoulder the end like most mortise and tenon joints do. Then you don't need to worry about the rounded end. The quick illustration I drew shows what I mean. You nibble the bottom front corner of your piece off instead of squaring the end of your groove. This is fast and easy on a table saw by raising the saw blade on it until you have a height that matches the groove depth and running the piece over the saw sideways using the miter gauge with a backing strip attached to it which will prevent the grain from being blown out on the back side. This method is commonly used on things like bookcases where you don't want the grooves that get dadoed into the sides for the shelves from showing at the front. You get nicer cleaner lines on the fronts this way. So you just notch the fronts of the shelves so that the notched out part sits flush against the sides.

In this case the length of the notched out part probably isn't that critical. It just has to be far enough back that it gets you past the rounded end of the groove but in situations where it is critical you set your fence to control the length of the notch and just nibble away until the piece butts up against the fence. Using a good, sharp dado set can speed this operation way up. It can also be done on a router table too but using a backer board is even more important with a router to prevent blowing out the grain.
 

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