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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading through this forum for about 2-3 weeks now and decided to join. I've found lots of great advice & teaching. Here goes my 1st post hoping for such advice. I just finished building and installing kitchen and bathroom cabinets. I'm looking to build about 60 full overlay Shaker style doors and drawer fronts, all square profile and painted white. The rails & stiles are 2 1/2" wide with the stiles the full length of the fronts. The center panel will be 1/2" Baltic Birch. I want to rabbet out the plywood to leave a 1/4" tongue to fit into the rails & stiles. The plywood will be flush, on the back of the door and recessed back from the face of the rails & stiles. I don't want the edge of the door frame to show a cope & stick profile. Would rather do a mortise/tenon joint. But How?
The rails can be cut the full length and the plywood just notched out, so I should be ok there. How would I start and stop the groove in the stiles and also cut out the mortise, while on a router table. I was hoping there would be a bit, like half of a T&G set, that I could use and 'plunge' horizontally the stile to cut the groove. Will I have to take the stile off the table to make the mortise?

That's what I want to do but here is where it gets good. I don't have a router yet:frown:. I built a table extension on my Delta table saw. I was planning on adding a router plate or lift and an under table router. This project does have a budget. I know, woodworking and budget, lol. Anyway my initial thoughts on purchases:
1) Incra Magnalock plate & Triton 2.25hp router> $345
2) JessEm Router Lift II & Bosch 1617 2.25hp router> $400

I really don't know what the lift offers over the plate. I can adjust both from the top. I know lift is probably more accurate, but I use a depth gauge anyway. I know I have to lock the Triton router after adjustment, do you have to do the same with the lift? As far as the router goes, I can't seem to find just a motor, the 890 PC's seem to be all out of stock. The JessEm lift doesn't seem to work with a Triton router. Any preferences on routers in my case? Thanks for all suggestions.
 

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Welcome to the forum Tom. That is an ambitious project you have chosen. Have you had any experience with any router or router table in the past?The PC 690 routers have had problems in recent years, the Bosch 1617 combination of plunge/fixed base is a good starter, you can use the plunge base hand held and fixed base in a router table . which a lot of guys do. You asked about having to lock the router in a lift, the answer is no, it is clamped in the lift and adjusted by use of the lift. If you use the fixed base , for a lift. which you can. Then the router has to be locked and unlocked to make height adjustments. you can set it up to lift up and out ,set on top of the bench to change bits or set heights,or leave it in place and reach under the top to clamp and unclamp to do these operations.
There will a member along soon to discuss the cabinet door fabrication.
Herb
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forum Tom. That is an ambitious project you have chosen. Have you had any experience with any router or router table in the past?The PC 690 routers have had problems in recent years, the Bosch 1617 combination of plunge/fixed base is a good starter, you can use the plunge base hand held and fixed base in a router table . which a lot of guys do. You asked about having to lock the router in a lift, the answer is no, it is clamped in the lift and adjusted by use of the lift. If you use the fixed base , for a lift. which you can. Then the router has to be locked and unlocked to make height adjustments. you can set it up to lift up and out ,set on top of the bench to change bits or set heights,or leave it in place and reach under the top to clamp and unclamp to do these operations.
There will a member along soon to discuss the cabinet door fabrication.
Herb
Thanks for the reply Herb. I've read many posts about after adjusting the bit height, it sometimes drops down and you have to readjust and lock. Are you saying that, for example, the Bosch in the fixed base, attached to the JessEm lift, doesn't need to be reached under the table to lock? And is there less chance of slippage in the lift compared to just a routing plate?

No experience with a routing table. I have used a DeWalt trim router to clean up my cabinet boxes and other small tasks.
 

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Yes there is a slight play in the worm screw that adjusts to router to height. So some people ,including myself have experienced having to reach under, unclamp and re adjust maybe a couple of times to get exact height adjustment. No slippage in a lift. If the router is mounted in a lift, the base is gone, and the motor is clamped tight in the lift. Adjustments are made form the top side,with a graduated dial and once adjusted it stays at that adjustment until you want to make another adjustment.
The benefit of the lift is that say you want to make a deep cut. You will start with an 1/8" deep cut. Without turning off the router you can adjust up another 1/8", and again and again, as many times as it takes to get to the depth you want. As apposed to if the router is in the base, without a lift, every increment of height will depend on you stopping the router,waiting for it to slow down and stop, un locking the router, setting the depth, locking the router turning on and making the cut, repeating as many times as necessary.
HErb
 

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I'm looking to build about 60 full overlay Shaker style doors and drawer fronts, all square profile and painted white. The rails & stiles are 2 1/2" wide with the stiles the full length of the fronts. The center panel will be 1/2" Baltic Birch. I want to rabbet out the plywood to leave a 1/4" tongue to fit into the rails & stiles. The plywood will be flush, on the back of the door and recessed back from the face of the rails & stiles. I don't want the edge of the door frame to show a cope & stick profile. Would rather do a mortise/tenon joint. But How?
The rails can be cut the full length and the plywood just notched out, so I should be ok there. How would I start and stop the groove in the stiles and also cut out the mortise, while on a router table. I was hoping there would be a bit, like half of a T&G set, that I could use and 'plunge' horizontally the stile to cut the groove. Will I have to take the stile off the table to make the mortise?

That's what I want to do but here is where it gets good. I don't have a router yet:frown:. I built a table extension on my Delta table saw. I was planning on adding a router plate or lift and an under table router. This project does have a budget. I know, woodworking and budget, lol. Anyway my initial thoughts on purchases:
1) Incra Magnalock plate & Triton 2.25hp router> $345
2) JessEm Router Lift II & Bosch 1617 2.25hp router> $400

I really don't know what the lift offers over the plate. I can adjust both from the top. I know lift is probably more accurate, but I use a depth gauge anyway. I know I have to lock the Triton router after adjustment, do you have to do the same with the lift? As far as the router goes, I can't seem to find just a motor, the 890 PC's seem to be all out of stock. The JessEm lift doesn't seem to work with a Triton router. Any preferences on routers in my case? Thanks for all suggestions.
Hello Tom, welcome to the forums...
We're happy you found us...

The mortise/tenon joint....
plunge cut the groove and mortise simultaneously w/ a straight bit in the stile...
the straight bit will be more forgiving than a solid carbide spiral...
solid carbide bits are brittle and don't tolerate abuse or stress well...
cut a mortise in the rail's end and go w/ a loose tenon...
this is not a plunge cut, think stopped dado...
also, a ¼'' of tenon is too short... consider at least ½'' at a bare minimum instead... more for the stile...
go for more flex resistance and rabbet the ply ½''...


an idea...
instead of a mortise go w/ a rabbet done on the back side of the frame, freehand, after the frame is assembled...
square the IS corner radius w/ a chisel....
insert your rabbeted plywood...
both the frame an plywood rabbets can be cut freehand w/ a rabbeting bit for a near perfect fit...
if you were to carry the edge rabbets through on the stiles/rails for the ply before assembly and do a reverse rabbet on the ends of the rails, that would give you blind half lap joints everywhere that would be very strong..


another idea...
instead of the plunge mortise use a slot cutter and spline (through or blind) the butt joints...
this all can be done free hand...
the slot can be cut through or stopped/blind, freehand quite easily..
the rabbet on the ply can be cut w/ the slot cutter, freehand...

the mortises...
build a mortising jig... (see the PDF)...
way safer and easier than table plunge cutting...
more control too...

The RT...
the lift offers plenty...
the JessEm is all KISS/MISS and a fine instrument...
the CS/TS at JessEm are outstanding and then some..
1/128'' increments of adjustment are easy... 1/256'' cuts w/ a little fussin'....
way safer to do plunges...
Adjustments and lock/unlock is done from the top...
way simpler and easier than a plate/router combination...
as for the 1617EVS-PK...
getting the kit is a no brainer... best of both worlds...
you'll do more freehand than table...
and you'll pick up a stable of routers... trust us on this....

I shy away from plunge cuts on an RT...
but here is how...
more on plunging...
DO NOT forget to use featherboards and stops...
 

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That's what I want to do but here is where it gets good. I don't have a router yet:frown:.
let's try to bring you up to speed on routering...

We've gathered together a bunch of pertinent/relative information on routering in this here link ... You should find everything (at least most) quite useful, a lot of help and get you off to a running start in the world of routers... Enjoy...

Do take some time to 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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Welcome aboard Tom. You asked about the two choices and it will get you personal opinions such as mine. The plate and Triton will get you a single combination whereas a lift and router will get you many. The lift, depending on which one you should get, will give you choices of router motors to use depending on size. For even more choices the Jess Em Mast-R-Lift II will give you far more choices over router motors to choose from possibly making the choices in the future possible. It's a bit more expensive but far more versatile in the size motors you can use and there's no under the table adjustments to be made. For me it was a spend now or more possibly in the future. I've used mine now for a few years with the Bosch1617 motor and then switched to a dedicated Jess Em motor and digital speed controller which. has done a great job and the speed controller/switch is cabinet mounted. With the other motors you'll still need to adjust the speed on the mounted motors by reaching underneath so keep that in mind when mounting. And I always recommend a shutoff switch on the cabinet. It comes down to a matter of choice. With the adjustments on the Mast-R-Lift II I have many choices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Reading all the options and trying to visualize them. I'm thinking about doing a sample cope & stick joint, then sand/paint to see how visible the lines are. This might be a good 1st step for me. It seems it would be the easiest route to take for all 60 doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Welcome aboard Tom. You asked about the two choices and it will get you personal opinions such as mine. The plate and Triton will get you a single combination whereas a lift and router will get you many. The lift, depending on which one you should get, will give you choices of router motors to use depending on size. For even more choices the Jess Em Mast-R-Lift II will give you far more choices over router motors to choose from possibly making the choices in the future possible. It's a bit more expensive but far more versatile in the size motors you can use and there's no under the table adjustments to be made. For me it was a spend now or more possibly in the future. I've used mine now for a few years with the Bosch1617 motor and then switched to a dedicated Jess Em motor and digital speed controller which. has done a great job and the speed controller/switch is cabinet mounted. With the other motors you'll still need to adjust the speed on the mounted motors by reaching underneath so keep that in mind when mounting. And I always recommend a shutoff switch on the cabinet. It comes down to a matter of choice. With the adjustments on the Mast-R-Lift II I have many choices.
Thanks for the reply. I am rethinking the Triton router. I do like the Incra plates and dust collection inserts. My thought is to buy just the Incra plate and then a router that can be used later if/when I buy the Incra Mast-R- Lift II. The plates dimensions are the same. So, looking at Bosch 1617 set, if I can find a Porter Cable set, they all seem to be 'out of stock' and possibly Milwaukee routers.
 
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