Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about 22 shallow drawers to make in just 2 different sizes. Been thinking about the new Rockler Miter Fold saw blade and dado stack. You know, the one that lets you cut out a finished drawer carcus from flat stock in 4 passes. It's about $350 for the set so not a trivial purchase. I understand it is also fussy to set up.

Anyone have one of these or have any feedback on how it performs, special tricks for using it, or even whether it works reliably. I missed the demo at Rockler.

Yes, it's a pretty costly goodie, but if it sped up the task, it would be worth it to me. I have a number of projects that involve shallow drawers where this would also be useful if it is worth having. I recall posts when the inventor first developed this, but now it's a product--and a pricey one at that.

Here's the link: Rockler Miter Fold Dado Set | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,290 Posts
I don't have one, but when considering it I remembered how variable the plywood that we get now is. Any variation in the thickness of your plywood when using this blade, will either cause blade break through or leave a portion of the cut that is too thick to fold when the time comes.

No thanks, I'll stick with the old methods. A break through could be a disaster if your hand should happen to be above the blade at that point. It's also possible for the saw height setting to creep up if the lock fails or vibrates loose while you are making a cut. It can happen with both router tables and table saws. Router collets sometimes let router bits creep above the bit height settings and can cut through the surface of the work suddenly, and without any warning.

I always unplug my table saw or routers whenever changing blades or bits, or doing any other work where my hands might be in contact with the blade or bit. The 240 volt outlet for my table saw is 4' high and just to the right of my saw table, with the plug attached to the outlet by a cord, so it can't fall very far when it is unplugged. This keeps it close and easy to plug back in when I'm ready to use the saw again.

It is equally dangerous to push work over your saw when, for any reason, you can't see the blade. I have a laser line generator mounted on the ceiling above my table saw that puts a red cut line across the surface of the saw and my work to show the cut line. It's alignment accuracy isn't perfect, so it's not much for use to improve cutting accuracy, but it's a great safety feature when doing any kind of blind cutting of DADOs or other cutting where the blade kerf is supposed to be below the top surface of the work. With the laser line generator on If there should ever be a red line showing on my fingers as I push the work through the saw, they are in the wrong place. It also helps when ripping long stock, by giving me something to align to, way before the stock reaches the fence, since the generated laser line extends way past the saw in both directions. I have a one button remote control (a thick credit card sized wireless remote) that's Velcro attached to the top of my saw fence, so I can easily turn the laser on and off. I turn it on whenever I'm about to make a cut if for any reason I should feel a need for it, and I always use it for blind DADO type cuts or when ripping long stock. The laser and remote came from Woodline USA https://www.woodline.com/ Although they no longer seem to list it in their catalog, they might still be able to provide them, but you may need to call them. If you do, ask to speak to Wayne about them.

Charley
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@CharleyL Stock thickness would definitely be a factor since you need to leave a little less than 1/32. I will be using Euro Baltic Birch bought from the same batch and stored clamped together to resist warping, all of which would help.

Thickness variations would also be a small issue with a miter lock bit. I use a Sommerfeld baby lock bit with their Easy Set (star shaped) jig, which adjusts for thickness to at least 1/64th inch. That's the alternative I'm considering. I could increase strength over glue alone by putting splines in the corners of the drawer carcus. Most of the drawers are going to store a large DVD library out of sight

I am also very fussy about staying away from the blade, pre plan every cut and use a Grr Ripper religiously. The laser line is a really interesting idea. Last Christmas I found some remote controlled switches in the decorations section and bought one of each of the five frequencies. Those would switch a laser line on and off with ease. Really nice idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Tom, in Canada they want $486 for that item. My Freud I bought many years ago for $99 is still only about $139.
What's so special that it's so expensive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Tom, bear with me- there is zero chance of getting such a set around here, let alone affording it. For most practical purposes, is it really superior to cutting the mitres with a 90degree V-groove bit on a router table? It would have the same "cutting" sequence, without readjusting the fence or bit height.
The Rockler blurb makes mention of a larger glue area, glue-releasing rabbet, self-aligning ridge, etc. but does it really make so much difference? I am asking out of ignorance, not to challenge any claims. Thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tom, bear with me- there is zero chance of getting such a set around here, let alone affording it. For most practical purposes, is it really superior to cutting the mitres with a 90degree V-groove bit on a router table? It would have the same "cutting" sequence, without readjusting the fence or bit height.
The Rockler blurb makes mention of a larger glue area, glue-releasing rabbet, self-aligning ridge, etc. but does it really make so much difference? I am asking out of ignorance, not to challenge any claims. Thanks.
This is a special main blade plus a matched dado set. It is complex and exacting to set up. The appeal is that once set up, you run a piece of ply through four ways, which creates the sides and bottom of the box, plus four corner pieces you trim off. Theoretically, that means you can produce large numbers of drawers or boxes quickly, but only out of ply.

I'm leaning more toward using the router instead. The money isn't the issue for me (happily), but I don't want to waste money on something just on speculation.
 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,182 Posts
I'd say for a commercial shop it might be worth it, but probably not. I know if I were making drawers, even that many, I could make do with what I already have - and that's a lot less than most of you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DesertRatTom

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Personally, I love it and wouldn't hesitate if I had a table saw and it was able to accommodate the 1" arbor requirement.

I sure don't like the price, but I would not be afraid with the blade hidden under; any time I had a chance to use someone's table saw, I also used whatever gripper/pusher they had to make cuts.

If I had one, I would be making boxes all over the place! I would finally make one of those 90 drawer apothecary cabinets. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,290 Posts
For good and very strong boxes, I always end up using my Incra I-Box jig and the Freud SBOX8 blade set. I frequently use Baltic Birch plywood, and the resulting box is amazingly strong. I make a lot of boxes and many of my tools are in boxes that I've made this way.

I even made the box that I keep my I-Box jig in from 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood (see pictures). Using this combination on my table saw produces great box joints quickly. Add a dado for the bottom and top or just glue the top and bottom on like I did and trim the excess off with a flush trim bit. The Titebond II is strong enough to keep both in place without the need for a dado. I've never had a failure in one assembled this way.

If I do a dado for the top and/or bottom, I use one of the Lee Valley small diameter box slotting bits. They cut all the way into the corners of a dry assembled and clamped box so that all you need to do is slightly round the corners of your box bottom or top and it will fit perfectly inside the slot, all the way into the box corners. I just place the bit in my router table and run the dry assembled box sides around the bit, slotting all 4 sides of the box at the same time. No slots go completely through the ends of the pieces, so the joint is completely invisible from the outside of the box. It's fast, accurate, and simple.

I have all three of these box slotting bits. They are similar to other router slotting bits, except for their small diameter, which allows them to cut the slot completely into the box corners

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=47818&cat=1,46168,46176

Charley
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Tom, I get the convenience angle, but the same applies to using a 90degree v-groove bit in a router table.. See FWW Feb 2017 No 259, page 14.
At least, it appears to apply to plywood, according to John Burke. He refers to Roy Underhill cutting the v- grooves in solid wood by hand, but that seems like unnecessary toil for someone relatively unskilled like myself.
I dare say the Rockler setup may provide a stronger joint all round at the corners, perhaps even the floor, but unless one is storing dumbells in the box, like in the Rockler ad., is it necessary? How heavy can DVDs be? I also find it hard to believe some of the Rockler claims. I can buy the larger glue area ( necessary or not), but I do not see how one can avoid end-grain glue joints.
Like Cindy, since reading Burke's tip, I have been dreaming of an apothecary cabinet. Nearly bought a genuine one thirty years ago, did not have the space for it, have regretted inaction ever since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,290 Posts
Cindy,

If you ever saw a dado blade break out through the top of a piece you were cutting, right near your fingers, you would have a much different opinion. This happened to me many years ago on a cheap table saw, and I was lucky, but I am now paranoid about the possibility of it happening again. I don't even trust my present Unisaw for the possibility of the height setting changing on it, although it never has.

Charley
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Ah yes, Charley, I haven't experienced that, but I believe it would be extremely scary and super traumatic to have that happen!

Biagio, thanks for the reference, I just found it and even watched the video. Though it isn't as "quick" as the blade Tom is talking about, this one is more attainable for me and I have time anyway. I had opportunity to get an older one at a furniture store that bought both new and used furniture and it was at a decent price, and also passed it up! I also have the head smack concept over it, because in being in a small flat, it would be some very cool storage!!!

I bookmarked three different sizes: 1/2", 1" and 1-1/4" and add them to my arsenal one at a time so I can do one of my "back burner" projects I have been pondering. Sure am glad to have a place where this stuff is talked about!

Not sure if I have the patience to make an apothecary, though...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
689 Posts
Cindy,
Thinking about an apothecary precisely because preparing to downsize from a rambling house (2 people and a cat) to a small flat. Thinking of a smaller one to serve as a cutlery canteen, and a larger for my wife's sewing, knitting and craft supplies.
 

·
Super Moderator
John
Joined
·
6,962 Posts
Just watch the utube unboxing and setup.
Looks like a well build tool ( except for the box LOL) I can see using it but the price really takes out the hobbies range.
Here the utube I watched
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
If he was in my shop and those were my expensive saw blades that he was dragging around on that steel table top my size 14 would be up his rectum to about my ankle. You do not treat good blades like that. In fact, I don't even treat my crappy blades like that. Nor would I cut those corners off directly on the steel top.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think there's more fussiness with this blade than with a router bit. I'll stash that money for another purpose. Thanks for the video John.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,056 Posts
I think this thing is akin to the mitre lock. Alot of fuss and bother to get a spot on setup, but once you have it zero'd in....hard to beat. I'm very interested to see how well the folded corners hold up over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
I think Rockler has some high prices but then they have sales that get the items down to a better price. Even with it on sale it would be high to my way of thinking.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,438 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@CharleyL That is a really beautiful case. One other option I've considered for box joints is the Sommerfeld jig, which is almost the same as his dovetail jig, but with straight guides and straight bit. I am not familiar with the Incra jig, but adjusting the spacer to the dado stack width is really cool. Hate working with that squirrily wood vise. I have tried a couple of box joint jigs and not thought much of them. I'll check out the incra jig on YouTube to start with. If it is really precise, it might be easier to make the drawers that way. I have a blade combo that can be 1/4 or 3/8ths that would be convenient. Thanks for putting that up here.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top