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Discussion Starter #1
Please excuse the dumb question but I was given a set of Porter Cable guide bushings and I’ve never used them. I have a Porter Cable router mounted in my router table with a Jessem router lift and base plate and a Incra Clean sweep setup. I like to do handcut Dovetails but I’m 74 and have a hand deformity that makes it tough to get the base of the Dovetails cleaned out without buggering the straight baseline. Is it possible to mount the bushings to my table router setup and use a straight bit to clean them out. I saw a video from Fine Woodworking that showed a fella using a pattern bit with a top bushing doing it very easily with his hand held router. Excuse the rookie question.
 

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The most active threads on this site are word games, and you are apologizing for a router question?? I'm happy to see an actual woodworking question. It might be possible to do what you're talking about if the bit diameter is the same as the bushing diameter. But then, you'd have to be sure the guide bushing was perfectly centered with respect to the collet. I think you'd be better served with a straight bit that has a bearing on the shank.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do have a straight bit with the bearing on the shank but of course it's too wide (1/2") and too long (1"). My dovetails are on the smaller side. Since I had the guide bushings I thought if they'd somehow fit, I could just use a straight bit. I see how they fit on a hand held router with a baseplate to mount them to but not sure if it's possible without that baseplate somehow mounted in the table. My only other router is a Craftsman from the 70's so there's no baseplate mounting for it to the PC bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well that answers my question and thanks for finding that. It's exactly what I'll need to use a straight bit.
 

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Well that answers my question and thanks for finding that. It's exactly what I'll need to use a straight bit.
Bill - make sure you read the description before you order. There is a note that says it is not compatible with some plates. Not sure what your exact setup is so it's a good idea to confirm that before you order. If you search the web for "cleansweep rings" you'll find other links to other suppliers. The link I provided is the first one that came up for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did read that. I have a late model Incra/Jessem black plate that came with the Jessem router lift and also the clean sweep plates. I do have a message into Mark Mueller at Incremental Tools. I've gone through them for all my tools and setups and they've been really helpful. I'm almost certain it will fit. Thanks again for the tip.
 

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Reading a bit further down that site, I found the following information on compatibility:

Compatibility:
This ring will ONLY fit newer INCRA router plates and lifts that have a 3-5/8in opening through the plate. This ring is NOT compatible with grey Phenolic MagnaLOCK router plates or first-generation gold INCRA Mast-R-Lifts that have a 3-1/2in opening through the top plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I knew I could get the straight scoop from you guys. I’m fairly inexperienced with routers but was lucky to have found this site years ago and as I have more time to work on projects I find the router answers a lot of questions. Now I need to figure out what kind of bit to use. A spiral or just a straight cut bit. Since i’m wanting to clean the bottom of the dovetail I’m not sure what’s the best.
 

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Bill: Question for you - if you are attempting to clean out the base of the tail I'm assuming you want to clean out the portion between tails. Since it's wider than the top (let's call it the entry point), how do you plan to get into the corners with a router bit? Maybe I'm missing something??

In any event, here's an article from Woodcraft on advantages/disadvantages of spiral vs straight bits. If nothing else, it's good reading.

https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/spiral-router-bits-vs-straight-router-bits
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The video in Fine Woodworking shows that there is a very small portion in the corners that has to be chiseled out. I was surprised how small it was. Of course it matters on the degree of the dovetail pin. I know with the Incra dovetail jig on through dovetails there's also just a small corner that needs chisel attention. Here's the link to the Fine Woodworking video:

Simple Trick for Cleaner Dovetail Joints - FineWoodworking
 

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Bill - I watched the video and realize now that you were talking about cleaning out the base of the pins, not the tails. It makes more sense now to use a router to clean them out as the walls of the pins are vertical and not angled as they would be on the tails.

A picture (or video) really is worth a thousand words.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He used a hand held router and I don't have that short of a pattern bit. Mine is 1" long so that's why I thought I could use my Porter Cable bushings and a straight bit or spiral on my router table. It seems to me that with the PC bushings I'll have the thickness of the bushing that won't allow me to get into the corners as well as a pattern bit. I think, as suggested before, I should just invest in the correct bit.
 

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There's no such thing as a dumb question

Just remember, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Just dumb answers.
 
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