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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I'm trying to figure out how to make a tray that gradually angles out from the center to the sides - sort of a shallow tray that be used for serving food/snacks. I don't want to use a bowl bit and a template because I don't want a 90 degree side - more like 20 degrees or so from the bottom.

Of course, I could also use gouges and scoop it out, but I plan on making a series of these for gifts and would prefer an approach with a bit more scale.

I thought I'd try a raised panel bit (without a bearing) on my router table and hollow out the tray. But, it seems dangerous and I would be taking out a ton of material.

Any ideas?
 

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sure.. why not..
it'll work well on the perimeter if to take small bites till you get to your happiness...
usr a planer or bowl bit to rough out the rest...
 

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Only problem I can see with it is that you will be cutting "blind". Your work piece will be on top of your bit, and you won't know for sure where the bit is. Consequently it would be difficult to cut to the edge of your bowl, without going thru that edge.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, it's blind and that concerns me, too. I plan on addressing that by marking lines on the fence for where I need to start/stop. I could also do stop blocks. It's a plunge cut to start (lowering the piece onto the bit) and even with small bites, I'm concerned about big time chatter and tear out. This bit is a big chunk of steel.

The trays will be longish and slender -- about 6 x 18 and 3/4 thick, so I'll need to do one pass on each of four sides, then raise the bit and continue. The short sides/cross grain concern me the most.
 

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Only problem I can see with it is that you will be cutting "blind". Your work piece will be on top of your bit, and you won't know for sure where the bit is. Consequently it would be difficult to cut to the edge of your bowl, without going thru that edge.
One time I had to duplicate a highchair tray that had a similar inside edge.. I had a pin router set up so made a template and struck it to the bottom of the tray stock. I took out most of the material to final depth in the center , then changed the template to make the outer edge cut in multiple depth ( height of bit). I put a larger insert in the table around the bit so that the chips could be sucked down through the table. If you are going to make several of these it would pay to get a pin router set up for your table.
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I had the MLCS model , now I have the Veritas both are good.

Herb
 

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cut cross grain 1st..
use stop blocks...
seal end grain 1st to reduce chip/tearout...
 

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If youre going to use a router table, you must use stop blocks. No way can you control the wood to stop where you think it should be.
or start...
 

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I would probably do it handheld with a plunge router. I looked for a rub collar https://www.woodstockint.com/products/category/shaper-cutters/rub-collars the size of that bit diameter but anything that comes close is 3/4" ID or larger for a shaper but I might try making one out of something like UHMW plastic. If you clamp the plastic to a drill press table and drilled a half inch hole then changed to a 3" hole saw to cut it out you would be pretty close to the right size. You would then slip the homemade bearing on the bit shaft. Then you could make a cutout in a template that was actual size and it would be very close.

This might last a few trays. Better would be to get a 1/2 by 3/4 or 1" bearing to put on the bit shaft and drill a corresponding center hole and turn it into a rub collar. This homemade piece would then slip over that bearing. That would last for a long time.
 

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Just checking.... are you talking about a circular bowl? I had originally thought it would be a rectangle / wedge shape.

Circular bowl is a lathe job. Turn them out in minutes. That chair scooping jig will do it, but its very time consuming if youre talking about many items.
 

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Just checking.... are you talking about a circular bowl? I had originally thought it would be a rectangle / wedge shape.

Circular bowl is a lathe job. Turn them out in minutes. That chair scooping jig will do it, but its very time consuming if youre talking about many items.
It wouldn't take much of a modification to make a rectangular bowl with a scooping jig. Instead of rotating the workpiece, just make a series of passes along one edge, then at 90 degrees


My concern is a bit that diameter would be very difficult to control either handheld or in a table.
 

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My concern is a bit that diameter would be very difficult to control either handheld or in a table.
on the table...
feather boards to hold the material against the fence and down onto the table...
miter gauge for the short cuts...
and of course start/stop blocks....
 

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I feel it would be dangerous with that bit. You might want to research a chair scooping jig.
I was picturing something like this.


I didn't know now this jig existed, but I've seen jigs for cutting a flat surface on rough lumber using a router on rails. I thought, use that technology but make the rails shaped like your bowl design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, everyone. Using a rub collar is an interesting idea, Chuck - I'm just not comfortable with a bit this large in a handheld router. Same with the chair scooping jig, Doug and Bob. Although either of those approaches could probably get me there. What do they say? If you've got a bad feeling about it, then don't do it.

I'm think I'm going to build a jig to hold the piece and then use featherboards and start/stop blocks, like you're describing, Stick. If that doesn't work, then I may just bust out the grinder with an Arbortech blade or something similar.

I'll report back - thanks again everyone!
 

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Would likely be easier to make suggestions if you posted a simple drawing with dimensions.
 

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For a bowl you should rethink your plans.

If you do use that bit, it will be very difficult to get a flat bottom in your bowl without using a large diameter flat bottomed bit to smooth it after you cut the general shape of the bottom and you will need to change your stop positions, so as not to cut into the slope and inside edge of the bowl created by your first bit. When I do things like this I like to see what I'm cutting, and so I can vacuum the chips out better as I cut. I would go with a jig something like the chair hollowing jig with maybe a different shaped curve or just flat instead of the curve, and a flat bottomed bowl hollowing bit, maybe even with a top bearing to hit a pattern template to contain the routed area (will only work if it's a flat bottomed bowl).

Starting to cut the bowl with a large diameter bit and plunge router needs to be done slowly and at small increasing depths so as not to load the router too heavily, since it will be difficult to control the router if you cut too deep in one pass.

Charley
 
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