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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default cutting a kerf

I need to cut a very thin kerf about 3/64" in various shaped woods. They are oval, round and rectangular. The wood is 5/8" to 3/4" thick. The kerf has to be in the center of the edge. In other words as the piece lays flat I need to cut the kerf (groove) in this edge all the way around. I don't know a thing about routers but I am handy and will buy what is needed. The kerf is used by basket weavers to insert the reed to start making a basket. Thanks for any advice. Vince
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 03:02 PM
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Welcome Vince!

The operation you discribed seems simple enough (at first) and my thought was the use of a router table and a slot cutter. The only thing that seems to be missing is a slot cutter of that size..... I had a couple of router bit catalogs laying here and they all seem to start with the 1/16" size and work up.

The other issue might be how deep the slots need to be cut. This seems to be limited to about 3/16".

Anyone know of another router method or places that sell the right size cutters????

Ed
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 07:44 PM
 
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Hi Vince,

Ed is right. To make what you want will require a router table and a slot cutting bit. The problem is that you won't find a router bit "off the shelf" that will be small enough for what you want. I've never seen a slot cutter less than 1/16" in size. It could be dangerous to use such a thin slot cutter, You might want to consider having a carbide bit custom made for you. Many router bit companies will make a bit to your specification. Do a Google web search on Custom Made Router Bits and you'll have many choices of places to call. I've had 1 bit custom made and found that it was very reasonably priced to have done.

Another option may be a band saw if you have one. A band saw blades kerf is less than 1/16" wide and you will probably have to made a couple of passes for the required width. Make sure to use a tall board along your fence to support your peice.

Bill
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bill,
Thanks for the reply. I tried band saw but some of the pieces are to big to fit under the saw unless a very expensive commercial band saw is used. I could probably get away with a 1/16 bit. I saw advertised a 4 wing slot cutter. Is that what I would need? I am totally new with this router stuff. Thanks, Vince
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ed,
Thanks for the advice. The depth needs to be about a 1/4 but 3/16 is close enough. Just enough for the reed to be pushed in. I saw a 1/16 4 wing slot cutter on the web. Think this would do? Also, can you recommend a reasonable router as I as yet have not purchased one. I will not hold you to it. Thanks, Vince
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2005, 02:17 PM
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Hi Vince, Welcome aboard. I think Ed and Bill are right. What you need is a slot cutting bit with a bearing on it, and a router. You could cut the slot without a router table, using the bearing as a guide. If you change the bearing to a larger diameter you will change the depth of the kerf. I would investigate getting a custom slot cutter with additional bearing of various diameters. Then get a router and go to it.
Woodnut65
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2005, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDenchy
Ed,
Thanks for the advice. The depth needs to be about a 1/4 but 3/16 is close enough. Just enough for the reed to be pushed in. I saw a 1/16 4 wing slot cutter on the web. Think this would do? Also, can you recommend a reasonable router as I as yet have not purchased one. I will not hold you to it. Thanks, Vince
Vince,

Either a 3 or 4 wing cutter would work. Sometimes you need to buy an arbor for them to fit on or sometimes they come with one. As was mentioned the depth is limited so check the catalog for the one that suits your needs. The bearing can be changed to make the cut shallower (is that a word?) ie larger bearing.

As far as routers go I have just started using the new Hitachi and did a post about it back in March. I added a second one this summer so from my point of view I would and did go that way but there are a lot of good routers out there. I was in Lowes the other day and saw the fixed base version for less then $130.

Check:
www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=1045&highlight=hitachi

Ed
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2005, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ed,
Thanks again. As far as I am concerned I knew what you meant by "shallower" so it is a word for me. Will check out the routers. Lots to learn regarding cutters, bearings, etc. If I can find something with a 1/4 depth it would be great. You mentioned catalogs. Where can I see them? Vince
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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Vince,

Woodcraft sells Whiteside router bits and they may have something here that you can use. You can cut up to 1/2" deep with this 3 wing slot cutting bit.

http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx...&FamilyID=8151

Good luck.

Bill
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2005, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ed,

I have found www.routerworld.com and they have Freud slot cutters, 1/16" that cut 9/16" deep in either 1/4 or 1/2 shank, carbide tipped @$16.37. Freud part # 63-100. Also mentioned are bearings, arbors. As I said I am brand new at this so for me to cut these slots in various patterns of wood what would I need? Hope I am not being a pain. Vince
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