Groove Cutting Suggestions - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Groove Cutting Suggestions

I have a piece of soft maple, 5/4" X 2 7/8" X 72". I need to cut a groove, 1/4" wide by X 1/4" deep centered in the 2 7/8" side, along its entire length. Would you cut it on the router table with a straight cutting bit or use a dado blade in the table saw? I have a router 1/4" slot cutting bit but it's not tall enough to use.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
I have a piece of soft maple, 5/4" X 2 7/8" X 72". I need to cut a groove, 1/4" wide by X 1/4" deep centered in the 2 7/8" side, along its entire length. Would you cut it on the router table with a straight cutting bit or use a dado blade in the table saw? I have a router 1/4" slot cutting bit but it's not tall enough to use.
Unless I am missing something, I don't see any difference from using the router table to cut the grooves into the sides of drawer stock.

I would use a 1/4 inch straight bit and make two passes (face down) cutting 1/8th inch on the first pass and then finish at the 1/4 inch depth.

Practice on scrap to get the cut centered before you make the actual cut.

Hope this helps.
Mike

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 06:39 PM
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I would use the table saw probably with just the regular blade. If you start with the blade near dead center, make a pass, and then spin the board around 180* and make another pass then the resulting groove will be dead center. Just move the fence gradually farther from the blade and do the same 2 passes until you get the width you want. Remember that each fence adjustment is x 2.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.

Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 12-18-2014 at 06:54 PM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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You got it! Thank You. Yes, same idea as the drawer side....just longer.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-18-2014, 07:56 PM
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You might need to set up a temporary outfeed table...or grab a helper.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
I have a piece of soft maple, 5/4" X 2 7/8" X 72". I need to cut a groove, 1/4" wide by X 1/4" deep centered in the 2 7/8" side, along its entire length. Would you cut it on the router table with a straight cutting bit or use a dado blade in the table saw? I have a router 1/4" slot cutting bit but it's not tall enough to use.
I would do it as Charles suggests w/ a FTG blade...

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 08:06 AM
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For grooves like that, I prefer the table saw. A dado blade setup gives a really nice flat bottom groove, but I'd definitely be very careful calculating the distance from blade to fence. Very easy to get it off center.

If you choose to use what Chuck and Stick suggested, consider a Freud blade with every 4th tooth flat to help clean out the bottom of the groove nice and flat. http://www.amazon.com/Freud-LM75R010...+ripping+blade

Last edited by DesertRatTom; 12-19-2014 at 08:07 AM. Reason: Missing words
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 08:08 AM
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I agree with Charles and Stick. Don't make it harder than necessary.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 08:16 AM
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You have a wide enough piece that with a good edge guide on your router you could do this freehand in two passes.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-19-2014, 08:28 AM
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Hi Jim

On a plunge router with a side fence a job like that is a doddle on an item as big as a drawer side. 1/4in x 1/4in I'd probably do it a single pass - depends really on whether or not the vacuum can pull the swarf out of the groove - if it couldn't the I'd be doing two passes

On a router table I have slotting cutters which will do that in a single pass, but as an installer I don't always have a router table to hand

Either way, like you, I'd make a practice cut first

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