Trammel Routing with the OF 1010, (part 2)

Hi Guys,

After the success of last weekends foray into Gothic Trammel routing, I had a bit of free time this weekend to further refine the technique. The purpose of this exercise is twofold, firstly to see how far you can go with trammel routing, and secondly to create and refine some different router techniques for a upcoming book.

Last week I made a Gothic Trefoil Frame so this week I decided to attempt a Gothic Quatrefoil motif.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I remembered to take the camera into the  workshop this week, so I could document the process.

The  first step is to prepare the panel. There is a process to this which i’ll cover in more detail in future articles

Once the panel is prepared, the next step is to draw the design using a compass and rulers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next stage is to drill a small hole to accommodate the shaft of the trammel. the router and trammel are then placed on the workpiece and the plunge depth is set as per normal. I’m using 19 mm pine for this test piece but will only be cutting the design in 18mm deep, (it’ll make sense later) the inner line of the small circles are cut first and the position of the cutter is is determined by sighting the edge of the cutter to the pencil line.

Once your set carefully start cutting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut each circle to the maximum depth before moving on to the next one. The trammel is visible in front of the router in the photo above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve completed the inner set, move out to the next set of rings taking care to stay within the design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’ve done all the straight cuts, change to a face cutting profile bit and add some detail as I’ve done on this example.

The next step is to put a scroll cut blade on your jigsaw and carefully cut the frame from the panel.

Once thats done your piece will probably look like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dont stress, we now turn the frame over and put a bearing guided flush trim cutter in your router or trimmer, and set it as shown below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carefully trim all edges and you’ll hopefully end up with something that resembles this,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now all it needs is a good sand and finish according to your taste.

Ok guys, thats all for this post, they’ll be more on this topic in following posts leading up to my routing book which will hopefully be ready in the next few months

As always, your comments and questions are appreciated.

Be safe and have fun,

Cheers

Bryan.

Dovetail Keys as a Timber joint, (Part 2)

 

Dovetail keys as a timber joint. (Part 2)

In part 1 of this article, we covered the joining of the boards and the creation of the trenches for the dovetail keys. In this part well expand on cover how to cut the dovetail keys and glue them into the trenches.

One of the key points to remember is to cut the keys along the grain of the board to give maximum strength to the shelf.

As we’ll be using a trimmer to cut the keys, it’s critical that you pay careful attention to clamping the boards into place. In my case, the Sydney blue gum that I’m using is recycled tongue and groove floorboards, so I was able to screw a sacrificial board about 50mm in from the edge of my bench with the groove facing toward me, then screw an offcut of pine onto that for additional lateral support.

20111009-095237.jpgIt was then a matter of sliding the tongue of the board the key was being cut into, into the groove of the board screwed to the bench and the material was secured and ready to cut.

As i did in the previous article on sliding dovetails, I’ll be using the Bosch GMR trimmer to cut the dovetail keys. Once the keys are shaped, I’ll be using the band saw to cut the keys from the main board, then planing the cut edge of the board flat before clamping it back in the jig and beginning the whole process again.

The first step is to attach the fence to the trimmer. I’ve attached a piece of melamine to the fence to give the trimmer more support when used in the horizontal position. There is a notch cut out of the board to let me see the location of the cutter and to allow the wood chips to be ejected, so they don’t clog the cut.

Please use safety glasses or face shield plus a dust mask and earmuffs when using any router

We know that the height of the dovetail key is the same as the depth of the trench we’ve just cut, so now we need to reduce the dovetail keys to the correct width so they can be inserted into the trenches we’ve completed.

Set the fence, so it covers about 3mm of the cutter and, after checking that everything’s clamped and tight place the trimmer on the workpiece, turn it on and cut the first side of the tail.

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If you’ve never routed horizontally before make sure you have a go at doing a couple of test cuts first. The key points to remember are to keep the base of the rout pressed firmly against the edge of the workpiece and the fence pushed firmly down on the top of the piece.

Once you’ve cut the first side unclamp, then flip the piece over, re-clamp and cut the second side.

20111009-095951.jpgGrab one of the pieces with the trenches in it and see how it fits. If you’ve managed a perfect fit on the first cut, I take my hat off to you. If it’s too big just move the fence in by a small amount, then try again. This part of the process can be a bit tedious, but it’s necessary to get as tight a fit as possible.

Once you’ve achieved a nice firm fit, and by this I mean that the tail slides into the trench with a little effort but not so much that you need to whack it in with a mallet, firmly lock the fence on the trimmer into place, so you don’t lose the fence position.

The next stage is to free the tail from the workpiece and for this, I used my band saw. My workshop is small and I don’t have a table saw, so all of my rip cuts are done on the band saw then cleaned up with either hand planes or by doing a series of .5mm planing cuts on the router table.20111009-100313.jpg

Since my tail needed to be a minimum of 6mm long, I set the fence on the band saw to 8mm and using a push stick removed the tails from the workpieces.

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After removing the tailpiece from the main work board, I planed the edge flat to remove the tooth marks from the band saw and started the whole process again.

If you don’t have access to either a table or band saw you could also use a jigsaw or plain old handsaw to remove the tails from the main board.

Once I had everything set up it took me just over an hour to cut the 24 dovetail keys for the 12 shelves that I’d made.

Once all the tails were cut it was then just a simple matter of gluing them and sliding them into there corresponding trenches. I had a mallet handy to help “persuade” a few troublesome keys to get into the correct position.

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I left the keys about 20mm oversize from each side of the shelf, planning to trim them flush when everything was dry.

After 24 hours drying time I used my Japanese saw to trim the excess keys flush with the edges of the shelves and then used a Stanley smoothing plane to trim the excess height from the keys, so they were flush with the shelves.

The next process was to place a 5mm radius cutter in the Bosch GMR trimmer and round over all the edges on the shelves to remove all the hard edges.

The next article in this series will show you my method of applying Tung oil to achieve a beautiful finish.

As usual, your comments and questions are appreciated

Thanks for reading this article,

Bryan

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Dovetail Keys as a Timber Joint, ( Part 1)

 

More things to do with do with dovetails.

The project that I’m working on at the moment has twelve timber shelves as part of the design.

I was able to source a selection of recycled messmate and mountain ash in small dressed boards, which I decided to use for this part of the project
The shelves needed to be a 245mm wide and the board’s ranged in width from 40mm to 80mm, so a selection of boards had to be joined together to give me a panel as near to my 245mm width as required for the project.

In an ideal world I’d be able to reach for my domino and hey presto, I’d have the shelves joined; but sadly I don’t have a domino yet, so it’s back to the drawing board.

I have a full router table set up, so another possibility is to use was biscuits, but frankly, I don’t like them You may as well butt-join the pieces for all the additional strength that you’ll gain from them.

After a bit more thought, I settled on butt joining the pieces and then adding dovetail keys, both as a means to prevent the shelves from cupping, as well as a decorative feature.

Another advantage of this method was that I’d used sliding dovetails on the shelves and dividers in the carcasses of the wall unit, so I was very familiar with the required technique.

Once I’d cut all the timber to size and jointed all the edges, the shelves were glued, and butt joined together in lots of three with a couple of sheets of newspaper placed between each of the shelves to prevent them from sticking together. The glued units were then left for 24 hrs to cure.

Once cured the shelves were planed flat to remove any irregularities and sanded to 80 grit.

As there were 12 shelves to add dovetail keys to, I made a simple jig to speed up the process of routing the channels and to ensure continuity of dovetail placement on all the shelves. The jig is just a 3-sided frame, screwed to a sacrificial board with a straight edge attached to guide the router.

The position of the trench is determined by the placement of the straight edge, relative to the edge of the board. Remember to take into account the width of your router base when working out the correct position and double check that everything’s square before you screw the straight edge to the frame.

The next step is to run a straight trench through the shelves to remove the bulk of the excess timber and to minimise strain on the dovetail cutter. I used my Festool of 1010, fitted with a 6 mm spiral uncut but to perform this task.

It’s important not to avoid this step as the removal of the excess material from the trench allows the dovetail bit to perform much better and the bit is under much less strain.

The material I chose for the dovetail keys was 19mm Sydney blue gum that gave an excellent contrast against the messmate in the shelves. So that the keys were balanced in the shelves, I decided to set them in 6mm deep.

The next stage was to set the depth of the spiral cutter in the OF 1010 to 6mm and then cut the square trenches in the shelves.

Remember to check the position of your fence before you start cutting.

If your using two different routers, as I did, the fence will need to be moved into the correct position for the dovetail trenches after you’ve cut the straight trenches.

As in my previous article on sliding dovetails, I again turned to my trusty Bosch Gmr trimmer to cut the dovetail trenches.

With the tool unplugged insert the dovetail cutter into the Gmr and set the depth, so there is 6mm of cutter protruding.

The dovetail cutter depth must be the same as the depth of the straight trench that you cut previously.

Once the trimmer is all set then double check that your fence is in the correct position and cut all of the trenches. Clean up any feathered edges on them and put the shelves aside.

 

 

 

 

Make sure you don’t remove the dovetail cutter from the trimmer or adjust the depth.

The depth of the trench is the same as the height of the dovetail key we’re going to cut in part 2

 

Part 2 of this article will cover how to make the dovetail keys.

As usual, your comments and questions are appreciated

Thanks for reading this article,

Bryan

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