Step-back Cupboard Build #12: In the immortal words of MC Hammer: Stop! Router Time!

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Blog entry by rwyoung posted 06-25-2009 03:38 AM 4627 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Simple router mortise jig gets some shop time Part 12 of Step-back Cupboard Build series Part 13: Face frame attached »

(I’ll translate for those of you on the east coast, Rhouta’ Time ;-) )

I glued up the two stiles and rail for the upper face frame. Something to keep in mind when doing any sort of work is the order of operations. Round over before glue up? After? The reason I mention this is because I made a strategic choice about when to chamfer the inside edge of the frame. I could have done the chamfer on the pieces before glue-up and also cope the shoulders of the rail to fit or miter the inside corners. If this cupboard was to have a clear finish, the coped joint or mitering the inside corner of the chamfer is the way to go. But as I’ve said, this is going to be a painted piece. So I opted to do the chamfer AFTER the glue up. This means the “funny” of the chamfer into the corner will be camouflaged. The “funny” will be quite clear in some pictures below.

What are the implications of doing things this way? Well here you see the rough routed chamfer. The burning is because I had to slow my movement of the router (working handheld this time) as I turned the corner. Slow feed == burning.

No big deal, just a fact of life. But what is more important, you see that a router cannot make a square inside corner. Just can’t, the geometry of the bit rules.

This is an easy situation to rectify, I just strike a pencil line to extend the two chamfers into the corner.

Next I push my chisel in on that line, using a block cut to 45 so I’ll match the router cut chamfer. Not going in far, just enough to create a little bit of a guide for the paring cuts to follow.

FYI, a handy jig to have for the table saw in addition to a miter sled and a panel sled is a 45 miter sled.

Makes things like 45 corners or in this case a small paring block a snap.

Just pare out the rest of the waste, which also gets rid of most of the burn mark.

Just a touch with a sanding block and it is done.
And now you can see the “funny” quite clearly. If this was not going to be a painted piece, it would look very strange in the corner. This is why you cope a joint when putting a profile on an inside corner of a piece that will receive a clear finish. The milk paint will cover this and it won’t be visible later. And it only took about 5 minutes to pare the two corners versus the cussing and fussing of coping the shoulder of the tenon.

The last router operation on the face frame is to add a round over and lip to the two outside edges of the rails. Again, handheld routing. But here is another common problem. Lots of routers use what is sometimes called a PC or PorterCable base. Mine does. The good news is that lots of accessories and bushings fit the PC bases. The bad news is that you can’t pass a bit larger than about 1” diameter through the stock sub-base of the router. Since I have two bases for my router, plunge for most hand-held work and fixed that lives in the router table there is a very easy solution to this problem. Take the fixed base and attached router plate from the router table and use it as a handheld base. No where is is written in stone that you must have a round base on a handheld router. My router plate has one of those snap-apart rings that lets you pass larger bits by removing inner rings. Problem solved.

One other benefit, this plate is quite wide and so I can have plate in contact with the entire 3” width of the stiles. This makes for a more stable handheld router pass and thus safer.

I’ve mentioned before about changing the bearing size to expose different parts of the roundover bit. This closeup really helps to illustrate that point.

The small bearing is inside the straight cutting portion of the carbide. If I put back the 1/2” bearing then I would be back to the smooth transition roundover.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

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