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Forum topic by DannyW posted 12-16-2018 03:17 PM 370 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DannyW

184 posts in 251 days


12-16-2018 03:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi, I am new to woodworking and just joined today. Please excuse me if this is in the wrong forum but I could not find anything that seemed more appropriate.

I took an intro class a while back at Woodcraft and got the bug, and have been trying to outfit my small space since then. For the router I got a Bosch benchtop cabinet router table and a Bosch 1617 router. I ordered the basic Whiteside 401 router bit set to get me started. I also got the Kreg router table setup bars to make things easy. All is well so far.

Anyway today I setup the router and table and installed a 1/4” straight bit to try it out. I was just cutting some soft pine scrap so of course there were no issues getting through it. The cuts were very smooth and clean as expected. However when I checked the width and depth of the cuts they seemed somewhat off. The 1/4” wide groove is very tight according to the Kreg bar and is somewhat shy in depth. When I setup the height I set it to slightly over 1/4”, but yet the groove depth seems to be shy of 1/4” which is strange, unless that is just the way it is.

What particularly worried me was the width of the groove seemed somewhat narrower than it should be. Is this normal? The other dimensions can of course be set (depth, distance from the edge) but the width will be determined by the bit itself. Is it normal to have to take a second pass to get an exact width (I don’t think so but what do I know)? It got me wondering whether I had received genuine Whiteside bits or if Amazon had sent me imitations; how likely are imitation Whiteside bits? They came in a red plastic box with serial number taped onto the side, and a plastic-like coating that I carefully removed. I was very careful not to damage the cutting surfaces

Am I doing something wrong? Is this to be expected? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-- DannyW


6 replies so far

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fuigb

559 posts in 3411 days


#1 posted 12-16-2018 03:47 PM

Could be, OP, that you’re hoping for a degree of cross-brand consistency that likely doesn’t exist, even among the mainstream brands. Machines can proute consistent performance but consistent does not necessarily translate into reliable. I’m a hobbyist as well and it took me a while to realize what the pros know: as counterintuitive as it may seem hand work or at least hand tweaking is the way to go overcome issue like you’re experiencing.

My advice is to do what you can to compensate and always have fun. When good-enough no longer cuts it there will be room for you in the threads for the various specialty planes.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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DannyW

184 posts in 251 days


#2 posted 12-16-2018 03:59 PM



Could be, OP, that you re hoping for a degree of cross-brand consistency that likely doesn t exist, even among the mainstream brands. Machines can proute consistent performance but consistent does not necessarily translate into reliable. I m a hobbyist as well and it took me a while to realize what the pros know: as counterintuitive as it may seem hand work or at least hand tweaking is the way to go overcome issue like you re experiencing. My advice is to do what you can to compensate and always have fun. When good-enough no longer cuts it there will be room for you in the threads for the various specialty planes.

- fuigb


Thanks fuigb, you may be right that I am expecting more than is practical. My grandfather (who died before I was born) was a carpenter and my father was constantly building and adding onto the house, and I inherited some of that myself as I have done a fair amount of rough diy work around the house, but never anything that I would ever call precise. I have always wanted to learn the skills necessary to do more precision work but just never got around to it until now (I’m 65 but not yet retired). I am just starting out on this journey and have everything ahead of me, so I am trying to learn little by little. I’m going to have fun at this, that is the main thing for now.

-- DannyW

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Rich

4701 posts in 1043 days


#3 posted 12-16-2018 04:15 PM

Tight is what you want. The Kreg bar should fit into the groove, but quite snugly. In the case where you need a looser fit, say for a groove to slide a drawer bottom into, make one pass, then move the fence slightly and cut again to widen the groove. The cut depth is up to you. You apparently didn’t have the bit set high enough. That’s easy to deal with.

One tip for accurate movement of your fence is to use feeler gauges. To move the fence back by a few thousandths, clamp a board so the corner is touching the fence, then adjust the fence so it touches with the feeler gauge in place.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

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DannyW

184 posts in 251 days


#4 posted 12-16-2018 04:31 PM



Tight is what you want. If the Kreg bar should fit into the groove, but quite snugly. In the case where you need a looser fit, say for a groove to slide a drawer bottom into, make one pass, then move the fence slightly and cut again to widen the groove. The cut depth is up to you. You apparently didn t have the bit set high enough. That s easy to deal with.

One tip for accurate movement of your fence is to use feeler gauges. To move the fence back by a few thousandths, clamp a board so the corner is touching the fence, then adjust the fence so it touches with the feeler gauge in place.

- Rich


Thanks Rich that is exactly what I am seeing. Being a newbie and not knowing what to expect I thought it would not be loose but not as tight as it seems to be. Good to know that this is what is expected.

-- DannyW

View tmasondarnell's profile

tmasondarnell

114 posts in 2243 days


#5 posted 12-16-2018 04:36 PM

Remember you are woodworking, not machining ;).

As Rich said, the width of the cut sounds right. As for the depth, there could be a number of things going on: the table is not flat, the stock is not flat, you did not have enough downward pressure on the board as you ran it across the bit, the height of the bit may have shifted during the process or when you tightened the lock nut, etc. While accuracy is important, what I find more important reputability. Can you make that cut over and over again and have each one of them be the “same” (or close enough).

View DannyW's profile

DannyW

184 posts in 251 days


#6 posted 12-16-2018 05:28 PM



Remember you are woodworking, not machining ;).

Good point! Wood is not metal and has more give and take. I shouldn’t expect the same type of results.

-- DannyW

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