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Preferred method of hollowing out a board?

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Forum topic by BFamous posted 01-03-2019 09:49 PM 722 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BFamous

344 posts in 1129 days


01-03-2019 09:49 PM

I’ve got an oak 2×8, about 6’ long, which I’m making into a light fixture. As such, I’m going to hollow out 1” about 6” by 5’. So essentially I’d just have a box made from a solid piece of wood. But the hollow part doesn’t have to look good, it’s just for cords to be hidden.

So, here is my question. What’s your preference for hollowing out the board? My current two thoughts are
1. Router
2. Table saw with a dado stack.

The router seems like it could take a bit to chug through all of that wood, and could be quite messy…

The table saw seems like it should work smoothly, using stops at the beginning and end points. But also seems like it could be a little less safe considering the length of the board and needing to drop it on and lift it off the blade…

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com


16 replies so far

View jonah's profile

jonah

2136 posts in 4307 days


#1 posted 01-03-2019 09:58 PM

You don’t necessarily need to lower the board onto the blade. You could also raise the dado stack up into the board. You’d just need to know how deep to go ahead of time.

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Monty151

86 posts in 850 days


#2 posted 01-03-2019 09:58 PM

If it was me doing it, I would use my router taking light passes until you get to your desired depth.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

16655 posts in 2147 days


#3 posted 01-03-2019 10:00 PM

I’m not a fan of cutting stopped grooves/dadoes on a table saw. I would definitely opt for the router. Yeah, it’ll take longer and make a mess but it won’t take that long or be that messy

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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bondogaposis

5949 posts in 3360 days


#4 posted 01-03-2019 10:17 PM

No way would I make stopped grooves with the table saw. However you could make a through dado and then fill the ends with matching wood. It would not be invisible, but light fixtures are up high enough that they don’t invite careful scrutiny.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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BFamous

344 posts in 1129 days


#5 posted 01-03-2019 10:25 PM

Yeah, I’m probably going with the router but was interested in other ideas or if I’m missing a thought process. The router can take a bit, but it can be therapeutic to some degree as well…

Bondo, I agree on them typically being up high enough and not getting much scrutiny – but I failed to mention this is going in MY kitchen, so I’ll know that I could have done it a different way that would have been invisible. :)

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

View jmos's profile

jmos

918 posts in 3378 days


#6 posted 01-03-2019 10:41 PM

If I’m reading your post correctly, you want the cavity 1” wide by 6” deep? An 8” dado stack won’t give you that kind of depth; max of around 3” or so. I’m also not sure where you would get a router and/or bit that will give you 6” cut depth.

Do you have a band saw? I’d give some thought to resawing the board in half (cutting along the 2” dimension), laying the halves down, and using a router to take out the 1/2” of material you would want to remove from each side. Then, glue the two halves back together to make your box.

When you resaw the boards may move, but I would think when you re-glue them you should be able to straighten out.

Another option may be to use an drill bit (auger, spade…) that will give you 6” reach and drill deep holes where you need them. You can then use a router to cut a recess the 5’ length at a depth that will hide the wires; probably wouldn’t need more than an inch or so.

-- John

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BFamous

344 posts in 1129 days


#7 posted 01-03-2019 10:44 PM



If I m reading your post correctly, you want the cavity 1” wide by 6” deep? An 8” dado stack won t give you that kind of depth; max of around 3” or so. I m also not sure where you would get a router and/or bit that will give you 6” cut depth.

Do you have a band saw? I d give some thought to resawing the board in half (cutting along the 2” dimension), laying the halves down, and using a router to take out the 1/2” of material you would want to remove from each side. Then, glue the two halves back together to make your box.

When you resaw the boards may move, but I would think when you re-glue them you should be able to straighten out.

Another option may be to use an drill bit (auger, spade…) that will give you 6” reach and drill deep holes where you need them. You can then use a router to cut a recess the 5 length at a depth that will hide the wires; probably wouldn t need more than an inch or so.

- jmos


John, it’s the other way around… 1” deep by 6” wide… So shallow, but wide and long.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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BFamous

344 posts in 1129 days


#8 posted 01-03-2019 10:45 PM


If I m reading your post correctly, you want the cavity 1” wide by 6” deep? An 8” dado stack won t give you that kind of depth; max of around 3” or so. I m also not sure where you would get a router and/or bit that will give you 6” cut depth.

Do you have a band saw? I d give some thought to resawing the board in half (cutting along the 2” dimension), laying the halves down, and using a router to take out the 1/2” of material you would want to remove from each side. Then, glue the two halves back together to make your box.

When you resaw the boards may move, but I would think when you re-glue them you should be able to straighten out.

Another option may be to use an drill bit (auger, spade…) that will give you 6” reach and drill deep holes where you need them. You can then use a router to cut a recess the 5 length at a depth that will hide the wires; probably wouldn t need more than an inch or so.

- jmos

John, it s the other way around… 1” deep by 6” wide… So shallow, but wide and long.

- BFamous


-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

View PPK's profile

PPK

1844 posts in 1818 days


#9 posted 01-03-2019 10:49 PM

I’d personally do stopped dados. That is if you’ve got a helper or an outfeed table that provides support. I’ve done them many times, just plan the work.
Another option could be to just frame around a 2×6 with some 1” thick material to make the box??

-- Pete

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jerkylips

495 posts in 3579 days


#10 posted 01-03-2019 10:59 PM

Along the lines of what jmos/John said, I’d be inclined to do it similarly to how you make a bandsaw box. Cut out the section that you want hollowed out, then flip that piece & cut it down to the correct width – glue it back up & you’ll never see the seam.

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BFamous

344 posts in 1129 days


#11 posted 01-04-2019 01:47 AM

Doing like a (very large) bandsaw box is an intriguing idea.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

View summerfi's profile

summerfi

4383 posts in 2696 days


#12 posted 01-04-2019 03:56 PM

Why not build it out of 3/4” stock with mitered corners. Then you won’t have end grain showing.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html -- ~Non multa sed multum~

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BFamous

344 posts in 1129 days


#13 posted 01-04-2019 04:01 PM



Why not build it out of 3/4” stock with mitered corners. Then you won t have end grain showing.

- summerfi

I had considered this, but I have what I consider a pretty neat piece of old barn wood that I’m intending to use. So it’s more about the specific piece of wood than just the desired look.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

1319 posts in 912 days


#14 posted 01-04-2019 04:35 PM

I seriously question how you will mount the wood as a light fixture. If the light source is behind the wood, there would be some spacing to allow the light out. A 6 ft. oak board will be heavy, even with a 1” x 6” section removed. I would not mount that much weight to a standard electrical box.

-- Phil Allin - There are woodworkers and people who collect woodworking tools. The woodworkers have a chair to sit on that they made.

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BFamous

344 posts in 1129 days


#15 posted 01-04-2019 04:51 PM



I seriously question how you will mount the wood as a light fixture. If the light source is behind the wood, there would be some spacing to allow the light out. A 6 ft. oak board will be heavy, even with a 1” x 6” section removed. I would not mount that much weight to a standard electrical box.

- Phil32

Phil, I’m mounting it the same way I’d mount false beams of a coffered ceiling… I’m going to screw two 1”x1”x5’ runners directly to the ceiling joists, running parallel to each other 4” apart (outside width would equal the inside width of my hollowed space). Then I’ll place the board over those runners and screw it into them horizontally through the sides using finish screws, countersunk, so they are as least visible as possible.
I’ll have 3 pendant lights suspended from the board, with their cords going into the singular electrical box (actually, I’m consulting with my electrician neighbor for the best way to do the connections from a code perspective. But that’s not important from a weight perspective).
There actually be no weight placed on the electrical box itself. All of the weight will be placed on the runners and handled by the screws going into the ceiling joists (which my houses are actually 12” on center, so I should be hitting at least 4 of them per runner)

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC :: http://www.FamousArtisan.com

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