Box (finger) joints - table saw or router

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  • leehljp
    replied
    Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
    Seems like two routers but just one shared fence is a very limiting factor???
    Unless you use the second router as a bearing guided for edge routing.
    Actually shared fence is not a problem at all. It does not matter to change the orientation of the fence for either one. The bearing is the ultimate limiting factor when using bearing guides. I do not use two router bits in tandem for unique cut, just each one individually. The primary purpose is so that I can set one to the correct height and leave it set, and then use the other - for other needs. Since the cutting is round and limited by the bearing on top as already mentioned, the fence could swing into any direction relative to the one bit that is doing the cutting. That is what I do. I usually swing the left side completely over the left router bit and leave the right bit exposed as much as needed for cuts, rabbets or dados. The fence on router tables do not have to be parallel to the blade or front table edge as it does in sawing.

    Let me say this in a slightly different way: I only use one bit at a time in relation to the fence, and since the bit is vertical and round, I can technically orient the fence from any direction to that one bit. All that is needed is the distance of the fence in relation to the bit.

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    So, why use two routers/bits? ON any given project, I usually use two and sometimes 3 bit shapes. On a single router table, and me not being able to see a few hours down the road, I would have to take the one set bit out and replace it and then take it out and put the original bit back in, and then do it again. BUT with dual, I don't have to keep switching bits. With a swinging fence, Cover one for one cut and swing it again and cover the other. The fence stays mostly in place but swings just enough on its track to cover one and expose the other and then vice versa. It is not as complicated as it seems in writing and is quite simple.

    The miter track does lend itself to the need in some cases to have an accurate parallel fence. But that is another story and not as often used - for me.
    Last edited by leehljp; 04-12-2021, 02:40 PM.

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    Seems like two routers but just one shared fence is a very limiting factor???
    Unless you use the second router as a bearing guided for edge routing.

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  • GrumpyDad
    replied
    Thank you. I find the multiple mounted routers a very interesting option. Seems like they keep showing up here anyways.

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  • leehljp
    replied
    I have photos in my media file on this forum but can't seem to get them to come up for this post.

    I'll upload from my computer again - hopefully.

    Below is the one that I made when I lived overseas in Osaka, Japan. It took up too much space to bring back when I moved back home (MS) so I gutted it and brought back the router bits drawers and in the past three years have started building a new one here. The new one is now functional but not as complete as the one in the picture, and is the same size 36"W, 21" Frt to Back, 41" tall with rollers. In the original below, I was originally intending to put 3 routers in, but finally decided that two was all that I needed. Also the one below has a 1/2 in router and a 1/4 inch router. The new one has two 1/2 inch routers Old but workhorse Craftsman and a VS PC.. I haven't finished my raise/lower arms yet, but I am working on it. There is very little difference in design in the old and the new, but some minor function changes. ON the new one, all vac is in the fence where as in the one below it was dual fence and router housing base.

    OH and on the one below, I don't have a a picture, but I had a backing on it that raised and lowered with an adjustment wheel which had a horizontal router on it. I used the horizontal router a few times over there but haven't had the need for one here. It could be easily modified for a horizontal router as the depth (front to back) has more than enough space. Also on the new one, the two parts drawers below the bits drawers were increased in depth by an inch. I had to move my 1/4 inch bits there as I needed all three of the bits drawers for 1/2 inch bits once I moved back home. I had about 40 -1/2 inch bits here in the States and about 60 - 1/2 in over there (but about 40 at the time of the photo), in addition to 1/4 inch bits. I now have about 150 bits total.


    Click image for larger version  Name:	2 Router Front.JPG Views:	0 Size:	158.8 KB ID:	843675 Click image for larger version  Name:	Viewing routers.JPG Views:	0 Size:	142.9 KB ID:	843676 Click image for larger version  Name:	Bits drawer.JPG Views:	0 Size:	160.7 KB ID:	843677
    Last edited by leehljp; 04-11-2021, 07:04 PM.

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  • GrumpyDad
    replied
    Hank: Would you consider posting a picture of your router setup?

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  • leehljp
    replied
    I didn't mention a primary reason that I prefer router dados over saw blades. My router table has two routers on it specifically for when I am doing a project and have the need for one particular bit, but need to change bits for a second need, - it allows me to keep one bit for the main blade cut and the other router to change out. I HATE SWAPPING BLADES back and forth in the middle of a project, therefore I can have the best of both worlds with the dual.

    IF I had the FrankinSaw - for old timers that alludes to one guy who put 2 BT3x00s side by side on the same stand, and a few others followed - with that I could keep one standard blade an use, and use the other saw for dado. AS surely as I made a few dado cuts, I would need to rip another board to finish all of my dados - MEANING either have a Frankinsaw or change blades in the middle of a project.

    Even on my lathes, I changed out the motor on my first one so that I didn't need to keep changing the belts to change speeds up and down on a single project.
    Last edited by leehljp; 04-07-2021, 08:14 AM.

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  • ballard770
    replied
    Since I only have dado blades that are not box joint blades, I’ll make a jig and use my router to make the box joints. Later if I get a box joint blade set I will try that method for future projects.

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  • BadeMillsap
    replied
    Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post

    I have one of those Freud box joint Dado sets that has the precise 1/4 and 3/8" dado assemblies and perfect flat bottoms. Pretty much fool proof and instant setup.
    https://www.amazon.com/Freud-20T-Joi...6869590&sr=8-3

    Click image for larger version Name:	P3270312.JPG Views:	0 Size:	274.2 KB ID:	843490
    Done it both ways (Router and Table Saw) I have the same blade LCHIEN shows and FOR ME as long as the box joints are one of those two sizes I prefer the TS ... if there is a big difference I use the router table with a adjustable jig. (INCRA LS POSITIONER)

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  • twistsol
    replied
    Thanks for those drawings. I was completely unaware of a true flat bottom dado sets. I have the first two types although I don't think the wobble blade has been used since the 80's

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    Here's the reasons for bat ears on many dados.
    Click image for larger version  Name:	Freud SD206 Dado blades.JPG Views:	0 Size:	31.8 KB ID:	843499
    Note the angled scoring tips on the right and left outer blades while the inner chipper blades have flat tops to span the bottom.
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-28-2021, 01:46 PM.

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  • nicer20
    replied
    Thanks everyone - so much to learn !!

    LCHIEN : Those drawings are super helpful. Picture is worth 1000 words after all.

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  • LCHIEN
    replied
    Originally posted by nicer20 View Post

    But aren't the dado blades supposed to produce a flat bottom? I have been planning to acquire a set someday hence asking.

    NG
    There are many types of dados. Twistsol's answer (#6) in the thread has a very accurate answer detailing what you get with a wobble, and with a stack with beveled teeth on the outer plates, and those with just flat top teeth. The bevel top outer plates are supposed to make cleaner edges with less tearout by scoring the line before the raking cut. These are the bat ears that Chr's talks about.
    I will add that its important to have all your dado blades on the flat part, not the threaded part of the arbor to get flat bottom.
    Wobble dadoes have a radius to the bottom which is the radius of the blade... a 6" wobble will have more curvature than an 8" because its radius is smaller.
    Note that the picture below exaggerates the wobble some. This shows a 6" dia. wobble dado cutting a 1" wide groove 1" deep...which most cannot do that wide or that deep. If the dado groove was 1/2" wide and 1/2" deep, then the curvature of the bottom would be half as much as shown in relative size. An 8" wobble dado would have even a bot less curvature.
    The bat ears are also relative... probably only a few -.010" or so deep.

    If you want a truly flat bottom you have to pick the dado set carefully.

    I Know so much about dadoes because I own 5 sets: 6" HSS set. 8" Craftsman excalibur Wobble, 8" carbide Freud set, a 6" carbide Freud Set and a 8" Freud Box Joint set. I can say I learned the hard way.

    Here's a little graphic I threw together.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	dado bottoms.JPG Views:	0 Size:	112.2 KB ID:	843494
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-28-2021, 02:10 AM.

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  • GrumpyDad
    replied
    Just stumbled into a purchase of the jointech clincher CL-18 with all the books and accessories for a great price. I am itching to try this type of joinery. Maybe after the honeydoos are extinguished.

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  • LCHIEN
    commented on 's reply
    it is 8" but it fits OK on the BT3 because its only 3/8" wide.you have to take off the 1/2 in spacer
    .

  • LCHIEN
    replied
    Originally posted by leehljp View Post
    Since I have a very good home made router table, I have a box finger set up for use with routers. I thought long an hard on which will produce the most repeatable and quickest set up for me.

    The hard part for me on a table saw is the kerf width and setting that up with the right width of movement. ON my router table, I have set block sizes and set router bit sizes.
    I have one of those Freud box joint Dado sets that has the precise 1/4 and 3/8" dado assemblies and perfect flat bottoms. Pretty much fool proof and instant setup.
    https://www.amazon.com/Freud-20T-Joi...6869590&sr=8-3

    Click image for larger version  Name:	P3270312.JPG Views:	0 Size:	274.2 KB ID:	843490
    Last edited by LCHIEN; 03-27-2021, 03:28 PM.

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