Tips on fluting faceframes? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-05-2009, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Tips on fluting faceframes?

I'm currently building a bookcase and the customer wants decorative fluting on the vertical faceframes. I honestly haven't ever done anything with fluting.

Fortunately I tried it before I assembled the faceframes and managed to ruin two pieces! I'm using a 1/2" core box bit, my PC plunge router, and a PC edge guide to which I've secured a 12" piece of wood to act as a fence. I can't seem to keep them in a perfectly straight line...Minor mistakes, but they jump out at you!

The flutes are stopped and staggered at their ends, and because of that I'm scared to do them on the router table, but may resort to it if all else fails.

I've considered rigging the router guide's wood fence with a secondary fence that will ride the other side of the faceframe to sort of capture the faceframes. But that seems like a band aid fix to what is probably a fairly easy problem.

So, when you guys do fluted columns, mantels, and faceframes, what method do you use? Also, any tips for centering the flutes? I've always had pretty good luck with cabinetmaking, so this has me really angry and frustrated.
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-05-2009, 05:24 PM
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I've made a few pieces with fluted face frames and did it on my router table with a round nosed bit. My thought was to have an odd number of flutes. So, I put one down the middle, then reset my fence to split the difference between the edge and the center flute. I ran one side then flipped the piece and ran the other side. I put leading and trailing marks on my fence so I would know where to start and stop the board. For the drop down end, I dropped down just short of the mark then eased up slowly to the mark. Here's a photo of one piece I did with fluting.

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-05-2009, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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That looks nice bradnailer. I guess that maybe the router table will be the way to go. I just hate to make a plunge cut...It makes it impossible to use a featherboard above the workpiece. But routing a 1x3 lengthwise by hand is killing me.

I'm so mad at this thing I haven't touched it in two days.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-05-2009, 10:27 PM
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A picture would help alot here but no gotty, sorry.
You can make a jig to do flutes. Basically you captivate the router base on the top level and the stile on the lower level.
The lower level is wider than you need and rip some stock to center it, if you have a flute in the middle. With a little calculating each side of the stile can be held by more than one rip, so you take one out of one side and place it on the other. The stile moves over the proper increment for your next flute. Take two out of the other side and place them back over on the opposite side and you have a flute on the other side of center .
I Hope you get the idea.
You will be able to place removable stop blocks at the end of the jig for the different lengths you are looking for.
All that will take some time but if you build in enough flexibility you will have it next time.

Another option is to find a shop with a cnc machine to mill them for you. That could be worth a shot. A cnc machine makes easy work of stuff like this. A good shop owner would love to do it for you.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-05-2009, 11:22 PM
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I think the biggest trick to hand rout flutes as you are doing is to use a square base router.

I also quit doing round flute terminations a lot of years ago, and have used only tapered terminations since the first one. That way I get zero burning on cherry. I just cut a couple ramps and slide down into and out of the stock.

I use a real long fence and cut the ramps slightly narrower than the stock so it can't interfere with the fence.

I start in the center and do all the pieces, and if the center is a little off, just rip down the wide side to match the other.

Before starting, I add (screw) two fences of the same thickness to the router fence which are whatever thickness I need to achieve the spacing I'm after.

After routing all the center flutes and truing up to center, I remove one auxilary fence and rout all the ones adjacent to the first (three total). Then I remove the second aux. fence and rout the next two on each stick for a total of 5 flutes (assuming that's how many I want).

After I get the depth right on the first, I draw a square line across both ends of the board about an eighth away from the start of the taper. For suceeding flutes, I back off the router a little for the first pass, then take a light final cut - bringing the start of the taper to 1/8 inch of the square line.

You don't want the last flute to be too long.

Good luck.
Jim

Last edited by clampman; 01-05-2009 at 11:39 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-05-2009, 11:48 PM
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Got that termite?
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-06-2009, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
I'm currently building a bookcase and the customer wants decorative fluting on the vertical faceframes. I honestly haven't ever done anything with fluting.
Thekctermite Almost all the door trim in my house was hand routed. I made a base plate for my router out of 1/4 plexglass, about 8 x 10 inches. Then I mounted 2 fences on the plate leaving enough room in the middle for the wood I was routing. I had 2 sets of holes to screw the fences to. One set to cut the middle flute and one set of mounting holes to cut the out side flute. To cut the outside flutes I just turned the router 180* as the guides were offset.
Sorry I dont have a picture of the router.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-06-2009, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the ideas. I think I'm going to use the router table for this for a little better control. I'm going to make marks on it to indicate where the bit is and marks on the back of the board to indicate where to stop. Wish me luck.
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-06-2009, 12:29 PM
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Since you are only taking a small amount of material out of the wood, dropping down on the bit isn't that difficult. As I mentioned, drop down just shy of where you want the flute to end then ease up to the line. I realize that by doing that you are sort of running backwards, but again, you are only removing a small amount of material and going slowly gives you plenty of control.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-09-2009, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the router table worked like a champ. I used featherboards to keep it tight to the fence. It would have been better if I had been able to put featherboards on top to hold it down as well, but that wasn't possible since I had to drop the board down on the bit.
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post #11 of 16 Old 01-10-2009, 10:09 AM
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I might be a little late with this, but what the heck...nobody listens to me anyway.

Anyway, I have done them both with a handheld router, and a table router. When doing them by hand, I cut the stock long, and secure it to a bench. At the sacrificial ends of the stock secure stops for the flute length. I set my guide for the two outer grooves, and run down both sides. The same for any additional interior grooves. This is done with a fixed base router and tipping into the pass. It can be done in one pass, but a last skim pass cleans it up pretty good.

On the table router, I apply end stops for the flutes, and cut spacers for the inward passes. For cleaning out the grooves and any burning at the ends, rifflers work great.
.








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post #12 of 16 Old 01-10-2009, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks cabinetman, I listen to ya!

I staggered the center and outer flutes so the middle one is longer than the outer two. Plus, the flutes stop near the top of the bookcase but stop several inches above the floor (to allow for base), so end stops would have been inconvenient. Instead I used masking tape on the router table to show each side of the bit and stopped the cut at corresponding marks on each end of the boards. That worked out pretty well.

There are a few ripples from where the board wasn't 100% perfectly flat to the table, but those will clean up with some sanding to feather them out. It'll give me an excuse to use the curved detail sander attachments on my Fein MultiMaster.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-19-2009, 03:16 AM
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Thanks for the tip!!
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-28-2009, 01:53 AM
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Sorry I'm too late this time, I make all my flutes with a molder head on my table-saw. It's quick, easy, and safe. It also leaves a very nice taper at the end of each flute. I was taught this technique from a CD I received from John at [email protected] It's been a few years, but he may still have it available. I heard he's writing a book on handheld routers, He may have something available on table saws.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-28-2009, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by char View Post
Sorry I'm too late this time, I make all my flutes with a molder head on my table-saw. It's quick, easy, and safe. It also leaves a very nice taper at the end of each flute. I was taught this technique from a CD I received from John at [email protected] It's been a few years, but he may still have it available. I heard he's writing a book on handheld routers, He may have something available on table saws.

I tried doing flutes on the TS. I had some cutters made up for my Craftsman TS moulding head. What I didn't like was the ends of the flutes were too gradual, and marking for stops was too general because of the overall diameter of the cutters.

The other problem is holding down the subject piece. That gets to be quite an isometric strain after a while, especially if you have a lot of flutes to do.






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post #16 of 16 Old 04-06-2009, 10:11 AM
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Thumbs up Thanks!

Nice Thread, nice posts, nice ideas, nice photos, nice work,....have a nice day!
There is no thread rating entitled "nice" so I gave it 5 stars!
thanks, bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 04-06-2009 at 10:14 AM.
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