Router Pattern Cutting Question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-27-2015, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Router Pattern Cutting Question

Hello all,

First time poster here, long time lurker and reader.

Have a small project I am working on for my own home, and if successful, hope to maybe one day reproduce to sell/ give to family and friends. The snag I am running into is with using my router to follow a pattern and cut a somewhat detailed shape out of 3/4" stock. In my head before trying, I thought I could use maybe a 1/8" flush trim bit with a bearing and just trace the pattern and then boom, I would have a duplicate of my pattern but in a nice 3/4" piece of wood.

Upon trying, this is posing to be a lot more difficult than I envisioned. I originally chose the router thinking it would be quicker than a scroll saw and could get a consistently reproducible shape. Now I'm not so sure..

Does anyone have experience with cutting shapes out of 3/4" material using a pattern? If so, what do you recommend using for both tool and bit. Ideally would use a 1/8" bit to cut the details/corners, but could possibly make due with a 1/4" bit.

Thank you all in advance
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-27-2015, 06:54 PM
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You're on the right track, you're just missing a step. Attach the template, but take off the bulk of the waste with a scroll saw or bandsaw before taking it to the router, that way the router isn't working overly hard. It'll take a little more time, but you'll end up with identical pieces

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-27-2015, 07:31 PM
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And be sure the pattern is EXACTLY what the finished piece should look like.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-28-2015, 10:22 AM
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Great advice from previous posts! Consider adding a few spots of hot glue to attach your template to the new material, and be certain before you start cutting that the wood grain is running in the same direction as the original piece. Also cut a trial piece before you get into the "good stuff". Be safe.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-28-2015, 11:00 AM
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Not knowing what the pattern looks like I can only make general comments.

You may find a 3/16" bearing on a pattern bit, 1/4" is more common and it is the diameter of the bearing not the bit that allows for intricate patterns with a template.

For "one off" intricate work it is probably better done on a scroll saw.

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-28-2015, 11:24 AM
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I didn't know they made 1/8" diameter pattern bits. How the heck did they get bearing that small?

I do router inlay work but use inlay template guides with 1/8" straight and up & down spiral bits. However the patterns are female and the cuts made inside as opposed to exterior profile cutting. With this style of routing one must take the guide dims into consideration when cutting the template and be aware that the smallest point of a cut is still 1/8" in diam.

With scroll saw work the minimal diameter of a cut is still the width of the blade but the blade is measured in 64ths or 128ths of an inch. Tilt the SS table and the blade diam becomes irrelevant.

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-28-2015, 02:59 PM
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Sounds like a job for a Pin Router
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-28-2015, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarywood View Post
And be sure the pattern is EXACTLY what the finished piece should look like.
Yup..sand the template smooth unless you like bumps in your final piece of work.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-29-2015, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for the input. I'm starting to realize that a scroll saw might be my best bet for this project. The max cutting length of a 1/8" spiral bit I've found is 3/8" which would mean cutting through half the material, then moving the pattern to the back and flipping it all over, increasing the chance for bad alignment.

In regards to the 1/8" bit with a bearing, I actually improvised a pin router setup so that I could just use a regular bit. This worked ok but the tough part is getting the pin and the bit lined up perfectly.


I currently do not own a scroll saw, nor have I ever used one. Have found a few locally on Craigslist that Might be worth giving a try. By the time I have taped the template, cut through half the material, re-taped the template and cut the other side, I'm thinking I could have made a decent cut on a scroll saw. Tricky part will be getting this though my finance department, aka wife.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-29-2015, 03:35 PM
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I mounted a router to the side of my old ras. Sort of an inverted pin router. Lower bit into aux. table and, then put a pin in the hole. Perfectly lined up with the bit.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-29-2015, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbkennedy View Post
Thanks everybody for the input. I'm starting to realize that a scroll saw might be my best bet for this project. The max cutting length of a 1/8" spiral bit I've found is 3/8" which would mean cutting through half the material, then moving the pattern to the back and flipping it all over, increasing the chance for bad alignment.

In regards to the 1/8" bit with a bearing, I actually improvised a pin router setup so that I could just use a regular bit. This worked ok but the tough part is getting the pin and the bit lined up perfectly.


I currently do not own a scroll saw, nor have I ever used one. Have found a few locally on Craigslist that Might be worth giving a try. By the time I have taped the template, cut through half the material, re-taped the template and cut the other side, I'm thinking I could have made a decent cut on a scroll saw. Tricky part will be getting this though my finance department, aka wife.

Just be aware that there is a learning curve on a scroll saw,and it will take some practice to become accurate, also when looking for a saw the DeWalt or Delta would be a good choice.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-29-2015, 04:04 PM
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The old Craftsman RAS's had what they called an auxiliary power shaft, (the motor's arbor extends out enough to screw on a router collet adapter. I tried it a few times in the 80s and discarded the idea for routers

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post #13 of 15 Old 07-29-2015, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghidrah View Post
The old Craftsman RAS's had what they called an auxiliary power shaft, (the motor's arbor extends out enough to screw on a router collet adapter. I tried it a few times in the 80s and discarded the idea for routers
I'm the proud owner of one of those old Sears Radial Arm Saws, circa '73.
It's never failed me yet. Never been in the shop.
I used the auxiliary power shaft a lot when I first got it, it had plenty of power, but it never did a great job because it turned too slow. But like I've said, I still used it a lot in the beginning to make my own moldings.
We do what we can with what we've got. That's why I envy some of the shops I see through this forum.
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-29-2015, 11:12 PM
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Turned too slow and chattered when I tried using it for cross board dadoes. I bought mine used from a used tool store, I still use it for large dado and half lap work on large projects and making short boards out of long ones. Other than that it serves as an extra table to hold stuff close to the work bench.

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post #15 of 15 Old 07-30-2015, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Good deal? Any things to look out for when buying a used scroll saw?

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