Jack of too many trades..
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: St. Louis
Modifying Rail and Stile cutting bits (window sash joinery)
Hi all, I'm building some replacement double-hung windows for my 1927 brick craftsman house. The most of the original windows are long gone, but I've still got a couple that have served as a guide for what I need to build.
I've cut down salvage windows, rebuild existing windows, but this is my first excursion into complete, from scratch window sashes.
My first "reproduction" test sash set is clamped and gluing up right now. Building these demonstrated that the stile and rail cutter set I purchased is going to cause me some grief when I build my "real" windows.
I don't have a shaper, but I've got a 1/2 table router for the work. I using the CMT Orange 855.801.11 rail and stile set. It is pretty much identical to the Freud and Infinity tools set. These are pretty highly recommended sets, but I'm a tad disappointed.
#1 issue is that the coping bit seems to require removing an extra 1/8" from the tenons. Rather than a beefy 3/8" (original sized) tenon, the bit requires that I cut my tenons down to a piddly little 1/4" If I don't, the cope comes out wrong and the pieces don't join up properly
I really don't like going down to 1/4" on a 1 3/8" thick sash. It seems especially small for Casement windows - which seems to be the main target for these bit makers.
My question is... are there better sets out there for making reproduction windows with a 3/8" tenon, or am I simply being overly paranoid about using a 1/4" tenons.
I figure I could glue a 1/8" cheek on the tenon to get the thickness back, but it would never be as strong as a real 3/8 tenon
Can these coping bits be safely modified for 3/8" tenon sizes (e.g. grinding off the top 1/8" of the head)? At over $100 for the set, I hesitate to ruin part of it.
So far, I've made some gorgeous muntins but the joinery at the rails and stiles have been disappointing. With my reproduction 3/8" tenons, I've had to manually shave the profile, which weakens the joint and kinda defeats the point of have a coping bit at all.
The rail cutter is really great - just wish I had some better options for the coping cutter..
Thanks for any replies.