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Routing a groove along a curved edge (Read 109 times)
 
Donald Jordan
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Routing a groove along a curved edge
Nov 8th, 2017 at 12:16pm
 
Hoping someone can help me with a brain fart issue. My wife wants grave headstones for next years halloween decorations.

I need to route a groove 1" from the edge around the wood. The wood runs straight for a length, then has an outside curve followed by an inside curve, followed by an outside curve.. etc.
I have a jig for the straight runs, but the curves have me stumped. How do I keep the groove parallel to the curved edges?? Undecided Undecided

Any help would be appreciated!!
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Tom Hamilton
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #1 - Nov 8th, 2017 at 1:49pm
 
Hi Don - How about making a pattern of the cut, double stick tape it to the work piece then route your work with a pattern bit in the router following the pattern. The bearing on the pattern bit would ride the pattern you made. Then you could use that same pattern to repeat the process on another work piece.

Happy Turning - Tom
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Donald Jordan
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #2 - Nov 8th, 2017 at 2:23pm
 
Hi Tom
Thanks for replying.
If I make a pattern of the outline of my "Tombstone", how would that fit on top for the bearing to run?

My light bulb is dull today... Embarrassed
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« Last Edit: Nov 8th, 2017 at 2:23pm by Donald Jordan »  
 
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #3 - Nov 8th, 2017 at 4:34pm
 
Don: this is likely what Tom is saying. Trace your tombstone onto a piece of thin mdf or thin plywood. Cut on that line. Put it back on top of your tombstone and, using a compass set to one inch, scribe a line on the plywood using the pointy end of the compass to follow the outside of the tombstone. Cut the plywood on that line. Now you have the pattern for your groove. Simply put the plywood back on top of the tombstone, holding it with double sided tape, indenting it 1" from the edge of the tombstone's edge. Using a bearing straight router bit, route the groove with the bearing rubbing against the pattern.
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Grant Wilkinson
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Len Mullin
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #4 - Nov 8th, 2017 at 7:54pm
 
Don, do you not have a cutting guide? I have a couple of them, that I've used a fair amount over the years. One came with my circular saw, and another one came with my lathe. I have one that I got with my jigsaw also, it's a bit smaller though. You can purchase these guides at most hardware stores, and they're not all that expensive.
Len
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Donald Jordan
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #5 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 7:51am
 
Grant,
Thank you for your reply. I've had more coffee today! Re-reading Tom's post, and yours, ( and a good head slap ) I got it!   Thumbs Up

Len,
Thank you for your reply. Yes, my cutting guide works great for straight edges. It's about three inches wide.. and would not fit inside the radius of my curves.

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Glenn Jacobs
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #6 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 2:34pm
 
Best bet would be the template method. Something to think about:Is the distance from edge of object to edge of groove or center of groove or inside edge of groove? How wide is groove?  These questions determine the offset to make the template.

Glenn J.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #7 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 4:14pm
 
Glenn Jacobs wrote on Nov 9th, 2017 at 2:34pm:
Something to think about:Is the distance from edge of object to edge of groove or center of groove or inside edge of groove?


This also determines which you might want to rout first.
If the groove is close to the edge, it may be easier and safer to cut the groove first, while there is a solid edge to support the the wood from chipping. Then you can rout the outside profile, in several passes it need be to avoid chipping. (especially when climb cutting)
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George Stratton
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Re: Routing a groove along a curved edge
Reply #8 - Nov 9th, 2017 at 7:04pm
 
Don, if you add a piece of wood to the inside of your straight guide with a couple of screws, then put 2 1/4" dowel pins through it protruding down through the wood, the dowels will ride around the inside and outside curves. Put 1 dowel in line with the router bit and the other about 3" away. As long as both dowels are against the edge it will follow pretty good. Not perfect but it does work.
Geo.
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