Advice on routing a rabbit/slot at the edge...

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Old 02-17-18, 02:43 AM
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Advice on routing a rabbit/slot at the edge...

Hey guys,

I need tips/advice on how to route the outer edges of a table. I have a router and table as well, but I'm a beginner. From what I've researched, such a slot is called a rabbit cut? But most youtube videos I see are for small rabbits. I need mine to be 3/4-inch-deep and 2-1/4 wide all along the table which is about 22 inches long. Do I just use a straight bit? Keep going up and down until I hog it all out?

Below is an image of what I'm trying to do:

-What type of bit should I use? A rabbit bit wouldn't work unless I find a bit that's exactly 3/4 and 2-1/4, right? So then a straight bit then?
-Any tips on set-up?
-Edge of table has some sort of plastic edge band. Do I need to somehow remove this first? Like take an exacto knife, score it and rip out 3/4-inch-deep worth of plastic first? Or just let the router do the work?

Would it be easier if I take the table to the router table? I'd have to dismantle some things, so I'd prefer to bring the router to the workpiece.
 
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Old 02-17-18, 03:44 AM
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Here is a tube video that may help. These are dados but just make go to the edge. I would use a 3/4 straight bit.. don't take the full cut in depth and width of bit. About i/2 of bit at a time.Final cut should be should be just a small shave to make every thing even.
If not on a router table the over hang side of router will need to be supported.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SSSwfsOdG4
 
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Old 03-28-18, 05:20 PM
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Okay, going to raise this thread from the grave. I had some furnace issues and never got around to doing this, but I'm going to attack this now. To clarify my project. I picked up this skil xbench a long time ago with an idea of removing the immobile legs and adding cabinet with caster wheels, and add some clamping tracks. The first part was done over a year ago, I'd like to finally add the clamps now. I am a newbie with woodworking and routers though. And I'd like to know how do you stop precisely at a point? Because I realize I'm not going to simply pass through one end to the other. It will be more like cutting out notches. On a table, I know that there are stops that you can engage, but with free hand, is it simply eyeball? To give you an exact visual.. Here is the router with edge guide on top of the skil tabletop.

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And here is what I ultimately would like to accomplish.

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So for example, looking at the labels A and B. I will plunge into A, my starting point. Then cut all the way down to B. So what I'm curious about is how do people stop precisely at their mark? Eyeball?
 
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Old 03-29-18, 08:00 AM
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Normally a stopped cut with a router is accomplished by clamping a block of wood near the end of the cut that the router base hits. It looks like you plan to cut very close to the corner so this won't work because the router base is so large. I think it would be best to make a plywood jig with a long notch the exact width and depth of the desired cut. Make the jig deep enough for the router base to ride on + extra for clamps.
Clamp in place so it's flush at the corners and use a bearing-guided pattern bit that will follow the cutout in your jig as the bit cuts the table.

Spend time getting the jig notch straight & smooth. One jig made for the short side of the table can be repositioned mid-cut for the longer sides.

The bit will leave radiused corners that you will need to square up with a chisel or oscillating tool.
 
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Old 03-29-18, 08:08 AM
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For simplicity maybe you should just rabbit the entire edge and install your clamp channels so the ends overlap--or even miter the channels so you'll have slots all the way to the ends in both directions.
 
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Old 03-29-18, 08:35 AM
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Just a tip first, but you typically want to move your router left to right in relation to the edge you are working with, or you can think of it as counterclockwise if you're working with something more circular, so looking at your drawing you actually would want to move from point B to point A. This way the rotation of your router is working with you. Also, thinking that this surface is MDF or other composite, I would at least consider other options than trimming this down like that, because I believe you will find that you lose quite a significant amount of strength. As far as stopping your cuts, you can eyeball them, but I try to avoid doing so because it is very easy to lose track of where you are. A simple mechanical stop, using a clamp and a block of wood, as Guy described is by far the preferred method. Rather than trying to support the router square along an edge like that, I like to scrounge around whatever material I have and stack or shim whatever is needed to provide a temporary outboard surface on the same plane as the piece I am working on to support the outboard side of the router.
 
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Old 03-29-18, 10:55 AM
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Thank you guys! Aka Pedro, you may be right about losing strength because I realize the thickness of my top around the edges is a little over an inch. If I route it down 3/4'', the supporting ledge will be just about 1/4''. For some reason I thought it was 1.5 inch thick. I realize it is not. I'm going scratch this idea now. I think I'll add simpler t-tracks instead of those kreg clamp tracks. 2.25 wide and 3/4 deep, that's the dimensions of those kreg clamp tracks. They are much beefier than standard t-tracks. But like I said, I thought I had a 1.5 inch top, but it's only an inch.

I'll probably do the red t-tracks from Shop Fox. They are only 3/8 thick and the red will be a better match. And I won't be putting these on the edges. But where do you guys suggest to install the t-track for most versatile use? Horizontally parallel long edge, vertically parallel to short edge?
 
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Old 03-29-18, 11:51 AM
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Not sure exactly what you want to do, nor am I familiar with the table, but if you are determined to use it similar to your original plan, perhaps you could mount what you have to a piece of 1/4" plywood or whatever, let it extend beyond your present table however much that you want or need, then mount your tracks to the part that extends out, shimming it up to the desired height. Again, not sure that I have a good picture in my mind, so you can decide if that makes sense or not.
 
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Old 04-06-18, 09:24 PM
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What am I doing wrong here guys? I'm trying to figure out where the start of the cut would be when doing grooves or dados. I put a mini square against the 3/4 straight bit and the piece and I draw a line. The fence is locked and doesn't move.

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But when I run the piece across, the result is that the bit is starting further out than the line I had drawn with the mini square.

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Any idea what I could be doing wrong?
 
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Old 04-06-18, 09:36 PM
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Your bit was turned when you made the mark. The carbide tooth is at its widest point when you turn it counterclockwise about another 1/4 turn from your photo.
 
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Old 04-06-18, 10:48 PM
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I see, thank you. So basically you need the tip of the carbide facing you and parallel to the board to make the mark. I did it again, and it was more accurate this time.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 04:18 AM
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Ha the fun of learning how to use tools. Can't tell you how many boards I have ruined learning. I have learned to do any new ob on scrap so I don't ruin a good board.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 06:40 AM
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You could also try making a center mark, use the center of the bit and your centerline to eyeball it as you approach the bit. Then as you start your bit, pull back and look at your cut to see if it's really centered or not. You won't go so deep that you ruin your edges, and you can adjust if needed.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 07:56 AM
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Yeah, I'm always adding to an already healthy supply of scrap through test cuts, experimentation, or whatever you want to call it before getting to the actual cut. It's all part of the learning curve, and even once you think you've got it some hiccup gets in the way. It might be considered cheating, but a few times when I've had to make a few dadoes or whatever that needed to be exceptionally spot on, I have allowed myself an extra 1/4" or something on the piece I'm working on, done the dadoes, then gone back and cut the edges again to match the dado. Different techniques for different folks, but I probably most often use the center, as X mentioned. Make sure that your base plate is centered correctly, know the exact diameter of your base, split it in half, set your fence or guide, and I think it's as reliable a you can get.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 12:12 PM
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It's so weird to conceptualize in my mind. It's like one of those visual illusions. Since a bit is round, I thought the actual cutters would spin to the same locations as the round part that has no cutter. So now I know this is how not to measure with a square:

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And this is how you should do it:

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Old 04-07-18, 12:27 PM
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So another way is to mark the center? If you do it this way, then it shouldn't matter where the cutters of the bit are lined up, right?

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Old 04-07-18, 12:56 PM
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Nothing weird or unique about a router bit. Any time you are removing material to a certain depth or width you need to know where the cutting edge is. Look at the end of a drill bit for example. Measured at the wrong place you get the wrong diameter for the hole it will drill. If you're setting a table saw or circular saw for a specific depth you measure from the tips of the teeth. As far as referencing off the center of your dado, say you are using a 3/4" bit, the outside diameter of your router base is 6-1/8", and you want your dado 2" from the edge. The center of your dado will be 2-3/8" from the edge, and the center of the bit to the outside of your base is 3-1/16", so you affix your guide 2-3/8" plus 3-1/6", or 5-7/16" from the edge, and you're ready to router. More often than not I find this easier than trying to get a good reading from the edge of the bit to the correct point on the base. In fact, as an example, measure from the tip of your bit to the edge of the base, pivot your tape along the circumference of the base a bit, and notice how quickly being a little bit off can stack up.
 
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Old 04-07-18, 05:18 PM
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+1 aka pedro regarding test cuts. You don't practice on something that needs to be done right the first time.
 
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Old 04-09-18, 03:20 PM
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In the pictures, that's a 3/4 bit with a 3/4 red insert plate. I did notice that on the first run, the bit shaved off a little bit of the red insert plate. That means that my router wasn't completely centered on the main blue router plate, right?

Is this going to be a problem? I followed the KREG INSTRUCTION VIDEO on how to mark the holes to install router on the plate, and the whole process just seemed very unscientific to me. Especially the part where you put some double sided tape, then you flip the plate around, then you're instructed to lift the sub-base plate off the double tape again and move it slightly so that it's completely centered. The whole process is just an eyeball thing.

Sure enough, I guess I didn't have it completely centered when the bit shaved off a little of the red insert plate, just a little. Is this vital at all? Do I need to buy a new blue plate and remount the router? If getting it completely centered is vital, there must be a better method, or some jig?
 
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Old 04-09-18, 04:26 PM
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In your pictures I was wondering if you had hit the plate. Guess you did. Should not hurt anything. I have a lot of jigs like that. Process of learning. Every time you look at that plate it will remind you to measure twice and cut once.
 
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Old 04-10-18, 06:58 AM
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Any time you cut, router, or otherwise shape something to specific dimensions, shapes, or other specific criteria, you are referencing off of something, and you need to know what is involved in the process in order to know what is critical. On a table saw, for example, you might use a fence, miter, sled, or other jig or fixture to move your piece across the blade, so you need to know that your blade is properly aligned with the table and that your piece is properly secured to your jig. On a router, you might use a straightedge clamped to your piece, a pilot bearing on the end of the bit, or a guide that your router is affixed to, and, again, In order to achieve the desired results you need to know what you are referencing from and what is involved in maintaining the critical dimensions from your reference point. If you are cutting a radius on the edge of a piece, and using a roundover bit with a bearing, the only things that you need to be concerned with are that your piece is straight to start with and that you support the router such that the base plate is on the same plane as the piece you are working on. The bearing will guide you, and whether or not your base plate is centered on the router is not critical. If you are using a guide affixed to the base of your router, the dimension from the center of the bit to the guide remains the same, regardless of anything else, so again, whether the base plate is centered on the router is not critical. Now, clamp a straightedge on the piece that you are working on, use it as a guide to run your router along, and having your base plate centered on the router becomes critical. Why? Because if your bit is not centered with the base plate, there is only one position at which the bit is x dimension from the edge of the base plate, so unless you were to somehow mark the exact location where you measured to the edge of the base, and then held that particular point against the straightedge for the length of the cut, the dimension will change. I'm not sure what method you are using, but hope this helps you sort it out. One thing I did notice looking at your pictures though is that it does not appear that at least one of the screws holding the base to the router is centered, so you may want to look at those. Typically when aligning multiple champfered holes like that you need to tighten them down as you would lug nuts on your vehicle, alternating one to the next in order to be sure they are all centered.
 
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