Milling cleats: quick and easy

To perform a traditional dovetail joint by hand. with a tenoning saw and a chisel. and still achieve good results, you need to have certain skills. However, today most carpenters use special power tools to cut intricate studs and grooves in parts. Such tools can also be used by home craftsmen who would like to decorate their own handmade furniture with decorative joints.

A special milling device cuts studs perfectly accurately if you guide it “on a set course” along a rigid template fixed to the parts. Even coarse-fibered wood can be routed with the burr, and the curved joints look great on a product made of this wood.

Similarly, the studs are cut by a milling cutter installed in a drill with a special nozzle. In this case it is possible to design as a simple angular connection on a straight open spike, and more complex. “dovetail”.

The use of the mentioned power tools allows you to process different types of workpieces. laminated wood, plywood, solid wood.

make, groove, board, drill

Very few people are able to quickly master the processing of wood by hand, especially when it comes to such complex angle joints, such as “dovetail” or straight open spike. However, even a novice carpenter can easily make a joint of any complexity, if he uses special milling devices and ready-made templates.

Various forms of dovetail joint studs

What causes drying

A typical case: You have made in your country cottage shed for the storage of household goods and other needs. Made for yourself, so the boards, from which the walls are made, carefully, without the slightest slit. Two or three months go by; the boards are loosened and the whole wall is glowing with cracks. Snow blows through them in winter and dust blows into the shed in summer.

The shrinkage reaches 10-13% of the linear size. That is, a board 100 mm wide after drying shrinks to 88 mm.

To prevent this from happening, use square timber for wall cladding. A wall paneled with these boards will never have a through gap. The neighbouring boards overlap each other with their quarters and no more cracks appear when drying.

Quartering with the HL 850 EB

This example shows how to make a rebate with the HL 850. How to do it is described in this article, in detail, step by step, with descriptions of the tools and consumables.

Besides standard joinery jobs like planing or chamfering, the Festool HL 850 EB also makes it easy to do a lot of other special jobs.

technically, this planer has an important feature. the planer head is on one side. It allows you to choose the folds of almost any depth.Problem: Making a rebate. Solution: The HL 850 EB is required for the rebate. All tools are included.

The use of a dust extractor is strongly recommended. A suction port on the left or right side of the tool depending on conditions. Socket Diameter = 36 mm. Preparation/Setup:

  • Set the rebate stop and parallel stop. (refer to page 42). instruction manual).
  • Adjust parallel stop to fit width of fold.
  • Set the correct depth of the rebate. For this, measure the exact distance from the base of the planer to the rebate stop.
  • Lay the tool on its side so that the folding stop is on top.
  • Set the rebate thickness control to 1 mm.
  • When making the first pass, guide the planer so that the parallel stop fits exactly on the workpiece.

The first pass is very important to ensure the accuracy of the fold!

If you do not use a rebate stop, you can make a rebate of any depth

Tools and accessories: The following tools, accessories and consumables are used in this case study, you can view descriptions, availability, and order/buy here:

The tools and their accessories: 574550 Festool HL 850 EB-Plus planer, set in a T-Loc container

Article adapted from Festool. Back to All articles.

Machining of wooden parts

The first thing you must learn is to set the milling depth correctly. In order to do that, it is necessary to set a zero point. It cannot be set rigidly, because the depth changes with every cutter change. The zero point is the position of the tool when the end of the cutter touches the material and is secured by a special device called a clamp.

It is necessary to pay attention to the fact that each cutter has a different position when fixing. To control the depth of plunge of the cutting tool into the body of the material, a stop pin with a coarse setting scale is used.

When routing with a face-milling cutter, the counteracting force of the cutting force advances the cutter sideways. To avoid this, use the parallel stop. The milling process is as follows. Set the cutter along the marked line and fix the position of the stop with the special screw. Set milling depth and engage the machine. If the parallel stop is set on the left side, pull the router toward you, when on the right side. away from you.

In order to choose a quarter on the bar, you must install the cutting edge of the cutter along the edge itself, fix it, set the depth of the quarter, turn the cutter on and pull it toward you (if the stop is on the left side of the bar). Surface milling of narrow bars has its own peculiarity. The problem is that on the narrow side of the workpiece it is very difficult to hold the cutter. If it wobbles during operation, the groove will not be exact.

To avoid this problem, a block should be clamped with a clamping clamp and an exactly-sized block should be placed in parallel. Then the milling machine will acquire two points of support and will not wobble.

The hand router can replace the work of a planer. To do this, you will need several attachments to the milling machine. It looks like this: mount a planer on two equally sized slats and use it as a planing machine, where a large-diameter cutter is installed instead of a shaft.

Planing by hand

Planing with a planer is very fun when the blade is sharp and there is enough time. A planer is ideal for planing along fibers. Don’t forget to secure the workpiece on the workbench. Make a test run, make sure the blade is set at the right depth, then get to work.

The edge planer is good for cutting sharp edges and trimming the ends. Position blade so that it cuts the finest shavings. While working on the end sections, be careful not to knock them to the side, and avoid chipping.

How to make a device for tenoning

When shaping studs on wooden workpieces using a hand router, it is not fixed in space and is brought to the workpiece by hand. This is why it is very important that when using a power tool, the workpiece is in a device that can ensure not only its reliable fixation, but also the accuracy of the spikes formed on its surface.

The design of the simplest device that is able to cope with such tasks is as follows:

Such a device is made, the dimensions of the components of which are selected individually, in the following sequence:

  • Fix the same-height side verticals along the edges of the plywood sheet, with cut-outs in the center.
  • On the side elements the guides are installed, which will move the base of the hand-held milling machine.
  • To limit the stroke of the hand router on the upper guides, the side plates must be fixed to them.
  • On the plywood, which plays the role of the device base, it is necessary to install a sliding element, by means of which the edge length of the processed workpiece is adjusted. A simple thumbscrew or any other suitable fastener can be used for fixation.

Learn How To Cut Grooves In The Middle Of Wood

The following points must be taken into account when making the suggested fixture:

  • The height of the upper guides should correspond to the sum of the thickness of the workpiece and the size of a small gap, which is necessary for installation of the fixing wedge.
  • The notches in the lateral vertical elements are made of such a width that it takes into account the length of the stud to be formed.

Working with the proposed design of the device can be done by hand router of almost any modern model, which options include the possibility of adjusting the cutting speed, feed size and outreach of the working part of the tool used.

To create a dovetail spike on the lateral surface of a timber or board, use the following device.

  • A hole is made in the laminated plywood sheet, from which the cutter part of the dovetail cutter will protrude.
  • From the bottom of the prepared plywood sheet is fixed with a hand router. You can use clamps, self-tapping screws or any other fasteners for this.
  • A 2.5 cm thick board is fixed on the surface of the plywood sheet on which the workpiece to be machined will move. It will act as a guide element. Such a board is consumable and is used once with a cutter of a certain diameter.

Device. for milling a dovetail

Such a device can be installed between two chairs, or a more convenient and reliable construction can be used for its placement.

Preparing / Adjusting

Set the guide rail and the angle stop exactly at right angles according to the operating instructions

Adjust the guide rail to the thickness of the workpiece

Apply the center line for the groove trimmer to the workpiece.

Draw boundary lines for the slot perpendicular to the center line.

The distance x from the marked line to the edge of the guide rail depends on the cutter diameter and is calculated as follows:

For safety reasons an extra 2 mm should be added. So for a 12 mm slot cutter the distance to the guide rail should be 8 mm. Use the marking on the base plate for centering the tool.

Insert the cutter into the clamping collet to the minimum clamping depth (marking on the shank) and tighten.

Fit the FS guide stop to the router.

Set the desired milling depth. Up to three different milling depths can be preset with the turret stop (see incremental guide). Instructions for use).

make, groove, board, drill

Adjust the lateral distance from the cutter to the guide rail (see “Adjusting the lateral distance from the cutter to the guide rail”). Calculation, in this example x= 8mm with a 12mm slot cutter).

Align the mark on the reference plate with the center line of the slot

Check: The mark should align with the center line at the beginning and end of the groove.

Apply additional support on the router table to the surface of the workpiece.

To make non-cutting or plunge cuts, use recoil stops for the guide rail

Move the router to the length stop of the slot and mount one of the recoil stops.

Set the speed according to the table in the operating manual.

The toolbox

To make a toolbox, you need to reinforce the joinery of the sides by inserting additional spikes. The operation is called tenoning by hand router. It is very difficult to make it by hand, so you need to make a simple device. a milling table. The principle of making it is simple:

Start making the tongue-slot joint by cutting the groove with a hand router. For this we need a router with a parallel stop and a straight router. In this example the grooves are selected on the legs of the table at the junction with the bars. In the pictures you can see an example of how to make the table legs from purchased balusters. this way the table looks very effective. However, if you want you can also use a simple wooden bar. Mark the place of the future slot as follows: we find the center of the workpiece, because we want the slot was exactly in the middle (in this case, the thickness of the bar 50mm, respectively the center of 25mm). Mark the borders of the future groove. We are going to use a 100mm wide board as a side rail, so we are going to make the groove 90mm wide. After marking, we set the router with the parallel stop so that the center of the router is exactly on the centerline and proceed to the groove.

Making the slot with the circular saw. The best material to use is wooden planks, bars and the like. The price for the raw material is minimal, in a pinch, whatever you can find at home is used. The most successful solution. the end connection through, single open straight. The joint will turn out to be strong and reliable:

  • It is recommended to make the nicks ¼ of the thickness of the board and the groove of the same size.
  • The height and length of the groove must match the size of the strip.
  • Prepare a pencil and a ruler for marking.
  • Determine the coordinates of the kerf and mark it.
  • The kerf should be on a line inside the side that will then be sawn off.
  • For the circular saw the instructions recommend a blade width of 2-4 mm.
  • Sawing in the middle of the marked line removes 1-2 mm of extra, as two grooves are made on each slat.

Please note!To ensure that the workpiece is not spoiled, make cuts on the inner sides of the outlined lines.A visual correction is made for the thickness of the fabric.

  • If you need to join two pieces at a 90º angle, cut the pieces at 45º on the ends.
  • For an end through open to bevel joint (single straight), mark the kerf locations on the oblique cuts of the slats.
  • Before you remove the groove from the board, once again check the correctness of the kerf from all sides.
  • For angular single-joint not through into an eyelet, instead of a groove, an eyelet is made. In this case, the width of the cleat is left unchanged, and the length will be 0.3-0.8 of the width of the board to be joined.
  • Since the circular saw rounds off the edges of the eyelets, leaving the shape of the cleat unchanged, it is desirable to finish the corners by sharpening them with a rasp.

Here is a picture of the groove with a drill. The method is quite time consuming, but it can be called an alternative to the above described. If you can’t get a hand router, prepare a drill and a chisel, a ruler and a pencil. Next:

  • Find a drill with a diameter matching the width of the future slot.
  • To guess the depth of the groove, you can make a mark on the drill bit itself (e.g. by drawing it with bright paint).
  • Draw two parallel lines down the joist at just the right distance from each other.
  • Having the workpiece in a vice, drill a groove, carefully controlling the vertical alignment of the drill and observing the depth.
  • Remove any extra work when you are finished, using a sharp chisel and emery cloth.

Note!Sometimes you may need a concave bottom groove and a convex end cleat.Before making the moon groove in the board finally, drill to a depth slightly less than the required.The subsequent processing and trimming is convenient to do with a coarse sandpaper or a circular file. Making a cross groove with a hacksaw. A good marking helps a lot here. Select a smooth and sturdy saw blade:

  • In order not to make a mistake, draw two lines along the length of the board, on opposite sides. The distance from the upper plane to them will be the depth.
  • Firmly fix the block and start sawing.
  • It is important to monitor, checking with the lines, how far the blade enters into the wood.
  • If the tool is skewed, you can ruin everything, so periodically watch for the entry of the hacksaw into the material from side angles.
  • With a wide groove and a thin blade, it is more effective to make two cuts, again on the inner sides of the dashed.
  • All unnecessary things are carefully removed with a chisel and cleaned.

For small amounts of finishing work, and even more so for home DIY, you don’t need to buy ready-made, expensive material. It’s enough to have a little free time and make the blanks yourself. All the more so, it will not be a problem for a prudent proprietor.

make, groove, board, drill
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