Episode 22 Triton 15in Thicknesser – Moulding

Episode 22 Triton 15in Thicknesser – Moulding

This is the third of three videos looking at the new Triton 15in Thicknesser. This installment shows in detail using the unit to make a moulding. A fourth video looking at fitting an aftermarket digital height gauge will be available in the near future.

Starting the baby-proofing!

Now that our little one is becoming mobile, and especially pulling herself up on things, I dreaded the idea of her falling and hitting her head on the brick surround of the fireplace.

So what I have done, is rebated a piece of 90×45, so that the remainder had about a 15mm wall thickness on both surfaces. Next, I rounded over the top corner using the largest roundover bit that I have (about 20 – 25mm radius) (using the router table obviously!)

Finally, I applied a large chamfer to the top back edge, and a small one to the bottom front edge, just to break the corners and prevent any splinters. Once I had created the profile I wanted, I cut the length up to form the front, and 2 sides, with a 45 degree mitre joint, that I biscuit joined together. Finally, I took a Black & Decker powerfile (effectively a belt sander with a 10mm wide belt), and rounded over the outside corners of the mitre.

The result is this:

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It doesn’t look too bad, and does make the fireplace a bit safer. At some stage, I’ll get around to applying a Jarrah stain, and some Estapol, but in the meantime, it is doing the job intended.

Episode 21 Triton 15in Thicknesser – Fitting Moulding Blades

Episode 21 Triton 15in Thicknesser – Fitting Moulding Blades

This is the second of three videos looking at the new Triton 15in Thicknesser. This installment shows in detail the fitting of the moulding blades.

Episode 20 Triton 15in Thicknesser – Planing

Triton 15in Planer Thicknesser Moulder. This is the first of three videos looking at the new Triton 15in Thicknesser. This installment gives an overview of the unit, and looks at its planing/thicknessing function.

Router bit of-the-month (December)

The router bit for December is the Carb-i-tool Stacked Rail & Stile Bit (which will be featured in a Video Episode very shortly).

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This router bit is unusual from the standard method of cutting rails and stiles, as normally that is performed with two separate bits. In this case, common elements are used for both cutters (which does decrease cost), and makes the transition between the two tasks incredibly easy.  This router bit is designed solely for use in a router table, and works much better when the workpiece is being supported by the router table fence.

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This is a typical rail and stile joint (and was produced with this cutter). As you can see, the Roman Ogee pattern continues around the interior of the frame, including right into the corner (shown). Anyone attempting to do this simply by first gluing up the frame, then running a bearinged bit around would have discovered that it isn’t possible to get into the corner like this. Secondly, the joint itself would have been a simple butt joint, and therefore would likely require reinforcing (such as a biscuit, spline, pockethole, dowel, domino etc).

Also, notice the slot that has been cut – this is to fit either a raised panel (which will be subject of the next router bit review), or a flat panel (such as plywood, glass, perspex etc).

So what makes a rail and stile different? The secret is how it is assembled. The stiles (the vertical members) are cut, with the pattern (such as the Roman Ogee) running their full length, with no attempt to stop the bit breaking out either end. The rails are cut the same way, but then their ends are given a second treatment, where the reverse of the pattern is cut into them so they fit precisely into the stiles.

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In this image, we can see the end of the stile (on the left), and the rail with the reverse pattern cut so it matches in exactly into the stile. This also gives a significant increase in the amount of glue-area, making for a strong joint (well certainly a lot stronger than a simple butt joint!)

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This is step one – the primary pattern is cut the length of all the rails and the stiles. The workpiece is placed face-down on the table for this cutter, and the depth of cut is controlled by the bearing.

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Next, the rails are turned up the other way, and presented to the upper portion of the cutter, so that the channel cut in step one matches precisely with the bearing (and fits in between the two cutters). Only the end-grain is cut in this step. To line the piece up with the upper portion of the cutter, you can either drop the cutter further down into the table, or (funnily enough) raise the workpiece up to the required height. I decided that this was the better way to go, as it means that I don’t have to play around realigning the cutter every time that I want to make another (door, cupboard side etc). So I came up with this jig:

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Ok, it does look a bit weird (like a child’s aeroplane), but there is good reason.

The baseplate has been thicknessed very carefully to raise the workpiece up just the right amount so the top cutters will cut the rails’ end grain perfectly.  The thickness of this baseplate has to be matched to the thickness of the stock, so in this case I can only use this jig for 19mm stock.  On top of that are two lengths that the rail passes between.  They need to be exactly 90 degrees to the ‘wing’ which means the rail is also held exactly perpendicular to the fence.  Their ends are sacrificial, and provide tear-out support to the rail as it is being cut. The ‘wing’ runs along the fence, and is high enough to pass completely over the top of the cutter without touching.  It is quite long so as to provide plenty of support before and after the router bit so there is little chance the jig can twist during use.

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Here you can see the jig in position, ready for the rail to be inserted into the slot, then the whole unit can be run past the router bit.

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Finally, here is the resulting cut – you can see the end of the rail that has just had its end-grain machined.   The jig certainly makes the task very easy, and very repeatable.  You would not dream of trying to cut the end-grain without the workpiece having some form of support (such as a mitre gauge)…..unless you like having workpieces thrown around the workshop, and possibly pulling your hand into the cutter……

So my verdict: I am a big fan of Carb-i-tool bits, and this one is no exception.  I am sold on the whole idea of stacked rail and stile bits – I have a couple of sets of the matched pair type, so an quite familiar with setting them up, changing bits during the job to make the rail ends, needing to make another and having to set the first up again etc etc, and having it all in one bit definitely works.  The jig works as well as I could have hoped too btw.  So if you are wanting to do some rail and stile work, this is definitely a bit worth looking at.  There are different profiles of course, simple roundover, Roman Ogee, Classic etc

As I mentioned, there is a video coming very shortly on the topic, and the matching panel will be the subject of next month’s router bit of-the-month.

Nautical Weather Station

I think the projects that always challenge me the most, are ones that I am making for others. I find myself really thinking a project through, trying new techniques and developing new skills.

This Nautical Weather Station is one such example. I made this a number of years ago as a Christmas present for my wife, and learned a great deal in making it (and have learned a great deal since!) What I find really satisfying, is even though something like this was made so long ago, I still occasionally look at it, and wonder “how the hell did I manage that?!!”

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It also started my passion for Jarrah (as mentioned in the video earlier today).

A few details then: The whole unit is made from Jarrah, and although it isn’t so obvious from the photo, the central panel is quite a lot darker than the edges. This was deliberate, as I spent a week oiling and buffing that panel (literally, morning and night for a week, applying another coat and burnishing it in until I got the colouring and finish I wanted).

The turnings on either side were produced on a $90 lathe (GMC), and were my first attempt at duplicating on a lathe.

The top is a moulding, produced on the router table, then mitred to fit the 3 exposed sides.

The finish is a combination of burnishing oil, then buffed with a topcoat of Ubeaut Shellawax Cream.

All in all, it was a great project, and I learned a great deal in the process.

Another big day at the office

Spent a lot of today at Mitre 10 Mega, demonstrating (ok, playing with) all the new tools (ok again, toys) from Triton.

Rather tired by the end of it – ended up being from about 8:30 to 5:30 straight-through, by the time we had set up, done the day, packed and cleaned up.  Was good fun though – played a lot with the big thicknesser, and the moulding blades.  Changed my first set, so that was a bit of an experience.  Pretty easy in the end, but you just imagine the whirling dervish inside, and take a lot of extra care while tightening everything down.  I put in the largest blades available, so if it survived me doing that, I guess the smaller ones will be a cake-walk!

Did quite a bit on the 12″ bandsaw as well, giving those new blades a good workout.  Verdict? Very happy – the blades are the right length (that’s a good start!), cut well, and it is a good collection of sizes.  Still haven’t tried the 1/16″, but they are very much a specialty item, so will deal with that one separately.  Tried a little on the 8″, but I have not been (and still are not) a fan of such a small bandsaw.  (Given that fact, I better not ever try a 16″ or a 20″, I may never be able to go back!)

Pity I didn’t take all the rest of the latest dinosaur (scrollsaw pattern) that I am working on – the 1/8″ blade made very short work of the pieces I had still to do – could have had the whole thing cut today in a very short amount of time.  Sanded the pieces up on the spindle sander, which again, it is nice having the right tool for the job.  Not much more to do for the pattern anyway, and soon my Tyrannosaurus will have something to eat…..

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