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Fluting a board

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  • Fluting a board

    I need to flute some 8 ft long boards that are 6 and 8 inches wide. I have thought about using a router and a fence. However since each board will have between 5 and 7 flutes running it's entire length the chance of the fence drifting off the straightedge is real. I thought about using a template guide and building a template by essentially cutting a groove the width of the template guide the length template. Then figure how to secure it to the board and be able to index it over to make each flute. That seems complicated. I have also thought of a using a router table and running the board through that but again the it is complicated and the chance of the board pulling away from the fence is still there. Any of you guys have any ideas?
    Rev Ed

  • #2

    I would use a router table for sure.
    Clamp a scrap piece of wood to the fence above the stock to hold it at a consistant cut depth. Also clamp a scrap on the opposite side of the stock than the table fence. This will stop drifting. You can also use feather boards if your fence and table will accept them.

    In doing alot of fluting lately myself, use a larger whole insert ring so shavings don't build up in the flute and snap the bit. Also it sounds like they will be quite narrow, run a very low speed. Since I slowed down the speed down fluting, I've snapped alot less bits. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


    • #3
      Sounds like an idea. Thanks! The flutes will be about 1/2 inch with about a 1/2 inch between them. I'm thinking of starting the first one about 1 inch in from the edge. So I figure the 6 inch boards will have 5 flutes and the eight 7. Now the question how do I index over with your idea. It seems I will have to move the fence and featherboard setup after every cut.

      Thinking it through I guess I can make the first cut reverse the board make the second and do all my boards. Then move the fence over and make my second flute in all the boards then move it and make my final cut in the six inch boards and third in the 8 inch boards. Moving it once more for the final cut in the 8 inch board.

      I think I will use MDF instead of wood since I'm going to paint the boards when I finish. They will go between mirrors in our living room and dinning room. I will finish the top with a fancy rosette or something and finish the bottom with a nice base molding. Who know I may even do the tops with crown molding.

      Thanks again for your idea!
      I wonder if anyone else has an idea how to do this?
      Rev Ed


      • #4
        You described exactly how I would plan on doing it.

        Good Luck Ed.
        John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


        • #5
          I've not done this personally, but have seen it doen with a plunge router. You set the board in between two like thicknessed boards on your table and secure the outer boards with clamps to the surface you're working on. Then you make a jig for the plunge router so it will travel in a straight line (like a rectangle frame).

          Then you secure that to the support boards via clamps...moving the jig after each cut gives you perfect flutes.

          On a table you won't be able to see what you're doing and fence drift could cause you to have to redo it....
          Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>


          • #6
            Using the table with hold-downs and featherboard is a good idea...unless the flutes are not cut all the way through. How would you do a stopped flute with the hold-down?

            How about a router plate in a plunge router that has several pieces on one side that can be removed and put on the other side to get equal widths? I may not be describing this correctly, but it would hold the router tight to both sides and index for equal flutes.

            Your mileage may vary.



            • #7
              I like that idea. Kind of like an overhead router arm, if I read you right.
              If what your saying is put Boards on either side of the board I want to flute. Then place the router above it locked in place and push the board to be fluted under it.

              Ba-doyn I think your suggesting the same thing only putting spacers between the router and the frame that holds it then moving the spacer to the other side of the router to index it for the next flute.

              I will have to think about these ideas. Still seems complicated. I would think there has to be an easier way.

              I thought of a taking a piece of right angle aluminum using it as a straight edge by building a router plate out of 1/8 ply with a 2x4 block attached that has a saw cut to slip over the vertical of the aluminum. Now I have to figure a way to index it. Maybe Ba-doyn’s idea of spacers.

              Any other thoughts?
              Rev Ed


              • #8
                I don't know if it would offer a lot of advantage over a router table or not, but I use a molding head cutter set in my table saw to do all of my fluting. With the set I have, I can cut three flutes at once, so it speeds up the work. Feather board setup is the same (side and top). I don't know if I'd go out a buy a set just for this project (assuming you don't own one already), but if you've considering getting one anyway, it would be another option.


                • #9
                  I asked this question on the Wood forum and a guy over there had a great idea. Basically he took a piece a plywood and put fences on either side of it exactly the width of the board to be fluted. Then on top of that he placed another piece of plywood to which his router was attached. He sloted the screw holes that held the two pieces of ply together. It is almost like a saddle that slides up and down the board. Very easy!
                  Here is a link to a picture of it.
                  My thanks to everyone for your great ideas and your help!!!!! [img]smile.gif[/img]
                  Rev Ed


                  • #10
                    I like the ideas suggested so far. I'm no expert, however why not just use an Edge Guide with a handheld router?
                    Ned<br /><br />Madison Woodsmith<br /><br />Masonry: 2B1ASK1


                    • #11
                      I think the biggest drawback to using just an edge guide is possibility of letting the router drift off the edge guide and ruining the board. Because of the board length 8 ft and the number of flutes 5-7 per board multiplied by the number of boards this makes such an occurrence almost a sure thing.

                      The fixture I got from the other forum, using two fences insures this can not happen.
                      Rev Ed


                      • #12
                        A lot depends on the edge guide. I have the precision guide from Porter Cable, once I lock the adjustments down, i doubt it would drift. It Will be affected by any edge defects.
                        I agree with you though, that the jig you are going/went with is pretty trick, especially they way it ramps out at the end of the cut.
                        Good luck with the project!
                        Ned<br /><br />Madison Woodsmith<br /><br />Masonry: 2B1ASK1