Wednesday, 4 March 2015
I've bought myself a new Jet spindle moulder (shaper). It comes with two router bit collets which is very useful, as for my scale of work I doubt I'll be using the spindle. The adjustment up is very precise and miles better than my upturned router and the large flat cast iron top is great. The split fence and hold downs work very well for larger cutters and it handles this with ease. The spindle only runs at 8,000 rpm maximum and smaller cutters are not recommended, although in practice if you are careful and don't try to go too deep it works fine and you certainly don't get any burning.
For more precise work requiring stops I made myself a wooden fence and attached the remaining piece of Flip Stop channel left over from the cross cut sled. The stops are easily transferred from one to the other so there's no need to buy extras, just as well at £130 a pair!
The fence is attached to the cast iron top with a pair of Magjigs which work really well. You just position the fence then turn the knobs and it is held rock solid.
A 40 mm diameter hole is required and luckily I have just this size in one of those cheap 'gold' forstner bit sets, although it didn't like the plywood much. The instructions call for a 3/4" mm deep hole so that the metal protrudes slightly, I made mine a perfect depth so as not to through the fence off square. Good quality multiply can be easily planed to thickness although it may not look to pretty.
Here is the fence and Flip Stops in action being used to rout the hinge recess for one of Andrew Crawford's Smart Hinges.
These need to be done very precisely with both stops being exactly the same distance from the cutter, any deviation from this will be doubled and result in a poor fit. Being able to flip from one stop to the other is great, especially if you are doing a small batch of boxes as here. I will be bringing this fence to the tool chest course in the summer, with 18 boxes to do it will be a great time saver.
I've first used the Magjigs when the appeared here some years ago. I made my resaw fence for the bandsaw using two and they have stood the test of time very well, I highly recommend them, for cast cast iron tables of course!