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Thread: Odd shaped cavity cutout

  1. #1

    Odd shaped cavity cutout

    I'm looking for suggestions on how to cut out ("hog out"?) a roughly egg shaped cavity in a piece of maple 1.5(H) x 2.5 x 3.5".
    The cavity is not symmetrical. The side thickness is not critical... it can be anywhere from 5/32" to 1/4" thick.

    I've attached some pics of monkey pod dishes that have odd shaped cut outs, so you can see (in general) what I'm talking about.
    I'm not doing anything with monkey pod (good lord, why would any one make monkey pod candy dishes...there are tons of them out there in every conceivable shape, and some shapes not so conceivable).

    But I am making a wood art project and need to make a cutout. It's not so much the sides as the bottom that stumps me.
    What tool(s) do I need and what kind of bits?

    Any suggestions/advice/caveats would be greatly appreciated.

    I do not have access to any CNC equipment so, please, no suggestions on how to do it that way.


    Monkey pod dish 1.pngMonkey pod dish 2.png

    Thanks
    Last edited by Patty Hann; 01-12-2019 at 8:36 PM.

  2. #2
    A single flute router bit cuts a lot faster than the common two flute. Be careful,they can grab, so don't saw out the perimeter
    until the inside is done

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Look at Arbortech's tools for power wood carving. https://www.arbortechtools.com/us/ On each product page, scroll down to the bottom for a video showing use of the tool.

  4. #4
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    A gouge and a mallet, with a curved scraper to smooth it up.

  5. #5
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    A bowl bit for your router and a collar to guide it against your irregularly shaped template would do what you ask. The bowl bit has a radius on the edge to give the walls and floor a good transition.

    Doc
    As Cort would say: Fools are the only folk on the earth who can absolutely count on getting what they deserve.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Several ways to remove the waste as have been noted...what's really important is material holding so you can do this safely while you rough out the excess with whatever method and tool(s) you choose.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    I agree with what Becker said, and earlier posts. Work holding will be key.

    This is somewhat related to carving out the bowl of a spoon. If you search for tips and techniques on spoon carving you may get some useful details.

  8. #8
    Pin router.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    39
    I have made a number of cheese trays, sorta cutting boards with irregular cutouts like you show. I make the boards larger than my final shape so I can screw a template to the board, then use a bowl bit mentioned above to cut the profile and final shape with a plunge router. After i'm done, I remove the template and cut the final shape of the board on my bandsaw. Also keeping everything a large as possible while making the carvings, helps keep plenty of area to firmly clamp the piece during the operation.

  10. #10
    THanks to all who replied... I especially the like (and think I can do) the methods that use the template attached/clamped/screwed to the [oversized] piece of wood. Also Arbortech ball gouge looks ideal (but pricey).
    Thanks also for the "Safety First" reminder. I have done a lot of router work with a table mounted router, but very little by hand, except with a laminate router (Ridgid ..1/4" collet).

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Hines, MD View Post
    A bowl bit for your router and a collar to guide it against your irregularly shaped template would do what you ask. The bowl bit has a radius on the edge to give the walls and floor a good transition.

    Doc
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Several ways to remove the waste as have been noted...what's really important is material holding so you can do this safely while you rough out the excess with whatever method and tool(s) you choose.
    When doing this sort of thing I mark out my openings on a squared blank, drill the bulk of the waste out at the drill press with a Forstner bit, add my own shop made template and route the remainder with a bowl bit and hand held router.
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


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