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Thread: Need help selecting cutter for T&G decking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    PNW
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    11

    Need help selecting cutter for T&G decking

    Hi,
    I am trying something new and need to ask for some help. I have a large quantity of poplar that I want to mill into 2" car decking for a loft floor. The floor will be supported by 6"x8" DF beams every 4 feet. The underside will be left visible. I would like to mill the T&G on my SCMI T160 with a power feeder. I have not been able to find a suitable cutter for this, I am sure this is an easy question for many folks on this forum.

    Since the planks will be rough ripped on my table saw, I hope that I can setup the shaper to size the final width on the shaper, maybe by putting a fence on the outside for the second pass?

    I appreciate any advise you can offer.

    thanks,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Dana, Masachusetts
    Posts
    367
    When I make plank walls I just use grooves and splines. It's simpler, one shaper set up. A table saw can rip wood to size. This also saves wood, the splines are made out 0f 4/4, not 8/4. Not shaping the whole edge of the 8/4 preserves the accurate width from the table saw.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    10,828
    Yes an outboard fence will profile and dimension in one pass.

    You should be able to order tongue profile knives, you can use an adjustable groover to cut the groove if you have one.

    Im making flooring, at the ripping with the feeder part"..Rod

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    PNW
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    Who do you guys buy your tooling from? This is a new to me shaper, my old machine was 3/4", so I bought cheap cutters from Grizzly. The new machine is 1-1/8" and I would like to buy a little better tooling.

    thanks,
    Chris

  5. #5
    You can buy dedicated tongue and groove cutters with carbide tips (either brazed or insert style) but investing in a "one trick pony" for the amount you're talking about may not be worth it, and some of those don't have the capacity for a full 2". I would look at a limiter head that accepts HSS knives high enough (55mm) to do the whole profile as well as make a decorative chamfer on the bottom if you like the style. You can do it with adjustable groovers and stacked tooling (or dual spline) but proper T&G cutters offer gentle chamfers on the tongue end as well as the groove margins that make installation a bit easier along with the option of the "V" groove. You also can't mill to width with a outboard fence without full edge being removed. Going the limiter heat route leaves you with a head you can use for a million other things down the line too.

  6. #6
    For t and g stuff I short the bottom of groove a bit so that any slight high places on floor will not make open joints at top side.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Southwest WI
    Posts
    245
    I looked for a similar solution about a year ago. I ended up just finding some t&g already milled so I didn't buy a cutter for this task. I was looking for a v groove look since it was exposed on one side. I found 2 decent options i had gotten a quote to make a dedicated set from freeborn which was pricey (around 700$ if I remember correctly) but I like there cutters. And the other more cost effective option was to just stack a chamfer cutter and 3 plain square cutter with the correct diameter and thickness to produce the look and size of t&g you are looking for. I had drew it up in sketch-up to figure out what cutters I would need. I believe this ended up being about 300$ in cutters. If you have a molding head you could also just get knifes made to the profile you want for pretty cheap (assuming you cutts are not too deep to achieve with a hss knife)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    PNW
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    Hi Brent,
    That sounds like what I am looking for. I would like to be able to add a chamfer on the bottom in a single pass. Do you have a recommendation on how and who to get a set of custom HSS knives from for something like this?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Balton View Post
    Hi Brent,
    That sounds like what I am looking for. I would like to be able to add a chamfer on the bottom in a single pass. Do you have a recommendation on how and who to get a set of custom HSS knives from for something like this?
    Hi Chris, I work with Whitehill now so that's where I get all that type of kit. If you want to send me a PM I can offer some suggestions.

    Cheers,
    B

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    153
    By 1 1/8” do you mean 30mm (which would be native to European machines not ordered with 1 1/4” spindles.

    I get most my cutters and heads from Whitehill. Excellent quality and a wide range of stock cutters. They make a 55mm insert head as well as corrugated. When I buy US shaper tooling I use Oella Saw in Baltimore. Excellent service.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Quenneville View Post
    By 1 1/8” do you mean 30mm (which would be native to European machines not ordered with 1 1/4” spindles.

    I get most my cutters and heads from Whitehill. Excellent quality and a wide range of stock cutters. They make a 55mm insert head as well as corrugated. When I buy US shaper tooling I use Oella Saw in Baltimore. Excellent service.
    I've a seen 1 1/8" on an SCM machine before. Pretty rare though.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,144
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Quenneville View Post
    By 1 1/8” do you mean 30mm (which would be native to European machines not ordered with 1 1/4” spindles.

    I get most my cutters and heads from Whitehill. Excellent quality and a wide range of stock cutters. They make a 55mm insert head as well as corrugated. When I buy US shaper tooling I use Oella Saw in Baltimore. Excellent service.

    +1 on the odd spindle diameter and another +1 on Oella saw.

    For a limited run I'd just go with corrugated steel. I get my knives ground by MT tool in Baltimore.

  13. #13
    Corrugated heads can also be had in chip limiting style for safety which isn't a bad idea, even with a power feeder.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    1,144
    Quote Originally Posted by brent stanley View Post
    Corrugated heads can also be had in chip limiting style for safety which isn't a bad idea, even with a power feeder.
    Can you get them in the US? I've only seen them in the whitehill catalog.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jared Sankovich View Post
    Can you get them in the US? I've only seen them in the whitehill catalog.
    I don't think anyone in North America manufactures them, but you can certainly get them from Europe. I have two tall blocks and blanks right here. They can be run without limiters of course and I know some people skip the limiters for short, power fed runs, but invest in them for larger runs where the costs of them translates to 1/4 of a penny per linear foot. Or in scenarios where stuff needs to be hand fed, folks will often decide they like the limiters. Everyone's got their own thresholds.

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