Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 30

Thread: 400 cope cuts on a router table

  1. #1

    400 cope cuts on a router table

    Clearly this is a job for a shaper but has anyone done a-lot of copes (like 400) on a router table? I have a job and it’s a one time thing for a friend to make at least 100 interior solid panel shutters in Red oak, they will be 1” thick and painted. And the panel is raised on both sides so that means at least 800 passes for the raised panel - now that I am typing it seems totally silly to do this on a router table setup but thought I would still ask…

    The shutters are approximately 7” wide by 42” and forgot to mention above they will need an extended tenon, pia on a router table so i would do a loose tenon using a Pantorouter or Multirouter (which will also be a pia, 800 slot mortises)
    I would make a pneumatic coping jig and would get a small power feeder for the stick (about 1k lnft) and the long edge of the panel.
    I have a widebelt so i would make them thicker as i am not expecting a precision fit off a router (at least in these quantities)

    I have some experience with shapers and have owned them but it’s been a long time and I don’t really want a shaper because I don’t have the room, tooling is expensive to make it useful and i would really use it much after this.

    Thoughts? Feel free to call me crazy my feelings won’t get hurt, besides I have been becoming unhinged for years….

    Thanks, Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,142
    I dont think the idea is crazy, and the router table should work just fine; however, this is a ton of work. That is probably 40 hours of work by the time you make a coping jig, mount the feeder, and process the material. My main concern or cautionary advice towards the router is you might burn your motor on this job. This is why so many routers fail with guys running CNCs, because they arent designed to run nonstop for 4+ hours.

    I dont run my shaper often(its part of a saw/shaper), but its a nice tool to have now and then. I dont know that my jessem router table fence could handle a feeder's pressure. I dont think this job necessitates the purchase of a $5,000+ shaper, but i would definitely do a few quick searches to see if you can find a used 3-5hp delta/powermatic/grizzly nearby that is affordable. You dont need a huge machine for this job, and you might be able to pick up a used machine with a feeder for $1,000. PITA to go pick up a machine and move it only to potentially sell it a month later, but i do think a medium duty shaper will save you hours of labor compared to a router table.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    6,318
    Keep the heat down and keep as much sawdust as you can out of the router.

    My main concern is that you'll have the tooling to do the job from start to finish.

    Things have improved somewhat, but, at the end of the day, there's not much out there but Triton when it comes to 3.X HP routers.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    7,011
    Look on the Windows page of my website to see how I build these. I think it's broken down there in pictures. It gets 100% of the chips, and makes a clean pass.

    The website is old, and has accumulated a bunch of formatting errors, plus the software it was built with hasn't been supported for several years, but I think most of the pictures are still there. Scroll down on the Windows page.

    The PVC pipe is the air intact to be safer for fingers, and not allow chips to get thrown out. I made well over 400 copes on that one job, plus many other passes on similar ones. Notice the router still looks clean, like new, after years of use. THe "top" is phenolic bowling alley topper.

    www.HistoricHousePreservation.com
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tom M King; 07-05-2022 at 11:21 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Doylestown, PA
    Posts
    7,048
    In addition to router durability, I don't know that router bits will do that much without sharpening/replacement. Re extended tenons, Freud makes an adjustable rail and stile bit set that will cut extended tenons but you'd have to find alternate means to create adequate mortise depth.
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 07-05-2022 at 11:19 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Warwick, RI
    Posts
    670
    Mark, what exactly do you mean "copes (like 400) on a router table?"? I think of sawing when I hear the word cope. Not that I'll have any insight for you but I'd like to know what your talking about.

  7. #7
    Lots of nice work there Tom. Even more impressed you doing it on the machinery you used to do it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,169
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Hutchings View Post
    Mark, what exactly do you mean "copes (like 400) on a router table?"? I think of sawing when I hear the word cope. Not that I'll have any insight for you but I'd like to know what your talking about.


    The cope of cope and stick joinery, aka scribe if you are British.

    I'd do it on a shaper, but if you don't have one it doesn't seem any worse than a kitchens worth of doors. Some people build cabinet doors with a RT.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Warwick, RI
    Posts
    670
    Thank you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gold Coast, Australia
    Posts
    227
    Before I had a shaper I built a router table for my house construction. Since it is a period house and I made all the doors, shutters, panelling etc I cut 600+ cope & stick joints on it. No sled, just a square piece of scrap to back up each piece. Pine, MDF and western red cedar.

    I used bit sets from Infinity and touched them up once or twice with a diamond card set. Triton TRA001 router in a commercial top

    It gets old fast, but so would the shaper. Do them in batches, have excellent dust extraction above and below the table. The MDF dust caused problems with the router eventually before I increased the dust removal through the fence.

    My shaper has a sliding table and air clamps. I wouldn’t be too relaxed hand feeding end cuts through a shaper without those things. The router table only feels safer. After a long day I managed to cope the end of a finger. Production work like you contemplate leads to fatigue and inattention, so that’s something else to consider.

    Greg

  11. #11
    Thanks everyone for the replies, responses are pretty much in line with what i was thinking so good to know i am not totally nuts. (Unless we are all nuts? )

    I think i might just get a shaper, honestly the time is more important than the money - this job will pay for it and then some. Plus i think in the end not only will the work go faster it will be more accurate even further speeding up the process down the line.

    I have noticed that with the full DRO on my k940 that my work is going a bit faster because there are no discrepancies in the parts even when I have to go back and remake a part.

    Patrick, sometimes i think I should have gone with a saw/shaper but i was thinking about the hassle of going back and forth as it would be my only saw. I did (and still) am thinking about a 1kish used shaper but honestly if i am going to buy one i will probably look for one with a tilting arbor and sliding table. I think if i get lucky one might pop up on the used market in the next 2 months for around 5k, if i need to buy new probably looking at the mini max at like at 12k, Sam Blasco said he has one coming in Nov/Dec. Really there are quite a few scm t130’s which is a pretty solid shaper (thats one of the ones i had) for under 4k but its on the big side, fixed spindle and no sliding table

    Rich, I was thinking the same with the tooling. I was thinking i would need to buy two sets just to be sure and I think Milwaukee makes a 3.5hp as well

    Tom, that some really nice looking work. Looks like i could do it with a router if i was motivated enough, the other thing I didn’t think of is that i am thinking I wouldn’t be able to do full passes on the raised panel, thinking at least 2 passes that would be 1600 passes!

    Curt, i was thinking the same thing and even if I bought 2 sets would they match up mid run, i am sur they would be close enough but wouldn’t want any surprises. I have seen that set, Amana also makes one, if i went that route i think i would cut the bulk of the tenon on the saw then finish up on the router table.

    Richard, what Jared said…

    Greg, this answers a few questions i had, thanks. I would have plenty of dust collection i also think that would help cool the motor as well, yes the “production” part of it is concerning, I haven’t done a job this big since I had my business. I will probably adapt my pneumatic clamps on my saw if i get a shaper but if i end up doing it with a router table i will have to probably make something different, the clamps on the saw are a little bit overkill for that

  12. #12
    I would (buy and) use a shaper, and don’t think I could ever go back to a router for something like this or much else but I have been corrupted.

    I have also been casually looking for a (2nd) shaper (this one larger and with tilting spindle) and can send you links of some that I come across.

    There is a little, older Minimax T3 with sliding table (no tilt?) in NY on Woodweb for ~$1500 and a tilting T110 with feeder and extra spindles in PA for $3k just as a starting point. I saw a barely used, late model minimax T50 sliding and tilt for sale here a few months back for around $5-6k, iirc and I think it was in DC/MD. Not sure I have seen many models that have sliding table and tilt outside of some of the minimax units like a T50...aside from newer Martins that are typically much larger, have the end-mounted sliding tenoning carriages and tables and are quite a bit out of my price range.
    Last edited by Phillip Mitchell; 07-05-2022 at 11:28 PM.
    Still waters run deep.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    7,011
    Sounds like a good excuse to buy a shaper. I'm sure a router won't do a finished cut on raised panels in one pass, unless you hog material off on a table saw, which is more passes. You will probably find other uses for a shaper in the future.

    Woodwork is only a small fraction of the things I do on these old houses, and I set up on the job to do everything, so a shaper is not worth having to move one around for me.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    I would (buy and) use a shaper, and don’t think I could ever go back to a router for something like this or much else but I have been corrupted.

    I have also been casually looking for a (2nd) shaper (this one larger and with tilting spindle) and can send you links of some that I come across.

    There is a little, older Minimax T3 with sliding table (no tilt?) in NY on Woodweb for ~$1500 and a tilting T110 with feeder and extra spindles in PA for $3k just as a starting point. I saw a barely used, late model minimax T50 sliding and tilt for sale here a few months back for around $5-6k, iirc and I think it was in DC/MD. Not sure I have seen many models that have sliding table and tilt outside of some of the minimax units like a T50...aside from newer Martins that are typically much larger, have the end-mounted sliding tenoning carriages and tables and are quite a bit out of my price range.
    Felders have the slide and tilt but after my experience with the company I would prefer to not buy a Felder and at some point will unload all of my existing and replace it. the other important thing for me is having a good fence, a lot of those older MM fences don't have fine adjustment, pin locating or counters on them. I kinda came to the conclusion that i will need to spend min 5-12k if i want a more advanced fence, sliding table and tilting arbor.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark e Kessler View Post
    Felders have the slide and tilt but after my experience with the company I would prefer to not buy a Felder and at some point will unload all of my existing and replace it. the other important thing for me is having a good fence, a lot of those older MM fences don't have fine adjustment, pin locating or counters on them. I kinda came to the conclusion that i will need to spend min 5-12k if i want a more advanced fence, sliding table and tilting arbor.
    Ah yes, I always forget about Felder because I never consider them as an option for my needs but it seems they have sliding/tilting in a package. I specifically look for used machines pre ~2000 to avoid the headache of controls that are dependent on integrated electronics and most of Felder is generally newer, electronically controlled, out of my price range, and doesn’t seem as heavy duty as what I’m looking for. I’m looking for something more like an older tilting SCM T160, old Bauerle / Martin level of machine, so we’re in 2 different eras / levels of refinement.

    You’re probably about right on your budgeting for what you’re talking about. Don’t think you’d regret having that class of shaper at your disposal. What models fit those criteria and are on the short list?
    Still waters run deep.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •