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Learn How To Cut Grooves In The Middle Of Wood

in today's video we're looking at two different methods for cutting grooves in the middle of wood the first method which is the fastest and cleanest is to use a plunge router in a straight cutting bit for those of you that may not know a plunge router is a handheld router that has the ability to plunge or lower the bit into the wood while the bit is rotating in addition to using a good plunge router choosing the right bit is just as important there are two main choices for straight cutters a straight bit which has two cutters or flutes like this one here or two or even three flute spiral bits like this one either bit will work but the spiral bit will move material much quicker and with less effort if you're not that familiar with spiral bits let me give you a 40 second run down there are three options an up cut a down cut and a compression bit the upcut bit cuts or shears in the upward direction which means that the wood shavings will be directed upward and the cut on the bottom of the material will be the cleanest the down cut bit shears in the downward direction which means that the wood shavings will be directed downward and the cut on the top of the material will be the cleanest the compression bit is the best of both worlds meaning that it has both up shear and down shear flutes or cutting surfaces making both the top and the bottom of the material clean moving on there are two main ways to guide the router while making grooves in the middle of the wood the first way is to use a router edge guide which gets attached to the router itself the second way is to use a straight edge which actually gets attached to the wood router edge guides can be attached differently depending on the type of router you have but this one here gets attached with two rods because it's attached to the router you can easily move it and the router from one work piece to the next it's also quick at making adjustments because you can slide the whole guide in or out or you can use this knob for making micro adjustments the only downside is that you're limited to how far the guide will reach so if you have a very wide board or panel the edge guide may not be the best option so in that case the second way might be the best which is to use a straight edge a straight edge could be a straight piece of wood that gets clamped down or it can be a metal straight edge that has clamps built right in as you can see this allows you to position a clamp anywhere in the middle of the material when it comes to the best routing direction it's safest to cut in a counterclockwise direction around the outside of the clamp for example if i'm standing in front of the clamp you want to route from left to right if i'm standing at the end of the clamp like this you want to route up on the right side of the straight edge now technically speaking you don't have to be that concerned about routing direction here especially if you're only making a single pass right through the middle of the wood because all sides of the bit are engaging the wood at the same time so you really don't have to worry about the bit pulling away from you however it does matter when you're making a double pass to widen a groove let me explain if i jump over to a wider through dado for better clarity you can see that if you want to widen a dado by removing this material here as the bit rotates it only engages or cuts with half of its rotation while the other half of the rotation is not cutting at all in this scenario you can easily confuse a push cut from a climb cut and the router could potentially pull away from you aggressively therefore if winding a groove or dado on this side you want to route from left to right or from bottom to top and if you want to widen on this side the routing direction is from top to bottom or right to left if routing direction is still a bit confusing for you be sure to go and watch all of my router videos and i'll leave a link in the notes section below and i'll also pin it in the comment section like with most things there are exceptions to these routing directions meaning you don't always have to be concerned about the direction in which you cut but if you're just getting started i would definitely recommend following what i just went over until you get more comfortable with your tools and the material you're using the second method we're going to look at is great if you don't have a router as it utilizes a forstner bit and a chisel to make the groove as i mentioned in the beginning of the video the first method is the cleanest but this second method also works well especially if you don't need a perfectly flat bottom oftentimes this method is used to make mortises for a mortise and tenon joint but it can also be used to make other simple grooves as well it starts by laying out the exact location of the groove which includes its width and total length it also helps to draw a center line in the groove to better align the forstner bit next choose a forstner bit that is the exact width of the groove or slightly smaller the last step before drilling begins is to figure and mark the depth of the groove now there are many different ways to drill to the correct depth but the easiest and cheapest way is to use a piece of tape wrapped around the bit or simply eyeball the depth by referencing off the bit itself once you start drilling overlap your holes with each cut until you have cleared out most of the material then with a sharp chisel start removing the remaining material along the edges and squaring up the ends as you can see the forstner bit removes the bulk of the material and the chisel just fine tunes the edges and ends again this method works really well for shorter grooves dados or mortises but if you have long grooves to make the router is probably the best option either way both of these methods work really well it just all depends on what you're doing they do require some practice so be sure to get in the shop today and start refining your skills follow me on instagram that is the best platform that has been working if you need my help or if you'd like to share some photos with me about projects you're working on currently thank you for watching it's always good to see you thank you for viewing and subscribing and supporting training hands academy see everybody next week you

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