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Working on a project where I wanted to use Tongue & Groove style joinery for the front framework. Problem I am running into though is how to cut the groove along the thin edge of my 1"x2" due to the gap in the table saw where the blade comes through the surface.

If you look at the attached photo, I scored a 'test' piece to show the groove I want to cut. The side that is scored would actually lay down on the table saw surface when cutting, but standing it up shows better what I am attempting to do. But if you notice, the wood is barely larger than the opening for the saw blade, and this makes it very difficult to keep the wood flat on the surface and flush against the fence. Unfortunately, the plate that covers the opening is fixed and not adjustable. Should I just try to make a full plate out of thin wood I could then cut a slit in by raising the blade? Or is there some other option here?

The table saw is:

Ryobi 10 in. 13 Amp Portable Table Saw

(Home Depot SKU # 418826)

Wood is S4S Select Pine, 1"x2" (3/4" x 1 1/2" actual), groove is 1/4" wide by 1/4" deep full length of each board.

Any help/suggestions are welcome.

-- Andrew

post-2319-0-56269100-1291004613_thumb.jp

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I see what you mean about the inset material being thin. The first choice is to make a replacement for the insert that spans the full opening. Then gradually raise the blade through the new insert giving you a zero clearance opening.

With the situation you have, I’ve heard of people putting 1/8” masonite over the entire table. They clamp it to the table, and set the fence close to the blade before running the blade up slowly because there isn’t anything holding the masonite down to the table close to the blade like you have with an insert.

Good luck!

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The term for what you're needing is "zero clearance insert". You could try making one with thin wood, but it will almost certainly need some bracing to keep it from sagging. Alternately, you could make it from a thicker piece (like 1/2" hardwood or even plywood) and remove material underneath where necessary (e.g. where the screw attaches under the insert). There are many ways to do this, and the best approach will depend on how your saw looks under the existing insert, and your skills and preferences. Once you get something that works, you can keep a few on hand for different cuts (e.g. straight, dado, angled, etc.) as needed.

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A few ideas:

  • Use a miter gauge or a sled and lay the board down on the table. Make multiple cuts from the side to create the tongue (nibble).
  • As above, but use a dado blade or stack and fewer cuts.
  • Use a straight bit in a router table.
  • Build a jig with a wide base to hold the board vertically on the table saw. Even if you had a ZCI, this would give you more control in your cut.

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<br />Working on a project where I wanted to use Tongue &amp; Groove style joinery for the front framework. Problem I am running into though is how to cut the groove along the thin edge of my 1&quot;x2&quot; due to the gap in the table saw where the blade comes through the surface.<br /><br />If you look at the attached photo, I scored a 'test' piece to show the groove I want to cut. The side that is scored would actually lay down on the table saw surface when cutting, but standing it up shows better what I am attempting to do. But if you notice, the wood is barely larger than the opening for the saw blade, and this makes it very difficult to keep the wood flat on the surface and flush against the fence. Unfortunately, the plate that covers the opening is fixed and not adjustable. Should I just try to make a full plate out of thin wood I could then cut a slit in by raising the blade? Or is there some other option here?<br /><br />The table saw is: <br />Ryobi 10 in. 13 Amp Portable Table Saw <br />(Home Depot SKU # 418826)<br /><br />Wood is S4S Select Pine, 1&quot;x2&quot; (3/4&quot; x 1 1/2&quot; actual), groove is 1/4&quot; wide by 1/4&quot; deep full length of each board.<br /><br />Any help/suggestions are welcome.<br /><br />-- Andrew<br />
<br /><br /><br />

One more idea: hot glue the workpiece to the edge of a wider board.

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Working on a project where I wanted to use Tongue & Groove style joinery for the front framework. Problem I am running into though is how to cut the groove along the thin edge of my 1"x2" due to the gap in the table saw where the blade comes through the surface.

If you look at the attached photo, I scored a 'test' piece to show the groove I want to cut. The side that is scored would actually lay down on the table saw surface when cutting, but standing it up shows better what I am attempting to do. But if you notice, the wood is barely larger than the opening for the saw blade, and this makes it very difficult to keep the wood flat on the surface and flush against the fence. Unfortunately, the plate that covers the opening is fixed and not adjustable. Should I just try to make a full plate out of thin wood I could then cut a slit in by raising the blade? Or is there some other option here?

The table saw is:

Ryobi 10 in. 13 Amp Portable Table Saw

(Home Depot SKU # 418826)

Wood is S4S Select Pine, 1"x2" (3/4" x 1 1/2" actual), groove is 1/4" wide by 1/4" deep full length of each board.

Any help/suggestions are welcome.

-- Andrew

I have done a quicl search and have not found a zero clearence insert for a Ryobi table saw, so you will have to make your own. My suggestion is to purchase a zero clearence kit. To see the kit from Rockler, Click Here. This kit comes with two inserts. You can do as others have suggested by just useing plywood or hardwood, but I really like the look of these inserts myself better. If you do not want to go that route, then purchase some UHMW and make your own insert, Click Here to see it. Personally, If I was going to be doing a lot of tounge and groove boards, I would purchase a tounge and groove router bit combo. One bit would make the tounge and the other would make the grooves, Click Here to this router bit combo.

Do not forget, if you plan to purchase something from Pockler or any of the othe sponsors, be sure to use the links off of www.thewoodwhisperer.com home page. That way it will help Master Mark.

Jeff

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Personally, If I was going to be doing a lot of tounge and groove boards, I would purchase a tounge and groove router bit combo. One bit would make the tounge and the other would make the grooves.

Jeff

Unless you're planning a beveled edge, or a dado blade, the router seems to me the easiest / fastest way. This way, you can do the cuts in one pass (two if you just use a rabbeting bit) for the tongue, and one on the groove. You would need to adjust the piece being cut on the table saw for each one. (assuming you don't gang rip your work first, that is.)

never having done any T&G, I can't say what works best. I think the zero clearance insert will be more useful to you, as you will learn about your tools, and how to make new ones for your table saw. And from what I've seen, you will always appreciate both the ZCI on the table saw and how to make new ones after you have used the last one too long.

Just remember to take breaks, clearly mark what you're going to cut, post photos, and have fun!

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Thanks everyone for the responses and the great ideas on how to proceed.

Since posting, my brain has been simmering on the problem and I think I might try a variation on the cross cut sled instead of making a "zero-clearance insert". The insert idea looks like it may be a challenge due to the way the table saw top is designed. Making a 'sled', but that is clamped in place with a fixed fence parallel to the blade may be the simplest, cheapest, and quickest way to get around the problem. I am happy that an idea I arrived at coincides with many of the experts in here... very reassuring!

I do like the idea of the Tongue and Groove router bits, but never having used them before, I may need to take a trip to Rockler or WoodCraft to see them and talk with the experts there. May be a cleaner way to cut the wood, but they are not cheap and I want to make sure I am not buying something expensive I may only use on this project and that can be done by another means.

Again, thanks everyone for the help! Oh, and when I figure out what I will actually do, and get some cut up, I'll post pics of the progress. I'm hoping to finish this project in time for Marc's holiday project spotlight. (It's not a holiday theme in and of itself, but I am making it as a gift)

-- Andrew

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One other idea I used recently. Get a slot-cutting router bit. They are normally pretty reasonably priced and definitely useful for many things. Use that bit to plow, say, an 1/8" slot wherever you'd run a tongue or groove. If those slots are 1/2" deep, you'll then want to cut 7/8" wide strips of 1/8" thick material to use as a spline. Kinda like "loose tongue" joinery, but without the rumors :) I recently used this technique on a set of simple ply cabinets (hey, they were going in a closet so... ply :)) and it worked very well. The spline material I used was some Luan ply scraps I had from a flooring project. They clocked in a little heavier than 1/8" so I stacked another cutter to get it exactly to size, but you can use some other spline stock and adjust your slot cutter accordingly.

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One other thought. If you have a scrap of 1/4 ply or mdf. Set you fence first, then double stick tape the scrap down. It has to be long enough to span the depth of the table saw and wide enough to clear the left edge of the saw throat from the fence. Then slowly raise the spinning blade through.

Not elegant, but good for a quick fix!

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One other thought. If you have a scrap of 1/4 ply or mdf. Set you fence first, then double stick tape the scrap down. It has to be long enough to span the depth of the table saw and wide enough to clear the left edge of the saw throat from the fence. Then slowly raise the spinning blade through.

For something that's going to have a table saw blade raised through it, I think I'd use double stick tape and clamps. If I didn't have a piece of scrap big enough to clamp on both sides of the table, I'd stick the scrap down, and then clamp a couple of 2x4s (cauls, if you want to be fancy) over the scrap to hold it in place while raising the blade.

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Once again I have to thank everyone for all the great suggestions and ideas. There are always several different ways to approach these things, and believe me I ran through many of them. But, I wanted to bring you all up to date on what I did and where I am at in this project....

As I mentioned I needed to make a bunch of piece that would come together using Tongue & Groove joinery, but it was the how to make the T&G that had me running into issues due to my particular table saw. Well, if you look at the first two attached photos, you'll see what I came up with. I really couldn't afford to purchase a nice T&G router bit set -- although I would like to get a set at some point, as expensive as they are. I do have a router table, and while a 1/4" straight bit would have made the groove I needed, 1/4" is actually a little over-sized based on my paneling, and my router table doesn't have a full fence (it has the two separate fences to either side of the bit) so I would be back to issues with the small pieces. So, in the end I decided to use the jig I show in the photo. It worked out great, and allowed me to adjust the groove it cut to precisely the size I wanted/needed. I just had to run the wood through once, then flip it end for end, and run it through again. For the double groove pieces I just did the same thing on both sides.

For the tongue I finally got to use the Dado Stack set I bought a couple months ago (Home Depot: "Avanti Pro 8 In. x 24 Tooth Stacked Dado Set", $49.97) and worked great. It was really easy to get the blades on the table saw, and with just a few test cuts I got it dialed in pretty quick. Watching Marc's video on the Steamer Trunk prepared me for this step and I was able to knock these out in no time. In the third and fourth attached photos you can see the Dado Stack on the table saw and how I used a "sacrificial" fence to cut the tongues. Also, you'll see I had another board behind the one I was cutting... as I don't have a miter fence (like Marc describes in his video) I just used a left over board to help both with preventing 'tear-out' of my actual piece and to get a better grip on the piece I was cutting. Then I was able to re-adjust the fence and adjust the blades to allow me to cut the 3/8" rabbet in the two boards that will be the sides of my box, as part of a 'reinforced rabbet' (again like Marc described in his Trunk video -- I swear, I watched the video after I designed my project! But it is nice to see I was thinking along the same lines of TWW himself... makes me feel much more confident in my design)

The last photo is the stack of pieces after going through all the T&G and Rabbet cuts. I still have some more rabbets to do, but my table saw doesn't have a shaft long enough for me to cut a 3/4" rabbet, so I will have to do those on the router table. Thankfully, those rabbets are on long pieces so the router fence issue won't be a problem in this case. After that, the next step will be to start cutting all the little panels which will go into the grooves. With those cut, then I can dry assemble the front and be that much closer to being done!

-- Andrew

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  • 1 month later...

Well, three months later, I have finally finished the project. I thank everyone here who offered help and suggestions, it's always great to get the benefit of other's experience when facing a problem, issue, or hurdle.

Please take a gander at your convenience:

http://woodtalkonline.com/gallery/album/2319/407-masonic-light-box/

Thanks again!

-- Andrew

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