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Author Topic: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.  (Read 1149 times)

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barrel_hopper

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Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« on: May 11, 2008, 07:27:40 pm »
Ok here is the deal. I was given an old Donkey Kong cabinet that was totally beat to heck.

I took the thing apart so I could use what was left of the sides as a template.

I am going to use the sides and trace them onto 5/8th MDF.

I am new to woodworking and I was wondering what is the best way to cut the sides?

Do I want to use a Jigsaw and try and cut outside the line? The clamp the original to the newly cut side and sand it out?

Can a router be used to cut the sides using the template?

What I don't understand about using the router to cut sides is.....if you have a 4x8 sheet of MDF do you have to cut your sides out close before you can use a flush trim bit or something? Or can you use the flush trim bit on the full sheet?

So I am looking for the best advice here. These sheets of MDF are $30 a pop and I don't want to mess this up.

I know when a project is a learning experience mistakes will be made. So if anyone has a fool proof method for a newbie to try I would love to hear it.

Thanks in advance,

Adam S.

Dudeman

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 08:11:19 pm »
Trace the side out onto the MDF.

Cut it close with your jigsaw.

Clamp the DK side on top of the MDF and use a pattern cutting bit to cut the MDF to exactly the same dimensions as the DK side.

You could just cut it out of a full sheet, but that would make a lot more dust, and you'd have to support the scrap from the sheet as you cut. A lot more trouble.

BTW: A pattern cutting bit is a straight bit with a bearing on top that rides along the edge of the piece you are using as a template.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 08:12:54 pm by Dudeman »

barrel_hopper

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 08:18:02 pm »
So that is not the same as a flush trim bit? I know an FT bit has a bearing on top as well

Dudeman

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2008, 08:23:03 pm »
It is. Some sellers call it a pattern cutting bit (i.e. Woodcraft), and most people on here refer to it as that.

barrel_hopper

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2008, 11:44:58 pm »
ok I see. Seems like there is a pretty big difference but I cant seem to find what the major points of difference are. I will keep researching it.

So seems like I need to cut a bit outside of my line and then clean it up to an exact match with the pattern cutting but. I am excited. Soon as I get paid again I am going to go get a sub $100 router and some bits.

Any more advice or info guys? Anyone got pics of one of these things in action?

Thanks

Adam S.

ivwshane

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2008, 12:50:43 am »
I did a rough cut for my cab on one sheet and then I used a straight edge and a router with a flush trim bit to straighten out the cuts. I then traced the first side onto the second and did another rough cut with the jig saw, I then used the trim bit and used the first side as the template and made an exact copy.

fjl

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2008, 03:06:20 am »
A Pattern Cutting bit can be the same as a flush trim bit. Of course, a Pattern Bit is made specifically for what the name implies, cutting out patterns. A flush trim bit can also be used to cut out patterns and be used for a template just like a Pattern Cutting Bit. But some Flush Trim bits are not made for the heavy duty work of a pattern bit and are instead made simply to "flush trim" cut laminate.

This is my observance from having researched flush trim cutting bits. So I could be wrong.

patrickl

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 03:20:15 am »
When you are using a bit with a bearing, the flush trim bit has the bearing on the bottom of the bit and a pattern cutting bit has the bearing on the top.

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ivwshane

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 03:35:52 am »
For what I did I actually found it easier to have the bearing on the bottom.

I think a pattern bit would be good if you were going to cut out patterns from 1/4 hard board first and then transfer them to the mdf.

barrel_hopper

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 08:40:57 am »
Is it ok to use a 3/4th bit on 5/8th MDF? I figure some overhang can be good. Or do I need to get a 5/8th bit.

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 07:41:32 am »
Anyone?

patrickl

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2008, 08:09:55 am »
There is no problem with some extra overhang.
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sstorkel

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Re: Need advice on cutting my cabinet sides.
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2008, 11:25:33 am »
Just to clear up the confusion:

A pattern cutting bit has a bearing on the top.

A flush cutting bit has a bearing on the bottom.

In most cases, there is no difference in the cutters themselves. Of course, there are "laminate trimmers", usually designed for use in small routers, that may have less durable cutters.

You can use a cutter of any length, just make sure it's cutting in the right place. Ideally, you don't want an extra-long bit to end up cutting your template!
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 11:27:16 am by sstorkel »