Molding operations are performed with the Mark V in the table saw
mode. The molder head accessory enables you to add professional
detail to almost any project. With it you can shape edges and surfaces,
form cabinet door lips, make sash moldings, produce strong glue
joints, and do many other operations. Once you become acquainted
with the tool, you'll find that you can reproduce many standard
wood patterns and also create virtually unlimited original molding
designs. In a sense, it allows you to do decorative edging on the
molder head is a heavy steel disc that is mounted on the 5/8" molder/Dado
arbor, then onto the Mark V's main spindle.
5-1. The molder head is a thick, heavy steel disc that
has equally spaced slots around its perimeter to receive sets of
matched molder knives. A special 5/8" molder/Dado arbor (not shown)
mounts the molder head to the Mark V main spindle.
speed setting Q (3250 RPM) for hardwood and R (3500 RPM) for softwood.
5-2. Because the molder head works with knives that are
1" wide, it must be used with a specially designed molder insert
(Model 500 insert shown).
Warning: Before using the molder head accessory, read and understand
these important safety instructions:
Zone - The danger zone extends 3" out from the knives on all
sides, 2" in back of the knives, and 8' in front of the knives.
The reason for the extended danger zone in front of the knives is
because of the danger of kickback.
understand and follow the entire Mark V manual, especially the
the molder head accessory is used, it is necessary to remove
the upper saw guard. Whenever the upper saw guard is removed,
keep the lower saw guard in place and work with extreme caution.
Never allow your hands to hold stock over the cutter head.
use the molder head accessory without the molder insert installed.
After installing the molder insert turn the upper auxiliary
spindle by hand to be sure the knives clear the insert.
sure the set-screw in the molder/Dado arbor is tightened against
the flat of the main spindle, the tongue washer is installed
next to the hex nut, the threaded shaft of the arbor is flush
with or extends past the end of the hex nut, and the hex nut
is securely tightened.
All of the knives shown in Figure 5-3 are available for use with
the molder head. This is quite an extensive assortment, but it isn't
necessary to acquire all of them at once. Other sets can be added
as you become more experienced with molder operations and as the
5-3. Buy a few that you can use now; acquire more as
you become proficient and your work scope increases.
knives, which come in sets of three matched cutters, are designed
like the glue joint set in Figure 5-4 for full profile cuts; that
is, the entire width of the knife is used to cut the profile in
the wood. The set shown in Figure 5-5 is designed so only part of
the edge is used to cut, in this case, flute and quarter-round shapes.
However, the full profile may be used if the shape pleases you.
5-4. This set of glue joint knives is typical of those
which are designed for a special purpose. You can even use part
of the profile.
5-5. This is a sample set of combination knives. Part of the
profile is used to form flutes or quarter-round shapes. You can
opt to use the full profile if the form pleases you.
examples of partial-cut knives are shown in Figure 5-6. The different
shapes that each knife will produce depend on how you set up for
the cut and, sometimes, how many passes you make.
5-6. As shown here, combination knives can be used to
create various shapes. (A) 3/16" and 3/8" quarter-round and 1/4"
bead. (B) Combination 1/4" and 1/2" quarter-round.
like the drop leaf table joint shown in Figure 5-7, are also available
in matched pairs of knife sets. In this case, one set of knives
forms the edge of the table, and the remaining set makes the matching
cut on the hinged leaf of the table.
5-7. These two shapes produce the edges that are required
for a drop leaf table joint. One set shapes the table's edge, the
other makes a matching form on the drop leaf.
of 3 matching joints and 2 full profile cuts are shown in Figure
5-8. Molder knives that produce these joints are purchased
in sets: (A) tongue-and-groove; (B) drop leaf table; (C) flute and
nosing. Examples of full profile cuts: (D) glue joint and (E) cloverleaf.
may also be used in combination; that is, different knives may be
used on the same piece of wood to produce a particular shape (Figure
5-9). The possible results are limitless, and with a good assortment
of knives you could closely duplicate any molding shape that is
displayed in any lumberyard.
5-9. These shapes are typical of advanced work you can
do with the molder head accessory. The shapes of different knives
combine to produce the final form. Work like this should be planned
in advance, on paper, using the knives as templates: (A) 1" Jointer;
(B) Combination 1/2" and 1/4" Quarter Round (C) Ogee; (D) 3 bead;
(E) Groove (part of the Tongue-and-Groove set).
the Knives -
The molder head has three slots equally spaced around its perimeter.
Each of the slots has its own prevailing torque set-screw which
bears against a steel ball that will seat in the beveled knife hole
when the set-screw is tightened.
Be sure the slots in the molder head and the knives are clean. Any
dirt that keeps the knives from seating correctly will cause inaccurate
cuts and can be dangerous.
the molder head so the slot points toward you and loosen the knife
retaining set-screw. Tilt the molder head a bit so the ball moves
out of the slot and then, approximately centering the knife, slip
it into place. Just before the ball contacts the knife, move the
knife side-to-side as you tighten the set-screw. This will center
the ball in the hole. The knife will adjust itself to the ball and
each knife will be aligned as you secure the set-screw. Caution:
do not over tighten the screws. This will damage the knife, making
it difficult to remove. Recheck the knives between jobs. Be sure
the knives are correctly seated and that the set-screw is tight.
The cutting edge of the knife is always on the side toward the set-screw.
When the molder head is mounted on the spindle, the cutting edges
will point toward the front of the worktable.
the profile of the knife is not the exact profile cut in the wood,
you should keep sample cuts of the knves you acquire. These can
be overlaid on a drawing of the shape you intend to produce so you
can decide which profile, or which part of a profile, should come
into play. Many molder knife profiles are duplicates of classic
forms. Therefore, these sample cuts can be used as templates when
Warning: Since many molder operations are best done by providing
bearing surface close to the cutting area and partial knife exposure
is used, the first thing you need to do is make a rip fence extension.
Construction details of the fence extension are shown in Figure
5-10. If the holes for the bolts are counter-bored on each side
of the fence, you can secure it to either side of the rip fence,
so you will be able to work with the fence on the left or right
side of the table.
Never position a feather board over the molder head. Position feather
boards in front of or behind the molder head.
5-10. Construction details of the rip fence extension.
If you Counterbore for the bolt heads on both sides of the fence,
you'll be able to attach it on either side of the rip fence for
use on the left or right side of the table.
make the arched relief area for the knives, mount the set of knives
you are going to use in the molder head and, with the worktable
elevated above the accessory, lock the fence so the knives will
cut most of their width into the fence extension. Turn on the machine
and very, very slowly lower the table until the knives have formed
an arch the maximum depth needed. NOTE: Use stop collars
from Tailstock on the table post to assure final depth of cut table
cuts remove a lot of material, so passes should be made slowly,
allowing the knives to cut without choking. A slow pass also results
in smoother cuts, since the knives will be working longer on any
given area of the wood. Make very deep cuts in stages, lowering
the table or adjusting the fence position after each pass until
the full cut depth or width is reached. Some warning signs that
indicate you are cutting too deeply or too fast include rough cuts,
the molder slowing, and the work beginning to chatter.
Use the miter gauge with safety grip to hold stock less than 10"
wide. It is difficult and unsafe to try to hand-hold such work.
that are made on stock edges are handled as shown in Figure 5-11.
Smoother shapes result when you place the stock so you are cutting
with the grain of the wood. This isn't always possible, so when
you must work against the grain, feed the work even more slowly
5-11. This is how to handle cuts on stock edges. Keep
work flat and snug against the fence. Make the pass slowly.
made on stock ends can be held securely when you work with the miter
gauge and safety grip.
5-12. Cross-grain cuts or cuts on stock ends are done
this way. The miter gauge holds the stock square to the fence; the
safety grip keeps the stock secure.
that are made across the grain will always have slight imperfections
at the end of the cut. To compensate, slow down when near the end
of a cut or work with stock that is slightly wider than you need.
A trim cut, made by ripping or jointing, can then bring the stock
to correct width while removing the flaw.
a project components requires that adjacent edges or all four edges
of the piece be molded, make the cross-grain cuts first. The final
cuts, made with the grain direction, will remove those slight imperfections
that are characteristic at the end of cross-grain cuts.
If you need a sinle piece of narrow molding, it is safer to form
the shape on a piece of wide stock that you can safely handle and
then rip to remove the shaped edge. If many similar narrow pieces
are needed, you should organize for the operation.
workpieces to size on the table saw. The feather boards are positioned
to suit the height and width of the workpieces. The best procedure
is to push the workpieces at the infeed end without allowing the
workpiece to stop.
Use a small piece of scrap to push the workpiece past the cutter.
Support long pieces with a roller stand.
One facet of woodworking that nearly always requires working with
the molder head accessory is making decorative cuts on stock surfaces
(Figure 5-14). The operation doesn't differ from usual procedures;
it's the spacing of the cuts that is critical. Good work results
when you are careful when making and changing settings.
5-14. Surface cuts are done in routine fashion, but be
careful with settings so cut spacing will be correct. The feather
board helps to keep the work flat on the table.
pieces can be used as is, as decorative inset panels in furniture
projects, or they can be the base material for fancy moldings. Once
the surface molding is finished, the work can be strip-cut into
wide or narrow pieces (Figure 5-15).
5-15. Surface-molded stock can be trip-cut to produce
examples of surface-molded pieces are shown in Figures 5-16 and
5-17. Those in the latter photo were done with a set of "V-Groove"
5-16. Examples of surface-molded pieces. When cuts cross,
make those that are across the grain very slowly. They will require
some sanding to make them as smooth as with-the-grain cuts.
5-17. These attractive, faceted panels, which can be used as
insets in furniture projects, were surface molded with "V-Groove"
when you make cuts that cross each other, make the cross-grain cut
first, and make them very slowly. Even so, they will not be as smooth
as those made with the grain. A light sanding of the cross-grain
cut surfaces will improve them.
When the molder head is equipped with 1" jointer knives, you can
use it for joinery. For example, you can cut a rabbet (Figure 5-18)
by holding the work flat on the table and moving it slowly and steadily
throughout the pass. To form a tongue, just cut back-to-back rabbets
5-18. Jointer knives can be used for joinery. Here, the
operation results in a rabbet cut. Because of the width of the knife
being used (1"), the rabbet can be formed to easily accommodate
5-19. A tongue is the result when back-to-back rabbets are cut
on the same edge of the stock. Other molder knife profiles are used
to produce joints; among them are the glue joint cutter and the