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Today in the shop (Plunge routing to fixed depth idea)

#270489 by reible » Wed May 20, 2020 7:00 pm

I introduced this concept in a post on the safe-t-planer but wanted to give a bit more detail for those that like to use their shopsmith to do routing and in this case plunge routing.

So lets see how this might work. I'm going to show one way then a slight variation for a couple of the steps. I hope this is not to confusing but lets try it and see how it goes.

Step 1. Lower the bit to the surface of the work piece and lock the quill. Make sure the bit just touches and keep in mind this is the "zero" point so the better you get this the better the end results.

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Step 2. Next the stop collar is slide up to touch the head stock and locked in place. Be careful when you remove the work piece from under the just touching bit.

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Step 3. Select the depth you want to cut. Here I used a setup block but a drill bit or leaf of a hinge that you want to have be flush, it all works.

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Step 4. Set the depth stop on the shopsmith to zero. Again make sure it is tight and rotated tight as well.

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Step 5. Unlock the quill and make sure it retracts to the stop collar. At this point you have set the plunge depth.

Next you can test what you have done by routing a test piece. To do so locate the bit at the starting point and yes make sure you have a fence or something to work against. Turn on the shopsmith and lower the bit into the work piece and make your cut. I like to plunge and lock the quill but I have seen people just hold the lever and cut with one hand on the stock.....

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So that is how it works. Now if we want to make a small improvement you can go back to step one and add a known thickness bar on top of the work piece and set the "zero" location.

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Just remember that when you set the plunge depth to include the same part to make it all work out.

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Got questions ask away. I do hope it was clear enough that most people didn't get lost as this is a new concept for a lot of you.

Ed

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{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]

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Its pretty clear and a nice procedure. Was wondering about the accuracy of transferring the plunge depth to the Shopsmith depth stop. Looks like it is at least as good as plus or minus 1/64" which is plenty good enough for wood but other applications might require better accuracy as well as confident repeatability.

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Ed - Thank you for taking the time to write this up. This was a new concept for me, and it's easy to see its utility and increased accuracy for many functions that make use of the quill. Historically I've used the estimate and adjust method when I have needed some precision on depth.

I had to go review your other (Safe-T-Planer) thread, which previously I had only skimmed, before I "got" this. I think that is because the problem you are solving here is not as clear (in this thread) as the solution. From that thread:

"One thing that I think can be solved is how to get precision depth cuts. There is no micro-adjust on the quill but..."

So the important point, to me, is that this method allows repeatable accuracy not achievable through any means I have used or seen. Thank you!

- David

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This is not going to make your shopsmith in to a milling machine where typically you want things to thousands of an inch.

I've been doing the table height and in drill press mode the table location for many many years, well before there was a forum or even a web for that matter. Being in isolation so to speak back in those days you had to come up with your own ways of doing things.

This adaption to a stop collar on the quill I've been playing with for a couple of years, and while it is pretty good it is not going to give you perfect result. It does get you pretty close if you are careful and often that is good enough for woodworking.

BTW we have had some discussions on this before but again no response from shopsmith on making this better.

And while no one has ask or mentioned, it will work for drill to depth also.

I can't give you an accurate estimation of the accuracy as there are too many variables that can come into play. If say 1/32" is good enough then I'm sure just about anyone here can get that, even perhaps a bit closer to 1/64".

Keep in mind that the is in the range of say .016" and that is a far cry from .002".

Could you get closer? Perhaps but the depth stop on the shopsmith is rather coarse. Also filling/milling the head stock to get a machined surface to work against could/would help.

If you get a chance give it a try and report back on what you think.

Ed

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{Knight of the Shopsmith} [Hero's don't wear capes, they wear dog tags]

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