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1a. Jig for routing bead & cove strips

Click on any image to see the full size version

This bead and cove routing setup in the photo cost about $3 for the 2ft of white shelving. It is designed for continuous infeed of strips and can churn out enough bead & cove strips for an entire double in about three to four hours.

The fence is made from hard poplar that pivots on a screw at the end and is clamped in the front. This allows fine adjustment of the bead & cove depth.

The bit cuts in the direction of feed pulling the strips into the assembly. The first finger board (feather board) presses the strip against the fence and the routing bit. The second one is needed to add more friction against the strip. The jig can be fine tuned so that the strips can be fed in without pause with little effort.
The small top finger board presses the strips against the base to prevent twisting. As a result, the router bit profile can stay centered on the strip exactly.

Hardwood and cove routing require the largest finger board pressure so that the profile is routed properly and the strip doesn't shoot through like an arrow.

Always route the bead first so that the fragile cove edges need to go through the assembly only once.

If you have two routers you can build a 'tandem' system so that both the bead and cove can be done at the same time. This is practical only if you plan to build many boats.
The underside of the router table. The plastic router base was removed and a few holes were drilled diagonally into the base to 'toe-nail' the router into the board with four 1.5" sheet rock screws (you can see the screw in the enlarged photo).
This system is still accurate after routing thousands of feet of strips. If you are going to do it in a similar way, add some wood glue into the screw holes. This board is just particle board with formica surface.

Only a small hole is needed in the router table to get the router bit through without interference. The same goes for the slot in the fence. Large holes increase the chances of the strip getting caught in the gap and cause other problems.

The opening in the table and the slot in the fence should be only slightly larger then the bead and flute router bit. The router bits for strips are available as either separate bead and flue bits which makes the set a bit more expensive than a single router bit that contains both the bead and flute profile.

A single 3" screw holds the router fence in place acting as a pivot.

The life and accuracy of the fence is increased with a strip of formica epoxied to the poplar. Any hard, smooth and abrasion resistant material is fine. This becomes more of an issue when you mill many thousands of feet and more.


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Last page update: 9 May 2024