Tongue and groove bit sets for routers are used for making tongue and groove joints in woodworking applications. In this article we will discuss what tongue and groove router bits are, how to use them, their value and more. So if you came here to learn about a router’s tongue and groove bit set, you came to the right place.
Tongue and groove router bit sets can be used to make several types of different tongue and groove joints. To name a few, there are closed-V open-V, closed-notch, open-notch, closed butt and open butt joints. T
here is a type of joint for joining many types of wood pieces together. A V-Joint Tongue and Groove Bit can be used to make all of the joints just described, so if you get the right bit, if you only have an occasional use for cutting tongue and groove joints, you probably can get away with a single bit set.
When you have a woodworking project that requires a tongue and groove joint, you will need to decide what type of joint is best for your situation and choose a bit set for your router that will accomplish the job at hand. There are sets available to perform a single type of joint and there are sets that can perform multiple types of joints such as the V-joint bit set mentioned earlier.
Low end two piece sets cost from $45 to $100 while nicer 5-6 piece sets can cost around $300. There are slightly different instructions for each type of tongue and groove router bit set, so be sure to read the specific instructions for the bit set you purchase.
Making a tongue and groove joint to join two pieces of wood together can be done with three basic methods. It can be done by hand(for experts only), with a hand held router or with a table router. Using a table router is the ultimate solution for most people if you have the equipment.
If you are not lucky enough to own a table router then you may have to deal with the trickier hand held router to make your joints. Doing it completely by hand is for the old-school craftsman and best not attempted unless you are a remarkable craftsman. Below we will cover the basic steps for making a tongue and groove joint with all the proper equipment.
Material and Equipment for Tongue and Groove Joinery
-Two boards or one you can cut in two pieces
-Table saw or circular saw
-A jointer or jointer jig for the table saw
-A table router or hand held router
-The appropriate router bit set for tongue and groove joinery
1. Cut your 2 boards to be joined to the correct length.
2. Use a jointer to join one side of each of the pieces to be joined. If you don’t own a jointer you can use a jointer jig for your table saw instead. Jointing one edge of each piece is needed to perform a clean, seamless tongue and groove joint.
3. Rip the opposite edge of the jointed boards. Set up your table saw to rip the two pieces you are joining together. Place the jointed side of each board against the fence and rip each of the two pieces. Now, the edges of the boards should be flat, parallel and square to the faces.
4. Lay out your boards and get them in the order that makes them aesthetically appealing. It is suggested that you pay attention to the grain patterns in the lumber and place the boards in a fashion that looks good to the eye. This is especially important when you have three or more pieces to be joined together. You will also want to pay close attention to the color differences of the different pieces of lumber and order them in a way that looks okay. If you need to, number the boards or mark them so you know how you want them to be put together so you don’t lose track.
5. Now that you know how the boards are going to fit together, it is time to cut the grooves. You always cut grooves first because it is much easier to adjust the cut of the tongue then it is the groove, so if you cut the groove first, you can cut the tongue to fit. Set up your router with the smaller of the two bits in the tongue and groove set. Rip the groove down the center of the correct board paying attention to the indexing lines on the bit to keep you centered.
6. Clean off the sawdust from your router before making the next cut to make sure the board is flat and the cut straight.
7. Change out the router bit to the larger of the set and cut the tongues. You will want to perform this cut slower than when doing the grooves because you will be taking off more wood when cutting the tongues.
8. Now you should have two pieces of wood that fit perfectly together if everything went smoothly. What’s nice about using a router bit set is that they make perfect sized cuts and the pieces should fit together snug the first try normally.
That is all there is too it, but it may be a little trickier than we made it sound. We recommend practicing the cuts on some scrap pieces before doing a job that matters so you gain a little experience whit joinery before you attempt an important job. Have fun cutting joints and good luck on that special project.