The Curio Cabinet
A true reflection of your fine craftsmanship
Step 1: Shaper Set-up. With your shaper table set at waist height so you have optimum control, position your shaper fence and table so the shaper cutter clears your miter gauge by about 1/4-inch. Use a miter gauge stop rod or a wood dowel mounted in the stop rod holes of your miter gauge to set your shaper fence so it’s parallel to the miter gauge slot, from one side of the table to the other and tighten the fence to the table surface.
Step 2: Coping Cut Set-up. Install one of the 3/8-inch coping cutters and the 1/4-inch (short) straight cutter on your arbor (The coping cutter is the cutter used to form the female half of your two-part joint on the ends of your door rails). Put your smallest rub collar on your arbor first -- then your coping cutter (its ogee edge UP towards the arbor setscrew) -- then the 1/4-inch (short-wing) straight cutter below it, followed by the next smallest rub collar, the arbor washer and (tightened) nut. Be sure the two cutters are oriented with their cutting wings offset from one another (not aligned) and both cutting in the proper direction.
Install the arbor (with cutters attached) to the MARK V’s spindle. NOTE: Be sure the arbor “bottoms-out” completely on the spindle before tightening. Adjust the infeed and outfeed halves of your shaper fence (right-to-left) to leave a minimum opening for the cutter. Rotate the cutter by hand to check this clearance.
CAUTION: Be sure your machine is unplugged
before doing this!
Next, install a 3-inch high x 3/4-inch thick wooden extension to your miter gauge face. It should be long enough that its end just touches the Shaping fence once it’s been adjusted to its final setting. This extension will serve as a backup to prevent splintering and tear-out on the exit side of your cross-grain cuts at the ends of your rails.
Using a soft lead pencil, cover one end of your test piece with a dark pencil mark. Adjust your fences and quill to make a FULL PROFILE cut in the ends of your rails. When the adjustment is correct, the cutting tips of your 1/4-inch straight cutter should be EVEN with the face of your fence and the curve of the ogee shape on the coping cutter should leave a 1/32-inch step at the end of the rail. It should NOT create a knife-edge.
Check your set-up by making a short cut on the END of your RAIL test piece (NOT the stile). If it’s correct, your coping cutter will form the desired profile while the 1/4-inch cutter mounted next to it will barely brush against the end of your rail, “smearing” the pencil lead without removing it.
REMEMBER: You must be sure to create a full profile cut without reducing the overall length of your rail pieces. There is a very narrow margin for error here if you want your joints to fit tightly. You may have to make a few test passes to achieve the correct adjustment. The first couple of these passes may not even touch your workpiece. That’s OK. It’s important that you take as much time with this set-up as necessary to get as close to perfect as possible. Once you’re confident of your set-up, use your Miter Gauge and Safety Grip to keep your hands out of harm’s way as you make your cuts in the ENDS of all RAILS.
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