Author Topic: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors  (Read 2746 times)

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Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 147
Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« on: March 20, 2018, 11:21 AM »
Hi everyone,

I'm making a set of sliding doors, which is a first time project for me. It's relatively straightforward in that I bought a kit with the rail and everything needed and I just need to cut the panels to size and route in all the metal parts. I've not done much routing in general but I tested out cutting the holes for the hanging system in a scrap piece of plywood and that all went fine. My stumbling block is making a groove in the bottom of the doors for the  guiding rib. It needs to be 8,5mm wide and 11mm deep. I'm using 18mm multiplex for the doors. The best way to do it seems to be the way this guy is doing it;

Or rather that is obviously preferable from setting the panel on its side and trying to balance the router on top. So what I think I need is a winged bit (we call them disc router bits) that's 8,5mm wide (maybe 9 would be ok to have a little room for the plastic bearing that needs to be glued in?) and some way of setting the depth of cut to 11mm. I guess that last part would be a combination of the guiding ring and the diameter of the cutter. Where I'm getting more than a bit lost is the ginormous amount of bits and shafts available. Can someone recommend me a Festool part item (or another brand) that is either a complete kit that works or that at least includes the correct shaft and some adjustables so I can flip on various bare bits? I don't know any stores nearby that really stock this stuff in a lot of sizes so I have to order online I think. Thanks for any help you can offer!

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Offline rst

  • Posts: 1864
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 12:07 PM »
I recently bought CMT's slot cutter set 823.001.11.  It comes with four shafts, including a flush or stub cutting shaft.  With the long shaft it looks to be able to cut about 1/2" slots.  It also comes with different sizes bearings to vary the depth of cut.  their 923.001.11 set comes with 8mm shafts.

Offline tomp

  • Posts: 40
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 12:11 PM »
That's exactly how I would do it, probably the easiest (and safest) way. I don't know about a Festool part, but the various router bit manufacturers make a wide variety of bearing-guided slotting cutters. If you can't find a combination of cutter and bearing to give you the depth needed, use a cutter that would cut a deeper slot and clamp a straight edge to the top of the part, set back the amount needed to give you the depth when guided against the edge of the base. If they don't make a cutter to give you the slot width, make it in two passes, adjusting the projection of the cutter as needed between passes.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 147
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 02:58 AM »
Ok I think enough of it "clicked" now, thanks. So I need:
- An 8mm (or 6mm) shaft
- A slot cutter bit, if not 8,5mm then something I can do in two passes, like 5mm
- A bearing to guide against the wood, ideally one that would leave a depth of 11mm combined with the cutter, if not then something that will cut deeper and use an offset.

Correct?

Offline TXFIVEO

  • Posts: 195
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 09:00 AM »
I have done several hundred sliding barn doors and when I do use the bottom door guide I use a Freud slot cutter.   I also use the slot cutter when installing glass for a clean look. 

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 147
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 05:04 PM »
I bought some stuff and did a test cut today, seems it will work well as long as I can be precise enough with measuring and setting the plunge depth for the two cuts I need to combine. I lucked out with the cutter diameter and bearing so I'm at the right depth.

Note to self: side cutters need to be mounted right side up on the shaft or all they'll do is create a lot of smoke and make your wood look ragged.

Thanks for helping out this idiot! Especially Tomp, for some reason I was so focused on trying to find the right combination of parts for the perfect cut that I didn't think of simply making two cuts.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 834
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2018, 07:24 AM »
Festool has the OF-FH 2000 for that, lets you work with normal groove bits and takes away the balancing issues - but is a bit on the pricy side.

As a sidenote: A nice upgrade for doors (both sliding and hinged) are the Athmer automatic door seals, these give a way improved quality of living by massively reducing draft and noise (also ionizing radiation on certain models) coming through the closed door.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 147
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2018, 01:16 PM »
I hate finding jigs that make me feel like I was too stupid to think of that, haha. That's very pricey but it looks easily made with some scrap wood and a few machine screws. Or at least you could make something similar. Thanks for the tip about the anti draft strip. It's not necessary in this case as the doors are for a walk-in closet that is otherwise completely closed, but I'll keep it in mind for other projects. I feel a lot more confident about the whole thing now, but I guess it's always like that - few things are difficult once you know how to do them. 

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 429
Re: Routing a groove in the bottom of sliding doors
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2018, 05:40 PM »
Use 2 edge guides, one on each side of the door.
Charlie


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