Author Topic: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS  (Read 3913 times)

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Offline Cheese

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1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« on: April 14, 2019, 10:37 AM »
A sister thread on LED lighting:
http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/installing-led-strips-and-other-led-issues/30/


I'm building some cabinets that will be placed in the knee wall of the loft. Each drawer will have LED lights recessed into a stretcher above them. The lighting is controlled with micro switches so they'll activate automatically when the drawers are opened & closed.

The real issue is that because these cabinets will be over 10' long, I need to route out 20 stretchers. That's definitely not a job for clamping and then unclamping the MFS. The stretchers need to be loaded into a fixture, one at a time, indexed, routed, removed and then a new stretcher loaded again. This fixture will also allow each stretcher to be identical to each other and will dramatically speed up the process.

I've used a similar method in the past for producing multiples of HVAC vents and it works really well. The method centers around drilling holes in the MFS  [eek] [eek]  and screwing it to an indexing board. This indexing board will have 2 each 8mm dowels poking out the front and the tie-bars will have corresponding 8mm mortices for the new D8 knock down Dominos. 

One end of the stretcher will be open while the other end needs to turn 90º to allow the wiring to exit. The width of the slot is critical because a plastic lens will be snapped in place to protect the LED's and to more evenly diffuse the light. The 90º turn also necessitated a wooden spacer be designed & installed in the MFS.

Here's a photo of each end of the stretcher.





The indexing board is a scrap piece of 18mm BB ply, the same material as the stretchers. It uses 2 Dominos that have had one end smoothed and radiused with sandpaper to more easily engage the tie-bar.



Here the stretcher is being engaged with the indexing board and then clamped in place.





The MFS has been set to the proper size and is placed on the indexing board. I used gauge blocks to properly place the MFS as they are more accurate than pencil lines and faster.



Two #9 GRK screws hold the MFS in place.



Another plus with this setup is that once the MFS is attached, the entire assembly can be moved around and the registration is never lost. If you suddenly need the bench for another job, just pull the assembly and move it.

This shows the underside of the MFS and indexing board because I needed the bench for something else. 

« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:11 PM by Cheese »

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Offline Cheese

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2. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2019, 12:01 PM »
The 90º turn necessitated that I hang the MFS off of the indexing board. Consequently, I had to fabricate a spacer strip that would allow the 90º turn to be made and that would be captured snuggly within the MFS slot. I again used 18mm BB sliced down to 16mm thickness, the thickness of the MFS, with a dado routed on each side.





The spacer strip is in place on the 90º turn end.



Now's where the fun comes in. The assembly awaits the arrival of the first stretcher.



Each stretcher is loaded from the RH side of the assembly.



Slid into place until the Domino engages with the mortise.



It's then pushed forward to engage the indexing board fully.



The middle clamp is tightened to force everything against the Woodpecker dogs and then the routing begins.



Here's a photo of the slot with the 90º turn.



Once the slot is routed the clamp is released, the stretcher is disengaged and pushed to the right to be unloaded. Pretty simple & pretty quick.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:14 PM by Cheese »

Offline Slowlearner

  • Posts: 62
Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2019, 12:06 PM »
Awesome. Great what led lights are you using? I just recently something like this and i am going to copy it.

Offline Cheese

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3. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2019, 12:21 PM »
Here the stretcher has been removed and you can see the completed item with views of both ends. Once set up, the whole process takes only 3-4 minutes for each stretcher.









Now it's time to start attaching the LED's to the stretcher.







« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:16 PM by Cheese »

Offline mike_aa

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2019, 12:54 PM »
@Cheese 

You are a true MFS Wizard!  Love your setups!  Great work.

Where did you source the plastic channels and the LED strips?  Did the LED's come off a roll?

Thanks, Mike A. 

Offline TSO Products

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 01:38 PM »
@Cheese 

You are a true MFS Wizard!  Love your setups!  Great work.

Where did you source the plastic channels and the LED strips?  Did the LED's come off a roll?

Thanks, Mike A.
Hey Nick, your thread is a "keeper" for reference when I get to the LED strip design and installation in my long wife's long awaited display case.  So I am, like Mike in Cleveland, waiting for more details from you.
The whole approach of fixturing is a vast area of opportunity for woodworking and one newer woodworkers especially benefit from taking a closer look. There's more than power- and hand tools to productive and fun (!) woodworking.

keep it coming!
Hans
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Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE  plus TPG Parallel Guide -  the MTR-18 Triangle - TDS-10 Dog Stop and GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector; Work Holding solutions plus AXMINSTER UJK in the USA

Offline Cheese

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 02:15 PM »
Hey @Slowlearner and @mike_aa

I usually use Diode LED light strips because I've had really good luck with their products. Their Ultra Blaze product is great for under counter task lighting in kitchens. It's very bright and the color is extremely uniform.

For this project I needed 50' of LEDs which would have cost about $650 including sales tax if I purchased the Diode LED offering.  [eek]

Considering that these LEDs will be on for only minutes in a day because the slides are Blumotion self-closing slides, I decided to cheap out. I purchased 3 each of these 5 meter rolls from Lighting Ever for $36 including shipping.  [big grin]  They use the 2835 SMD device so they're quite bright and they burn at 4100K. The part number is 4100057-DW and they're still rated for 25,000 hours. So that basically equals FOREVER. [big grin]

The covers are from Diode LED and come clear or frosted. They're available in 4' or 8' lengths. A frosted 4 footer costs $8.

The only negative thing about the Lighting Ever LEDs is that the connectors are rather cheap/funky with intermittent connections. I decided to solder the wire leads directly to the LED strip and that solved the problem.

Interestingly enough, I've also had some issues with the Diode LED connectors so I'll be removing those in the kitchen and directly soldering the wire leads to those also.

Here's what they look like when I fired one up last night.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:17 PM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2019, 02:28 PM »
Hey Nick, your thread is a "keeper" for reference when I get to the LED strip design and installation in my long wife's long awaited display case.  So I am, like Mike in Cleveland, waiting for more details from you.

Thanks Hans... [big grin] ...stay tuned and tonight or tomorrow, I'll post some more photos on installing the LEDs into the stretchers. The covers really make for a very slick installation. They'd look super in a display case. You just have to get the groove width correct because they have short legs and are a friction fit.

You can see how uniform the light pattern is when you install the frosted cover.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:18 PM by Cheese »

Offline ScotF

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2019, 02:33 PM »
Very cool! Thanks for the pics and details!!

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2019, 03:30 PM »
@Cheese, that's really a sweet job!!!   [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1747
Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2019, 06:25 PM »
This is exactly what I want to do with a cabinet for my wife.  Ideally two doors each with a microswitch that can turn on a 20” or so light strip.  Looking forward to more updates!  Thank you!
-Raj

Offline ear3

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 08:11 PM »
Great work!
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Offline Cheese

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4. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2019, 10:33 AM »
Thanks to everyone for the comments.  [big grin]   I am rather surprised about the amount of interest this post generated.  [cool]

I was originally going to get into the assembly of the LEDs into the stretcher in this thread, but I think I'll start a new thread because there is so much more information I've come across on installing and working with LEDs over the last 15 years.

So wrapping this up, here's a photo of the LE strip LEDs mounted on a heatsink and fastened to the stretcher recess using 4 each #4 screws.



The Diode LED frosted cover is then press fit into place.



Here's an end shot of the cover pressed in-place. You can see the short legs that retain the cover. I machined the slot to .670" +/- .005" by .150" deep. I needed to stay at .150" deep because of the proximity of the 6mm Domino. I'd prefer the slot to be .200" deep instead.



Here are 9 of the 16 stretchers finished. So 16 stretchers plus 4 tops will yield 4 cabinets with 5 drawers each with full illumination.  [big grin]



As I mentioned earlier, the cabinets will be located in a knee wall in the upstairs loft.



Here's a shot of 1 cabinet assembled but without the trim or the drawer fronts.



And here's what the lighting will look like at night.



« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:20 PM by Cheese »

Offline Cheese

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5. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2019, 11:24 AM »
One more item, when doing repetitive work like this it's very important to organize and align all of the products you're working on. Arrange them in order with the proper side up and the proper edges out. Then you can simply take the item, put it in your fixture and perform the work without having to think about it.

Here's a great example of me not following my own instructions.  [doh]

I needed to machine mortises for a 6mm Domino at the +6mm setting. The center of the mortise had to be 10mm from the bottom of the stretcher to avoid interfering with the channel for the LEDs. Here's a photo of the correct orientation. Notice the close proximity to the LED channel.



And this is the result when 1 of the pieces in the stack isn't oriented properly. If I had not caught this and routed the channel, it would have gone right through the 6mm +6mm mortise. I had to slice a couple of 6mm Dominos in half to remedy the problem.









« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 12:21 PM by Cheese »

Offline blaszcsj

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Re: 5. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2019, 11:47 AM »
Nice work on the repair. Going to have to remember that one.


And this is the result when 1 of the pieces in the stack isn't oriented properly. If I had not caught this and routed the channel, it would have gone right through the 6mm +6mm mortise. I had to slice a couple of 6mm Dominos in half to remedy the problem.

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Offline travisj

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2019, 11:59 AM »
Nice work!


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Offline TSO Products

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2019, 12:53 PM »
@Cheese  - sometimes it pays with smaller, complex set-up parts to make a few extra in anticipation of a machining defect later. Saves the pain of starting another set-up from scratch for a replacement part you hope matches the initial set up dimensions.

My good judgement in these matters comes from my bad experiences in these matters  [sad]

Nick, your "recovery" Domino is a crafty demonstration of your resourcefulness and skill!

Hans
TSOproducts.com

Home of the GRS-16 and GRS-16 PE  plus TPG Parallel Guide -  the MTR-18 Triangle - TDS-10 Dog Stop and GRC-12 Guide Rail Connector; Work Holding solutions plus AXMINSTER UJK in the USA

Offline Cheese

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2019, 01:05 PM »

My good judgement in these matters comes from my bad experiences in these matters  [sad]


That's funny Hans...


Offline Cheese

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2019, 01:10 PM »
So just to add to this thread, you'll remember that in this thread;

http://festoolownersgroup.com/member-projects/installing-led-strips-and-other-led-issues/

I showed an example of what can happen when the LEDs get too hot and the heat is not dissipated properly. Not only does it shorten the LED life dramatically but in this case, it actually burned the silicone cover on the LED.

Here's a photo of 5 stretchers that have been assembled with the LEDs mounted on aluminum flats (heatsinks) and with the plastic Diode LED covers installed. These have been burning continuously for 48 hours. The temp in the room was 67ºF and then I measured the temp of each heatsink end after 48 hours. From L to R 75º.....74º.....74º.....74º.....73º.  I'm very happy with these results. First that's only a worst case 8º temperature rise and secondly the range of temperatures is only 2º.  Aluminum flats work extremely well for distributing the LED heat evenly across a surface.  [cool]

I also measured one of the heatsinks at each end, it was 74º. I then removed the DIODE LED cover and measured the temperature in the middle of the heatsink, it was 75º. That's pretty incredible uniform heat distribution.  [big grin] [big grin]




I mentioned that these are 2835 SMD's @ 4100K. You can see how much light they put out as the embroidery on the pillow shams is visible and that's about 19' away. The 2835's are also very efficient as this is roughly 10' of LED tape and the total draw is .86A or .17A per 2' strip.



« Last Edit: April 27, 2019, 10:07 AM by Cheese »

Offline Gregor

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2019, 06:27 AM »
I'm still curious what you plan on doing with the domino connectors in the stretchers.
Apart from that: thanks for the interesting topic.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6449
Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2019, 10:58 AM »
I'm still curious what you plan on doing with the domino connectors in the stretchers.
Apart from that: thanks for the interesting topic.

The first cabinet has to be removable.......



........because this is behind it. Access to the attic where there are some electrical connections I may want to revisit.



So the Domino connectors will retain the face frame/trim that will be removed if the cabinet needs to come out.

Also behind the cabinet is a trolley system I built to utilize the extra space for storage.





So the track for the trolley and the sub base for the cabinet also needs to be removable for attic access. A few judiciously placed screws and some Dominos for proper alignment took care of that.







One side of the track is attached to the sub base so removing that will allow the attic "plug" to be removed. Here you can see the sub base and the trolley track standing up.



 

Offline Gregor

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2019, 07:03 PM »
Interesting construction, looking forward for the final result.

Offline Cheese

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2. Routing aromatic cedar drawer liner strips using the MFS
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2019, 01:49 PM »
This second part of the thread is about resawing aromatic cedar slabs for use as a drawer lining material.

More importantly, it's about using the MFS to route out BB ply to receive the cedar strips and then the MFS is reconfigured and screwed to the BB ply and it then becomes a jig to notch the ends of the cedar strips. The cedar strips are then installed in the drawers and the front & rear cedar strips retain the side strips without using fasteners or adhesives. If you want to remove the cedar for some reason, you simply lift them out.

A couple of aromatic cedar slabs 8/4 thick and 9" x 70".  After being resawn and cut to approximate size, each strip measures .280-.295" thick.




After going through the planer, each strip is now .246"-.248" thick. Although tough to tell here, there are 2 different widths, 4 1/8" and 6 1/8".




The BB ply has already been notched out to a width of 6 1/8" at a depth of .248".




A close-up of how the MFS is positioned and fastened on the ply to notch each end of the cedar.




The .248" deep opening that each cedar strip slides into.



A photo of the BB after the MFS has been removed. The 2 mounting holes used are circled in green ink while it's also noted that the MFS 200 was used in these positions. The actual opening size of the MFS has already been noted in a notebook and along with a couple of photos, If I need to route a few more strips, it becomes a simple process to set up the fixture again. [big grin]




The 4 1/8" wide cedar strip is placed in the fixture while a 2" filler strip is placed next to it on the RH side. It will be slid all the way into position so that it also offers edge protection to the routed strip to help prevent the edge from chipping.






Router in place and ready to proceed.




The results.








The cedar strips installed in the drawers.






Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1834
Re: 2. Routing aromatic cedar drawer liner strips using the MFS
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2019, 02:02 PM »
Wouldn't rabbet go easier and faster on a router table rather than MFS?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 02:19 PM by Svar »

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2019, 06:57 PM »
Sweet job, O Cheesy One!   [smile]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young

Offline Cheese

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Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2019, 11:53 PM »
Sweet job, O Cheesy One!   [smile]

Thanks Sparky...just another tutorial as to how to take care of business if the router table is set up for an other job. I know it’s hard to believe, but some of us don’t own 2 or 3 router tables.

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 3818
Re: 1. Routing a channel for LED lights using the MFS
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2019, 07:12 AM »
Sweet job, O Cheesy One!   [smile]

Thanks Sparky...just another tutorial as to how to take care of business if the router table is set up for an other job. I know it’s hard to believe, but some of us don’t own 2 or 3 router tables.

WHAT???   [scared]
- Willy -

 "Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of wood higher up." - Brigham Young