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Sign Handles

 
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:37 PM   #1
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Sign Handles


A friend of mine is a sign guy who contracted with the railroad to make 500 hand held signs. Big reflective circles with a wooden handle. Does anyone have an idea how to cut a 1/8" groove length wise, half way through a 1" diameter dowel 10" long to accept the sign? A table saw won't leave a clean, square edge at the end of the slot. I thought a straight cut router bit would clean it up but I can't seem to find one small enough. Any ideas?? Please keep in mind he needs to make 500!!
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:15 PM   #2
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Re: Sign Handles


Why does the cut need to be dead flat? Make a jig to hold the dowel, raise the blade on the table saw as high as possible, cut, flip cut, pretty dam clean. If you need to clean it up use a bandsaw. If you were local I would mill them for 1$ a piece + lumber.

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Old 08-11-2009, 09:23 PM   #3
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Re: Sign Handles


Thanks. The sample they gave him had a clean, square notch. We were wondering how it was done so we could duplicate it.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: Sign Handles


Use a rip saw blade. All of its teeth are rakers and should be flat bottomed and square.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #5
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Re: Sign Handles


How about using the table saw, with the blade up as high as it will go for the smallest cut angle possible, set a stop block at 10". Run the dowel in to the stop block, back it out and flip it over and run it to the block again. This will cut a matching angle on the other side. You will be left with a small proud "point" in the middle of the bottom of the groove. Is that objectionable? Does the sign have to sit exactly flat on the bottom of a perfectly flat groove? Might be able to take a cheap handsaw and over set the teeth to cut 1/8" wide to clean up the bottom of the groove if it is an issue.

You could always mill/grind,cut a small "V" in the bottom of the signs, call it an alignment notch that lines up with the point left from milling the dowel.....
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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Re: Sign Handles


Simple,

Use a nice piece of 4 x 4 stock 24" long (cedar would be ideal) and drill a hole the exact size of the dowel into the center of it, about 3" from the end.

Set up your table saw with blade height the depth of cut into the dowel you want. Set the fence on your saw so the blade will cut the bisection of the hole you drilled in your 4 x 4 from the end of the block. Using your miter slide attachment, run the drilled block through the saw with the dowel in the hole. The block should be oriented so you see the top of the blade (looking down) through the hole.

Result is a flat cut through the center of the dowel, a jig for production will do 500 easy.

You might have to set up a clamp screw or some sort of retention so the dowel stays put up and down.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: Sign Handles


James has the right idea.. I'd drill the hole slightly oversized so a longer piece of dowel will slide in easier, and you can knock out two or three with one pass. (Then just cut to 10" on the chop box afterward) A thumbscrew or two will keep the dowel from moving in the oversized hole.

Edit: Oops, I was picturing his idea differently.. I was thinking about boring the hole into the end of the 4x4, and running the TS blade up through the side of the 4x4...

Last edited by Splinter; 08-17-2009 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:49 PM   #8
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Re: Sign Handles


Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinter View Post
James has the right idea.. I'd drill the hole slightly oversized so a longer piece of dowel will slide in easier, and you can knock out two or three with one pass. (Then just cut to 10" on the chop box afterward) A thumbscrew or two will keep the dowel from moving in the oversized hole.

Nice, an even better thought!

Perhaps glue lam up a couple of 2 x 12's flat to make 3" tall, and drill a series of holes in a line. They'd have to be perfect in line though.

Then you could put 4 or 6 or 8 dowels, however many (10?) for the length of the jig. I'd still use the slide miter and perhaps a feather board or two.

Good idea!

My edit: My table saw cut's 3 5/8" deep, I don't know the depth of cut required in your dowel. I imagine it would be 2" or so, but could be deeper. If it's 3", you're going to have to make your jig deeper to hold the work piece well. I'd hate to see the thing explode from grain weakness with a thin bit of stock left on the jig.
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Last edited by JamesKB2; 08-17-2009 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:19 PM   #9
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Re: Sign Handles


Thank you all for your help. It's good to know there are still a few craftsmen out there willing to help a brother in need.

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