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Large T&G moulder cutters

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doctor Bob

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Personally and professionally I’d not use old cutters. Bit like I wouldn’t use an old motorcycle helmet. However some have heads full of sawdust and then maybe it makes little difference.
 

Jacob

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Personally and professionally I’d not use old cutters. Bit like I wouldn’t use an old motorcycle helmet. However some have heads full of sawdust and then maybe it makes little difference.
But the fact is a lot of people do use them simply because they are much cheaper. Just a fact of life. TS generally a much bigger risk IMHO.
I doubt anybody uses french cutters or the old square blocks though.
 

bearwood42

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Hi Bearwood, you plan to mill, thickness and profile your own boards thats a lot of work.
I see you are in Devon have you priced up from Blamphayne sawmills Honiton they stock it.
If you have to buy the machinery, tooling and the sawlogs i can't see you doing it cheaper.
Hi Sawdust,

I can imagine it’s lots of work but I already have a small bandsaw mill and big old sagar planer/thicknesser, I’ve also got timber being felled on my doorstep. The only bits I’ve had to purchase is the moulder and cutters etc.

There may well still not be a lot in it other than the satisfaction!
 

doctor Bob

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But the fact is a lot of people do use them simply because they are much cheaper. Just a fact of life.
Arrh I see, I’ll go with safety. I suspect I’m over cautious but not to worry. If it’s not a business (although it sounds like it is) then they can use whatever they want
 

Sgian Dubh

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The old whitehill blocks are still cheap Wood working C7291 WHITEHILL Block | eBay and making your own cutters is no big deal of you want to go down that route.
I've got to admit Jacob that I, like others seem to have done, looked at your suggestion yesterday a bit askance. I'd say it's quite likely from the information in bearwood42's initial post that he perhaps has limited experience of woodworking and woodworking machinery, and by his own admission he would "now need to learn to use" a spindle moulder, so there seems to be no practical experience there.

Given all that I think suggesting he head off to buy an old style Whitehill block, find a bit of appropriate tool steel, grind a single cutter and then fashion an offcut of that tool steel as a balance to go into the jaw opposite the ground cutter is, well, pretty bloody daft.

Even though it has subsequently turned out that bearwood42 seems to have experience of agricultural machinery, e.g., PTO shafts, belts and pulleys, and so on, and perhaps has some experience of woodworking kit so is likely to be conversant with dangers related to machinery in general, I still think your initial advice to someone who admits in their first post to not knowing how to use a spindle moulder was, at minimum, thoughtless and irresponsible. Slainte.
 
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Wildman

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wobble saw for the groove and planer for the tongue, if you want 45% champers as well then a router table or even saw table
would be my approach because I already have a wobble saw blade.
 

Jacob

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I've got to admit Jacob that I, like others seem to have don, looked at your suggestion yesterday a bit askance. I'd say it's quite likely from the information in bearwood42's initial post somewhat limited experience of woodworking and woodworking machinery, and by his own admission he would "now need to learn to use" a spindle moulder, so there seems to be no practical experience there.

Given all that I think suggesting he head off to buy an old style Whitehill block, find a bit of appropriate tool steel, grind a single cutter and then an offcut of suitable tool steel as a balance to go into the jaw opposite the ground cutter is, well, pretty bloody daft.
I expect he'll will make his own mind up
Even though it has subsequently turned out that bearwood42 seems to have experience of agricultural machinery, e.g., PTO shafts, belts and pulleys, and so on, and perhaps has some experience of woodworking kit so is likely to be conversant with dangers related to machinery in general, ....
Sounds a practical sort of chap!
Hand injury seems to be the main issue with spindles - hence the "limiter". Accidents even with limiters in are still bloody severe but less likely to lose a whole fingers, just parts of them. Warning about this and how to avoid it (power feed and push sticks) is good advice IMHO, whatever tooling he sets up.
 
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Jacob

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wobble saw for the groove and planer for the tongue, if you want 45% champers as well then a router table or even saw table
would be my approach because I already have a wobble saw blade.
Also fine adjustment possible - match the slot to the tongue. They cut beautifully. Main danger is that they spin quietly and almost invisibly so the usual precautions apply, even more so!
 

Cabinetman

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I still think a Groover would be the better tool to buy for use on the spindle moulder, adjustable to a 10th of a millimetre with shims, and unless you stick your fingers in it very little to go wrong. And it’s tooling that will be needed time after time. Ian
 

doctor Bob

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I expect he'll will make his own mind upSounds a practical sort of chap!
Hand injury seems to be the main issue with spindles - hence the "limiter". Accidents even with limiters in are still bloody severe but less likely to lose a whole fingers, just parts of them. Warning about this and how to avoid it (power feed and push sticks) is good advice IMHO, whatever tooling he sets up.
Again seems like saying “ride that motorcycle with a dodgy front wheel, wear a helmet and when it goes wrong you’ll probably be ok.”

I really struggle to understand why you won’t move or recommend safer equipment. Like you think safety stopped improving in 1980’s
 

bearwood42

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I’d like to think I’m a reasonably practical person with a bit of common sense…most of the time! I’ve probably undersold my experience with dangerous equipment, it’s just that I understand the dangers of farm machinery and the precautions to take, the same with chainsaw work or using a grinder etc…I just don’t have experience with the spindle moulder yet so I’m fully open to constructive advice.
 

Doug71

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Any of the suggestions will work but it sounds like you want to make a large quantity so ideally you want a cutter/block that will do the groove and bevels in one pass and the tongue and bevels in one pass.

If you cut the groove with a wobble saw (1pass) then the tongue with a rebate block (2 passes) then the bevels with a bevel block (4 passes) you are passing the wood over the machine 7 times (and lots of resetting) which will get old pretty fast.

The easiest and cheapest way as said is probably to get a euro block and some cutters and limiters made to the pattern you need which will be much quicker to use, just one pass for each edge.

Regarding blocks you can get aluminium or steel, the steel are heavier so take more spinning up and slowing down but if you have a big old Wadkin that shouldn't be a problem so would be the type I would go for.

Any block that doesn't have some kind of limiters is out of date and illegal in a commercial environment so I would avoid.
 

bearwood42

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It’s also worth mentioning, my father told me that there was more accidents in the year that compulsory guards were added to farm machinery than before they were fitted. I think complacency is always the biggest risk!
 

deema

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On any hand fed machine I would urge you to only use modern tooling. For the sake of £80 you can buy a modern spindle block that will hold 50mm knives. It’s cheap compared to the down side of old tooling. Limiters were made mandatory in commercial environments as they limit that damage they do to you.
If it’s for an agricultural shed, your going to be processing many hundreds of board feet. I would again urge any users of spindle moulders to have a decent power feed such as a Maggi Steff or similar. Big powerful and very ridged is what you want. Pushing by hand many hundreds of feet through a tunnel is not fun!
I would also suggest that the small investment in dedicated cutters is worth it, any other solutions means additional setups and feeding the stuff through additional times.

As a final suggestion, I would consider getting a secondhand 4 or 6 cutter, such as a SCM. This is a totally enclosed machine, no danger of getting bits near the cutters that will plane all 4 sides to thickness and mould at the same time. You can put both the tongue and groove on at the same time and only pass the stuff through it once. Secondhand they actually arnt that expensive. They aren’t very difficult to setup and will literally save you days of work. I’d look for one with Tersa blocks.
 
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Jacob

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Again seems like saying “ride that motorcycle with a dodgy front wheel, wear a helmet and when it goes wrong you’ll probably be ok.”

I really struggle to understand why you won’t move or recommend safer equipment. Like you think safety stopped improving in 1980’s
If you read what I wrote you will see me strongly recommending power feeds and push-sticks, for whatever equipment gets used.
I used to get derided for going on about two push sticks but it seems to be accepted as normal now, which is pleasing!
Can't claim any credit for this it was recommended by somebody else on here years ago and I picked up on it.
 

bearwood42

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On any hand fed machine I would urge you to only use modern tooling. For the sake of £80 you can buy a modern spindle block that will hold 50mm knives. It’s cheap compared to the down side of old tooling. Limiters were made mandatory in commercial environments as they limit that damage they do to you.
If it’s for an agricultural shed, your going to be processing many hundreds of board feet. I would again urge any users of spindle moulders to have a decent power feed such as a Maggi Steff or similar. Big powerful and very ridged is what you want. Pushing by hand many hundreds of feet through a tunnel is not fun!
I would also suggest that the small investment in dedicated cutters is worth it, any other solutions means additional setups and feeding the stuff through additional times.

As a final suggestion, I would consider getting a secondhand 4 or 6 cutter, such as a SCM. This is a totally enclosed machine, no danger of getting bits near the cutters that will plane all 4 sides to thickness and mould at the same time. You can put both the tongue and groove on at the same time and only pass the stuff through it once. Secondhand they actually arnt that expensive. They aren’t very difficult to setup and will literally save you days of work. I’d look for one with Tersa blocks.
The machine I’ve bought fortunately has a maggi steff power feed. I have to say the idea of making multiple passes is not very tempting! I did have a brief look at 4/6 cutter machines but I didn’t want to jump in too fast, I thought a moulder with a power feed would be a good/cheaper place to start. If I find that it works well and there’s a market to sell a few boards I will take a look at other machines. I’m glad you say they’re not that difficult to set up, they look incredibly complicated!

So in a nutshell;

I need to source a 1 1/4” block for a 50mm cutter (euro block?) and have a chat to a company to custom make the profile? However amazing my artistic skills are, I’m assuming it would be easiest to do a CAD of the profile?

And always use two push sticks! And eyes and ear protection.
Thanks again for all the help
 

deema

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No need for a CAD drawing, most will accept a sketch, or a sample of what your wanting to make.
 

ScottandSargeant

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A set of Special profile has tools to your design complete with limiters is £88 +vat…or 158 in tct.. you would need 2 sets for the male and female profile … If You could reduce the thickness to 27mm you could get both profiles on one set of knives … plus a limiter cutter block which is about £100 depending on which one you choose.
 

Sgian Dubh

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I expect he'll will make his own mind upSounds a practical sort of chap!
Hand injury seems to be the main issue with spindles - hence the "limiter". Accidents even with limiters in are still bloody severe but less likely to lose a whole fingers, just parts of them. Warning about this and how to avoid it (power feed and push sticks) is good advice IMHO, whatever tooling he sets up.
Ha ha. Classic Jacob response which is to never concede, and to always keep ploughing on.

But I'll agree with you that the power feed suggestion is excellent. Push sticks are good too in the right circumstances. Slainte.
 

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