Router bits to make old windows

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sirocosm

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I need to make some replacement windows for a 1930s house. I think the profile is called ovolo, but the roundover is circular, it is deeper in one direction. In the picture on the left the A distance is around 1/2 (~5mm) of the B distance (~10mm). Does anyone know where one can buy a matching router bit set that can also make the inverse profile? Like the yellow bits on the right, but with this ovolo pattern instead of the ogee? Preferably with a 1/2 inch shank.
Window Bit.jpg

This pattern is super common here in Norwich in older houses, and I am guessing elsewhere in the UK, as it was also very common in older houses in my neighborhood in Canada on windows and glazing bars.
 

Jacob

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I went though the same process years ago when I started doing restoration/replacement period joinery, mainly sash windows.
Rapidly came to the conclusion that there was nothing off the shelf to replicate many/most mouldings and the only option was to make my own spindle cutters.
Not only gave me perfect replica cutters but also happens to be exceptionally low cost compared to all the alternatives, making a spindle moulder much cheaper to run than a noisy little router.
Is also much faster, more productive/precise/efficient compared to fiddling about with horrid little routers!
 
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Jacob

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Which is good ........... if you happen to have a spindle moulder.
Well yes. But's a major step change in terms of productivity for anybody getting the work in. I used to share an SCM T100 with power feed which was spectacular. Now just have the one in a combi Minimax Lab 300, which is still pretty good.
Big old machines 2nd hand not that pricey sometimes.
PS one odd detail of having a spindle is that a big router becomes redundant but a little one becomes really useful for all those little jobs you can't do with a spindle, particularly when hand held.
 

Spectric

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There are a few companies out there



Some good videos on the process


These spindle moulders seem to be pushed into the shadows by the router table and for no apparent reason other than the popularity and number of router tables available. I will be the first to admit that I just took the decision based on my views that router tables for home / DIY use and the spindle moulder for industry but not that clean cut.

The one thing I have since come to realise is that with the spindle you can have any profile you can think of and are not restricted by the available router cutters, cost wise I doubt there is much in it because popularity also raises prices.

This video was interesting, might be old but it shows the basics and what I noticed was it did a profile in a single pass, my router would have been two and maybe a light finish cut.
 

Jacob

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......

The one thing I have since come to realise is that with the spindle you can have any profile you can think of and are not restricted by the available router cutters, cost wise I doubt there is much in it because popularity also raises prices.
.....
And very much cheaper than a router cutter if you make your own. One cheap blank can have 4 or more profiles on it.
Power feed for productivity - you can stand there all day idly poking stuff through continuously and every single piece will be as good as the first one.

PS If copying old stuff you simply won't find an off the shelf spindle or router cutter to match most profiles. Those very expensive "CMT" or "Infinity" cutters a good example - they don't look like they'd match any trad window profile which I've ever used!
 
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Fitzroy

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I recently made a window and looked at similar sets. As you’ve found they are very limited in the profiles you can buy.

What I also found is you only need the set, with inverse profile, if you are planning to cope the tenons such that they slide over the moulding at the mortice. You can alternatively mitre the profile on both rail and stile and avoid the need to cope.

This means you can use and profile router bit, you may still struggle for an exact match but you’ll have more options.

Fitz
 

Against_The_Grain

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These spindle moulders seem to be pushed into the shadows by the router table and for no apparent reason other than the popularity and number of router tables available. I will be the first to admit that I just took the decision based on my views that router tables for home / DIY use and the spindle moulder for industry but not that clean cut.

The one thing I have since come to realise is that with the spindle you can have any profile you can think of and are not restricted by the available router cutters, cost wise I doubt there is much in it because popularity also raises prices.

It used to be that the table router was an inexpensive, miniature version of a spindle moulder that one could make from scraps of plywood in an afternoon in their small shed at the bottom of the garden. Nowadays it seems people push table routers way beyond the original intention by making them as expensive as possible with cast iron construction, fancy table lifts, gadgets, and equipping them with massive cutters which the small brushed motor of the router can't cope with.

A lot of blame can be placed on woodworking magazines of the 80s and 90s, who had a personal agenda to push table routers and projects involving table routers as their sponsors were router bit salesmen.
 

sirocosm

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I am not sure I have enough of this kind of work to warrant buying a spindle moulder, but I do already have a small router table with a large router that lives in it, and another router for freehand use. In the old days in Canada when I ran into this problem I made cutters for one of these:

s-l640.jpg


But I am sure they are frowned upon nowadays, and would not fit my Euro style tablesaw, which seems specifically designed not to take Dado blades.
 

DBC

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I live in a small village and getting a set of euroblock cutters made for the 2 most common profiles around these parts - an ovolo and a lambs tongue - paid for itself very quickly and got the money coming in when I first moved to the area. This was about 10 years ago and at that time there was nothing even close to the profiles I needed in router bits; I’d be surprised if this wasn’t still the case.
 
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Chip shop

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And very much cheaper than a router cutter if you make your own. One cheap blank can have 4 or more profiles on it.
Power feed for productivity - you can stand there all day idly poking stuff through continuously and every single piece will be as good as the first one.

PS If copying old stuff you simply won't find an off the shelf spindle or router cutter to match most profiles. Those very expensive "CMT" or "Infinity" cutters a good example - they don't look like they'd match any trad window profile which I've ever used!

Have to agree and if you don't fancy grinding cutters then it ain't that expensive to have Whitehill or whoever grind the profile you need - even for chip limiter heads.
 

Inspector

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I am not sure I have enough of this kind of work to warrant buying a spindle moulder, but I do already have a small router table with a large router that lives in it, and another router for freehand use. In the old days in Canada when I ran into this problem I made cutters for one of these:

View attachment 135482

But I am sure they are frowned upon nowadays, and would not fit my Euro style tablesaw, which seems specifically designed not to take Dado blades.

I have one of those molding heads but it won't work in the SawStop (wrong diameter). It will work in my older cabinet saw and stouter radial arm saws too. I do have a small head to take those blades that fits the RBI multi-function planer (thicknesser to you gents). It is in the same family of machines made by Woodmaster, Foley Belsaw etc, that thickness, gang saw, sand and cut moldings. Got it cheap so snapped it up. I also have a Williams and Hussey planer molder. Both machines can profile moldings to a depth of 3/4". While not common here (expensive) they are a useful machine for small shops but for whatever reasons are not available in your corner of the world with the exception of the Swedish Logosol brand. Because of the bigger cutting diameter they produce a better finish than a router does.

The molding heads are always for sale on the auction sites so you could use one if you have a radial arm saw and set it up with the appropriate guarding and feather boards.

Pete
 
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