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Glass Case Project – Magic Router Bits

Figure 1: Freud Roman Ogee router bit makes a good profile on the door frame

So, for a novice wood ruiner, my books tell me I’ve made some correct guesses about how to build doors.  The selection of the Roman Ogee router bit to make my own door frame stock was a good idea.  It halves the cost of the frames, and I can say it’s unique to the project (because the depth-of-cut personalizes the profile a little bit (many slightly different profiles possible).

Figure 2: A 3/32 rounding bit on the homemade router table cleans up the edge.

The next bit I used on the lower door frame sections was a rounding bit (the lower doors have wood panel inserts instead of glass, so don’t need to be quite as strong).  The choice of 3/32 was not very good.  It barely makes a difference you couldn’t do with sandpaper.  The next time I’ll use a 1/8 bit or maybe even a 3/16 on the router.  Another wood-ruiner lesson learned.

Figure 3: The lower door panels are set into the frame mortise/tenon via dado

I read that a dado blade on the table saw makes for quicker door frame mortises, and boy is that a correct statement.  I tried it both ways, and using my trusty Delta saw with a dado blade is many times faster.  The frames are made from 1×6 inch maple boards, cut lengthwise in half, and the panel inserts are 3/16 inch birch sheet.  The end was cut off in the picture just for the photo op.   Otherwise, it’d be seen differently when viewed on the actual door, because of the end cap.

Figure 4:  What is a Dado blade?

In figure 4 can be seen my dado blade.  It’s simply a circular saw blade with a wide tooth tip, such that it cuts grooves big enough for cabinet panels and such things as that.  It’s used in a set of two, since the teeth are slightly offset, and two blades should be used together, side by side, for stability.  I’ve shown only one blade in the photo (because it wouldn’t stand up otherwise), but when it’s attached to the saw, this particular blade should have the other blade also attached.  The dado sets usually come with spacers that can make the groove as wide as 3/4 of an inch or so.

You have to have above a minimum power motor in the saw in order to drive these kinds of blades, as you can imagine the big tooth hits the wood pretty hard.

Figure 5: One of the doors assembled, with one coat shellac primer and one top.

The shellac was thinned to 50%, and applied with a brush.  The single topcoat was applied with a foam roller.  It’ll need sanding and a couple more coats to get to the finish we want, I think.

So, what was the fuss about?  Why are we building the glass-door cabinet wall?  Well, figure 5 has a few of the soon-to-be inhabitants of the new structure (if all goes well).

Figure 5 Antique Tiffin glass, circa 1870 – 1925, will inhabit the new enclave.

The photo in figure 5 doesn’t really do the glass justice.  I took a quick photo for the blog, and the “quick” part shows.  For some really better pics of the glass, see my photo repository at:

On smugmug, you’ll need to click the “Antique Glass” menu item that is towards the top of the page.  I have a bunch of other photos there, as photography is another hobby of mine. Note, glass hunting is not an expensive hobby.  My wife and I find various pieces of it at flea markets, collectors markets and such.  Sometimes I find a nice old antique woodworking tool in the bargain!    🙂

Read the next page (door glue-up)

Usual disclaimer: These pages are written by an amateur woodworker, so are not recommended for any best practices or project advise or tutoring. The pages simply detail what I’ve been doing (a journal of sorts), and may include a ton of mistakes and bad ideas. Hopefully, some of the problems disappear by the end of the project.

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