Binding without a router

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Jeff Mills
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Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:49 pm

Binding without a router

Post by Jeff Mills »

Before the invention of the router what hand tool was used to cut shelves for binding?
Experience is a strange thing - You get it right after you needed it.

Bill Hicklin
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Bill Hicklin »

It's called a gramil: basically a 'handle' which rides against the top or side with a right-angle arm which slides through it, secured by a set-screw, and a depth-adjustable blade in the arm. It really is more a marking gauge since you still have to clean up with a chisel. I made one myself copied from the one LMII sells and used it on my first few instruments.

Arnt Rian
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Arnt Rian »

I think the name "Gramil" refers to that specific tool Bill mentions, but there are others, I think usually just referred to as "purfling cutters" or some such, which work in a similar fashion. A rather primitive, shop made version is described in Sloane's book. I still occasionally use mine to refine things, and if kept sharp it (and guided by a steady hand), it produces amazingly clean results.

Google image results for purfling cutter
Last edited by Greg Robinson on Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Corrected link for text wrap.

Jeff Mills
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Jeff Mills »

I went "mid-evil" and used an adjustable razor knife. I don't recall the brand, I found it at auto zone in the 3, 5 and 10 dollar bin. It is all steel and has a thumb screw to hold the blade at the desired length. A few mins on my bench grinder to get the end square did the trick. it was a nice find for 5 dollars and made in USA to boot. Although I'm sure not near as good as something made for the job. Being a woodworker at heart I like to try and make my own hand tools when I can. I was going to try and make scratch stock from and old bandsaw blade which I've done often for unique profiles in furniture, until I found the knife in the bargain bin.
Experience is a strange thing - You get it right after you needed it.

David King
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by David King »

I wonder if anyone has used small ball bearing races to set the width and depth. The should reduce friction and give a better feel for the cutting action.
With the proliferation of Dremel tools and Harbor freight, $20 trim routers I think most folks probably never consider going here.
The performance of this tool is going to be much dependent on the quality, geometry and keenness of the blade.

Steve Senseney
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Steve Senseney »

And hand strength.

Clay Schaeffer
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Clay Schaeffer »

I think the $20 Harbor Freight trimmer is what makes some people consider "going there". <g>

Jeff Mills
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Jeff Mills »

Clay Schaeffer wrote:I think the $20 Harbor Freight trimmer is what makes some people consider "going there". <g>
I hear that, I've had one of those $20 routers for over a year that a friend gave me. I took it out of the box once and examined it, put it back in the box and it's been there every since.
Experience is a strange thing - You get it right after you needed it.

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Jeff Mills wrote:
Clay Schaeffer wrote:I think the $20 Harbor Freight trimmer is what makes some people consider "going there". <g>
I hear that, I've had one of those $20 routers for over a year that a friend gave me. I took it out of the box once and examined it, put it back in the box and it's been there every since.
I've had one for about 4 years. It comes with a bearing trim guide that I've used successfully for binding. I've nothing better to compare it to, but for $15 it has worked fine for me.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

William Begg
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by William Begg »

Like this.

William Begg

Cutter.jpg
[/hide]
Last edited by Greg Robinson on Sun May 27, 2012 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Hidden attachment.

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Greg Robinson
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Re: Binding without a router

Post by Greg Robinson »

William, sorry, did you take that photo? We ask that you only post photos here that you are the creator of to avoid copyright infringement. I've hidden it temporarily until you respond. Thanks.
MIMForum staff member - Melbourne, Australia

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