Tongue and groove joints have been popular in the world of woodworking for years now as it makes the joining of wood boards and materials easy. The main purpose of this type of joint is to make sure that woodworking is easy and not stressful at all.
To cut and shape the pieces of wood properly, tongue and groove router bits are used. These router bits allow the woodworkers to cut the tongues and grooves on the pieces of wood accurately so that the pieces can be joined easily.
In order to cut the pieces properly, it is essential to set up and use the router bits correctly. However, a lot of people want to use tongue and groove router bits as a do-it-yourself project, but often do not know how to do it accurately.
Therefore, in this guide, we will discuss how to use tongue and groove router bits and other factors associated with it.
What Items Do You Need To Make Tongue And Groove Cuts?
Hopefully, you will find an answer on how to cut the tongue and groove. Many people prefer to make the tongue and groove cuts as a do-it-yourself project, and there are certain items that you need in order to do so. These items are:
- Router Table; you will need it to set the bits and make a smooth cut
- Tongue and router bits; you will not be able to cut the pieces of wood without these bits.
- Two wood planks; the cuts are made of wood so this item is an absolute necessity
- Scale; you will need it to align the pieces of wood to make sure that the cuts are accurate and straight.
Tongue and Groove Router Bit Use – Easy Method Explained
Tongue and groove router bits come in two types and each of these types is used differently. Before talking about the steps on how to use them, let us know the difference between these two bits.
The one-piece tongue and groove router bit typically comes as a single piece of equipment which has the ability to make both the cuts with the help of a little adjustment.
Whereas, the two-piece tongue and groove router bits come in two pieces in a set where one is suitable for making the tongue cut while the other is used to cut the groove.
Steps On A Guide to Using Tongue and Groove Router Bits – Method 1
Step 1: Setting The Router Bit
The first step of using tongue and router bits is to set up the router table and the bits. It is essential to use the router table as it comes with features that make it easier to set and use the bits. Take the one-piece router bit and place it in its proper position in the router table and adjust it accordingly.
Step 2: Placing The Router Fence In Place
Once you have successfully set the router bit, you will have to correctly align the router fence with the bit to get an even cut. Pull the fence forward on the table to the bit and use a scale to make sure that the placement is completely straight.
Step 3: Making The Tongue Cut
Make sure that the router bit and fence are adjusted properly and take up your first wooden piece to make the tongue cut. Place the wood piece on its required place on the table and switch on the router. Pass the piece along with the router bit in a straight manner with the help of the supporting tool that comes with the fence. Make sure to turn the bit off once the tongue cut is complete.
Step 4: Adjusting The Router Bit For Groove Cut
After completing the tongue cut, push the router fence backward to its actual position in order to adjust the router bit for the groove cut. Push the one-piece router bit into the table and place it properly to make the groove cut.
Step 5: Measuring The Height
As both of these bits are incorporated into one, you will have to make sure that the height of the bit is set accurately otherwise the cuts will not join. Check the height of the bit with the piece of wood to ensure that it has been placed properly.
Step 6: Carrying Out The Groove Cut
Similar to step 2, you will have to pull and adjust the router fence once again with the bit and align it perfectly with a scale. Once it is done, take the second piece of wood and pass it along with the bit after turning it on. Remove the piece from the table once the cut is made and turn the bit off and join the tongue and groove pieces together.
Steps On A Guide to Using Tongue and Groove Router Bits – Method 2
If you are a newbie in the world of woodworking, then we recommend using the two-piece tongue and router bits as maintaining and using the one-piece bit requires experience.
Step 1: Setting Up The Tongue Bit
Out of the two pieces, take the one used to cut the tongue and set it up in the router table properly. Pull the fence in its place and adjust it properly in the same way as discussed above.
Step 2: Making The Tongue Cut
Once the bit and fence are set properly, take the first piece of wood and align it with the bit to make the cut. Turn the bit on to cut the tongue and turn it off once it is done.
Step 3: Placing The Groove Bit
Replace the tongue bit with the groove bit once the cut is made and set it up in the exact way you did with the first one. Do not forget to align the router fence in its proper position with the scale.
Step 4: Make The Groove Cut
Take the second piece of wood and turn on the router once you are done with the process of setting the bit up. Pass the wood along with the bit carefully to make a nice and even groove cut. Turn the bit off once it is done and join the pieces together securely.
How To Join The Tongue And Groove Pieces Together?
Due to the design of the tongue and groove pieces, they come with a natural locking mechanism. The tongue of one piece fits perfectly in the groove of the other, if the cuts are measured and done accurately.
This fitting will make a strong bond between the pieces of wood. However, in a few cases, glue or any other adhesive is used to secure the pieces together permanently.
Tips And Precautions On How To Use a Tongue And Groove Router Bit
Wear Protective Eyewear
When the router bit is turned on to cut wooden elements, you’d findsmall pieces or fragments of wood flying or moving around that can cause irritation or even permanent damage to the eyes. Thus, it is essential to wear protective eyewear at all times.
Keep Hands Away From The Bit
When the bits are turned on, they have the ability to cut wood. This means that the bits are sharp enough to cause harm to our fingers. to avoid this, you will have to keep your hands away from the bits when the router is turned on. You can move the wooden piece along with the bit with the help of the supporting tool connected to the router fence.
Be Sure Before Applying Glue
There are a few people who apply glue to join the tongue and groove pieces together permanently. However, there are often cases when the pieces need work or adjustments, but that cannot be done after gluing. Therefore, you will have to make sure that the pieces are accurate before applying the adhesive to join the pieces of wood.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Are The Uses Of Tongue And Groove Wood Pieces?
The tongue and groove joints have several great uses. These wood pieces are typically used in flooring, wood panels, ceilings, and so on. In recent years, we have also seen the use of tongue and groove joints in table making, cabinetry, and many more.
2. Do I Need To Cut The Tongue First Or The Groove?
When it comes to cutting tongue and groove pieces, experienced woodworkers typically cut the tongue wood pieces first. The reason behind this is that the groove pieces have to be measured accurately before cutting based on the measurement of the tongue cut.
3. Can I Join Tongue And Groove Using Nails?
The bond between tongue and groove joint is generally strong without the use of any nail or adhesive. However, some people prefer joining the pieces of wood using nails to secure a better bonding. You can use brad or gauge finish nails between the length of one and a half inches to two inches.
As we discussed above, the use of tongue and groove router bits is relatively easy. However, there are a few precautions that you have to take care of. The use of tongue and groove joints is common in the majority of home improvement projects in today’s date.
Now that you know how to use tongue and groove router bits, you can set up the router table and router bits on your own and get started on your do-it-yourself projects.