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Cutting Angled Vents in Washboards

KurvaDesign's picture

 Having just cut the vents in a set of washboards for a client’s boat, I have been looking at ways I could do it again in a more time efficient manner. The main problem is that the washboards are on about a 20 degree angle meaning that the vents must be cut at a 50 degree angle, too much for my router with a 1/2" spiral bit and a jig. To solve this I used my drill press and a carrier to hold the board in place. The big problem with this is that the cuts are not precise enough and there is lots of cleanup involved.

The project can be viewed on my blog at

I have been thinking about a mortiser for the job in future but am reluctant to go out and buy one on a hunch. I thought I would put it out there and see what the woodworking world thinks of the conundrum and see if there was an option I had overlooked.

roc's picture

. (post #170786, reply #1 of 2)

Here is his link automated (clickable).


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

roc's picture

This is probably too involved but here goes (post #170786, reply #2 of 2)


I automated your link; that's a start.  Make it easy for the ones smarter than me.

:    )

My first thought was you could cut strips the width of your louvers and then layer it up in a glue up.

You know, cut the strips at the angle on the table saw.  No drilling or router/mortiser required.  Clean up would be a little glue squeeze out removal.  I wish I could find a photo of what I mean.


OK, OK . . . if that isn't quite right, messes with your wood grain try this :

Long spiral cutter just like your router bit.  Use a long metal cutting spiral mill if  your router bit isn't long enough..  Chuck it in your drill press.  Use your chuck key in all three holes of the chuck snugging it down a bit in each hole around and around untill no more tightening is possible.  It is possible for the following operation to pull the bit out of the chuck due to the spirals in the bit unless the bit is extra secure in the chuck.  The bit goes through pre drilled holes at the end of a louver. 

Run drill press at max speed; 3000 rpm or what have you.


If it chatters too much opposite end of cutter is supported  by a stout metal shaft or tube in a block on the table of the drill press.  You could consider getting a  "counter bore mill"  they already have a smooth bit of shaft on the end to get a hold of.  They don't tend to be designed to cut sideways to mill slots though.  They are for resessing  cap screws ; see photos bellow.


So sort of a combination of the two styles of cutters is what you may need.


Feed work by hand horizontally past the cutter using your angled carrier that you  already have made.  You could have a guide/fence set up so you travel in a straight shot.  Use spacers the same width as your louvers rather than move fence each time.


I hope some of that made sense.  May be too much tooling cost depending on how many you make but you were thinking of a mortiser.


To get an idea of what I mean go here

page down to page 11

and imagine the spinning shaft with the milling cutter is vertical in your drill press rather than horizontal.


PS: orrrrrrr dah !  . . . . use a bottom bearing flush cutting rounter bit.  Sorry I didn't think of that first  . . . I don't use routers much.


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )

Mill.jpg98.63 KB
Hole.jpg70.77 KB
For_allen_cap_screw.jpg87.93 KB