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Best way to make window grilles (for IGU)2/15
I'm planning some projects making custom windows, with simulated divided lites. From what I can see, the most solid joinery method is to build the grilles with half-lap joints.
I need an efficient, repeatable process going forward. I am wondering if there is a way to do this on the Hoffman machine (typically used for dovetail keys). I found a short video online showing the Hoffman machine doing the notching for the joint. But for any grille using a profile, you would also have to miter back the profile. In this video, the profile is already mitered, it does not show how it is done.
It would seem that the machine could be set up to do both operations, but I'm not sure. I have contacted Hoffman directly with this question, but they simply do not respond.
Can the machine do this, or is there a better way?
Stegherr is one company that makes the machinery for this. But you also have to have the tooling that makes the two miters and the flat.
The Hoffman dovetailer cannot make the joint you want. Some of the the European 'choppers' - including a Hoffman machine - can be set up to do the two miters and the flat in between. But you still have to do the half lap somehow. Hoffman's website will have plenty of info.
These can be done with a dado head or router bit for the half laps, then a miter blade or bit for the four miters - 5 very careful cuts, 10 per joint! Be prudent in your jigging if you go that route.
This is the video showing the Hoffman machine making the half-lap for a window grille.
According to the comments, the miters were made with a "Morsa" machine. But it seems like you could turn the piece and run the miter cut on the Hoffman machine using a different cutter, no?
I can't seem to find much on the Hoffman web site regarding this.
The trouble with SDL (simulated divided light) is that you have to make 2 grills, one for the inside and one for the outside.
We always made ours using a closed halving joint. Initially, we did it on the CNC, which I wouldn't recommend. It got the job done but what a pain!
We then bought a Pistorius machine to do the entire joint in one pass. We used it for many years, having put good quality insert tooling on it. It did OK, but was a pain to adjust. It's available at Machinery Associates (Gary Carney) if you are interested.
We now have an OMGA machine with power feed. A much better engineered machine than the Pistorius and easier to adjust and better results.
The Stegherr machines are very nice too.
I'm not sure the Morso is the answer. We use a chopper for glass stops and it works really well.