Making Tapered Stopped Flutes

Woodworkers explain how they prefer to machine tapered stopped flutes, and why. July 9, 2007

Wondering if any woodworkers have a method for creating ramped entry/exit flutes using the Festool router and guide system? I have become accustomed to the ease of setup and exact tolerances using the guide system but would like to do some tapered fluting to reduce burn and match existing millwork.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor F:
I have pondered ramped router fluting setups in the past. I have always concluded that scraping a few burns is faster and easier. I am not familiar with Festool guide systems. My guide system is a stout shop built router table with a straight fence. A deft hammer tap moves the fence 10 thousandths of an inch, which is well within my tolerance for flute work. I hope you find what you are looking for. If not, my advice is that the best tool in the world for removing wood burns is a burr scraper. I reground a triangular scraper with a wooden handle into the correct radius for my flute. I then use a burnisher to roll a small burr onto the sharpened edge of the tool and it makes very short work of removing the burns.

From contributor J:
I don't have a Festool guide, but ramp all my routed flutes. Doesn't take very long to run two screws per end of a pilaster to screw the ramp down. If I'm making a lot of them, I block the ramps and slide the pilasters underneath. I just add extensions to my stout fence the thickness I need to move the bit for each rout. I do all the center flutes, unscrew the first extension, then do all the flutes on either side of center. Then remove another on and on... The only setup you need is finding center. And if you are off a little, just re-rip a little off the wide edge. No way you'll catch me hand making tapered flutes out of stopped flutes, even if I'm only making 2 and not 32.

From contributor A:
Most people make tapered flutes on the tablesaw with a moulding head.

From contributor K:
Like contributor A said. I use an LRH fluting cutter on my table saw. I just mark on the fence and stock the entry and exit points. They come out perfect with no burning.

I have no connection with LRH (other than financing a couple of their kids through college).