Spindle moulder or router...

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Camel driver
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Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:17 am

Spindle moulder or router...

Post by Camel driver » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:35 am

I will soon be starting canoe build number one...
I am a joiner and have a spindle moulder. I want to get cutters made for the two half inch cove profiles, both male and female on one cutter. There is little mention reference using a spindle moulder, am I missing something ?.
Obviously this will be with an auto feed.
Anyone out there produce their planking with a spindle moulder ?.
Any advice greatly appreciated....thank you.

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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Spindle moulder or router...

Post by Cruiser » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:09 am

A spindle molder is essentially a router on steroids, so I imagine anything you read in the forums pertaining to making strips will still apply ... you just need to take into account that you are using much bigger equipment.

Not sure what you are referring to using 1/2" coves and beads ... for a canoe I would expect that to be 1/8" radius for the strips (assuming 1/4" strips). Although I have heard of builders using cove/beads bits 1 size larger than the strips, to make the fit easier (i.e. 3/16" for 1/4" strips and 1/8" for 3/16" strips).

If you post a little more info on the project, you make get more informed responses from the group:
- location
- canoe design
- wood type

If you are indeed using 1/2" strips/planking, that seems pretty far off routine builds and that additional info will likely be needed for any meaningful responses.


Camel driver
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:17 am

Re: Spindle moulder or router...

Post by Camel driver » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:07 pm

Sorry my error, indeed quarter inch.
Still undecided on which to build, but thinking about it.....
Watch this space.

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Jim Dodd
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Spindle moulder or router...

Post by Jim Dodd » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:38 pm

First off, Welcome to the Sight Camel driver !

There are so many ways to skin this cat, so I'll start by asking a few questions.

Will your planks be planed uniform, or are you using rough cut lumber?
I use rough cut lumber, #3 grade, so my planks vary in thickness. I compensate for the variation in plank thickness, by running my strips BETWEEN the bit and the fence. One pass through, and every strip is the same, from edge to edge.

Routers are more common because of cost obviously. An inexpensive router works fine to bead and cove strips !
A router is great to round off gunnels after installation. One thing a shaper can't do.

A builder can make great strips with a skilsaw and a router. In fact that is my method, for the last 20+ canoes.

Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:36 am
Location: Eastern Ontario

Are you there, Alick Burt?

Post by Stephen » Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:29 am

When I searched the forums, the only member I could find who mentions using a spindle moulder is Alick Burt.

I haven't seen him post anything this year, so I'm not sure if he's still visiting the forum or not. Hopefully he will chime in if he notices this thread. In the past I have always found his input valuable.

Camel driver
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:17 am

Re: Spindle moulder or router...

Post by Camel driver » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:52 am

The timber will be planed on all sides prior to moulding.
Thanks for the advice to date.

alick burt
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:41 am
Location: united kingdom

Re: Spindle moulder or router...

Post by alick burt » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:39 am

Yes I am here :wink
and here is a bit of clarification on the spindle moulder versus router issue.

I have had both for years (as a furniture maker) and of the two prefer my spindle for making planking.
1. it is quicker
2.it has a power feed attachment. I can use the faster of two feed speeds when making planking as it is only a very small cut.
3.I plane my planks then saw into even width planking on my circular saw.(last time I used an extra thin kerf blade and got myself a bit more planking.)

Next time I make some I am going to try setting up my router on the out feed end of the spindle so I can bead (with the spindle) and then cove (with the router) enabling me to do both in one operation and if I get it set up right it will also ensure the planks are all exactly the same width. :tu

Incidently I gave Peterborough1 my first boat her first taste of moving water last weekend.


She got through relatively unscathed apart from one deep scratch!


and some dings to the keel band!


Cheers Alick

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