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Where to Find Router Bits or Cutters for Scale Mouldings and Dolls House Trims

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Straight and complex profile router bits from Trend for dolls house mouldings

Straight router bit and more complex Victorian Bullnose router bit or router cutters from Trend. More complex routerbit shapes for dolls house mouldings are only available sized for standard routers and will not fit moto tools or hobby shapers.

Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd
Question: Where to Find Router Bits or Cutters for Scale Mouldings and Dolls House Trims
Dolls House miniature mouldings and scale trims are relatively easy to create if you have access to a router and router table or a shaper and a table saw. Individual "dolls house" router bits or cutters for small scale mouldings are available from several companies in either the standard 1/4 inch shaft, an 8mm (5/16 inch) shaft or a smaller 1/8 inch shaft for hobby tools. These specialized bits allow you to create rabbet joins, door and window trims, sash moulding, channels for opening window trims, baseboards, picture rails, handrails and a wide variety of other shaped surfaces in standard sizes for miniature trims.
Answer:

Choosing Miniature Router Bits for Scale Models and Dolls Houses

Although you can buy sets of router bits for miniature mouldings, it is usually best to buy the individual moulding profiles you will use most often, especially when you are just starting out. Look at the cutters available in your area, and decide which designs will best suit your immediate needs. You can add more individual cutters as your interests expand.

Why Rout Your Own Miniature Moldings and Trims?

The main reasons for routing your own moldings are:

  • To produce custom shapes or styles suitable for your particular building or for edge finishes and joins for pieces of miniature furniture.
  • To use custom woods - especially if you have access to quality hardwoods which are not often found in dollhouse sizes from regular sources.
  • To produce lengths more suited to your project than those commercially available.
  • To produce trims more economically for larger projects.

    An average standard size Victorian mould bit or combinations cutter costs between forty and fifty dollars, but it can be used to cut several different profiles for miniature moulding from your favorite (hopefully locally available) hardwood. An inexpensive straight plunge bit for cutting slots and rabbet joints is around $15.00. With the cost of standard stripwood mouldings running from $2 to $6 for a two foot strip, a carefully chosen miniature router bit can pay for itself fairly quickly if you already have or have access to a router and router table, and want to make windows or doors for a dolls house.

    What Shaft Size Will Work Best for You?

    Standard routers use 1/4 and 1/2 inch bits. Most miniature moulding cutters are available with a 1/4 inch shaft so choose those if you are using a standard router. Trend UK also make dolls house moulding cutters in an 8mm shank size. The larger the shaft size, the less 'chatter' there will be when using the bit. If you are using a hobby tool, either a rotary tool with an inexpensive Dremel router table, or a Micro Shaping table, like the one made by Proxxon, you will need 1/8 inch (3.2mm) shaft bits. Router bit profiles in this shank size are simplified compared to what is available in the sizes for standard routers with 1/4 inch shanks. The amount of chatter with ths smaller sized shank makes clean cuts with highly detailed bits difficult. Basic profiles are possible, but there are no complex router bits with quirks or multiple beads. If you want more elaborate moldings for scale models, you will need to go with a standard router rather than a rotary tool and a routing table or a micro shaping table.

    Available Suppliers of Miniature Router Bits

    In North America:

    • Amana Tool produce twelve miniature bits with a 1/4 inch shank available singly or as a boxed set. (Set is Amana MRS 2000) Search the router bit sets area of their sites to find the miniature router bit sets, then search for individual bits according to the part number.
    • Lee Valley Tools are now selling bit sets very similar to those which Trend used to carry in North America in their dollhouse sets. Lee Valley sell sets of 12 bits, or you can buy the bits individually with 1/4 inch shanks.
    • Trend, who sell their bits in North America, are not currently bringing in their dolls house sets, although they have told me you can write and ask if they can be special ordered into North America.
    • Basic 1/8 inch shank bits are available from Dremel and Proxxon

    In the UK and Europe:

    • Trend sell sets and individual cutters in both 1/4 and 8mm sizes.
    • Wealden Tools produce individual 1/4 inch shank cutters designed with common dolls house and modelling profiles. Wealden will not ship to North America, South America or Africa.
    • Basic 1/8 inch shank bits are available from Dremel and Proxxon

    Useful references and articles from other sites:

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