Large Scale Central

Simulating V grooves for tonuge and groove

Jon’s MIK build has me thinking and I wanted to pose this question 1) So I don’t try and reinvent the wheel and two see if my theory or thinking would work.

The question is: how does one make repeatable V grooves in a board (say plywood) so that it simulates the V groove in tongue and groove boards. I have always just scribed a line with something like the back of an exacto knife. But Jon set out to do it on a router for faster more repeatable and uniform cuts. And it got me thinking, is there a way with power tools to get the look. We have seen board and batten made this way with dado blades. Clapboard can be made with a dado blade set on an angle. But how to make a thin line and best a thin V groove?

My first thought is this should be easy with a table saw and a carbide tipped blade.

The bottom half of this picture shows the three most common tooth arraignments for carbide blades. And while I was thinking of the ATB arraignment (which is the most common) I think any of the three would work. If a person were to tilt the blade to 45 and then lower it down to the point where the blade only just nicks the wood it should, in theory, make a nice v groove as at this point only the tip of one corner of the blade should strike the wood and it should cut a V groove.

Am I thinking right? I am not at home to give this a try or I’d answer this myself. The curiosity is killing me.

Get yourself a panel line scribing tool, much easier.

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Yeah Bob I could see that. It would be a more precise way of scribing them. But I am thinking large panels done at one time to then be cut for the wall. What I am thinking is being able to run say a quarter sheet of ply through the saw and making a single large panel. Then that panel could be cut for the walls. More of a mass production sort of affair.

The only problem I can see with my idea is the need to move the fence a bunch and precisely. That kind of precision would be pretty slow going. the scriber would be faster to set up.

Thinking along the lines of a panel scriber ( I like this thought a lot better) A panel scribing guide could be made (if they don’t already make one) for a dremel and using a v groove bit ( this is in essence what Jon was attempting anyway).

Made the same way as a panel scriber

Where the dremel fits in a holder on an arm that then has a flat guide for ridingon the edge of a panel. I know they make such things for routers. I can imagine they are made for dremels. But then you could use a v groove bit and a dremel just setting the tool at each increment.

Again my thinking is for mas production not a one off building. This would be over kill for a few occasional panels. But I am thinking having sheet stock available. Doing several 1/4 sheets at a time.


they do make one. Only problem I can see with theirs is it would not do very wide stock.

edited because this was a dumb idea and way over thought.

As usual I am way overthinking and designing. I still think Bob’s panel scribe is the best goto tool for the job for most people and most applications. If someone wants to bang out a bunch of sheet stock then there is a much simpler way with the router and a V bit than what I was trying to do. Simply marking a board in the intervals of the grooves and then using a straight edge clamped at the marks and you simply run the router along the straight edge. Would work for doing board and batten the same way with a rabbit bit. And clapboard would be the same only you would have to have your router on an angle.

But all in all this would be very easy to do with just a router, straight edge, clamps, and some patience.

I had toyed with the idea of stacking Dremel saw blades and washers for spacers, on some kind of mandrel, being able to scribe 12" boards at a time. But never got beyond the thought experiment phase.


i just laser cut/etch the detail by placing a certain # of lines close together in the cad file and arraying the patern.

Al P.

If only i had a laser


Chuck didn’t have one.

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I am starting to agree Rooster. Way over thinking. While it would be nice to throw a quarter sheet on the table saw and bang out a supply of simulated tongue and groove, its just more practical to work piece by piece with a scribe.

Hey Devon,
Make it easy on yourself. As an old machinist, I ALWAYS believe in “fixtures” for production work AND precision. Put your “thinking cap” on and you will figure it out. Time making fixturing seems like a waste, but in the long run, it’s worth it.

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So True! Yall may find this interesting/relevant SNW48- Amazing homemade router table fence works like the Incra LS! BUILD IT! - YouTube


Already onto that. I agree as a wood worker things like jigs and sleds are invaluable. And I already have a router sled that I think I could easily work with to do what we are discussing.

Just buy the CNC you’ve been talking about and make all the grooves of whatever size you want :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I do think that is the route I will end up going

The Genmitsu cutting area is quite small so you’d need to switch to N scale. Another option is to get one of these and construct a better fence like in the video I posted earlier.

This conversation kinda went two different directions. For doing a v groove in a panel I have no doubt I can muster that with my router and sled. Or at the very minimalist way my router and a straight edge. With just the tip of a 60 deg v bit I think I can set up my router sled to band out a 1/4 sheet of ply pretty easy.

But for doing other stuff I am liking the idea of a table top CNC router.

I guess it depends on many factors but I agree. This was before 3D back when you just built junk outta junk. Then had decals made and call it done.
Back in the day is suppose.

The reason I gave up on the router was because even with a very sharp .25" V bit in the soft Cedar, I ended up with a grove that was too wide for my tastes and not really a V at all…

You can click on that image for a hi-res copy then click again to zoom.