Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 3:40 pm Post subject: Techniques: Rabetting
To start off with, an excerpt from most instructions.
Sections which need rabbeting are indicated in the pictures by large blue boxes.
Making a rabbet on one of the pieces of foam, allows us to create a stronger joint when joining ends of two foamcore pieces. This is accomplished by creating a slot or grove to receive the edge of the other foam core piece. This ensures that the seam of the joint is surrounded on three sides. Rabbeting your corners and joints also helps hide exposed edges of foam.
A rabbet joint is made by cutting only partially through a piece of foam core while leaving the opposite side of card stock backing still intact. One must be careful not to cut all the way through, as this could ruin the images on the other side, and also make the piece un-useable.
T intersections where an end piece of foamcore butts up against another perpendicular piece of foamcore can be made stronger and smoother using an interior rabbet joint. These are a bit trickier, but not that difficult to do. An example can be seen here.
There are a lot of tools available online called foamcore rabbet cutters than can make doing rabbets somewhat easier for the modeler. These rabbet cutters fix the angle and depth of the cutting blade, thus preventing cut through. If you donít have a rabbet you can do these same cuts with a simple blade and a little care.
But I still do all these just carefully controlling the depth with a straight blade (xacto or stanley). The dedicated rabbet cutters take depth out of the equation and control if for you, allowing you to cut faster. But trust my thumb, faster isn't always better.
I did note on there site was the so called "v cutter" which uses two blades at the same time. I could image a similar home made cutter with a 5 mm thick block of wood, with an angled blade on each side, going only 4 mm below the block. Basically this would control both depth and width for an internal rabbet.
Picture the tool shown here [img] http://www.terragenesis.co.uk/infopages/page381.html[/img] expect with a thinner block of wood (at the end point anyway) and blade on the opposite. IF, for the love of all that is foam, you were to try such a thing, do so carefully. Make sure the further back that wood widens to keep it level with the foam board and less likely to be thrown off and seek the nearest fleshy bits.
And I really swear by the good 5mm wide flat screwdriver for getting the foam out. Works great for me. One pass forward in a pushing motion to get the foam up, and then one pass back to flatten any residue down to the card.
Keyed corner joins I leave in so that those who are going to have an open door don't have an unsightly black bar under it, but rather have the floor image running under. IF you are not going to opening the doorway, you can usually just cut across the key entry, just make sure to do so on both sides of the rabbet.
Hidden pockets have only been used for hiding movement mechanisms, like sliding doors, or floor locks for moving elevators. Honestly, you'll probably want to take your time with those anyway, and I try to make sure such kinetic elements are avoidable if you don't like/need.
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