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Looking for a clean way to run some wiring or piping?  Amana Tool’s new ball end insert router bits cut a circular channel in the backside of moldings to hide the runs. Ball end bits aren’t new, but these bits are an extension of Amana’s line of bits with replaceable inserts.

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These 1/2″ shank bits come in four different sizes, 1/2″, 5/8″, 3/4″, and 1″ diameter. The 1/2″ and 5/8″ bits use a single knife, while the 3/4″ and 1″ bits use two knives. To reduce stress on the ball end bit, Amana recommends that you remove most of the wood first using a straight bit that matches the ball end bit’s smallest cutting dimension.

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The bits range in price from $40 to $57, depending on the size. The replacement cutters run $19 to $44. The two larger knives come in pairs, since the larger-sized bits use two.

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Ball End Router Bits [Amana]
Ball End Router Bits [ToolsToday]
Replacement Cutters [ToolsToday]

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11 Responses to Another Way To Run Wiring

  1. Jim says:

    I am not quite sure I get the advantage of this.

    You could achieve the same results with a straight bit or better with a round nose bit. Both have more versatility and can be resharpened very easy.

    A downside to the ball bit is that you have to thread the cable through the channel, whereas with a round nose or straight bit this is not necessary. This would require removing a cable if installing a molding over an existing cable run.

    Two passes with two different bits. That a pain. I’ll pass!

  2. Joe says:

    Looking at the Amana site, I’d bet that these are more intended to provide wiring channels in mass-production furniture rather than molding. Normally behind molding you’d just cut a channel at the bottom of the drywall to run low voltage cable.

  3. Cameron Watt says:

    Am I the only guy with cable trays running through my house? I’m kidding….I use false flooring.

    Seriously…Wouldn’t this type of groove help keep the wire stay put during installation?

  4. Brau says:

    This kind of stuff gives me the willies. It’s not long before some brainiac gets the idea to hide the power cables, or worse, run household wiring behind the molding as well. I’ve been zapped once by a home-owner who buried 120V 14/2 in a groove in the middle of a wall. When I went to tack in a picture nail, the wall exploded. Not fun!

    Most electrical safety rules require that any wiring closer than 1.5″ to the surface be run in a (steel) protective conduit, covered by a steel nailing sheath, or visibly run on the surface. The reason is so that others can SEE IT’S THERE and/or don’t kill themselves by sawing/cutting/prying/nailing through it.

  5. dreamcatcher says:

    Amana might want to re-think their marketing since this doesn’t make sense and/or is a solution without a problem. I suppose it could make [slightly] more sense if the image of wood were flipped 90 degrees… as if to recommend that a cable installer should rout cables around a room in stud channels instead of holes. But I really don’t think a cable installer would be willing to trade his cordless drill for a corded router anyway.

    However….. This could be cool for installing cable lighting in a cabinet or moulding.

    DC

  6. DoItRite says:

    I’m with Brau, above. As an electrician, I have learned never to say “now I’ve seen everything” that is a setup for something really bad the next day. Household (120/240 volt) wiring in shallow recesses can cause some really bad situations. There should at least be warning labels for the guy that gets a “great idea”

  7. DMP says:

    Coax can’t have tight bends. bends on coax must have at least a 3 inch radius. Their is no way to co around corners with this.

  8. Perhaps some of the confusion comes from the fact that I substituted wiring (my word) for cabling (Amana’s) word. By using wiring that may have implied that they advocate using it for 120V. Where as I was picturing it more for speaker cable or ethernet.

    I also think Joe is also right that it is intended more for production line use since it is their CNC/industrial category.

    I specifically thought it was cool because I have 3/4″ board for molding in my basement that one of the previous home owners installed. When I installed my home theater, I used plastic wiremold on top of the molding. I thought that this would have been a cooler and even cheaper solution (that wiremold stuff isn’t cheap.)

  9. Justin says:

    @Jim – The difference between ‘ball’ vs ’round-tip’ = the cable/wire stays in the channel! :-)

  10. Jim says:

    @Justin – Doesn’t the piece that the molding is attached to accomplish that? Unless you install the routed side facing outward ;)

  11. Justin says:

    @Jim, in my experience some wires (especially coax) is stiff enough it wants to bow outward jumping the channel right before you’re about to get the board flush… but still…

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