Best way to route this template project? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Default Best way to route this template project?



Ive made a few of these coat racks in the past using a band saw and not really enjoyed the process much. Recently I read about flush trim template bits and thought I could use that method to make it much easier. I got a and flush trim bit with bearings on the bottom and used the plans to make templates out of mdf. I rough cut it out on the band saw and had a try at it with no luck. I started with the antlers figuring they would be the most likely to cause problems and I was right. There doesnt seem to be any good way to come at them and I was getting a lot of nasty kick back and Im sure if I had gotten far enough into it, once the tines were cut out Id be snapping those off too. Is a router table just a bad method for doing this? Should I be coming at it from the top with the plunge base and bushing? It seems like that would be safer because the part would be out of my hands. But my templates dont account for the offset a bushing creates, and since my templates are made from the plans, I would have to re-draw the plans myself a little smaller for that, and Im not very good at that. Any ideas on the best way to go about this? Also Ive included a picture of a slingshot template I made but now Im weary of trying this for the same reasons.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:41 AM
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Ray, that group of cutouts would be a piece of cake with a fixed base router - with a template above and below your workpiece and carpet tape between the workpiece and the templates. Make the bottom template thick enough that you do not cut into your workbench. NEVER use a router to cut something you are holding with only one hand. We all may drive our cars or trucks with one hand, but it is best to keep both hands on your router the entire time that it is running - this is why the switches are almost always within easy reach of a handle. Hold on to your router WITH BOTH HANDS UNTIL IT HAS COME TO A FULL STOP!
There are anti-slip mats that are inexpensive and useful to go under the "sandwich". Provide some manner of indexing the top and bottom templates so that they are always aligned vertically while the workpiece is "sandwiched" between them. These "index points" need to be far enough from your pattern that nothing interrupts the path of your router. Use a bearing-guided bit (rather than a bushing on router base plate) and your horns should match perfectly to your template.

Caution: this takes great care to assure the top & bottom templates are an exact match and that your router bit is the correct length to allow the bearing to go against the top template and beside the bottom template. In my shop - we do this almost every day and I usually simply use flat head wood screws to hold the bottom template atop of a workbench. Indexing gets done with 1/2" bolts at least 10" from the nearest cut.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:29 AM
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Why not band saw? Hold two pieces with the carpet tape and cut both antlers at the same time. 1/4" or 3/8" blade. Fine toothed.

Much quieter, much safer.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 04:54 PM
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Piece of cake, I do similar stuff often. Most of my work is with 1/2" flush trim bits, and I do have 1/4" and 1/8" bits, if I want to go over it and make tighter corners, but for 99% of what I do the 1/2" works great. I've got several older Craftsman router, that take 1/4" shanks. And my bits all have the bearing on the end.

First, I start with 1/2" plywood. Make a perfect example of what I want to rout. Which means I might cut a piece out, glue a piece in, then shape it, which also means it could have a reinforcing piece glued on top to hold the piece in place. THEN I use that and route out a template/master/pattern. I call them masters. I then glue the master to a piece of plywood. This will then be routed, using the finished piece on top as the master, thus creating a master 1" thick. I could use just the 1/2", but I've been known to use that in my finished, meaning I had to remake one, so 1", with "master" printed on it, and any special instructions, et al, also written on it. I do not use tape, rubber cement, etc, been there, done that, too much of a hassle. Instead I use thin nails about 1 1/4" long, and drill nail pilot holes thru the master. I drill a lot of holes, don't usually use a lot, but have them just in case. Usually tack with about 1/8" out, sometimes flat, depending if they walk or not. Then trace around the master, and rough cut around whatever you're going to rout. Tack the master down, and rout. The 1" also gives more surface to grab onto and makes for safer working. When finished, I can usually pull the master loose, don't even need to pull the nails loose. If not, I have found that a little 6" flat nail puller (cost about $1) can easily be worked between the pattern and the routed piece to loosen them, then pull them apart.

Yes, that does leave little holes, but no prob. Your antlers need to be turned so the nail holes don't show on one side, then flip the master, rout the other antler, and then when you mount with the nail holes on the back, the antler goes the other way. Same with the side pieces.

With the main part of the head, slightly different. Rout one piece, then you glue to another piece of wood, nail holes down. Then you rout, using the first finished piece as the master. Then glue another piece down, rout, repeating until you have the thickness you want.

That's basically it. I'll find a picture of the grip I'm working on for a rifle stock I'm redoing, the grip is three pieces of plywood thick; the original piece was cut with the scrollsaw, then glued and routed. I'll also show a couple of plastic bag carriers that were done the same way, but I believe only two layers thick; the first layer was done with a master tacked down, then that piece glued to another then routed; the picture shows the bit used also. Whoops, I just realized, those two bag carriers are masters, before the nail pilot holes were drilled, not finished pieces. Finished pieces would look much neater.

I like masters, they give very consitent results, time after time. I usually make one when I am making three or more of the same piece, sometimes when only two. And I found a picture of one of my masters, it's the third one. Normally I use a piece like this to rout out a new piece, then glue it, and rout, to make a new master; but this is holding up very well. It took a number of tries and redoes before I got this done, but that is because it is to very close tolerence, and it is made from scratch, from plans in my head.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 10:27 PM
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Funny thing is that this reminds me of a reindeer pattern my dad has that he does on a scroll saw. His was free standing.

I really like this one (mounted head)!!!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
Funny thing is that this reminds me of a reindeer pattern my dad has that he does on a scroll saw. His was free standing.

I really like this one (mounted head)!!!
Heh. I did two reindeer, one head up, one head down, both free standing, and made masters the way I described above, and now if I want more just rout them out.
Mine are styled after those you can buy plans for costing around $20. But I didn't buy plans. Instead I found two nice photos, laid out a grid on each, then made a grid on plywood the height I wanted them to be, something like 4" squares if I recall right. Then just copy the lines in the plywood grid, cut out, fine tune it, and viola, you've got a master.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2012, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Joat, I think your method and mine were pretty similar, see if it looks the same? The difference I think is that I used a 1/4" master and yours are thicker and you nail them down where I had mine taped. But other than that, its just a matter of putting the template on top and running the bearing around it? Maybe my problem is that I run into a lot of end grain on this piece? It was kicking the work all over the place, too much to make anything nice.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2012, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPG3 View Post
Ray, that group of cutouts would be a piece of cake with a fixed base router - with a template above and below your workpiece and carpet tape between the workpiece and the templates. Make the bottom template thick enough that you do not cut into your workbench. NEVER use a router to cut something you are holding with only one hand. We all may drive our cars or trucks with one hand, but it is best to keep both hands on your router the entire time that it is running - this is why the switches are almost always within easy reach of a handle. Hold on to your router WITH BOTH HANDS UNTIL IT HAS COME TO A FULL STOP!
You would go with the top down method for this then? As in moving the plunge router over top of the wood rather than moving the wood over top the router in a table like I was doing in my photo in the post above? I was wondering if that would be better because at least then when the router grabs the wood, it just kicks it out from under the router and your hands are safe. Of course if the router is kicking the wood I still have a problem. In the method you describe, the second template on the bottom is to lift the work up and keep the bit from cutting into the table right? Could you just route on a sacrificial surface so that you didn't have to index the templates?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2012, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogg629 View Post
Joat, I think your method and mine were pretty similar, see if it looks the same? The difference I think is that I used a 1/4" master and yours are thicker and you nail them down where I had mine taped. But other than that, its just a matter of putting the template on top and running the bearing around it? Maybe my problem is that I run into a lot of end grain on this piece? It was kicking the work all over the place, too much to make anything nice.
Ray, I don't see a safety guide pin in your router setup photo. A guide pin will let you safely ease into the bit and should cut back on the the piece being kicked about. It would also allow you come from two directions on some of the curves which can help eliminate the kick back.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2012, 05:54 PM
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Hi

You don't need safety pin, I have many of them and most are a PITA to use a simple block of 3/4" thick plywood it will do the trick, you call it a 1/2 fence open on one end so to speak, that's clamped right to the router table to top,right next to the router bit it will let you get on the bit safe and easy...

You can add a pickup up tube to the plywood if you like works great for many router jobs.


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