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.
"It ain't what you're told, it's what you know." - Granny Weatherwax
Fawkahwe tribal police SWAT Team
Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
.....Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
Last edited by JOAT; 06-24-2012 at 06:03 PM.