How to make a letter set jig rail or sled - Router Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default How to make a letter set jig rail or sled

I recently acquired a MILESCRAFT 2201 2 and a half inch CHARACTER TEMPLATE SET FOR SIGN MAKING ..but it didnt have the template with it. The cost of these things(templates) are outrageous and at a glance possibly seem to be able to be replicated with some type of home made jig rail or sled for the letters. Any ideas

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 09:40 AM
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Erwin
The letter templates you bought were meant to be used with the guide template system kits. The template kits you are talking about include the rails, guide bushing/bushings, the base plate for use with the bushings and router bit/bits for use with the letter templates. They also include the letter templates. The cheaper of the two systems is for 2 1/2" letters and the larger kit is for 1 1/2" and 2 1/2" letters. Both sets include low profile clamps to hold the guides on your project while routing. These were all meant to be used as a system.

That being said you can use the character templates you bought without buying the guide template set but you will need the correct size guide bushings and router bits for your letter templates. You can make your own guide rails to hold the letter templates and figure out a way to clamp the guide in place, possibly build it into the jig. The guide rails need to be made so that the letter templates are held securely and do not move around during use. Not having the lettering templates I'm not sure how the rails need to be machined to hold the letter templates or if some metal extrusion can be bought that would work or be modified for use. Remember the letter templates need to be held where a guide collar will ride on the inside edge of the template to work correctly.

The big question is, knowing what you need to be able to use the templates, is it worth making your own guide rails and clamping system and buying guide collars and router bits to use with the letter templates? Will your router base accept guide collars or will you also need to buy or make a new base plate to use guide collars? Remember the guide template kits contain everything you need except the router.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 09:48 AM
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Here is a PDF of the manual for the larger guide system kit. It will show you everything that is included with the kit so you know what you will need to make or buy to use the letter templates you bought.
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File Type: pdf 1212-1262_SignPro-Manual.pdf (11.18 MB, 135 views)
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 05:24 PM
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One other option is to make a home made router pantograph. I'm pretty sure there are examples on you tube. This allows 2 things. First is that you have more flexibility as to how the letters clamp down as only the guide arm/point follow the letters. Second is that it will allow you to scale up or down the size of letters you want by adjusting the ratio of guide arm length to router arm length.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 05:46 PM
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Like Chuck said, and I might add that by using the pantograph to reduce the size, any little bobble you make while routing will show smaller on the finished letter, and will be hardly noticeable.
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