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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Default plexiglass for trammel

Hello All,

I want to make a trammel for my router and would like to use plexiglass rather than MDF or plywood. I figure 3/16" would be minimum for thickness because the factory sub base to my router is approx 3/16". I guess there is a difference between polycarbonate and lexan type plexiglass.

Any suggestions to which one would be more rigid and less prone to breaking?

thanks, T
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:04 AM
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quillman is right even though I use Lexan for all my jigs or fixtures that can be made from plastic because of its strength and better resistance to scratching. I replaced all of my router bases that needed it to both round and square bases to accept PC type bushings from 1/4 inch Lexan just for that reason.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 11:29 AM
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Lexan & plexiglass are similar but two completely different animals. Down threw the years, like Kin above, I have found my self finding a place to use lexan more & more. when you drill plexiglass the spider crack's and any stress put upon the drilld hole will start its weakening & it's adventual distruction. In my years of experance, go ahead and buy just lexan, of all of the usefull thickness for your aplication's, and avoid any let down's/ sadness for your effort's later.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll go with 1/4" lexan. It sounds a little more forgiving to drilling holes.

Would you guys suggest adding a "backbone" to the lexan because of the length or would it be rigid enough by itself? I want to make it a little over 2' long and about 8" wide.

This is my thought...

Most home made trammels I've seen were limited in adjustability regardless if you use a pin, nail, screw, bolt, or dowel to use as a pivot... it lacks fine adjustments.
I suppose I can route a 1/4" slot the length of the trammel and use a bolt w/wingnut or knob to fasten where it would pivot, but I don't feel it would be secure enough and would allow the trammel to slip out of adjustment.

So what I want to do is mortis a slot approx. an 1" in length where the screws attach the base of the router to the trammel. When mounted at center, would allow up to a 1/2" increment in or out and would also allow me to adjust for routing either inner or outer circles.

With that in mind...I would only have to drill a hole in the leg of the trammel every inch.

Yay or nay?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 02:39 PM
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3/16" is most likely rigid enough, so you might give it a try. The reason why most manufacturers use 1/4" is because they have it in stock, and use it for smaller base plates, (where they figure 1/4" is the minimum to not sag), and that it is thick enough for the mounting screw heads to be sunk slightly below the surface, so they don't catch on the work. So, if the screw heads that mount the plate to the router will fit, or countersink, into 3/16", then I'd try it out.

There's a sign maker on eBay where I've bought a lot of mine, and he will custom cut it for you. I can't remember the guys name right off, but he handles a lot of it. It would be listed under a search for Plexiglas, Plexiglass, or acrylic sheet. If you don't want it clear, and can get by with black, check out the plastic Seaboard material, as you can pick it up rather cheap. Its tough stuff, and they use it on the exterior portions of large boats, etc. As a matter of fact, I'm going to use it for the top on the next router table I build.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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I wanted it clear so I can see my work below me.
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