Spoon Carving Jig For Routers - Router Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default Spoon Carving Jig For Routers

It took a while, but I got a friend addicted to woodwork. One of his projects he showed me were spoons and ladles he made for his family. They were nice.

When I asked my friend how long it took to carve out the spoons, I thought "there has to be a faster, more efficient way." Being inclined to work abnormally hard at being lazy, I went to work finding an easier way. Okay, it wasn't so much going to work as it was kicking back in my chair, closing my eyes and letting my mind wander. At any rate, this is what I came up with:

1) I made the base seen in the photo using 1/4 plexi.

The design of the base could vary, but I thought this one looked pretty official, so I stayed with it.

As the photo suggests, the bolts at each of the support areas (120 degrees off each other, give or take a few degrees). The 120 degree spacing let me stay out of my own way, so to speak, but still provided ample support for the router.

If desired, the legs could be reinforced with wood or some other material.

Each of the three legs have a slot through which a 3-1/2" long, 1/4"x20 carriage bolt fits. The round head of the carriage bolt rides the pattern on the jig reasonably well. You can sand and polish it, if you find need.

A nut under the base, on each 1/4"x20 bolt, with a flat washer between the nut and the base, allow you to adjust the height the router and base sit off the spoon or ladle.

A washer, then a nut on the top the 1/4" x 20 bolt, above the router base, locks the height you choose.

2) I built the base from a piece of scrap 3/4" plywood.

The guides for the base are from scrap 2x stock cut using the band saw. Obviously, you can make make different shapes (different curves, horizontal S's, V's, and so forth) to meet your wants and needs.

To make sure the carriage bolt stays in the guides, I added 1/8" sides from scrap Masonite.

3) I set the three guides on the jig base, set the router base in them, then moved things around to determine what I thought was the best place to secure them, then locked them in place.

I added two adjustable stops near the top guide, to sandwich the spoon/ladle being worked.

I added one clamp at the bottom to finish securing the spoon or ladle. A notch in the end of the clamp holding the spoon might secure items better, if you find need.

4) Once everything is in place, set your router cut depth, set the base so the three carriage bolts land in the guides and begin routing using your usual best methods for easing a bit into wood.

NOTES:

* It takes five minutes or less to carve out a spoon or ladle.

* I grab cheap or free plexi and acrylic every chance I get. Free is, of course, best. The base for this project was from 1/4 plexi from a store display.

* I use a cove bit to produce rounded edges, but you could swap it out for a flat bit, if you had more material to remove. Just use one that will allow the round bit to take a bit more material off around the edges, so you do end up with rounded corners inside.
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Stick486 and Murtu01 like this.

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.

Last edited by Dejure; 01-12-2014 at 09:34 AM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 09:09 PM
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"Being inclined to work abnormally hard at being lazy, I went to work finding an easier way."

I'm often accused of doing the same thing. We must be twin sons of different mothers!

Very clever jig. It just gave me an idea for a task I've been thinking on. Thanks!
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-08-2014, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Welcome. And it still ticks me off that [other] mom liked you best.

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 05:58 AM
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That's one very clever jig.

Harry



Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend. - Plautus






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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 06:51 AM
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Very clever design! It seems that if you wanted to make oval shape, you just need to make the guides oval, do you think there would be a problem making convex guides to do the bottom of the spoon? (after flipping it)
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 09:20 AM
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Very clever indeed. There is an abundance of ingenuity on this forum. It never stops.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Default Guides for Kelly's Spoon Jig

Carl, I think you can cut about any pattern shape you want. The only complication would be adding sides to force the followers (carriage bolts) to stay within their guides. HOWEVER, I was trying to think of where I could get some flexible, but somewhat rigid plastic to make some feather boards I had in mind and it popped into my head that plastic buckets are a dime a dozen, or less.........


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Originally Posted by Carlswoodturning View Post
Very clever design! It seems that if you wanted to make oval shape, you just need to make the guides oval, do you think there would be a problem making convex guides to do the bottom of the spoon? (after flipping it)

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 11:40 AM
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Video Video Video Video

If you couldn't guess - I would like to see a video of this jig in action
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-09-2014, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Default Modifications and Improvements of My Spoon Jig

It'll be a while. It's cold here and my shop is new and lacking insulation, ceiling rock and so forth.

It does seem I need to get more photos out, to better show construction and modification options, some of which you guys already inspired. For example, using five gallon buckets as a source for plastic sides on the guides, to allow "ovals" and other shapes.

Additionally, I'm thinking each of the three guides need to be installed on a standardized size of Masonite, or equivalent, so I can mount "T" nuts through the bottom and just lock them down with a single jig knob. The front would slip under something (like the battery compartments on remote controls), to reduce the amount of hardware.





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Originally Posted by Shortslvs View Post
Video Video Video Video

If you couldn't guess - I would like to see a video of this jig in action

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 02:42 AM
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Good ol’ American ingenuity. Great thinking.

Workmanship is not perfection; it is how well you can cover your mistakes.
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