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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Default freehand router use

good evening,

I am relatively new to using a router for more than putting a pretty edge on a piece of wood. I just purchased a sign pro letter Kit from Milescraft along with a vertical number kit.

My thinking here was to make my own sign for my computer repair business, to save some money on the sign manufacturer, to make it a little better than the typical vinyl or painted plywood sign, to learn a new skill and maybe have something else that I can generate a little income from.

So far I have figured out almost everything except one or two things.

1.) While building a nameplate sign I am trying to figure out how to transfer a simple line drawing image to the wood effectively so that it can also be routed into the design.
2.) I have read that some people are using a laminate trimmer as a small hand-held router in order to carve the line design into the wood. Some have called this free handing. My trimmer comes with a changeable base plate uses 1/4 inch bits and has a small square base plate as well. My question is how in the world would you be able to control the router, or the torque? Oh, forgot to mention the tremor is a Ryobi brand and so is my regular router.

I do not have a plunge router yet, and beside using something like a Dremel or another rotary tool how effective would it be to attempt to use the laminate trimmer? I could see where it may be able to be used as a small router in a pinch , but am not sure how you could use it as a free hand device.

any advice from any of you old pros would be appreciated. I like learning new things and am not afraid to try.

Many thanks,

– Big Mike
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 07:10 PM
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Hey Mike,

Laminate trimmers are great for doing freehand work and controlling them is not that difficult. You can practice on a piece of scrap, with the bit you wish to use and then take the plunge on you work piece. The pattern is easily transfered with a piece of old fashioned carbon paper, found at any office supply house.

Troy
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 10:29 PM
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Mike, browse through our sign making section for lots of good ideas on exactly what you are trying to do. It is easy to make an oversized base plate for your Ryobi, you might also consider building a simple ski jig. Using two hands over a foot apart gives tremendous control.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 04:46 AM
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Mike, although controlling the router during free hand routing is surprisingly easy, on the most part, for small detail images I used a Dremel. But keep in mind, I'm kind a rookie myself with freehand sign making.

The "Who Dat" sign was my first (and only, so far) attempt at free hand with my full size router. Didn't have the trim router yet. Then the images on the "Lee's Shop" sign I did freehand with a dremel (also first time). I used the purple ditto sheets to transfer my images to the wood.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 04:48 AM
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BTW, the lettering for the "Lee's Shop" sign was done with the Milescaft sign kit. Made a bunch of those for this past Christmas. Even did a little wood burning images on some of them, to give it a try.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by answrtek View Post
good evening,

I am relatively new to using a router for more than putting a pretty edge on a piece of wood. I just purchased a sign pro letter Kit from Milescraft along with a vertical number kit.

My thinking here was to make my own sign for my computer repair business, to save some money on the sign manufacturer, to make it a little better than the typical vinyl or painted plywood sign, to learn a new skill and maybe have something else that I can generate a little income from.

So far I have figured out almost everything except one or two things.

1.) While building a nameplate sign I am trying to figure out how to transfer a simple line drawing image to the wood effectively so that it can also be routed into the design.
2.) I have read that some people are using a laminate trimmer as a small hand-held router in order to carve the line design into the wood. Some have called this free handing. My trimmer comes with a changeable base plate uses 1/4 inch bits and has a small square base plate as well. My question is how in the world would you be able to control the router, or the torque? Oh, forgot to mention the tremor is a Ryobi brand and so is my regular router.

I do not have a plunge router yet, and beside using something like a Dremel or another rotary tool how effective would it be to attempt to use the laminate trimmer? I could see where it may be able to be used as a small router in a pinch , but am not sure how you could use it as a free hand device.

any advice from any of you old pros would be appreciated. I like learning new things and am not afraid to try.

Many thanks,

– Big Mike
Perhaps this will be of some help to you.
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File Type: pdf Routing a sign freehand by Harrysin.pdf (932.0 KB, 209 views)

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thats a great idea. I have a lot to leartn and am not afraid to tell you I'm a rookie, who is always looking for a new idea. Carbon Paper? Man I was way over thinking that one !
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Mike, browse through our sign making section for lots of good ideas on exactly what you are trying to do. It is easy to make an oversized base plate for your Ryobi, you might also consider building a simple ski jig. Using two hands over a foot apart gives tremendous control.
Hey Mike,

Thankx for the good advice. I haven't spent enough time I guess looking in the forums yet, need to go do that , as I did not know there was a sign section. Thankx !!

-BigMike
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by answrtek View Post
Thats a great idea. I have a lot to leartn and am not afraid to tell you I'm a rookie, who is always looking for a new idea. Carbon Paper? Man I was way over thinking that one !
Here's a couple more products that'll make your image transferring a lot easier...
https://store.opusartsupplies.com/sa...&category=3557
https://store.opusartsupplies.com/sa...l&product=3496
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