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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Template Tom has been rather quiet of late so I contacted him via Skype last evening to enquire why. It is because he is in the process of producing a training DVD on plunge routing and this is taking lots of time, mainly getting to grips with his editing programme,so to keep interest in template guides to the fore, I have designed a trinket box routed from solid American Oak. This is not a project that can be finished in an hour or so, it does take time but once completed will give great satisfaction.
The first shot shows two pieces of timber glued together, I used Weld Bond to be sure they stay together. The second shot shows the "finished" box,more on that later.The series of photographs, providing that they remain in the order that I post them should be self explanatory.The thickness of the timber after gluing was 2" and the box was intended to be 9" x4 1/2" .The bulk of the waste was removed with a large Forstner bit and cleaned-up with a 1/2" straight cutter,finally using a 3/4" dish cutter to obtain a good finish with rounded bottom corners. I had to spend $AU80.00 + postage for a CMT collet extension as the dish cutter is not very long. I'm sure that careful finishing with the straight cutter will suit most of you, but remember to only go with the grain. Two methods of deep routing are shown, hand held using packing pieces to keep the router firm, but the more elegant way is to use the method long promoted by Template tom, that is to ski mount the router, it still sits on the template but gives superb control. Finally, the project is not yet finished, I hope to rout a lid, rout some sort of fancy-work then either spray with high gloss lacquer or several coats of Danish oil finishing by rubbing with very fine wire wool lubricated with wax polish. A very important point that I nearly forgot to mention, one of the shots clearly shows one of the many advantages of using a large template guide, the collet extension fits through it with room to spare. Any questions, don't be shy. Harry
 

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Harry,

W O W !!

That is really cool! Very clever way of using the router.

As I was looking at the pics, I thought the outside of the block of wood was eventually going to be the outside of the box... Then, at the end, that thought was shattered when you routed a special trench around it to form the box.

It turned out great... looks really COOL!

After you hogged out the middle section, could you have routed around the outside, not going too deep to touch the 'holders' to form say 1/2 of the outside part of the box.
Then remove the box and removing the bottom part that could not be routed away... with a band saw, filing, etc. and then finally using the already cut part for the guide, trim it flush with a trimming bit?

Just wondering if that would work... and if you would consider doing it...

There would be less waste... and the box would be slightly bigger. :)

Your pictures told a good story... Good job!

We now wait for the crowning glory of the project... The lid!
Somehow, I feel that there will some artistic use of templates involved... :) :)

Thank you for showing a great project and new approach.
 

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Hello Harry,
Man! Thats exciting and beautiful work. I really enjoyed talking to you on Skype about this project the other day. I was really anxious to see how it came out. You did a great job presenting the project and hope it tweaks the interest about female template routing.
So far I have only been successful in creating a lot of scrap lumber but will keep trying. If only I could do half as good... :sold:
 

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Very nice Harry. The photo essay is great, thanks. In the second to last photo it looks like you suffered some tear out in the process. It appears that you used a round over to finish the top edges, I assume that fixed the tear out... or ragged edges?

So what do you have planned for a lid? Fancy work? Stay away from that Lacquer, that stuff is nasty! :)

Corey
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Solid box

You are of course dead right Corey, there was some break-out which left me with two choices, either use a round-over or plane a little off the top edge using the router mounted on the ski's, I may still do the latter depending on how I make the lid which as yet I haven't given much thought to, but do keep watching this space! Thanks for the compliments.
Tom paid a second visit today with several new ideas which he filmed as I tested them with good results, he also gave me a sample from his training DVD and if the rest of it is as good it will be a best seller, I must confess that I had not expected such a professional end result. Harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The box

Thanks George for you're kind words, I hope that now you have seen how it's done you will Skype me in the next few days in a state of great excitement at having had success. I'm more than a little surprised that only regulars to this forum have shown interest, could they be too shy to ask questions or give opinions? Harry
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The box

Hi Joe, I can't see any way of routing the outside as you described, what would control the path of the cutter? The way shown, the plug does the guiding, in any case wouldn't the walls look very thick and clumsy? The whole idea of using stock larger than the finished project is to ensure that the cutter can never touch the devices which hold it. You will notice Joe that I cut-in on a clear section. At least it shows that you are thinking about the project and I hope that the guys out there are prepared to listen to Tom and try his methods, the pleasure that I have been getting since studying routing with Tom is immeasurable. Regards Harry.
 

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harrysin said:
Hi Joe, I can't see any way of routing the outside as you described, what would control the path of the cutter? ... ... The whole idea of using stock larger than the finished project is to ensure that the cutter can never touch the devices which hold it. You will notice Joe that I cut-in on a clear section. ... ... Regards Harry.
Hi Harry,

Yes, cutting around the top of the outside edge would be step#1 where the template could be tacked / nailed / taped / screwed into the center part of the workpiece prior to hogging it out. And the depth of the cut would ONLY take it a little over the Holders... flush trimming the other half / part would be the Last step using the cut portion as the guide.

Would it work?

Yes, I look forward to seeing all of the projects from both you and Tom.
Keep up the good work!
 

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harrysin said:
Thanks George for you're kind words, I hope that now you have seen how it's done you will Skype me in the next few days in a state of great excitement at having had success. I'm more than a little surprised that only regulars to this forum have shown interest, could they be too shy to ask questions or give opinions? Harry
Hi Harry,
I can only guess as to why the lack of interest but, probably, the newer guys (beginners like me) are intimidated by what they perceive as an advanced method... and they would be correct. The thing is, if you don't attempt more advanced or different methods your skills will never improve and this is a much safer method than freehand or table top routing. I believe the more weapons you have in your arsenal the better the outcome on your projects.
Come on guys... stretch a little, learn a lot! You have an opportunity to learn something fun from a couple of real experts.
:sold:
 

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harrysin said:
I'm more than a little surprised that only regulars to this forum have shown interest, could they be too shy to ask questions or give opinions? Harry
Harry, not suprising to me. That is what we have to work on around here... all of us. We have a whole lot of members but only a small portion post and an even smaller portion are regulars. That's the number 1 problem.

While I enjoy reading about these methods, I am kind of a jointery guy and will for the most part that is how I make my boxes but I would like to make some divided interiors at some time. I do however plan on using some of Tom's methods in decorating and carving lids etc. with the template holder etc. Your last post helped me out tremendously there Harry.

Regardless whether I use these methods or not, I find them interesting. We all need to foster more interest in what we do and get more members involved here. So don't take it to heart Harry, Keep at it and maybe more folks will crawl out of the wood work :)

Corey
 

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Too complex?

I really do agree with you George that beginners could be intimidated by these advanced methods which is precisely why I had long discussions with Tom yesterday and SUGGESTED that his first DVD should start from the very beginning ie; points to look for when purchasing a router,matters relating to safety,height adjustment, making a jig holder box,making simple templates,the basic techniques of plunge routing etc etc. Tom has previously produced all this information on CD ROM but I feel sure that he will now add video to end up with a much sought after source of plunge routing information. Beginners can find out all about table routing by watching Bob and Rick, who, I would hasten to add, put on a very polished performance in their demonstrations, but at the moment where can they turn to for plunge routing tuition? This imbalance will soon end! or my name isn't Harry Sinclair
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
More on "the box"

It probably could be done as you suggest Joe,but Tom's methods are designed with safety first and foremost,just imagine a sight impaired person using you're method, the holding devices,in this case cams would be difficult to avoid and I doubt that the finished box would turn out as well but having said that,one day I may well try you're suggestion Joe.Harry
 

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harrysin said:
It probably could be done as you suggest Joe,but Tom's methods are designed with safety first and foremost,just imagine a sight impaired person using you're method, the holding devices,in this case cams would be difficult to avoid and I doubt that the finished box would turn out as well but having said that,one day I may well try you're suggestion Joe.Harry
I didn't know we were performing tasks for the 'sight impaired'! If that was the case, I don't think I'd let them touch a router, let alone USE it!

I do not understand, I guess...

To me, missing those 'holding devices' would basic router adjustment functions; again, if this can't be done safely, the person shouldn't touch the router. The main cut would be a simple Template cut, which I thought this was all about... with all of the router base on the template.

I do not understand Toms & your objective, I guess... I thought I was 'getting' the picture... Now, I don't know. (??????)

I guess I'll just sit back and watch for now.
 

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Hi Joe,
Harry was talking about a plunge router class for sight impaired people that Tom once taught using this method. Tom made the jigs and templates but the sight impaired guys did the router work. Check out Tom's blog for pictures of some of their work (very impressive). The safety factor in using female templates is one of the features that Tom stresses.
 

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Joe, perhaps I can shed some light on the subject for you. While it is possible to use a saw to shape the outside of the box you would then have to do a great deal of finish sanding. Using the router to cut the shape eliminates the need for all but the finest sanding before finishing. In addition to this consider it is possible to reuse this jig time and again so you will always have exact copies of the project. Using the female templates and guide bushings means the bit is always enclosed with no way to contact it. This is why it is safe for blind students. Tom will be the first to tell you that this method is one of many ways to complete a project; it is by far the safest. Tom uses a router table for many of his projects. His message is this: Think about if there is a safer way to do the job.
 

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Harry, one thing I am not clear on is how is the template is attached over the top of the already hogged out interior so the bearing rides along it solidly for routing out the side.

I have another question for you, when you make a project like this one, do you get much life out of your bits. In particular the routing of the sides of the box, does that cutter have a short life after doing that work... which seems like the bit has to work pretty hard and in particular hardwoods like this. I haven't done any pattern work like this so that is why I ask.

Thanks,
Corey
 

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challagan said:
Harry, one thing I am not clear on is how is the template is attached over the top of the already hogged out interior so the bearing rides along it solidly for routing out the side.
Good question Corey. I was wondering the same thing.
 

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Corey, The router is in "ski mode", supported by the ski's. The guide bushing only directs the path. Common sense will tell you that the heavy cutting is done in steps with cool down periods in between or my name isnt Harry Sinclair! (Oh wait, that isnt my name!)
 

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Mike I see now that this was done on the skis but I still don't see how the template was held firmly in place which I would think it would need to be.

"Common sense will tell you that the heavy cutting is done in steps with cool down periods in between or my name isnt Harry Sinclair! (Oh wait, that isnt my name!"

I am quite capable of using common sense and understand that multiple passes are made, however it is still some fairly heavy cutting. I was just curious with this kind of cutting what kind of life you get out of a bit like this. I haven't done any pattern or template routing.

Corey
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Still more on "the box"

Well, gentlemen, I was ready to answer all you're questions but Mike has beat me to it in a most eloquent manner. I do indeed take cuts of about 1/8" at a time in hard woods and I don't force the router, with the result that I have never had any of my cutters re-sharpened, although some are probably ready for it. You all really should make a set of skis, they give the operator total control of the router,bearing in mind that it is controlled from the ends. Lets face it, beginners are just as vulnerable as sight impaired people when using the router so safety is a must.
Don't forget Joe, that "the box" was designed as a ROUTER project to teach new methods of using this most versatile tool,also bear in mind that I did not go all the way through to the bottom,if I had,the box would have been free to move and be hit and damaged by the cutter.One of the shots shows the last 1/8" being removed on the band saw prior to clean-up on the table using a straight bearing cutter.
I have just spoken to MIKE and been given an insight into the guides and cutters available in the USA and shall pass this information to Template Tom to consider including projects on future DVD's using imperial guides and cutters that you guys are likely to have. Harry
 
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