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Advice for building or buying a large routing jig.

1149 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  CharleyL
I've been given the task of buying or building a suitable jig to do the following;

Route a 'letterbox' style slot in the centre of rectangular tables and also create four recessed holes on the underside for threaded insert nuts to be fixed into.

The tables are 1360 x 880mm and 30mm thick, made from bamboo and the slot is 553mm x 174mm - centred in the tables.
Theses are finished tables that need to be modified so the least damaging solution needs to be used that won't leave scratches or marks on the surface.


This is the table with finished slot.

Any help or advice/pointers in the right direction would be appreciated. I'm an amateur woodworker at home and whilst I know the basics of using a router I have no experience with routing tables or jigs of this sort. Thanks in advance!
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You need a jig as if you where cutting out a router plate...

Do you realise just how tough bamboo is? you dont mention how many tables but youre going to need more than one cutter.

Mark out the shape with the jig. Use a jig saw to cut all around the inside of the line leaving less than a quarter inch. Then finish off using the jig with the flush trim router bit. This way you can use a quarter inch edge trim router.
If the table finish is delicate, cover all of the working area with masking tape before marking out. That will stop the jig saw damaging the surface.
Welcome to the forum.
Sounds like good advice from SunnyBob but I would add to try on a piece of scrap is possible first and keep in mind you'll make multiple passes to take off the remainder of what wasn't cut with the jig saw, hopefully as little as possible without hitting the final shape needed. The less the better and multiple passes especially with that thickness.

BTW, welcome to the forum.
In addition to doing the above with the jig saw and router, you will need a template guide to keep the router from removing more than the desired hole, and a top bearing compression style flush trim router bit. Because it's very hard and both surfaces need to be as chip free a cut as possible, one of the compound cut flush trim bits that have both up and down shear blades would be a good idea for this. Yes, they are expensive. Don't expect to cut very many (more than about 10) of these without replacing the saw blade as well as the router bit or at least getting them re-sharpened somewhere. Buy good quality, like Freud, CMT, or Whiteside bits.

1 - 6 of 6 Posts
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