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Hi,
My wife wants to make gingerbread and as we are both new to woodworking I could use a little help.
What I thought about is a nice flat table of some sort, even a piece of 1/4 steel plate or wood. Mount a router underneath and design it so you can raise and lower the router. By drilling starter holes just raise the router and cut out a predetermined pattern. Probably have to change bits to get into corners.
So if I can think of this there has to be something more "professional" for sale.
Thanks
 

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Welcome to Router Forums nitehorse. Please take the time to provide your name and a little bit about you in "Edit Profile" located at the top right of your screen. We already have too many people with a name of N/a. We like to address each other by first names regardless of our LOGON Name.



Normally when you use a router you use some sort of guide with it. Your post sounds like you are planning to free hand cut your patterns with the router, and this can be dangerous.
Routers have a mind of their own when used without a guide and will go anywhere except where you intend for them to go when used without a guide or fence to keep them going where wanted. For very light cuts, like mortising for a hinge and removing very little wood it is possible to use your fingers to guide the router, but it can be risky.

What is called gingerbread in woodworking is cutting intricate fine lined patterns in wood, and this is best done with a good scroll saw. You use it much like a sewing machine and steer the piece around a tiny blade to get it to fillow the lines of the pattern.

If I've misunderstood, please reply with more detail so we can better provide an answer.

Charley
 

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Hi, and welcome to our little corner of the 'net.

As Charley said, using a router without a fence can be a dangerous thing. But, all a fence basically is, is a straight edge. A piece of 2x material that has a straight edge works great. When it gets chewed up, and it WILL, toss it and put a new one in it's place.

And, a flat board works great as a router table. We have a member here that has used one similar to this for years. Clamp it to your work bench when you need it and rout away. Check this thread out for some ideas for your router table. wanted-pictures-your-router-table.html

Now, as to your comment about "cut out a predetermined pattern" I just want to be clear on this... a router is great for putting an edge pattern on something, or for following a jig or pattern to recreate that item on another work piece. It's best however, to cut the pattern out with a jig or band saw first, and then using the router to remove a small amount of material. It fails horribly if you are using it to cut a pattern out of wood, without first doing the mentioned trimming. Burying the bit in wood will cause the bit to overheat and turn a lovely shade of blue.
 

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Welcome to the forum, N/a.
 

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many routers now a-days come w/ through the base adjustment built in...
Bosch 1617 is an excellent candidate.. well made long lasting tool and better CS/TS than the rest...
add that to a router plate and you are in business...
https://www.cpooutlets.com/factory-...k-rt,default,pd.html?cgid=plunge-base-routers
https://www.cpotools.com/factory-re...ctronic-router/bshr1617evs-46,default,pd.html
Rockler Aluminum Pro Router Plates | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
go w/ a metal plate and not phenolic... lot less long term advantages..
a plate gives you starter pins and inserts... be safe...
here's another option...
https://www.cpotools.com/bosch-ra1171-cabinet-style-router-table/bshnra1171,default,pd.html
 
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now for your welcoming N/A...

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we're not done yet....

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and...

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Theo
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It's best however, to cut the pattern out with a jig or band saw first, and then using the router to remove a small amount of material. It fails horribly if you are using it to cut a pattern out of wood, without first doing the mentioned trimming. Burying the bit in wood will cause the bit to overheat and turn a lovely shade of blue.
You CAN rout out a pattern from wood without trimming. I have done it, but it is NOT worth the time, effort, or often the results. Trim the wood, within about 1/4"-1/8" is best. Most of what I make is done using what I call masters, others call templates, patterns, whatever. So it sounds like you might be wanting to do the same type of thing. I have a simple table, and my routers are all fixed height. I think some pictures of what you want to do would be very helpful in your getting answers to what you want. If it is gingerbread men your wife wants to make, I would think you would be better off just cutting them out with a scrollsaw, a few minutes of practice, and your wife could do it.
 

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These guys have pegged it. Bandsaw rough cut, router, then sanding. Actually, that's the process for making a pattern. But even if you use a template, you still want to use the band saw to rough it out (1/8th to 1/4 OUTSIDE the cut line. Use double stick tape to affix the pattern to the rough workpiece. You'll use a bit with a bearing on it that will follow the template's edge and give you a smooth edge. That means you must really sand the template flat, and to perfection.

If you want to cut out an interior segment, you'll need to use either a jig saw or scroll saw. Drill a hole to pass the blade through, inside the cutout. Start on the template, smooth it and then use that on the workpiece (which you have already cut out using the jig saw.

If you use the router in the table, you'll put the workpiece down on the table surface, the template taped on top. Set bit height so the top bearing (on the tip) tracks on the edge of the template. You'll use what's called a trim bit, the cutters are the exact diameter as the bearing. That is by far the safest way to do what you want. Pay attention to the direction of cut shown in Stick's posts.

Most of us use MDF for templates, either 1/4 or 1/2 inch. The wider stock give you a little more leway for positioning the bearing. If you're making multiples, the thicker stock will hold up a little better.

This sounds a little complicated, but it will allow you to make good looking, professional stuff. Home made or store bought, almost any table will work well for you. As for the routher, hard to beat the Bosch 1617 EVSPK.

Now, it you're only making onsies, with inside cuts, and they're smallish, you're talking scroll saw, which is a whole other story.
 

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Hi,
By drilling starter holes just raise the router and cut out a predetermined pattern. Probably have to change bits to get into corners.
Thanks
Welcome aboard. Your idea scares me. Not safe at all. It might not take much for a router bit spinning at 12000 rpm to catch the grain wrong and jerk it out of your hands.

A scroll saw would be a much better option and you would do exactly as you described. The blade is inserted through a starter hole, and then you cut out your piece. I have only used a scroll saw once back in the early 80's, and after about 15 minutes, I decided that was not for me. Too slow. So I bought a band saw and never looked back. For your application, a band saw probably won't work because you are limited to the throat capacity of the saw and you will get into a bind turning a larger piece in different directions while trying to follow your cut line.

Is this what you have in mind?
https://www.google.com/search?q=gin...vj6bDZAhVFIqwKHb9ZAhEQsAQIRw&biw=1696&bih=846
 

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Homemade Router Table

Lots of great advice here, but since the original question seemed (to me) to be about building a router table, may I suggest that you take a look on YouTube where you will find lots of examples of homemade router tables. My favourites are:-

Norm Abrams (New Yankee Workshop)
Jay Bates (more than one)
Izzy Swan
Steve Ramsey (Woodworking for Mere Mortals)

Good luck, and if you do build one, could you please post some pictures?
:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you very much for the input and information. You guys are great. The YouTube vids were very helpful especially noting the danger in freehand routing. If the wife wants to make "gingerbread" I may have to rethink my approach for safety sake.
Many say a scroll saw is the best bet but that does mean having to remove and replace the blade for each internal cut.
I am leaning to using a jigsaw then finish up all the edges with a router.
Thanks again.
Jim
 

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With the right scroll saw (not mine) removing the upper end of the blade to put it though a starter hole in the work isn't hard at all. The pieces that can be made ona scroll saw are very much worth the effort to me. I'd do a lot more of it myself if my old saw had a better system for clamping the blade, as it is the blade slips.
 

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If you are only making gingerbread trim that's made from 3/4" or so material then the scroll saw is a viable option. However there is a lot of different types of gingerbread trim and some cornice blocks, as shown in the second link would either have to be done with a bandsaw or laminated together from several pieces. You could make a pattern for the curves and use a guide bushing or bearing guided pattern bit but you would need to rough saw the blank to close the finished size to do that.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=ging...6c87LZAhUExGMKHTfHBCQQsAQIJg&biw=1920&bih=966
https://www.google.ca/search?q=ging...e487LZAhVB92MKHfDiDqkQsAQILQ&biw=1920&bih=966
 

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A decent jigsaw would make fast work of the cutting out portion of the project...it'd be my first choice, pretty much always. A 2" deep cut, with the correct blade is a walk in the park.
My 30 yr old Porter Cable is a work horse but if it comes down to replacing it I'll go with Bosch.
For deep cuts you don't want a fine tooth blade; use the blade manufacturers recommendations.
LENOX Bi-Metal Jig Saw Blades
 

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The only good way to make these gingerboard pieces is with a scroll saw. It is the only tool that can give you those sharp corners and intricate cuts.

Scroll sawing is fun and with the right saw, threading the blade through a hole and reattaching it is easy. That what makes a scroll saw unique, the ability to make those inside cuts.

It isn’t the fastest cutting tool around, but they are one of the safest power tools made. They are easy to use and not at all intimidating.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 
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