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Making an overhead router sled/jig

27516 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  harry21030
Not sure what to call it, but after making a couple decent good router tables, I thought I'd try something different. I got a Bosch Colt palm router, and I really like it for small work. And I've always like working with the router on top instead of under the table. Great visibility & freedom, etc. So... I thought I'd rig up something with rails. Not built yet, but the ideas are something like this:

- a 2'x4' surface to handle 48" x 18" or so
- a pair of small t-rails (a) running along the 4' lengths
- larger rails (b) that slide along the t-rails above, lockable with knobs
- a pair of small t-rails (c) mounted to the above sliders, that run perpendicular to the first set
- a pair of larger rails (d) that slide along this second set of t-rails, again with knobs that can lock their travel
- a router plate (e) mounted to these rails, tying the two together
- So far, then, the plate can move left/right and fwd/back unless locked down, and the workpiece rests on the 2'x4' surface
- straight edges to be mounted lengthwise (since exposed surfaces (b) move)

Note: small rails above fit perfectly inside the larger rails with no slack.
Several problems exist with this design, including:

- there is no mitering, only 0 or 90 degree routing (I have bigger problems!)
(ps: with all knobs loose, this rig could move diagonally in theory)
- there is no way to raise/lower the work piece, nor the router plate
- since the rails are all aluminum, stability/precision may be a problem

I can beef it up by sinking some of the rails into wood. And/or gluing or welding rails (b and c) together, but I'm not sure locking at 90 degrees is a great idea. But the biggest issue is that there's no way to adjust the height of the router or work piece.

Short of a set of chain-driven cranks, I haven't thought of a way to address the height/depth issue. Any thoughts welcome. Anyone tried anything like this? Thanks.......

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Go look on youtube for a video called Ryan Martins neck carving jig and see if it helps you,
I know it did me. I am also a luthier. Take care.
Hi everybody. I wanted to tell you about a rig I came up with. I had an old router motor which I slipped into a hole drilled to fit it in a piece of 2x6... this 2x6 (horizontal) is in turn mounted to a vertical 2x8 which in turn is mounted to the benchtop with a couple of shelf brackets. The hole was split in the front so I could clamp the router motor with a cross drilled carraige bolt. The motor had a ring type height adjustment so I use that to make fine adjustments in cutter height off the bench. I just turn the ring till its the right height off the deck, then clamp the motor with the carraige bolt. Pretty simple really.
I came up with the idea while trying to round the underside of some banjo necks I'm building. I use a large rounding over bit with a pilot bearing, but the problem comes when i get close to the 'peghead' which is at an upward angle of about 10 deg. The router base rides up on this peghead and ruins the cut. With this rig theres nothing in the way so I get a clean cut clear up to where the peghead angle begins. Wish I could show you a picture, but you probably get the idea.
Oh yeah... I had all this junk on hand, so it cost me nothing.
Do you have any pictures of this. And what size round over do you use on your banjo necks. I too am a luthier. I want to build a set up to do what you are doing but for my
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