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I have a project to do, I need to take all the cabinet doors off of a customers kitchen and rout a pattern into them. I have purchased the Freud bit to rout the profile, but have a question about execution. My plan is to build a simple sliding jig that will accommodate all the doors of the same height, (it slides in and out to accommodate different widths), and have just enough shoulder to secure the base of the router with out catching on the handles. I have 3 different routers to choose from, 2 have plunge bases, (both 1.5 hp), 1 does not, (3.25 hp).

The bit is a 1 1/4" diameter shallow profile, with a 1/2" shank, I expect to load the bit, probably use a plunge router(?), drop the bit into the door and rout around in a counter clockwise direction until I meet up with the starting point then lift the bit out.

Foolproof? Not for me:)! Still, does this sound like a fair plan, or should I expect to build an inner "bushing" to prevent any 'router wander'?

Thanks Guys
 

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If I were going to do it, I would make a pattern, and for a little wider , a wider pattern, and so on. Are You putting an inlay material in the area? Remember that most doors are built out of ply material, Jack. Not trying to stop You, just tell it as I see it.
 

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Hi Jack

This is a common thing with MDF doors, a pocket jig works the best or you could call it a sandwich template box, the box is around the door and the template just slides in the sandwich box ( 1/2" thick MDF template) but I would suggest you remove the handles and the hinges, you should not need two templates ,one will do the trick, the bit will hold the 1 1/2 router to the template when you go the with clockwise direction ,that's to say if you run on the inside of the template..to put the pattern on the door front..I will say it looks great in plywood also but do a test board 1st. to get the hang of it...:)


http://www.grizzly.com/products/C1681
http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2010/Main/459




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I have a project to do, I need to take all the cabinet doors off of a customers kitchen and rout a pattern into them. I have purchased the Freud bit to rout the profile, but have a question about execution. My plan is to build a simple sliding jig that will accommodate all the doors of the same height, (it slides in and out to accommodate different widths), and have just enough shoulder to secure the base of the router with out catching on the handles. I have 3 different routers to choose from, 2 have plunge bases, (both 1.5 hp), 1 does not, (3.25 hp).

The bit is a 1 1/4" diameter shallow profile, with a 1/2" shank, I expect to load the bit, probably use a plunge router(?), drop the bit into the door and rout around in a counter clockwise direction until I meet up with the starting point then lift the bit out.

Foolproof? Not for me:)! Still, does this sound like a fair plan, or should I expect to build an inner "bushing" to prevent any 'router wander'?

Thanks Guys
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jack responds

Well we looked the doors over the best we could before agreeing to the project, and though I expected plywood, (and they may be), the best we could see they are solid pine. The "problem" is that they are painted. However, when I am done we will paint them still another color yet again. It's a cheap way to dress their kitchen up.
No, no inlay will be placed into the routed out area. I went to the grizzly links, nice bits, but I already bought one, and it does not have a bearing, I was planning to let the base guide me. Thanks for the tip on "clock-wise" I had the bit backwards in my mind, sorry.
So it sounds like you expect that letting the base ride against a "stop" all the way around the door, using a 'clock-wise' rotation will keep the router against the rail and it shouldn't wander into the door. Is that correct?

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Hi Jack

I would suggest using a brass guide, a 1 " diam.one in that way you will not need a bearing but I would suggest not using the router base, they are not true the norm...you can also order a bearing to fit the router bit...

Top Mounted Bearing Kits

MLCS Woodworking Adaptor Bushings and Ball Bearing Guides

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Well we looked the doors over the best we could before agreeing to the project, and though I expected plywood, (and they may be), the best we could see they are solid pine. The "problem" is that they are painted. However, when I am done we will paint them still another color yet again. It's a cheap way to dress their kitchen up.
No, no inlay will be placed into the routed out area. I went to the grizzly links, nice bits, but I already bought one, and it does not have a bearing, I was planning to let the base guide me. Thanks for the tip on "clock-wise" I had the bit backwards in my mind, sorry.
So it sounds like you expect that letting the base ride against a "stop" all the way around the door, using a 'clock-wise' rotation will keep the router against the rail and it shouldn't wander into the door. Is that correct?

Thanks
 

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BJ.. Unless I mis-read his post, the bit is 1-1/4" diameter so a 1" bushing would be tough.

Jack,

For this you could use a bearing or a guide, as BJ indicates. Personally I prefer guides, but each to their own.

For using a guide the quick but expensive (~$45) solution is to go with a Veritas (or Oak Park)) router base plate that accomodates the larger-than-PC guides. Where the PC guides use a 1-3/8" counterbore, these use a 1-3/4" counterbore. As a result, they make a guide that is 1-1/2" OD and 1-3/8"ID (item "G" on attachment 04j2601q1). Using the base plate centering jig that comes with the Veritas, it could be installed and running in minutes.

Veritas® Base Plate/Table Insert - Lee Valley Tools

1-3/4" Brass Template Guides - Lee Valley Tools

A much less expensive solution, if you have the tools, is to either make your own base plate to fit these larger guides or drill yours out, using a technique BJ has posted before. Assuming you have 1-3/8", 1-1/2" and 1-3/4" forstner drill bits, you could just buy the bushing for ~$5.

This guide is one of my favorites because, with a 1/2" bit (sturdy but good for handheld, in my opinion) you get an even 1/2" offset.
 

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Hi Jack (no, I'm not hijacking this thread!) how about a photo or two, I'm sure that would bring forth specific solutions to your problem, also, are the doors all the same size and how about a simple drawing of the proposed pattern. It would also be helpful to know what size template guides you have. For a 1 1/4" cutter I would personally use a 40mm guide or in your Imperial country probably a 1 1/2" guide. I had, some time ago, intended to do the same with all the internal doors in our home until I realised that they were covered in thin plywood.
Assuming that you have a 1 1/2" guide, then the opening in your template would be 1/4" bigger than the finished pattern (guide dia. - cutter dia.= size of template cut-out) this for a female template, a male one would be 1/4" smaller than pattern.
Of course there is the alternative, easier method of prettying up doors, add mouldings, there are numerous patterns available, here is just one link.

Modern
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jack responds... again, this time w/pictures

Ok, I will try to add some pictures, but not to belabor the point, my real question is simply how to get the router to go around the door with out wandering away from the fence. I am not concerned about the possibility that the round base is either not true or not centered. I will hold router in 1 position so that it is always facing North. Doors are in two different heights, but many widths, hence the "sliding" frame I referred to earlier. I do not have the doors here yet, I will probably get them on Monday.

The doors are 3/4" thick partial overlay, I was planning to build a simple 'fence' around 3 sides of the door with a 'sliding' fence or frame on the 4th side, to accommodate different widths. The 'fence' would be offset with a spacer to allow me to adjust exactly where the router bit falls on the door.

If the pictures do not tell the tale, let me know, the pencil is still sharp! :)

Thanks,
 

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Ok, I will try to add some pictures, but not to belabor the point, my real question is simply how to get the router to go around the door with out wandering away from the fence. I am not concerned about the possibility that the round base is either not true or not centered. I will hold router in 1 position so that it is always facing North. Doors are in two different heights, but many widths, hence the "sliding" frame I referred to earlier. I do not have the doors here yet, I will probably get them on Monday.

The doors are 3/4" thick partial overlay, I was planning to build a simple 'fence' around 3 sides of the door with a 'sliding' fence or frame on the 4th side, to accommodate different widths. The 'fence' would be offset with a spacer to allow me to adjust exactly where the router bit falls on the door.

If the pictures do not tell the tale, let me know, the pencil is still sharp! :)

Thanks,
Forgive the terrible photo Jack, but it's 10.30PM and this type of shot requires daylight. Are you wanting to achieve similar results to these doors which were done on a CNC router. If it is, I reckon that I'd use a male template, just a rectangle of MDF and, because the doors are going to be repainted I'd pin it in place centrally on the biggest door and rout around it keeping the guide hard up to the template, being careful not to over shoot at the corners. Next, reduce the size of the template to suit the next largest door and so on to the smallest door. This is the simplest way that I can think of and one that I used heaps of times many years ago before becoming familiar with female templates. Hopefully other members will chime in with their ideas, in any case, please do show us how you ended up doing it and of course the final result.
 

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Hi Jack

By using the router base as the guide it will give you a error in the corners, I take it this is what you want to end up with..see below, plus a quick way to make a template that will do the job you want.. :)

You can also use the brass guide in place for the bearing..

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes Harry that is the look I am going for, but I know they will look more like Bobs' because I cant get a crisp corner with the router, (if I can, please tell me how!).
Bob, yes, that is pretty much the look I am going for, slight difference in the bits profile, and no bearing. I have a package of bushings so I suppose I could build the frame as your detail shows it, same idea different execution.
Last concern is still my first concern, if I run the outer around the frame in a clockwise direction, will the router "want" to stay against the frame/pattern?

I mostly use my routers to gouge out for steps, I make each template out of scrap wood for each set, and the template only allows the router bit to move within a given area. If the template is right, I can't go wrong... This is different, I am kind of counting on the physics of the bit and rotation, (and some elbow grease), to keep the router from wandering away from pattern and into the door, which would ruin it.

Incidentally, I have not used bushings before. I always use the shoe or sole of the router as my "bushing" so the templates/patterns maybe a bit large, but they work for me the way I work. I picked these bushings up several months ago when a friend suggested them, but I still haven't opened the package.
 

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Hi Jack - Just another opinion to join in:)
To get to your original question, following whatever template in the correct direction will give you control of the router. Clockwise if you are moving along the inside of the template (female template) or Counter clockwise if you are using a male template as Harry suggested. The issue with using the base plate as a guide in this case is the size of template required. A female template needs to be larger than the pattern you are routing by half the diameter of the base plate. A male template, conversly, needs to be smaller by half the diameter.
I get the sense this a "one-of, tight budget" deals so I would suggest going with a top mounted bearing. I also just finished what, I believe to be, a similar project and will try to post some pics this evening. Can't now as I am at work and everything else is home:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks John, looking forward to your photos.
 

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Hi Jack

Using the outside edge of the template is very dangerous it's very easy to over shoot the corners :) you can a make two part template to keep the router base from wonder off to one side but it's very tricky to get the sticks/template in place and by using tape it may lift the stock up when you remove it.. :( you only get one shot at it or you come down to making a new door(s) the only way I know to get sq.corners is to make a new door with the parts for a new door..or use molding to get that look..


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Hi,

Perhaps I'm looking at it wrong but, if all you're wanting to do is route the "face" frame of the door, use a heat gun, break the joints loose and remove the panel. Then you have the 4 pieces that can be easily and safely routed on the table or bench for hand held, without worrying about templates. I'm not disputing nor disagreeing with Harry & Bj here. Bj did point out to you, there is an error. Unless you wish to hand carve the corners square to remove the rounded corner that will be made.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not looking for square corners, can't "knock" the door down, its either 1 piece of plywood or lammed up pcs. of 1x pine. Everybody's good with round inset corners, just wondered, and was fairly sure, if there was any way to get square with this setup. I am planning to use the 'jig' that Bob sent a drawing of. I can modify it so it has 3 solid sides and 1 move-able side which will allow me to accommodate different widths, yet also gives me an 'outside' form to push against while routing.

Still, if you all have thoughts or ideas, I am open to hearing them, so please keep them coming :)

Thanks.
 

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Hi Jack - sorry it took me so long to get back. Got home from work and a 5 yr old grandson wanted to play..... boy, am I gettin old:sad:

The picture on the left is what I ended up with. I think it is similar to what you are trying to do. The one on the right is a pretty close simulation of the setup I used. Scrap around the edge of the workpiece with MDF strips pin nailed to the scrap. The drawer face on the left had to be remade. That's what happens when the *&(%%$### double face tape slips. I didn't put in the picture but I also had some MDF down the middle of the workpiece to support the router. I also pinned some small pieces of MDF outside the guide strips to prevent tip when I hit the corners. Everything was clamped to the workmate type table I used.
This whole thing is set up to use a guide bushing as this pattern required two passes, exactly 1/4" apart. The 1/4" bit with a 1/2" bushing on one pass and 1" bushing the second pass did the trick. As you can see it is nearly identical to what you were planning. However, I think Bob's Box will be a much more substantial guide and using the router base eliminates tipping concerns. Personally, I think you are good to go, just get your direction of travel right.:yes4:
 

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Many routers come with a fence guide system. With a slight modification to it, just add a thicker straight piece to it. This is all you need along with a plunge bit. Just carefully mark your start and stop points, which can be done on a workbench.

Keep it simple.:D
 

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Many routers come with a fence guide system. With a slight modification to it, just add a thicker straight piece to it. This is all you need along with a plunge bit. Just carefully mark your start and stop points, which can be done on a workbench.

Keep it simple.:D
Hi Ken - I believe the bushing method WAS the simple way on my project. Edge guide would need to be precisely stopped at the end of each edge, reset 1/4" over and precisely stopped a 1/4" different than the first pass at the end of each edge.... 4 x per drawer front x 7 drawers....... yep bushings it was, with 4 moveable pieces of scrap. :)
The bushing way just clamped the guide scrap around the workpiece, stuck a few support pieces in the middle with tape. Ran around it once, swapped bushings and ran around it again. Next front.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I will take some photos of the jig I finally end up making, and hopefully of the doors without any goof ups. :)
I'll let you all know how it works out with a 500 word essay:laugh:
 
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