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Still working on my turtle, and looking at a way to make life easier. I need to make "notches" in the base of the body to accept the legs which are doubled 2x4 pieces. I had the idea that I could use the Multi-tool and a fence to cut the back of the cutout and then just quickly cut the sides on the bandsaw. That idea works - after a fashion - but it's slow, maybe because it's treated wood? So then I thought - maybe a jig for the router? I put one together and it works well, but needs some tweaking. I made it out of a scrap of plywood and some hardboard, with the tabs biscuit-loined to the main part and the whole thing held together with the hardboard, glue and brads (similar to the one that I made for mortising door jambs in place for the hinges. I didn't think it all the way through though so it's a little unsteady and I'll have to make another one - I sized the tabs based on the one cutout, not realizing that the other was a little longer. Not a deal breaker, the big problem is that the router base is too small and not adequately supported which made me a little nervous as I had 2-1/2" of cutter hanging down below the base. I didn't have time to make another, more importantly I didn't have a larger base for the router so I'll have to make a larger base and redo the jig for the next ones - and maybe make the jig out of 1/2" plywood to reduce the stickout of the bit.
 

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It is satisfying, when you make a new jig to solve a problem....

Design and execution come together..
 

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Good work Tom. Building jigs to solve problems is part of the road to mastering this art. I have some suggestions for you to consider. One of the reasons I don't lock my table router to the table is so I can use it and the insert plate together for cuts like that. I didn't see a table in your profile so if you haven't made one yet just take some decent 1/2 ply and use the plastic base plate on your router for a drilling guide. You can use the plywood as an offset base. Good quality 3/8 is probably good enough too. You can make the plate in 20 minutes you'll just need longer screws to bolt to the router. Most of us just use 1/4 or 3/8 ply or mdf for templates and they work fine most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good work Tom. Building jigs to solve problems is part of the road to mastering this art. I have some suggestions for you to consider. One of the reasons I don't lock my table router to the table is so I can use it and the insert plate together for cuts like that. I didn't see a table in your profile so if you haven't made one yet just take some decent 1/2 ply and use the plastic base plate on your router for a drilling guide. You can use the plywood as an offset base. Good quality 3/8 is probably good enough too. You can make the plate in 20 minutes you'll just need longer screws to bolt to the router. Most of us just use 1/4 or 3/8 ply or mdf for templates and they work fine most of the time.
I do have a router table (need to update my profile), but the router is mounted in a lift so not really an option so I'll just make a new base out of 3/8" acrylic. Making the template out of thinner material is a good idea, I'll have to buy another guide (brass as it's easier to modify than the steel one I have) and shorten the pilot. Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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If I'm looking at the picture correctly it looks like you needed about a 3/8" lip. If that is the case then if you cut the waste out with the bandsaw you should be able to put a rabbeting bit in and route the lip by simply turning the wood upside down on your router table and push it past the 3/8" (or what ever size you need)rabbeting bit. Doing it this way would eliminate the need for a jig and wouldn't take more then a minute to make.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry, the photo was after I took just a couple passes with the router, the recess goes all the way through and the various parts fit in and are glued/screwed in place.
 

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Sorry, the photo was after I took just a couple passes with the router, the recess goes all the way through and the various parts fit in and are glued/screwed in place.

..
 

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Nice, Tom...quick question...would it be easier to cut the legs to fit the body...? Seems that the bandsaw could take care of it then...just a thought...
 

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Your last photo is the exact method used by Sam Maloof for the seat to leg join, he is neater but the join is the same, Making Jigs so that a Router can do all the hard work when you have a large number of joins to do is the best way, even including getting special cutters made if the numbers justify doing that, its not worth the time to make a jig to do one join but when you have a large number of them then A purposely designed and well made jig is the answer. The more you make Router Jigs then they better you will get at doing it, My Thread regarding my Router Lathe, the fact is that it is just a giant Router Jig, Complicated, exacting, still only a Router Jig in the end and I am going to so much trouble as I plan to make hundreds of cues in that Router Jig so no amount of trouble is too much with that project. With your base section of the Turtle then you could make a jig that did it all, cut the finished outline as well as the base to keg joins, one jig with one cutter that made the entire outline, that is what I would do, then you rough cut the to size, don't make the router cutter do too deep a cut so you use whatever saw you use to get it close to the finished size then drop that blank into the router jig and do the clean up pass. N
 

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tomp913;976714 I'll have to buy another guide (brass as it's easier to modify than the steel one I have) and shorten the pilot. Thanks for the suggestions.[/QUOTE said:
I've never found a situation where I needed the longer guides so I don't understand the point of them. Most members just cut them shorter. They force you to use thicker templates and then you have less available depth of cut.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@neville9999

I wasn't aware of Maloof's leg joint so I had to find the video here
I have to ask why the demo was done with the blank vertical and holding the router up - I've done that mortising a door jamb in place but wasn't taking a cut like that, looks like an accident waiting to happen to me. I'm still not sure exactly what the joint looks like and will have to dig deeper, but mine is nothing fancy like that - just an open recess that the legs slip into and are screwed in place.

@Cherryville Chuck

I do have a couple of guides that I've shortened to use with 1/4" Masonite templates, but they've been either aluminum or brass and the one I used is steel so a little more work. I have some 1/2" BB cutoffs from making drawers (50" stock always seems to leave a lot of bits and pieces left over) and plan on using that to make the new fixture. I'll cut off the guide to match the fixture. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
....... then you could make a jig that did it all, cut the finished outline as well as the base to keg joins, one jig with one cutter that made the entire outline, that is what I would do, then you rough cut the to size, don't make the router cutter do too deep a cut so you use whatever saw you use to get it close to the finished size then drop that blank into the router jig and do the clean up pass. N
When I made the first one, I started out with the idea that I would cut the parts close to size on the bandsaw and then finish up with a pattern bit on the router table. The photo shows the patterns that I made out of 1/2" MDF - a new photo would show drilled & c'sunk holes for attaching the patterns to the parts. I bought a pattern bit long enough to cut the whole 1-1/2" thickness in one pass - in retrospect, that may have been a mistake and I'd have been better to cut half way, flip the part over and use the routed surface as the "pattern" to complete the cut. I don't remember how close I was to finished size off the bandsaw, but I think pretty close - marked the parts tracing around the pattern with a Sharpie and tried to stay on that line. Any way, the first part I tried was a disaster - the bit grabbed the part and chattered really badly. I thought that the causes were the damp wood and a cross-grain cut - no way to avoid that because the grain needs to run along the length of the parts for strength.

I may give it another shot - drier wood and less material removal (hopefully, as I get more practice on the bandsaw) but it's actually as quick to cut the parts close on the bandsaw and finish on the belt sander - I modified the outlines of the parts slightly so that I could sand the inside curves using the radius on the end of the sander and not have to switch between the belt and different diameter drums. I'm going to order some coarser grit belts to speed things up though.

I got the assembly pretty well completed yesterday, just need to trim off the plugs over the screw heads and then put the finish on.
 

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I like your finished project...
appreciate the ''think'' portion even more..
 
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One other way of doing it would be to cut the notch out first with the band saw before the shape is cut (if you can't make a tight 90 degree turn come at the corner from both directions). After the notch is cut out, cut the design. I think I might even cut the two sides with the table saw to make it quicker and straighter.
 
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