See where you're going on a dovetail jig

Why are so ttiany router bases solid black? I hate peering through those lil-tle holes to align mv router on a workpiece. The problem is worse on a dovetail jig, where yon must blindly feel your way around lite template's lingers. I managed to nick my template a lew times belbre I discovered rouLer experl Bill 1 lylton's technique for making a see-through base. It eliminates all thai hesitation and anxiety.

This new clear base is designer I to accept Poiter-i "able-style guide bushings. If your old base doesn't accept guide bushings or they're hard, to (hicl, making this new base and adding guide bushings will allow you to do more tilings with your router. The n ick to making this base is getting the guide bushing centered on the router's axis, fust follow these steps and you'll be routing in ilit-clear in no time.

h Din t' Mmikiurick

American Woodworker march 200s

5Locate the base's center by putting a centering bit in your router, lowering the baseplate onto it and tapping the plastic with a hammer. The resulting mark will be dead center.

6Drill out the center hole. Center the plate on the bit and clamp it down. Use an in-out feed action to keep the bit cool and the plastic from melting. You should get wispy curls of plastic, not molten mounds.

7Flip the plate and drill the larger counterbore hole.

Center the plate using the smaller bit and clamp, Change to the larger bit and driil.

Drill countersinks for flat-head screws (Photo 4). 1 use flat-head screws to mount a base, because the tapered heads automatically draw the base into the exact location each time it's fastened. A countersink bit has the same profile as a flat-head screw. Don't use a large twist bil to drill the countersinks; the profiles don't match.

Drill Center Holes

After the base has been shaped and the mounting screw holes completed, fasten the base to your router. Chuck a centering bil or a V-groove bit with a sharp point into your router. With the new base in place, gently lower it onto the router until it barely touches the plastic surface. Lock Lhe router base assembly tightly to the router. Take a small hammer and lightly tap the plastic over the centering bit (Photo 5). Use Lhe resulting mark to center the base under a 1-1/4-in. Forstner bit. Clamp Lhe base to the drill press table. Check to make sure the bit is still in line with die mark. Drill the center hole

8 A flame finish adds just the right touch. It turns the hazy, machined edges crystal clear. Just wave the flame from a blowtorch back and forth until you see the haze disappear. Be careful not to overheat the plastic or it will bubble.

through the base (Photo 6).

Flip Lhe base so lhe countersinks face up (Photo 7). Center the base on the table using the same Forstner bit tiiat drilled the hole and clamp the base down Lo the drill press table. Change Lo a larger 1-3/8-in, Forstner bit. Now, before you geL Loo exciled about drilling from a smaller hole lo a larger one, lei me explain: Typically, you would drill a large counterbore firsl, followed by lhe smaller through hole. In this case, the mark from the centering biL is on lhe wrong side of lhe base for Lhe large counterbore hole. I use Forstner bits because they are rim-guided. They can cut a larger hole over a smaller one without trouble.

After all the machining is done, remove the protective film and use sandpaper to lightly round-over the bottom edge. You can clean up machine marks and scratches by carefully using a blowtorch (Photo 8). The result is a crystal-clear finish that's not really necessary, but it sure looks good.

Source MLCS, (800) 533-9298 , Universal centering alignment pin, #9054, S6.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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