Build Your Own Router Carver

The versatility of the router hits been enhanced by j J

the development of ingenious jigs for cutting traditional joints. Although the initial adjustment is time-consuming, once these jigs are set, even complicated dovetail joints can be cut in a fraction of the time it takes to make them bv hand.

The description here serves its a guide to cutting through dovetails on a jig that features individually adjustable fingers that guide the router cutter. The setting of the finger assembly governs the size and spacing of the tails and pins. Adjusting the fingers for the pins along one side of the assembly automatically sets the fingers for matching tails on the opposite side. There is also a device for fine fore-and-aft adjustment of the finger assembly.

top cramp bar finger assembly cross bar

Fitting a test piece

Use test pieces to set up the jig and check the fit of the parts. Place an 18mm (3A\n) spacer board under the finger assembly and secure it with the jig's top cramp bar. Clamp a test piece of the correct width to the front of the jig, making sure it butts against the side stop and the underside of the finger assembly.

finger assembly

Rotating the fingers

Once you have adjusted one half of the assembly, all that is required to utilize the other set of fingers is to unclamp the entire assembly, rotate it, and clamp it

1 Setting up for tail cutting

Set the assembly with the straight-sided tail fingers pointing towards you. Fit into the router a compatible dovetail cutter and guide bush - check with your jig supplier. Using the other component as a template, mark the depth of cut on the tail member, and adjust the router cutter down to the marked line.

front cramp bar fore-and-aft adjustment scale top cramp bar spacer boaro test piece

Make Your Own Dovetail Jig

Adjusting the finger assembly

You need one pair of fingers for each dovetail and a single finger at both ends of the row. Set these individual fingers first so that they are flush with each edge of the test piece, then space the pairs of fingers at regular intervals between them. Tighten the clamping screws.

Build Your Own Router Carver Jig

Always check that all parts of the jig and the test piece are securely clamped before switching on the router. Then run the cutter between each set of fingers (see box, right), cutting out the waste wood which leaves a neat row of tails.

Mesin Router Kayu

Rotate the assembly to present the pin fingers to the front of the jig, and clamp a second test piece in the jig. Mark the depth of cut as before, using the tail member you have just cut as a template. Fit a straight cutter in the router and adjust it down to the marked line.

5 Checking the fit

Assemble the joint to check it fits snugly. If it is slack, use the jig's fine-adjustment scale to move the finger assembly forward. If the joint is too tight, adjust the finger assembly backwards. Cut another pair of test pieces to check that the joint fits satisfactorily, before proceeding with the actual workpieces.

Always check that all parts of the jig and the test piece are securely clamped before switching on the router. Then run the cutter between each set of fingers (see box, right), cutting out the waste wood which leaves a neat row of tails.

Rotate the assembly to present the pin fingers to the front of the jig, and clamp a second test piece in the jig. Mark the depth of cut as before, using the tail member you have just cut as a template. Fit a straight cutter in the router and adjust it down to the marked line.

Degree Dovetail Cutter

4 Cutting the pins

With the router placed flat on the finger assembly, switch on and then rout out the waste between each pair of fingers.

4 Cutting the pins

With the router placed flat on the finger assembly, switch on and then rout out the waste between each pair of fingers.

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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