Making a Baseplate for Template Work

You can make a custom baseplate that'll accommodate standard template guide bushings. To bore the rabbeted bit opening, use two Forstner bits.

To ensure that the opening is concentric with the bit axis, mount the blank on the router and use a V-grooving bit to just mark the center of the opening. Remove the baseplate from the router.

Chuck a centering pin in the drill press. Set the baseplate on the table, and position its centermark precisely beneath the centering pin's point. Clamp the baseplate in place.

by its motor, and work the base up and down on the motor housing using the dcpth-of-cut mechanism. Since the mechanism, regardless of the style, wasn't designed for this operation, it won't necessarily go smoothly. The bit tends to grab, and that jerks the base. Moveovcr, there's usually play in the mechanism, and this makes it darn hard to rout a true zero-clearance opening. But clamp the machine securely, and the operation will work fine.

Drilling the opening on the drill press is a fine approach. If precise centering is a goal, use a centering pin or a small-diameter bit to help you position the baseplate accurately under the bit. Be sure you clamp the workpiecc once it is positioned. Then change to the bit needed to create the proper-sized hole, and drill.

Chuck a I &-inch Forstner bit in the drill press, replacing the centering pit. With an in-and-out feed action, drill the counterbore. Be sure you don't bore all the way through the plate, but do bore deep enough that the bushing's flange will be flush with or below the surface.

Complete the hole with a I J4-inch Forstner bit. Don't move the workpiece, of course. Just remove the I &-inch bit from the chuck, and replace it with the I }4-inch bit. When drilling, feed the bit hard for a second, then back it completely out of the work. Feed again briefly, then back out. Repeat this in-and-out action until the bit completely penetrates the plastic.

BORING A TEMPLATE-GUIDE OPENING

A. Line up plate for boring by aligning the centermark on it under a centering pin chucked in the drill press. Clamp the plate so it doesn't move while you change bits and drill.

, Centering pin

Centermark made by V-grooving bit

Clamp with soft cap on jaw

Clamp with soft cap on jaw

Waste backing the plastic baseplate blank

Centermark made by V-grooving bit

Countersunk mounting-screw hole

Waste backing the plastic baseplate blank

Countersunk mounting-screw hole

B. Change from the centering pin to a 1W Forstner bit. Bore a recess Vi2" deep. Leave the plate clamped in place.

C. Change to a 1 Forstner bit. Bore completely through the plate. The result is a I !A" opening surrounded by a yi6"-wide X ^"-deep rabbet.

B. Change from the centering pin to a 1W Forstner bit. Bore a recess Vi2" deep. Leave the plate clamped in place.

C. Change to a 1 Forstner bit. Bore completely through the plate. The result is a I !A" opening surrounded by a yi6"-wide X ^"-deep rabbet.

!4"-thick custom baseplate

AT-square is made of two pieces fastened together to form a T. It's a basic, basic router woodworking tool. Make yourself one. Believe me, you'll get use out of it.

And it is kind of magical how easy it becomes to set up a dado cut. The T-square saves setup time. That's its big advantage. You don't have to mark the full length of the dado, then painstakingly align and clamp a straightedge to guide the router. With a T-square, a single tick mark usually is sufficient. So long as the T-square's fence is perpendicular to its crossbar, you can be assured that the dado will be square to the edge.

In addition, the crossbar acts as a brace, allowing you to secure the typical T-square with a single clamp. If you were to guide a router along an unadorned board fence secured with a single clamp, that clamp would become a pivot. With the crossbar butted firmly against the workpiece edge, that pivoting can't happen.

Making a T-square, of course, is really tough. (Wink, wink.) You have to glue and screw two straight-and-true scraps together in aT-shapc. One piece, called tlie crossbar or the head, butts against the edge of the workpiece: and the other, callcd the fence or the guide or the blade, extends at a right angle across the workpiece surface.

The typical T-squarc—check out the drawing—has a fence between 30 and 36 inches long and a crossbar between 8 and 12 inches long. For narrow work, a smaller guide is more manageable. If you do a lot of cabinet work, make a really big T-square, and cut both case sides at one time.

A lot of woodworkers make their T-squares like capital Ts, which is to say without extensions. My T-squares have fences that extend 3 to 6 inches beyond the crossbar to steady the router as it exits a cut.This is particularly useful with big routers and with those with straight-edged or oversized baseplates.

Once you get into the habit of using a T-square for routing dadoes and grooves, you may begin to dream about tweaking the T-square to make it even easier to use.That's what I did, and the results are included here. First I added clamp blocks—like those used on a router-table fence. No more fumbling with loose clamps. Then, after I got hooked on vacuum clamping. I made a vacuum T-square.

But let's start with a plain vanilla T-squarc.

T-Square

Step past the scrap-board fence. Make yourself a T-square to guide those casework dadoes.

T-SQUARE PLANS

TOP VIEW

EDGE VIEW

fc" vr r r-dia. hanging hole

Fence yc plywood

Crossbar

24"

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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