Routing Straightedge

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Deceptively easy to use, this self-clamping

Straightedge Used For

To guide the router when making straight cuts, here's a straightedge with built-in damps. The clamps pinch in on the edges of the workpiece, securing the straightedge so you can slide the router along the edge.

For years, I worked with a T-square or whatever straight scrap 1 had at hand as a clamp-on fence. It seemed the quick-and-casy thing to do, but it wasn't always so. If the workpiece was narrow, for example, getting a clamp on each end of my straightedge could be a challenge. I'd clamp one end, then realize I couldn't reach the other end with a clamp. So I'd undo the first clamp and start pushing the work and the straightedge around on the bench top. Angle it across a corner? No. Push it further to the end? Hmmm. maybe. Eventually I'd get i t done.

So this accessory is a wonderful time-saver. Dog or damp the workpiece to the bench top, then clamp the straightedge to the workpiece. The clamp blocks or jaws are thin enough that I can attach it to a ^(-inch-thick work-piece that's lying flat on the bench top. It is easy to move from place to place on a workpiece without having to reclamp the workpiece itself.

Quite frankly, this is a routing accessory that you can buy. And the one you buy is darn grand. But every time I look in my wallet. I say to myself."Man, it sure is empty in there." So naturally, I'm continually struggling to make my woodworking dollars go further. (Sound familiar?)

One way to do that is to make some accessories. I can't make a router bit or a saw blade, but I can make a clamp-on guide for straight router cuts. Instead of investing $40 in a commercial unit, I put about SI2 into common hardware and a couple of comfortable plastic knobs. The wood came from my odds-and-ends collection. I spent about two hours making the jig. The money 1 didn't spend on this guide I did spend on tools that I can't make.


Cutting List

Part Qty. Dimensions


Fence 1 x 4" x 44"


Head block 1 X 2" x 4"


Pressure block 1


Tail block 1 1W x 4" x 4"



1 brass threaded insert,

1 carriage bolt. ^-16x5^"

2 nylon-insert stop nuts. 3T-16

1 fluted plastic knob, 2^6" dia. with &"I6 blind brass threaded insert; #DK-3 from Re id Tool Supply Co. (800-253-0421)

4 drywall screws, #6 x 154"

1 carriage bolt, x 2"

1 fender washer, W I.D.

1 flat washer, fc" I.D.

1 fluted plastic knob, 2Mt," dia. with &"-16 through brass threaded insert; #DK-121 from Reid Tool Supply Co.

PSA sandpaper

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Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

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