Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

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Cutting List


Qty. Dimensions



1 W x x 24"

Clear acrylic


2 Va" x 1 " x 21 "



2 tapered plastic knobs, 4J4" tall, with H"-16 threaded insert; #BTH-8 from Reid Tool Supply Co. (800-253-0421)

2 flathead stove bolts, &"-16 x 1"

8 flathead wood screws, #6 x 1"

The stiffeners can be any of these materials, but 1 used cherry.

Once you've selected your materials, cut the pans to the sizes specified by the Cutting List.

2. Drill the baseplate holes. At this point, lay out ind drill the holes for the stiffener-mounting screws and the knob-mounting bolts. In the next step you'll deal with the router-mounting screws and the bit opening.

On the masking paper protecting the acrylic, lay out the locations and size of the screw holcs.The eight holes for the stiffener-mounting screws arc inch in diameter. The two holes for the knob's bolts are % inch in diameter. On the drill press, drill these holes.

You can use standard woodworking twist or brad-point drill bits for this. Use a slow, even feed rate, backing out of the hole frequently to reduce heat buildup. To prevent chipping as the bit breaks through the plastic, slow the feed rate even more as you reach bottom. And use a good backup board.

Next, chuck a countersink in the drill press (a metalworker's single-flute countersink produces the best results in plastic, by the way). Countersink all the holes. For the most consistent results, use the drill press's depth stop. Use one setting for the bolt holes, a shallower setting for the screw holes.

3- Locate and drill the router-mounting screw holes». The usual approach is to attach the baseplate to the workpiece widi carpet tape, then to drill the mounting-screw holes guided by the baseplate. Pertinent tips and alternatives can be found in "The Generic Baseplate" on page 63.

Select the drill bit you will use before you stick down the baseplate. Attach the baseplate to the top surface of the fixture, between the stiffeners. Be sure the plate is backed up well when you drill the holes. After the holes arc drilled, switch to a countersink, turn the plate over, and countersink the holes. (I set up my baseplate right off the bat with

Alternative router position-router turned so handles parallel the baseplate width

Accommodating Template Guides

A wide spectrum of template work can be done with a stock router, just as it comes from the factory. And then one day, you need some magic. The template required for a particular project has an opening that's broader across than your router's baseplate. So when it's over the middle of the template, the router won't have any support.

You take down your surfacing baseplate, and you're ready to mount the router to it, when you realize...it's not configured to accept a template guide.

Oh, but it can be! The model shown in the photo has a bit opening for Porter-Cable-type template guides. This means it has a I ^-inch-diameter hole, surrounded by a M6-inch wide X fcz-inch-deep rabbet. It also means the opening must be carefully positioned so that it is concentric with the bit axis.

If you want to keep your options open, make your surfacing baseplate with a proper bit opening. Read the detailed directions for doing this, which are found in the chapter "Universal Router Mounting Plate" on page 163. Choose your approach, and apply it to the fabrication of this baseplate. Someday, you'll be glad you did.

two positions for the router. One is the central location, and here I lined up the router handles with the baseplate grips. The other location is offset, and at this location. I turned the router 90 degrees.)

Next, attach the router to the plate. You can either plunge-bore a bit opening with the router itself or use a V-grooving bit chucked in the collet to mark the bit opening centerpoint. If you take the latter approach, unmount the router before drilling the bit opening on the drill press.

4. Polish the plate's edges. This is a purely aesthetic step; you can leave the edges of the plate sharp-

cornered and rough. But the fixture will look a lot better if you invest an extra ten minutes to buff its appearance.

Start at the comers. Round the four corners using a router and a flush-trimming or straight pattern bit, guided by a corner-rounding template. (See "Boring Templates" on page 6.) Round the comers at a 1-inch radius

Next, work on the edges. Begin with a cabinet scraper, going over the edges of the acrylic to remove the saw marks. After the worst of the saw makrs have been removed, flame-polish the edges.

Flame-polishing is a technique that takes good advantage of the heat-sensitivity of acrylic plastic. Fire up a propane torch, and pass the flame slowly over the edges of the plate. The goal is to glaze the edges, and I think you'll find it takes quite a few very slow passes with the torch to melt the surface enough that the minute scratches blend together. When you get the technique down, though, you will find the edges take a right nice polish.

5. Install the stiffeners. Miter the ends of the stiff-encrs. as shown in the layouts. You can round-over the exposed edges on the router table, if you like. 1 used a '/4-inch radius bit. Sand the stiffeners and. if you arc so inclined, apply a coat or two of finish.

When the finish is dry, attach the stiffeners to the plate with X 1-inch flathead wood screws. Clamp the stiffeners in place, and drill pilot holes, guided by the holes in the plate.Then drive the screws. Make sure they are seated below the plate's surface.

6. Assemble the baseplate. All that remains to be done is to install the knobs (or handles). I used -i'/i-inch-tall post-type handles, though, of course, many other options arc available.To mount the handles. I turned flathead stove bolts through the plate into the brass threaded inserts integrated into them.

With the handles installed and the router mounted on the plate, you are ready to install a bit and take the plate for a ride.

Using the Surfacing Baseplate

To plane stock with a router, what you need, in addition to the surfacing baseplate, is a sturdy router, a large-diameter bottom-cleaning or dish-cutting bit, and tracks that will position the router and baseplate above the stock, allowing the machine to move side to side and back and forth in a level plane. In a nutshell, the procedure is to clamp the board to be planed between two tracks. Set the router on the tracks, with the bit set to remove about Vi6 inch of stock. Slide the router and baseplate up and down the tracks, methodically planing every square inch of the board.

The router can surface stock in ways that a planer or jointer cannot. It can excavate a recess. It can taper.You can use the surfacing baseplate for both of these operations.

First, let's look at a straightforward surfacing job, step by step.



Bench dog Lumber


Vise with pop-up dog

Surfacing baseplate f



Bench dog Lumber pi

Bottom-cleaning bit


Vise with pop-up dog

Surfacing baseplate f

Capture the workpiece between tracks, as shown here. The spacers between the stock and the tracks allow you to surface all the way to the edges without chewing completely through the tracks.

1. Take stock of the material to be surfaced.

Generally speaking, the muter is not the proper tool for planing lumber. You can't beat the traditional jointer-planer-table saw ensemble to dress rough-sawn boards, making the faces smooth, flat, and parallel, the edges smooth,square, and parallel. But every once in a while you'll confront a special project where router-thicknessing is appropriate. Maybe it'll be centered around a curly maple board—beautiful but difficult to surface without tear-out. Perhaps it's a warped plank. If it's warped enough, it can be the devil to joint flat so you can feed it through the planer.

So the first chore is to study the material and confirm that it is. indeed, an appropriate router-surfacing project. Then figure out how to work it. How tall must the tracks be? How will you secure the stock and the tracks?

2. Cut tracks to support the surfacing baseplate. The real key to getting flat stock with parallel faces with the surfacing baseplate is accuracy in the tracks. Each track must be straight with parallel edges, and the two must be of identical height. The tracks must be about 4 to 6 Inches longer than the workpicce so the bit can move off the edge of the work without the surfacing baseplate tumbling off the tracks.

3. Secure the workpiece and the tracks. The most troublesome stock to position for machining is warped stuff. What you need to do is set the warped stock on your workbench, and shim the corners as necessary so it doesn't rock (like shimming cabinets to level them during installation). Try to set the board so you can gee a flat surface with minimal stock removal. When the board is set. plant the tracks on each side of the board.This can be the problematic pan of the job.

Capture the workpiece between tracks, as shown here. The spacers between the stock and the tracks allow you to surface all the way to the edges without chewing completely through the tracks.

4. Set up the router. You can use any of the following bits for surfacing: bottom-cleaning, straight, mortising, dish-cutting. The best bit to use is the one you already have, though clearly a 1 !4-inch-dlameter bottom-cleaning bit will do the job quicker than a '¿-inch-diameter mortising bit.

The bit I like best for surfacing is designed chiefly for hollowing out compartments in a tray. It's called a dish cutter. What makes it ideal for surfacing? The cutting edges are radiused at the perimeter of the bit.This gives you a nice radius inside a recess, but it also means you don't have a hard edge between adjacent passes.

At any rate, you need to chuck whatever bit you are going to use in the router. Set the router on the tracks, and sight between the baseplate and the workplece to set the bit extension. Don't make loo deep a cut (i.e., more than inch).

Bits suitable for surfacing include {left to right) a mortising bit (intended for routing hinge mortises), a dish-cutting bit, a bottom-cleaning bit, and a common straight bit.

5. Surface the workpiece. The conventional " wisdom seems to be that you must make your sweeps in the flg direction that the grain runs. That isn't the case. Unlike a planer or jointer, the router bit's cutting action is the same, j regardless of the direction from which it addresses the ^ wood grain. It is just this cutting action that enables the router to plane curly maple and other twisted-grain woods. So sweeping back and forth across the board doesn't yield a lesser finish than coursing from end to end.

Be methodical, however. Whether you work back and forth or end-to-end, be an automaton. Sweep tin one axis, then click over a notch in ihe other. Sweep, then click over. Sweep, then click over.

Be methodical. Sliding the surfacing baseplate-equipped router around willy-nilly will gel the job done...eventually. But you'll get a smooth, flat surface more quickly if you start at one end of the board and move the router from side to side, methodically creeping forward a fraction of an inch after each pass.

After a firsi pass over the entire surface, make as many additional passes as necessary to flatten the board. Naturally, you need to adjust the depth of cut between passes. Then make a final skim cut to make the surface as smooth as you can get it with the router. Scraping and sanding will then remove any remaining swirl marks.

Beyond Thicknessing

It's a small step from thicknessing a board to routing a recess in it.

If you are comfortable freehanding it. you can outline the area to Ik- recessed. You don't need to set up tracks.The surfacing baseplate rests directly on the workpiece, with the bit projecting the most mimimal amount beneath it.To start, tip the router so the bit is poised above the middle of the area to be worked. Turn the router on. and lower the bit into the work. No plunge router needed, really. Because the baseplate is clear, you can see how close to the cutting lines you arc.

This sort of work generates an incredible amount of chips. If you have a router that can lx* fitted with a dust pickup, by all means use it. It will keep the dust down and will make it easier to see your work.

If you are not comfortable working freehand, make a template. Attach it to the work. Then, with a guide bushing mounted in the surfacing baseplate, do the job as a template-guided one.

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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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