Using a Base Guiding Template

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This approach can be used with any muter, fixed-based or plunger. It can even be used with a laminate trimmer. In fact, the trimmer's smaller baseplate minimizes the size of template needed to guide the cut.

1. Trace the mounting plate on the template stock. Make the framclikc template from 14-inch plywood or hardboard. Lay the mounting plate on the template stock, and trace around it with a sharp pencil. If the plate has rounded comers, use a draftsman's circle template to locate the ccntcrpoint of each corner's radius.

2. Blimp up the template outline. You need to make the template opening larger than the plate to account for the base of the muter you'll use to cut the tabletop. Draw lines on the template stock parallel to those traced from the mounting plate The distance away from the plate tracing that you position these new lines is the difference between the bit's radius and the baseplate's radius, as shown in the drawing Routing TaMetop Opening with Base-Guiding Template. If the corners arc rounded, use a compass to scribe them, pivoting on the comer centerpoints.

Laying out a base-guiding template calls for traditional drafting tools, like a compass, draftsman's circle templates, and a rule. After tracing around the mounting plate on the template stock, you have to draw cut lines, offset from the traced lines. To round the template's corners properly, you must swing the compass on the centerpoint of the mounting plate's corner arcs, as shown.

3. Cut out the template. Use a saber saw. While you want to avoid a cut that wanders, little ripples and rough saw marks shouldn't transfer to the router cut (though they would if you were referencing a template guide against the template rather than the router baseplate).

4. Test the template. Use a piece of plywood the size of the template. Position the template on the test panel and clamp it. Use the router and a V*-inch straight bit to cut a groove. Lay the mounting plate over the test cut; its outside edge should just line up with the outside edge of the groove. If the test cut demonstrates that the template is too big or uh) small, repeat the whole process to make and test a new template.

ROUTING TABLETOP OPENING with Base Guiding Template

A. DETERMINE THE OFFSET.

Baseplate radius - bit radius = offset In this example.

B. BUMP UP THE MOUNTING PLATE TRACING.

3" baseplate rad.

Offset

Round corners with compass.

Line traced from mounting plate

Line traced from mounting plate

Scribe lines parallel to >- traced line.

Template stock

Centerpoint, located from traced line using draftsman's circle template

Centerpoint, located from traced line using draftsman's circle template

Scribe lines parallel to >- traced line.

Template stock

Offset

Offset

Waste

5. Cut the tabletop opening. Do this only after the tc$t demonstrates that the template is sized correctly, of course Position the template on the tabletop. clamp it sccurelv, and use the router to groove the tabletop. This groove eventually becomes the rabbet that supports the nounting plate.

Cut out the waste to complete the opening. Use a saber jaw, and guide it along the inner edge of the groove.To start the cut. drill a pilot hole for the saber saw blade. When you ire done, the plate should just fit. After all. you've tested it.

Saber saw blade

D. SAW OUT THE WASTE.

5. Cut the tabletop opening. Do this only after the tc$t demonstrates that the template is sized correctly, of course Position the template on the tabletop. clamp it sccurelv, and use the router to groove the tabletop. This groove eventually becomes the rabbet that supports the nounting plate.

Cut out the waste to complete the opening. Use a saber jaw, and guide it along the inner edge of the groove.To start the cut. drill a pilot hole for the saber saw blade. When you ire done, the plate should just fit. After all. you've tested it.

Guide the router against the template's inner edge to groove the tabletop. The cut isn't too heavy for a laminate trimmer, if you have one. The trimmer's small size is a benefit in this situation because the template doesn't need to be so big. Here, the groove is being routed in a table saw extension tabletop.

Waste

Saber saw blade

Tabletop

Tabletop

^--Template

W straight bit

Tabletop

Tabletop

^--Template

C. USE FINISHED TEMPLATE TO ROUT THE GROOVE IN THE

Router base

W straight bit

Template

Tabletop

TABLETOP.

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