Custom Baseplates

y The router's baseplate is smooth and slippery so it can function as the bearing between the router's base and the workpiece. Made of a phenolic plastic, the baseplate is usually about 'A inch thick, follows the contour of the base itself, has a hole for the bit and perhaps a viewing port or two, and is attached to the base with three or four screws. Almost invariably. it's the first part of the router you tinker with.

Custom router baseplates don't have to be fancy. Some are made as one-use throwaway items, such as when you want to attach a special fence or stop to the router without damaging die factory baseplate. Even more arc built to be used again and again—a flush-trimming base, for example, or one with an edge guide. Some router woodworkers replace the factory base completely, never using it at all (except as a template for making custom baseplates).

To break the ice. simply unscrew the factory' baseplate, set the screws aside, and remove the baseplate. Cut a square of ply-wood for a new, larger base. Use the factory baseplate as a template to lay out mounting holes in the custom baseplate. Drill and countersink (or countcrbore) the holes, and cut a hole for the bit you want to use. Attach the new baseplate to the router and you're in business.

Once you've made a custom baseplate or two, you'll easily advance into the construction of all manner of router jigs and fixtures. You'll use the same materials and employ the same skills in building the jigs and fixtures as you did in making the custom baseplates, and you 'll expand the range of your router woodworking.

BASEPLATE MATERIALS

Router bases can be made from a variety of materials, all of which have advantages and disadvantages. While some of the materials cited below don't make good baseplates per se, they do make first-rate accessories.

Plywood is a good choice for quick bases. Birch plywood is fairly smooth and can be sanded, sealed, and waxed to provide a smooth-sliding baseplate. Plywood's worst problem is that the edges tend to get splintery and lose their accuracy. And, of course, '/-»-inch plywood can have an annoying amount of Hex in some applications. Sometimes you can use thicker plywood to gain rigidity, but you limit the depth of cut by raising the router away from the work.

Tempered hard board is another good choice for a quickie. It is quite uniform with no voids or splinters.

ACRYLIC PLASTIC POLYCARBONATE

PLASTIC LAMINATE

VT PLYWOOD HARDBOARD YI" PLYWOOD

H" PLYWOOD

ACRYLIC PLASTIC POLYCARBONATE

PLASTIC LAMINATE

VT PLYWOOD HARDBOARD YI" PLYWOOD

H" PLYWOOD

Here are materials suitable for making custom baseplates. When choosing a material to use for a specific baseplate, think about how often you 'II use it, what your appearance expectations are, and what you have on hand. Match the material to the job. Use scraps for single-use projects.

BASEPLATE MATERIALS

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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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