Custom Rabbeting Baseplate

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You can use a hand-held router to cut rabbets without using a piloted rabbeting bit. Use your router's edge guide. Or make a custom baseplate, like this one.

To cut a rabbet, use a straight bit. Adjust the guide bar to establish the rabbet's width. As you can see, the guide bar pivots, which makes adjustment easy. Loosen the wing nut and swing the bar. Use a short steel rule to measure your setting. (The technique roughly parallels that of cutting a rabbet on the router table. As you know, to fine-tune the router table fence setting, you cinch down one end of the fence and. ruler at the bit. move the other end back and forth.)

The advantages of this approach?

• You don't need to buy rabbeting bits. The straight bits you have can do the job.

• You can cut the width of rabbet you need, rather than the width(s) that piloted rabbeting bits cut.

• You can exceed the V«-inch maximum depth of cut that most piloted rabbeting bits have. If you need a rabbet a full inch deep, you can produce it with a straight bit of the requisite length.

• The base serves double-duty! You can use it to rout grooves parallel to—and within a couple of inches of—the edge of the workpiece.

To make the rabbeting baseplate, cut a rectangle of some appropriate baseplate material. (See the chapter "Custom Baseplates" for more information on this.) I used VS-inch birch plywood. Make the rectangle about 9

Save yourself the cost of rabbet hits by making this rabbeting baseplate from scrap-bin materials. With it, you can cut rabbets of infinitely variable width using straight bits.

The baseplate is made of plywood, with a straight-grained hardwood guide strip. The long guide virtually eliminates wiggling at the beginning and end of cuts, where a pilot tends to duck around the corner of the workpiece.

Save yourself the cost of rabbet hits by making this rabbeting baseplate from scrap-bin materials. With it, you can cut rabbets of infinitely variable width using straight bits.

The baseplate is made of plywood, with a straight-grained hardwood guide strip. The long guide virtually eliminates wiggling at the beginning and end of cuts, where a pilot tends to duck around the corner of the workpiece.

fence or edge guide. Using the latter, remember diat its facing has to extend below the bit at its deepest setting so it can bear on the work. You'll probably have to attach an auxiliary facing to a commercial edge guide, which is easy enough to do. If you use a shop-made guide, such as the rabbeting baseplate shown above, you'll need to use a deep guide bar.

With a router table, you may need to add an auxiliary facing to the fence, one extending well above the bit, to support the stock.

If you have stuck with us this far. the operation should be pretty evident. Set the fence (or guide) and make the cut. Make several passes, working down to the final depth.

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