Problem Solver

Tiying to adjust your router so that the slot cutter addresses the exact center of the workpiece can make you prematurely bald.

Hey! Don't pull out your hair over something this pointless. Just mark a reference face on each of the pieces to be joined. Lay out the pieces as they'll be assembled. Mark the face that's up. Now rest the router on die marked face when you cut the biscuit slots. It doesn't matter if the slot is centered. It'll be the same distance from the marked face on each piece, so the slots will line up with one another during assembly. Perfect.

on the work with right side of the bit hole. Then push, plunging the cutter into the work's edge. Feed the router to the right, until the other edge of the bit hole lines up with the pencil mark. Done!

You've cut a slot long enough to accommodate a #20 biscuit. And you've done it as simply as you would have with a biscuit joiner.

To make the baseplate, you need a square of clear acrylic and a Mi-inch slot cutter. The Vfc-ineh slot is the right width for a #20 biscuit. What you need to determine is how far you must move the router to produce the length of slot you need, given the diameter of the slot cutter you have. For the typical #20 biscuit, you need a 2'/¿-inch-long slot. Subtract the diameter of the cutter from IVi inches. The difference is the diameter of the bit hole you drill in the baseplate.

Example: A 1 Winch-diameter slot cutter calls for a Winch diameter

With the hole size determined, get to work on the baseplate. Use double-sided carpet tape to attach your router's baseplate to the acrylic. Drill and countersink the mounting

With the right baseplate, you can rout biscuit slots as quickly as you can saw them with a 5250 biscuit joiner. Align one side of the bit hole with your center mark and push the cutter into the work (top left). Then feed the router until the other side of the hit hole hits the mark (top right). The slot is done and the biscuit fits it perfectly (left). Except for the unusually small hit hole, the biscuit-joining baseplate doesn't look out of the ordinary. Rut this plastic disk is all you need to do biscuit joinery with your router. No templates or fences required.

holes. With a saber saw or on the band saw, trim the acrylic fairly close to the factory baseplate. Then use a flush-trimming bit to trim the acrylic baseplate to match the factor)' one.

Next, fit a V-groove bit in your router, then mount the acrylic on

diameter of bit uole ist-ie key 1—x see text. ^ ®

/ \ / 1 m

drill and countersink ^/mounting-screw S - UOliS.

cut nl bisclit joints with your router and this baseplate!

*v£ut clear acrylic __^2«-baseplate. sake size as factory baseplate.

LIMED BIScUIT-SLOTTIN^ 6ASE PL MX

CUT BISCUIT SLOTS ON THE. ROUTER

TABLE

Less elegant, but just as effective, are these router biscuit-joining alternatives. One is a baseplate that has lines routed into it. The other is a fen ce-mounted bit guard to use on the router table, which has a line scribed on it, too. With either jig,you rout from one line to the other to cut the biscuit slot.

1 really like the biscuit-joining baseplate Fred and I came up with. It's so simple. There are no templates or stops to clamp to the work. When you are cutting the slot, the bit hole is nght there by the edge of the work, readily visible, easily referenced regardless of the router's orientation—handles parallel to the work's edge, cocked, or at complete right angles to it.

It works so well, I'm reluctant to suggest any alternatives. But just as there's more than one way to ofend a politically correct person, there's more than one way to cut biscuit slots with a router.

The first alternative is the first-generation biscuit baseplate. If there's a shortcoming to the elegant second-generarion design, it is rhat the bit hole is pretty small. It's smaller than the collet nuts on every router we have in our shop except an old Stanley. Depending upon the shank length of your slot cutter, as well as the location of the slot, the collet nut could contact the baseplate.

The solution? Reference lines across a baseplate with a standard-sized bit hole. The lined baseplate is easy to use. You just have to make sure the router is oriented so the lines are perpendicular to the work's edge, and you have to extend the biscuit slot's centerline enough that you can line it up with the baseplate lines. But otherwise, the procedure is: Line up the right-hand baseplate line with the work-piece mark, push the router cutter into the work, slide the machine to the right, and pull the router when the second baseplate line reachcs the workpiece mark.

To make this alternative baseplate, you need a square of dear acrylic and your Mi-inch slot cutter. Do rhe math and determine rhe distance between the baseplate lines.

With the line space determined, get to work on the baseplate. Use double-sided tape to attach your router's baseplate to the acrylic, and drill the mounting holes. Take some time with alignment. If you're like me, you'll

LIMED BIScUIT-SLOTTIN^ 6ASE PL MX

CUT BISCUIT SLOTS ON THE. ROUTER

TABLE

want the router's handles aligned with the edge of the work. You need to drill the mounting holes so one edge of the acrylic will parallel the handles.

Mount the acrylic on the router next, and dimple the plastic with the V groove bit to establish the centct of the bit hole. With a scratch awl and a ruler, or with a V-groover in a table-

Less elegant, but just as effective, are these router biscuit-joining alternatives. One is a baseplate that has lines routed into it. The other is a fen ce-mounted bit guard to use on the router table, which has a line scribed on it, too. With either jig,you rout from one line to the other to cut the biscuit slot.

mounted router, scribe the two lines across the baseplate, as shown in IjnnJ Biscuit-Slotting Baseplate. The gap between them, of course, is rhe distance you have to move the router.

You can leave the baseplate square, or you can round off all but the reference edge.

The router table alternative involves the use of a fence with a bit cutout large enough to accommodate your slot cutter and with a bit guard inscribed with the reference lines.

Operation is basically the same, though you must accommodate feed direction to the router table. Une up the biscuit slot centerline with the right-hand reference line, plunge the work into the cutter, feed it to the left, then pull the workpiece off the cutter when the centerline reaches the left-hand reference line.

To slot the butt ends of workpieces. you should use a backup sled to stabilize the movement of the work along the fence.

TONGUE AND GROOVE JOINTS

jl The Less Elegant Solutions the router. Switch on the motor and advance the bit just enough to dimple the plastic. This establishes the center of the bit hole. Remove die baseplate from the router and drill the hole, making it exactly the diameter that your math established it should be.

Remount the baseplate on the router, fit the slot cutter in the collet, and you are ready for some biscuit joining.

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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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