Stand Alone Bit Guards

Guard your hands from the bit when working at the router table. While this may seem difficult to do if you're working with a piloted bit and the starting pin, it's not. The usual approach is to hold a scrap-sized shield of acrylic or polycarbonate just above the bit. The shield deflects chips arcing up off the bit and serves as a physical deflector for your fingers, while nonetheless allowing the workpiccc access to the bit.

Shown on the next few pages are some stand-alone guards you can make. Two are simple affairs that you secure to the mounting plate with studded knobs. A third clamps to the tabletop. The last is a more elaborate construction—it serves simultaneously as a dust pickup, starting pin. and bit guard—that you connect to the mounting plate and clamp to the tabletop.

Tips on working with acrylic and polycarbonate can be found in the chapter "Custom Baseplates." It is easy to do using your woodworking tools.

Bent Acrylic Bit Guard

This guard is a strip of clear acrylic that's bent into an angular son of S-shape. To attach it to the router table, you need first to drill and tap two holes in the mounting plate. The positions of the holes correspond to the positions of two slots cut in the guard. Hold the guard over the holes, then turn plastic thumbscrews into them, cinching the guard in place. The slots provide about an inch of fore-and-aft adjustment.

The guard has a coverage area 4 inches in diameter. It is high enough to clear a 1'/2-inch-thick workpiecc, but its height is fixed. If you want the guard down closer to a Winch or a 1-inch workpiccc, then you need to make a separate guard that's less tall than the one shown on the opposite page.

The trick here is bending the acrylic. Basic information on heating and bending acrylic, as well as cutting and drilling it. is found in the chapter "Custom Baseplates." There aren't enough pans to merit a Cutting List, so here's a list of what you need:

• One 4-inch by 8-inch piece of Winch clear acrylic

• Two thumbscrews with hex nuts

1. Begin with the piece of clear acrylic. I^ay out the guard on the paper masking, as shown in Bait Aaylic Bit Guard.


. cllar acrylic plastic


. cllar acrylic plastic


2. With the masking still in place, cut the rounded edge of the guard using a saber saw or band saw. With a Winch straight bit in a table-mounted router, cut the two mounting slots. Guide the acrylic workpiece along the router table fence.

3. Select a scrap of wood to use as a bending mold. Radius one edge with a Winch round-over bit. This is the edge you will use to form the guard's two bends.

4. Strip the masking from the acrylic. Mark the locations of the two bends. Cut a scrap block as thick as the guard offset is high. Set the guard on it. aligning the guard's top bend line with the block's edge. Set a second

Simple though it is, this one-piece acrylic guard shields the bit effectively. There's room for a ty pical workpiece to pass underneath it.

scrap atop the guard and clamp the stack. With a heat gun. heat the acrylic. When the plastic is limber, bend it down. The bench top will force the second bend at just the right spot. Set another scrap block on the slotted extension, and clamp it until it cools and hardens. (This operation is shown in photos in the chapter "Custom Baseplates.")

5. For a finished appearance, sand and polish the edges of the acrylic. Or simply "(lame polish" the edges.

6. Drill and tap two holes in the mounting plate for the thumbscrews. Use the drill bit and tap that are appropriate for the size and thread of the thumbscrews you arc using. Turn a hex nut onto each screw to provide a shoulder to scat against the guard.

Adjustable Acrylic Bit Guard

This bit guard is very similar to the bent shield. But this one is height-adjustable. and making it doesn't involve bending the acrylic. For the latter reason, you could, if you wanted, make this using polycarbonate, which is tougher than acrylic. (Polycarb

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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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