Making Router Jigs

Monday 9 July 2018

Step 1

I use a Trend T4 router which works well with this jig because of the way that it separates from its base unit. This is a simple jig that supports the router body horizontally to the work at centre height and consists of two pieces of hardwood screwed and glued together at 90 degrees. The router is held securely in place with a simple saw kerf cut which runs through a drilled hole and closes around the collar of the router when the nuts are tightened on the threaded rod, which runs through the jig

Step 2

Anyone who has used a router will be aware of the wide variety of cutters available. The main cutters that I use are round-ended for cutting flutes; 10mm (3/8in) is a good size if you only want to buy one, although I have three sizes to make any size of flute. A round-over cutter for reeds and a 'V' cutter for 'V' grooves. All of these are widely available. With the correct cutters you can also produce mortises and dovetail housings for furniture. Also shown in this photo is the depth stop, which is one of the most important features of this router jig set-up

Step 3

The depth stop consists of a piece of hardwood and a Tufnol collar. Tufnol is an engineering grade plastic used for various applications; it machines easily and is very hard wearing. The Tufnol collar allows the cutter to run without the burning that wood on wood produces. I have also used metal collars with success. The depth stop sits snugly over the cutter allowing only a set amount to protrude, so controlling the depth of cut. It also acts as a guard to keep fingers away from the spinning cutter. This set-up will follow tapers and curves as well as simple straight lines

Step 4

It is important to consider how you mount the work. It must be held securely so I usually use a four-prong drive and hold the work firmly between centres, but you could also hold the work in a chuck with tailstock support. An indexing facility is also essential for this, but if your lathe doesn't have one, there are several types available to buy or they are quite simple to make. The indexer on my lathe is a screw in pin which locks into a hole in the spindle and can be positioned in up to 36 positions around the diameter of the work