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Thread: Help with Routing a design into a table

  1. #1

    Help with Routing a design into a table

    Hey guys, I just have a question for some of those more knowledgeable here. I'm building a desk for a buddy of mine and I wanted to put his logo in two places on the top. The table is approximately 1.75" thick. The logo is basically a JR.

    Not sure if this is feasible or a dumb idea, but let me know what you guys think. My idea is to route out the JR about 1/2" to 3/4" deep and on the other side of the table I want to route out a circle slighting bigger then the JR, this way on the top side of the table it looks like the JR is cut out all the way through. Then I'm going to put a piece of acrylic glass on the bottom, silicone it off, and then use color tinted epoxy resin to fill in the JR. Then I want to put LED lights in the bottom circle so the logo glows.

    Anyway, my questions are what's the best way to cut out the circle and the JR logo? I'm assuming a router, but what bits would I use? Also, should I cut out the circle first roughly an inch deep and then cut out the JR so it will go straight through the bottom? Also, if someone has a better idea of how to accomplish this, please let me know.

    I'm an amateur with a router, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you guys.
    Last edited by Mike McCarthy; 07-06-2019 at 3:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    If you have the patience, Mike, you could do all this routing using jigs at the edge of the router base. Remember to practice somethng like this until you feel comfortable going to the real piece.

  3. #3
    Yes, definitely going to practice first. What type of router bits do you recommend for this?

  4. #4
    Obviously you need a template for the JR. So you'll need a template guide for your router and whatever the appropriate width you want. I suggest looking at Woodcraft or Rockler. They also sell letter templates, bushing kits and circle jigs.

    Since the circle is on the bottom, you can use a circle cutting jig that employs a center pin. Or, you can even just route a square since it won't be seen, which will make cutting the acrylic easier, too. I would consider screwing the acrylic to the bottom.

    Router bit depends on width of letters and whether they are flat bottom or not. There are specific bits for sign making.

    Generally, spiral bits will give a cleaner cut.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike McCarthy View Post
    What type of router bits do you recommend for this?
    It's hard to advise without more specifics but I would tend to lean toward a core box bit.

  6. #6
    Thank you for your replies.

    What specifics are you looking for? The table top is black walnut, approximately 1.75" thick. I want the JR to be roughly 6"6" and approximately 1/2"-3/4" deep from the top. Then the bottom cut out will be the rest of the material. Anything else?

  7. #7
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    6" X 6" monogram with a circle around it ? I would say a 3/8" to 1/2" core box bit. Does anyone have any other suggestions ? I'm only guessing here. Even bigger might look good, too, depending on whether the circle is within the 6" X 6" or outside. 3/4" deep seems pretty deep to me. I would normally make it the depth of the radius of the bit.

  8. #8
    So the JR will be roughly 6"6". The circle (or square) is going on the underside. I want the JR to be filled with colored epoxy resin held by acrylic in the underside and the bottom circle or square will have LED light strips so the Jr will glow through the top (hopefully).

  9. #9
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    Mike, I guess I'm dense. How will light shine through 1-3/4" walnut ?

  10. #10
    So I'm gonna cut out the JR roughly 1/2"-3/4" deep, directly underneath that I'm gonna cut out a square a little bigger then the JR and 1"-1 1/4" deep so now the JR will be a hole straight through. I will then attach a piece of acrylic where I cut out the square on the bottom and silicone seal it. Then I'm gonna pour the colored acrylic into the JR from the top. Then, in the hollowed out square on the bottom I will set LED lights and then put some sort of cover so they dont shine out the bottom too. Now if everything in my head goes to plan then the colored acrylic should light up. Just not sure how thick the acrylic can be to still show the light.

  11. #11
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    I get it now, Mike. ..So you have to somehow be sure the closed loop in the "R" doesn't fall out or glue onto the acrylic.

  12. #12
    See, that's why I posted here. Didnt even think of that. What I think I will do tho is cut it out the inside part of the R and then I'll glue it down onto the piece of acrylic that I attach onto the bottom square.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike McCarthy View Post
    See, that's why I posted here. Didnt even think of that. What I think I will do tho is cut it out the inside part of the R and then I'll glue it down onto the piece of acrylic that I attach onto the bottom square.
    ^ The human eye is incredibly attuned to asymmetry, so make sure you get the 'free' part re-positioned accurately.

    Or, maybe cut the letters into the top (center of 'R' is still supported). Then poor the liquid filler in the resulting cavity/cavities, and level/smooth the top as needed. Flip it over and rout the 'light pocket' from below - cutting deep enough to expose the filler. The letter parts should be cast solidly into the filler at this point.

    Not sure what kind of surface texture the bottom routing operation will leave on the filler ....? Might leave tracks? Sanding/polishing required? If so, make the pocket big enough for your favorite ROS, etc.

    Ditto other recommendations - test it first, however you decide.

    And good luck; post pics.
    Molann an obair an saor.

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