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Thread: Router help needed.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Router help needed.

    I have a router plate - actually a Jessem Router Lift II - that I need to use as a template.
    This is sort of in reverse of what's normally done. Usually you use it to make an outline so you can put a hole in a table top to match.
    I need to do the reverse.

    I need to size a piece of 1/2" plywood to the same size as the opening in my router table.
    I want to mount my trim router in my router table and I need to make a holder for it.

    I plan to double face tape the Jessem to the piece of wood, then use a flush trim bit to route it to size.
    I'm going to knock off the corners before I route it - I just haven't gotten to that stage yet before I took the picture.

    I've done some pattern routing so I'm ok with what to do there. Since this is plywood, there's no grain direction to worry about.

    My only real concern is the fact that the template - in this case a fairly expensive Jessem lift - is made out of Aluminum.
    Is that going to be a problem?
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    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  2. #2
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    Not a problem as long as you set the depth of cut appropriately.

    Make sure you've first sized the plywood to slightly larger than the Jessem plate -- no more than 1/8th of an inch or so.

  3. #3
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    I screw the aluminum to the plywood and run the bearing of a flush trim on the aluminum. Nothing happens to the aluminum. You can always put a layer of tape on the aluminum and then sand the plywood to fit. I usually get a piece of lexan for my mounting. I think your title should have been router base, not just router.

  4. #4
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    Rich--your lift insert is probably a pretty standard size...yours looks like 9 1/4" x 11 3/4". The other real common size is 8 1/4" x 11 3/4". I've got a few spares of the smaller ones that i could part with one cheap--which you could use as a template (or even drill to mount your router in). If you need the other size--i'm guessing that somebody on this forum has one or more they'd like to get rid of. Think about doing a "wanted to buy" in the classified section--might save you some work.

  5. #5
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    Earl - it is a standard 9 1/4" X 11 3/4".
    I do have a 2nd plate but - it's in the table and I have my Milwaukee 5625-20 in it. I was going to use that router for this job.

    I could always stick my Bosch 1617 in the Jessem and take the Milwaukee out of the other plate I guess. I just might do that anyhow. If I do that, I can put the underside of the plate down on top of the plywood and closer to the cutting blades of the router bit. That way if things go bad, it's the underside of the plate that gets dinged.
    With the Jessem, any ding would be on the top.

    Another full sized plate for routing my trim router in won't work. I have a small rectangular aluminum plate I picked up to mount the trim router in.
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  6. #6
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    When I was faced with a similar problem, I ripped 4 pieces of good quality plywood, 2 91/4" and 2 maybe 13" or 14". I just had a flat plate so using double sided tape I taped the plate in place where I wanted to mount it but not too well. I then taped the 4 pieces of plywood against the router plate. Remove the plate which is why you don't want to tape the plate in too well.Using a top bearing pattern bit I just routed a trough the same depth as the thickness of the plate letting the router base ride on the plywood. Let the bearing of the router bit ride along the edge of the plywood pieces. My plate's corners were rounded over but as luck would have it, the half inch diameter pattern bit created curved corners that fit the router plate perfectly.

    Once I was done with that I cut the center of the router table out with a jig saw. I made the depth of the ledge that the plate sits on a tiny bit deeper than the router plate. I used blue tape to shim the plate as required. I maybe could have driven flat head screws flush with the ledge where the plate sits then turned the screws out to level the plate. I didn't think about it at the time. The only problem I had was using plywood that wasn't perfectly smooth, it was a little bit rough. Not bad but a little. Just enough that the double sided tape didn't hold as well as it needed to and one of the 4 pieces of plywood moved a little bit. I caught it pretty quick but there was still some wood filler required. You used to be able to buy premade templates to make your life simple. A very quick browse on hvalleytools.com didn't show one but it might be worth a gander on Rockler etc.

    Edit: Here's a template that looks like it's the correct size. A couple of them even include the recommended router bit.
    https://www.woodpeck.com/router-mdf-...-template.html
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 06-16-2024 at 5:24 PM.

  7. #7
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    Curt - I'm not looking to cut out the router table top so the router plate can fit into it.
    I already have the MDF template from Woodpecker's that I used to do that a few years ago when I upgraded my Rockler plate to a Woodpecker's.

    What I'm doing is making a solid piece of plywood the same size as the hole in the router table top so I can drop it into that hole and close it up.

    Once I get that closed, then I can cut a hole in that plug to mount the small plate that holds my trim router.
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  8. #8
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    Rich, cut the material to the exact dimensions of the rectangle and then round the corners by whatever method you desire so they slip in. You'll want a slight amount of "allowance" for things to fit. You can use the original router plate as an initial template for the corners, cut proud and pattern route or cut proud and sand to the line. If you are using plywood thicker than the the original plate (presumed for sure) use a rabbeting tooling to relieve the edge to where it fits flush in the table. I suggest you locate the exact center of the new flat insert before you round the corners and mark it as that will be useful to you when you make your adaptation for the trim router.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    Curt - I'm not looking to cut out the router table top so the router plate can fit into it.
    I already have the MDF template from Woodpecker's that I used to do that a few years ago when I upgraded my Rockler plate to a Woodpecker's.

    What I'm doing is making a solid piece of plywood the same size as the hole in the router table top so I can drop it into that hole and close it up.

    Once I get that closed, then I can cut a hole in that plug to mount the small plate that holds my trim router.
    Sorry, I misunderstood. Would something like this work for you? It's 3/8" thick and the corner radius is 3/4"

    https://woodhaven.com/products/woodh...7-router-plate
    Last edited by Curt Harms; 06-17-2024 at 10:35 AM.

  10. #10
    So long as only the bearing contacts the Jessem router lift, I don't see how you'd have any problems. Aluminum is much harder than MDF or most woods, so if it doesn't damage them, it won't damage aluminum. You might get some thick, double sided tape or maybe tape something thin in between the aluminum and the plywood to give yourself some clearance so you don't have to worry about a perfect alignment.

    Though I'd probably just cut this down on something like a table saw and then round the corners. To me, that would be easier.

  11. #11
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    I agree with Jimmy. My first thought would be to rough a rectangle and round the corners.

  12. #12
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    Curt - yep that would work just fine. I wanted to try to avoid spending that much on this though.

    Jim & Jimmy - yeah, I had thought of just cutting it. For my use, I could probably even just cut the corners off so they fit.
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  13. #13
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    If you are not comfortable using your existing plate as a template for template routing to make the new plate, just mark the new plate using the existing plate, cut out leaving the line and sand until it fits. I think a lot of people obsess over getting a perfect fit between the router plate and opening in the table when a small gap is not really a problem. The critical thing is to get the plate flush with the top.

  14. #14
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    Okie dokie!
    Almost all done.
    This step is done 100% though.

    I'll put up a few pictures in a couple hours. My phone is dead right now so it needs to charge.

    I put on some strips of masking tape first, then put some double faced tape on top of the masking tape so I had just a tiny gap between the router plate and the insert I'm making.
    I stuck in the starting pin in the plate, stuck my brand new store bought Diablo bottom bearing bit (? I think that's what the bit is that has the bearing on the end away from the router) and went to town!
    Nice smooth exact fit.
    I took the router out of the table, turned the Jessem over with the plywood still attached and stuck it in the table opening. Nice tight exact fit!
    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

  15. #15
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    Perfect fit - and - while I was at it I decided to get a little fancy!
    When they built our house 2 years ago they botched the kitchen counter tops. They had to redo them twice and they left the ones they tore out.

    As a result I have several pieces of 3/4" particle board with Formica (or whatever it is) overing their tops.

    I used the plywood I routed the other day as a template and made insert with a nice slippery Formica top.
    I'll hang onto the template in case I need it again.
    This is about it for today. I'll spend the rest of the day nursing my shiner.
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    "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." - John Lennon

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