Using Router Jigs


Using Router Jigs:
We explain the importance of jigs for routing.

Trimming a backgammon board made using a tiny diameter cutter and small guidebush to create the V-slots

Routers only work safely and accurately because of ‘control’. Vertical movement can be set easily, but horizontal movement needs some form of guidance. The standard straight fence has its limitations,  but one really useful accessory that comes with a new router is a guide bush. This piece of pressed metal opens up a host of possibilities in terms of accurate guidance and creating specific shapes.

To get the best from jig making you need a router that will accept different size of guide bush. Cheap routers often only have one size, which is still useable but limits versatility

This kitchen worktop jig is used in conjunction with a straight cutter and special worktop bolts to lock the worktop sections together

Ready-made jigs like this one for accurate circle cutting are very useful, but can cost money so be careful to choose the right one for the job

For machining housings or trimming boards a home-made T-square jig with a slot the same width as the guidebush will give easy and accurate machining

For certain jobs, such as creating a false panel effect, the jig can be a frame so the guidebush only runs against one edge

Mark out the intended shape in pencil on the jig material, then increase the amount to be removed to account for the difference between guidebush and cutter diameters. For example: 16mm diameter guidebush minus 9.5mm diameter cutter = 6.5mm, now divide by 2 = 3.25mm (but call it 3mm for convenience). Make the jig opening bigger all round by this final amount – 3mm

Some jigs are better made on a drill press such as this one for a solitaire board. Using a Forsner bit and a fence for guidance, all the jig holes are accurately aligned

This is the result, exactly positioned recesses for the marbles to sit in, made by using a guidebush and a corebox cutter

Here a small jig is being used to help create a much larger one, when the shapes join up the completed shape finally makes sense. Flat shaped jigs like this are often referred to as templates

…and the result, just let your project ideas take flight – just like Percy the pigeon!


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