Product Design #1: ? A worthwhile little attachment for plunging to a center with a router freehand?

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Blog entry by RobynHoodridge posted 07-21-2013 02:37 PM 1937 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Product Design series Part 2: hewing .. axe? (the Hui) »

The router is one of the most versatile tools.
One of the things it does, maybe even better than a hand drill, is bore (plunge) holes.
But accurately placing that hole can include a lot of setting up of fences, and the measuring and calculations that go with it. A drill bit, with it’s central pointed end, is better at placing on the marked crosshairs of an intended hole’s position. But maybe i can get close to having the best of both worlds?

Here’s what i mean about not being able to tell accurately where the router will make the hole.

So i thought: “What if i could make something, like an attachment for the router, that would show me exactly where the centre of the hole it’s about to plunge would be?”
My solution (for my router) is the following:

Which lays into the router base like so:

And has an indicator point which hovers just above the work surfuce, allowing you to position the router to that center point.

Then the little jig / fixture / add-on / THING lifts out quick and easy, and you can make the cut.
Having something to grab hold of when getting it out of the way for the cut keeps it quick and easy. (you’re not going to use something that’s a pain) I glued on a wee handle (rod). A purist woodsmith might like to make one of these indicator things from wood, in which case you’d need holes in the disc to see the pointer, and those holes could be used to grab it out of the seated position. I liked the clear plastic cause it lets light in to see the pointer too.

PS – I know that the bit in the router isn’t for plunge cutting. I just used it cause it was in the collet and shows the principle.

-- Never is longer than forever.

13 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3303 days

#1 posted 07-21-2013 02:53 PM

Nice fixture—well thought out!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 3340 days

#2 posted 07-21-2013 03:11 PM

Thank you HillbillyShooter.

-- Never is longer than forever.

View BBF's profile


144 posts in 2850 days

#3 posted 07-21-2013 03:15 PM

Simple is almost always best and in this case you nailed it.

-- I've never been disappointed buying quality but I have been disappointed buying good enough.

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 3340 days

#4 posted 07-21-2013 04:00 PM

Blush. I agree BBF, simple always wins.

One thing to note about this little fixture is that it might be impossible to use in conjunction with a router’s dust collection.

-- Never is longer than forever.

View sras's profile


5876 posts in 4140 days

#5 posted 07-21-2013 04:31 PM

That’s some good thinking! May I suggest a viewing hole? It might be a nice upgrade if the top surface gets scratched or scuffed. On the other hand, it may not ever be needed – just a thought…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View tefinn's profile


1222 posts in 3448 days

#6 posted 07-21-2013 04:42 PM

You’d better get a patent on that quick! ;)

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 3340 days

#7 posted 07-21-2013 05:00 PM

Haha. Patents are soul sucking. It would make me very pleased to see router manufacturers providing something like this with their routers in the future. In fact, now that it’s in the public domain, technically THEY can’t even patent it. So no one company could stop the others producing them. CENTRE POINT INDICATORS FOR EVERYONE!

sras – a viewing hole is a very good idea. It’s also possible to make one that’s more like a rectangle, or a circle with the sides not present. Then that gap IS the viewing hole. And it uses less materials (manufacturers are you listening?).

-- Never is longer than forever.

View sirsedrith's profile


1 post in 2781 days

#8 posted 07-21-2013 06:06 PM

Dude, that is excellent. Daily conundrums like this one you solved are the sticky wicket of design. Great solve!

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 3340 days

#9 posted 07-21-2013 06:15 PM

Thank you sir. Nice to see you on LJ!

-- Never is longer than forever.

View Gary's profile


1474 posts in 5335 days

#10 posted 07-21-2013 08:14 PM

Wonderful idea. Really nice!

-- Gary, Florida

View indianajoe's profile


55 posts in 2994 days

#11 posted 07-22-2013 01:42 AM

This is a perfect tool in my opinion. Cheap simple and very effective. Very well done

View RobynHoodridge's profile


127 posts in 3340 days

#12 posted 07-22-2013 12:38 PM

Thanks Gary and indianajoe. :)
halim, please don’t use my posts as a place to advertise.

-- Never is longer than forever.

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 4781 days

#13 posted 07-23-2013 01:16 AM

Very good idea and done well.

-- Tom D

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