Wood Lathe Router Guide #1: Wood Lathe Router Guide

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Blog entry by Jim Jakosh posted 09-12-2012 03:36 AM 13376 reads 14 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’ll take you through the steps I used to build my router guide for my wood lathe. It is essentially a box with adjustable sides and top which has a slot to guide the router bushing. It is made from 5/8” plywood, clear Lexan, Steel and aluminum.
I started with a 11.5×11.5 bottom and cut rabbets on both sides on the table saw and made a cut out for the tail stock. The sides were glued in place held square by a couple scrap blocks. They had T nuts installed for the adjustment screws

The I glued in 4 gussets to hold the box square.

I then centered the bottom guide for the ways in the lathe. It was doweled in place after being set to exactly in the center.

The sides were slotted for the vertical adjustment but I did not have a shot of the radial slots I routed in with my router radius guide. They are shown with the sides in place.

The Lexan top was cut on the table saw and jointer and then had the aluminum blocks added for the threads for the top and the tilt adjustment. The holes were spotted from the upper sides and power tapped on the drill press.
After checking the centering of the fixture to the lathe, I rough cut the slot in the top on the scroll saw to remove the bulk of the material.

The top was then mounted in the mill and the edge was indicated for straightness to the machine and the .625” router bushing slot was cut on center.

It was now ready to try out in the lathe. I first had to make a maple pointer for the index wheel on the back of the lathe. I painted it black and made a silver tip on it.

One of the build criteria was that it needed to be adjustable both ways without turning it around in the lathe. That was done by adding the radial slots and threaded adjustment screw thread in the top.
It can tilt left or right up to 30 degrees for fluting surfaces at an angle. You just take out two of the top wing screws and re locate them in the radial slots and it will swing down.

Now for cutting with the plunge router. I used a scrap piece that was already turned round and a 3/8” bit that was in there from the radial slotting.

Now it is just waiting for its first real job!!

I knew I needed stops for the router and I will make some that sit on top with slots in them and that go around the router to be set to stop the base. I was going to make them sit in the groove to stop the bushing, but I think the ones on top will be more effective and easier to adjust while they are out of the chips.

.....................................................Jim…........... 9 11/2012

I have updated the photos to show the stops on top of the router jig and it’s mounting in my new Nova lathe 8-29-18

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

17 comments so far

View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 3356 days

#1 posted 09-12-2012 03:49 AM

A lot of good designing and planning made for a great router jig for the lathe. I am getting ready to make a router jig for the lathe for tapering purposes.

Glad to see this post. Nicely done! Thanks for the pics and info.

-- " 'woodworker''s a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3365 days

#2 posted 09-12-2012 04:09 AM

Wow Jim this is a serious sort of jig, looks like it’ll handel almost anything between centres
Goin to save this one and study it a bit further, thanks for the info very well done Mate:))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10784 posts in 4594 days

#3 posted 09-12-2012 04:39 AM

Looks like some of Harry’s work is rubbing-off…

Looking good!

Simple way of cutting for sliding Dovetails isn’t it?

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3702 days

#4 posted 09-12-2012 04:42 AM

Fabulous work there Jim. I could see this in use with both the indexing on the lathe as well as with the lathe running. Very well done. Thank you for sharing your engineering.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3398 days

#5 posted 09-12-2012 07:12 AM

Jim you are a Wizard in disguise

The is a very well thought out

and built jig


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2720 posts in 4226 days

#6 posted 09-12-2012 09:19 AM

Great piece of engineering Jim, I can see where you re going with this one. Will store this away for later.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View sedcokid's profile


2736 posts in 4140 days

#7 posted 09-12-2012 11:41 AM

Jim, You amaze me, with all that you do. And now I get to see your engineering abilities!! Can’t wait to see this produce your first real project!!

Thanks for Sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View harry1's profile


530 posts in 2827 days

#8 posted 09-12-2012 01:28 PM

I was hoping to improve on what you came up with Jim.,but WOW, you are one very serious jig maker, I reckon that jig will be copied by turners around the world.

-- Harry, Western Australia

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23554 posts in 3647 days

#9 posted 09-12-2012 02:07 PM

Thank you all for all the nice comments!
G’day,Harry, you were my inspiration on this one!! Thank you!!
I remember talking to you about the tilt portion and this was the best I could do within that box to miss the vertical slots.
I hope it gets copied. I love to share ideas with everyone!
It helps to have a milling machine and this great plywood!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Julian's profile


1493 posts in 3232 days

#10 posted 09-12-2012 02:57 PM

Great jig. I need to eventually make something similar.

-- Julian

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3476 days

#11 posted 09-12-2012 04:35 PM

Thanks for the details Jim. The pictures convey the building steps quite nicely.

Great Jig.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Grumpy's profile


25801 posts in 4393 days

#12 posted 09-13-2012 02:56 AM

Excellent jig Jim. It’s in my favorites box for further reference.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View mafe's profile


12144 posts in 3631 days

#13 posted 09-13-2012 08:38 PM

Jim this is so cool.
Thank you!
The jig is as all you do full of details and good thinking and the blog documents it so weel.
Best thoughts my friend,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Roger's profile


21013 posts in 3346 days

#14 posted 09-14-2012 01:53 AM

Wow! Jim! Way kool! How, or do you lock the piece from spinning. Thnx in advance

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23554 posts in 3647 days

#15 posted 09-14-2012 02:22 AM

Hi Roger. I have to have the piece in a chuck or with a driver buried in it to hold it to the machine. Then in the back where my indexing wheel is, there is a red lever that pushes a pin into the indexing ring and locks ‘er up to keep the spindle from turning during the cut….............Jim

If you right mouse on the 12th photo and click on view image, it will show you the whole picture and then you can see that red lever by the pulley. I don’t know why these photos pulled in with photobucket don’t come out full size right away.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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