Tweaking Pitbull’s Router Trammel

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Project by HillbillyShooter posted 06-24-2014 03:35 PM 5679 views 37 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Before I could build the Thein Dust Separator I recently posted, I needed to come up with a router trammel. But, I couldn’t just leave the basic design alone. The original trammel was posted by Pitbull on Charles Neil’s “In the Workshop” ( c.f., ).

The first tweak was to construct the trammel body out of two ½” pieces of Baltic birch, instead of one ¾” thick piece of plywood. This increased the slide thickness from 3/8” to ½”, and the slide rails from 3/16” to ¼”. The second tweak was to use a brass pressure plate instead of the bare thread end of the tightening knob to lock the sliding trammel arm in place. (Photo 2) This eliminated the marring of the slide top and preserved the slide top for making minute adjustments. The third tweak was to add a Formica base to improve the friction resistance of the trammel base. (Photo 3) I also built it so the router could be aligned to the base with the use of a 30mm template guide (Photo 4), and made an optional sliding trammel arm that uses a Veritas Router Center Pivot (a mounting stud that eliminates the need to drill a pilot hole, Photo 5).

My tweaked version worked great and without any problems. The proof of its effectiveness can be seen in the Thein Separator it was used to construct. (C.f., ) The only change I would make and suggest is to reduce the size of the base from 11-3/4” length to 8”. (Photo 6)

As always, comments (good, bad, critical or whatever) are greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking.

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

22 comments so far

View neverenougftackle's profile


195 posts in 2621 days

#1 posted 06-24-2014 03:57 PM

Now this was worth my time to read and SEE. That tutorial put together by Pitbull was something else,,,,wasn’t it ? That had to take that guy a lot of his time, just for his desire to share and teach.

Now for your Trammel and your Separator,,,you’s been a bussy woodworker !!! Some good worthe while additions there Shooter. That is one elaborate Trammel, yes indedeee !!!!

There must be 100’s,,, well lets say a lot,,,, of these Router Trammel designs out there. When it came down to me having to stop and take the time to make one (that is just about what it takes for me to buckle down to make a jig) mine is different. But one thing about your router base that cought my eye that you did. Was that you have the plastic router’s base dust port. from my experances, that saw dust collects something fearse in that that routed grouve that that router is trying to cut threw,,,,,Good thinking all around Shooter.

View tyvekboy's profile


2005 posts in 3788 days

#2 posted 06-24-2014 03:58 PM

I may have to make me one of those.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30551 posts in 3113 days

#3 posted 06-24-2014 04:59 PM

Excellent construction

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View luv2learn's profile


3065 posts in 3078 days

#4 posted 06-24-2014 07:11 PM

It seems that we woodworkers often find ourselves making one thing so that we can make another thing. No matter what you make John it is always top notch, your router trammel is no exception.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3067 days

#5 posted 06-24-2014 07:45 PM

Guys, thanks to everyone for taking the time to look, comment and favorite. I’m overwhelmed as usual with the great support of LJs.

neverenougftackle—Pitbull did an outstanding job of providing a step by step tutorial on building a Thein Separator with great photographic support. Yes, the saw dust collection on this particular brand of tools is second to none—picks up virtually all the sawdust and very little if any get away.

tyvekboy—can’t wait to see what you add to the design.

Monte—thanks, I appreciate the comment.

luv2learn—truer words have never been spoken, and thanks for the compliment.

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

View TNwoodchuck's profile


102 posts in 4550 days

#6 posted 06-24-2014 08:26 PM

Excellent build and nicely documented so we mere mortals can perhaps make one as well.

Keep up the great work – and instruction.

-- Chuck near Nashville - “All you are unable to give possesses you” (Andre Gide)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24799 posts in 3880 days

#7 posted 06-24-2014 09:22 PM

Very elegant design, John . I love it!!.............Jim

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

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 2963 days

#8 posted 06-24-2014 09:56 PM

Thank you very much John! And of course – you made it. That pretty much guarantees it’s one of the finest jigs money can’t buy. Well done sir and thank you very kindly for the links.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 2745 days

#9 posted 06-24-2014 11:02 PM

This is a Jig? It to me looks like a work of art!!!
Nice build! You have got to love a home made tool.

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View kiefer's profile


5719 posts in 3442 days

#10 posted 06-24-2014 11:55 PM

Just is built like all your jigs and fixtures refined details with absolute precision .
The biggest improvement I notice is the pressure plate detail.
Very well done John and deserving of all the comments above .


-- Kiefer

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2965 days

#11 posted 06-24-2014 11:57 PM

great job.very nice work on the jig!!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View doubleDD's profile


9474 posts in 2818 days

#12 posted 06-25-2014 12:14 AM

This is a fine example of improving on improvements. Nothing is safe with LJ’s around. Excellent work John.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3579 days

#13 posted 06-25-2014 12:17 AM

John, you are a master at engineering with these things. Very nice solution and excellent trammel/jig. I applaud you

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

View changeoffocus's profile


467 posts in 2392 days

#14 posted 06-25-2014 12:19 AM

A functional work of art, thanks for sharing.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3067 days

#15 posted 06-25-2014 01:31 AM

Again, thanks everyone for looking, commenting and favoriting this project.

Church—thanks and if you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to PM me.

Jim—Thanks and I’m glad you like it.

Mark—you are too kind, and I want you to know my brain hurt all morning from your “Truncated Icosahedron challenge” blog—definitely above my pay grade.

Woodman—Thanks, and your frames are the real art.

Klaus—thanks and I agree the pressure plate is the best part. I don’t recall seeing it before, but nothing is new and I’m forgetful.

Marty—thanks and you are too generous.

Dave—Thanks and you’re right that nothing is safe around LJs—we just have to tweak it.

Roger—You are far too kind my friend, and I appreciate you always being there to support my efforts.

Bob—Functional yes but you are being kind to class it as art. Thanks.

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

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