Router Cradle - change the bit with one wrench!

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Project by Mark Whitsitt posted 07-22-2010 02:10 AM 8339 views 40 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I did do some looking here on LJ for other versions of this fixture, and was only able to find one example, but it is significantly different from the one I’m showing here.

This is NOT my idea! I saw it in a book once, but I can’t remember which one. So, props to the original inventor, eh?

It’s pretty simple… plywood base with “router-diameter” cutoffs to support the ends of the tool, a spacer block (also plywood) to set the shaft locking plate away from the base, and a phenolic shaft locking plate that has a notch just big enough to fit around the flat wrench notches in the shaft.

Construction is entirely pocket holes (Kreg Jig) except for the mounting of the lock plate. That is affixed to the spacer block with wood screws passing through an oversize hole in the plate to allow for a little bit of adjustment of the plate’s position on the router.

Since it’s constructed with pocket hole screws, I can easily remove the cradle box from the base plate. I ran out of time and wasn’t able to complete the dados on the bottom of the cradle box ends, but the intent here is to create a “slot” to store the collet wrench (I’ll update the post when I get back to the dado). Thus, the beauty of the pocket hole… take it apart, put it back together with no significant loss in joint strength!

Usage instructions: set router motor in cradle, shaft is locked in place, loosen collet with wrench and change your bit. This is a reversible process, meaning you can also tighten the collet and take the router motor out of the cradle (grin).

Only one construction note to mention… when you cut the notch, you really have a very small tolerance to hit… to small, shaft won’t fit (obviously), and even just a little to big, the shaft will turn enough to bind against the notch, making it difficult to remove the router motor from the cradle…

Anyway, about a half hour’s work, with 20 min spent on getting the phenolic plate cut and adjusted correctly.


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

16 comments so far

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3968 days

#1 posted 07-22-2010 02:19 AM

Great idea!

View TD69Mustang's profile


84 posts in 4297 days

#2 posted 07-22-2010 02:59 AM


I’m definitely making this jig.

-- Imagine It... Build It... Enjoy It!

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 4174 days

#3 posted 07-22-2010 03:01 AM

You get an A+ on this one.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View panther's profile


59 posts in 4250 days

#4 posted 07-22-2010 03:21 AM

very cool

-- you must live for something or die for nothing (rambo)

View Stevinmarin's profile


838 posts in 4082 days

#5 posted 07-22-2010 03:21 AM

Very cool!

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View BLagather's profile


4 posts in 3923 days

#6 posted 07-22-2010 04:52 AM

Nice jig. The original is from the book Taunton’s Complete Illustrated guide to Jigs & Fixtures by Sandor Nagyszalancczy.

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 4038 days

#7 posted 07-22-2010 04:54 AM

No matter where the idea came from that’s one great jig. Well done.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4315 days

#8 posted 07-22-2010 04:56 AM

Clever idea and makes a lot of sense

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 3986 days

#9 posted 07-22-2010 05:14 AM

@BLagather Yep!!! That’s the one!!! Thanks for reminding me!

And I guess I never thought of this as a “jig”... to me it’s more of an accessory “fixture”...

I’ve always thought of jigs as constructs that guide a cut (for example, dovetail jigs, finger joint jigs, crosscut sleds), and fixtures as something that “fixes” the position of “something else” so you can work on that “something else” without it moving around (e.g. vises, those v-shaped centering fixtures for drilling holes in the sides of round stock and dowels…)

Just a thought…

-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View patron's profile


13716 posts in 4348 days

#10 posted 07-22-2010 05:46 AM

way cool ,

thanks for sharing .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4584 days

#11 posted 07-22-2010 06:10 AM

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4010 days

#12 posted 07-22-2010 06:26 AM

Need drives invention, nice work

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View mafe's profile


12928 posts in 4096 days

#13 posted 07-22-2010 12:44 PM

Great idea thank you.

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

View Houtje's profile


311 posts in 3979 days

#14 posted 10-14-2010 05:09 AM

A very good idea


View mafe's profile


12928 posts in 4096 days

#15 posted 11-10-2010 08:56 PM

Just see your idea used, and want to tell you once more: brilliant!
Best thoughts,

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

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