Router bases

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Forum topic by Betsy posted 09-30-2016 03:43 AM 1121 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3393 posts in 4526 days

09-30-2016 03:43 AM

I’m lining up some projects I want to do that require using hand held router. I’ll need to make a wider base. Acrylic seems to be the product I see discussed as the go-to product.

Two questions
what is the best thickness of acrylic should I use?
Rocker carries 12×12 1/4” base for $17. I didn’t see that Woodcraft carries sheet goods.
where do you get your acrylic.

I’ve got at least another week before my wrist will be strong enough to start using the hand held routers so I’m going to try in the next week to line up my projects.

Any opinion will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

14 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile


7043 posts in 2896 days

#1 posted 09-30-2016 03:56 AM

I made one with a piece of 1/4” plexi glass. I still us from time to time. The only thing I would do different is use double side tape to hole the factory base to get the hole more accurate. One other thing I used was a chamfer bit. Fortunately I already had one. Mine’s 12” x 12”. You can get it at most big box stores or glass shops.

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

422 posts in 3698 days

#2 posted 09-30-2016 04:28 AM

1/4” plex, with many vendors willing to cut to your shape on ebay. I got a large piece to do routed bowls … 36” x 12”, I think.

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1235 posts in 2865 days

#3 posted 09-30-2016 11:41 AM

Pat Warner

-- Jerry

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5969 posts in 3124 days

#4 posted 09-30-2016 11:59 AM

I prefer 3/8” for the extra stiffness. That’s typically not around the common stores, but US Plastics has it.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2740 days

#5 posted 09-30-2016 12:05 PM

My local glass shop gives away Plexi and Acrylic scraps plenty large enough for jigs and router bases.

I found this out by going in to buy some material and the counter guy pointed me to a plastic trash can and told me to help myself.

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 3697 days

#6 posted 09-30-2016 12:15 PM

Pat Warner

- Gerald Thompson

+1 what he said!

I needed a custom router base for a project that required a big opening for a big bit. He made me one and it was top notch. If he’s a wealth of info too!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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Jim Jakosh

23843 posts in 3736 days

#7 posted 09-30-2016 01:18 PM



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

View a1Jim's profile


117940 posts in 4207 days

#8 posted 09-30-2016 01:31 PM

some people even use plastic cutting boards.


View lew's profile


12951 posts in 4386 days

#9 posted 09-30-2016 02:09 PM

Sometimes the local Lowe’s or Home depot might carry it. I prefer to use clear- larger viewing are under the router.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3077 days

#10 posted 09-30-2016 03:29 PM

I have a Milescraft base plate that came in a kit with bushings,it is the older version of the pic I posted below,I’ve used it often and on different routers ,I’ve been very happy with it.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View HokieKen's profile


12195 posts in 1769 days

#11 posted 09-30-2016 04:11 PM

some people even use plastic cutting boards.

- a1Jim

+1 if it doesn’t need to be clear

If it does need to be clear, big box stores have 1/4” plexiglas but I’d go 3/8 depending on the span and how heavy your router is. You’d have to get 3/8 online (at least I don’t know of anywhere around here that stocks it).

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View oldnovice's profile


7522 posts in 3998 days

#12 posted 09-30-2016 05:03 PM

I have made different bases for my Bosch Colt and, since that is a lightweight router I used 1/4” acrylic (lucite or plexiglass), one for triming edging and one for inlays as the factory base was worthless.
I also incorporated the Porter Cable guide bushings in these bases.

For my Porter Cable routers I used 3/8” acrylic since these are heavier and may flex thinner material.
The longer the base needs to span will also determine what thickness to use.

You can also use:
  • polycarbonate …... Lexan for one
  • acrylic …................ Lucite, plexiglass
  • Micarta …............... phenolic (linen, paper, or fiberglass reinforced)
  • Paperstone …........ counter top material no mineral content as opposed to Corian

Other suitable plastics are available at:
Tap plastics or on line at U.S. Plastic Corp or Professional Plastics

Use breathing protection and carbide bits when machining Corian due to its mineral content!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Betsy's profile


3393 posts in 4526 days

#13 posted 09-30-2016 05:28 PM

Wow – thanks for the responses. This gives me a lot of options. I had thought that plexiglass would not be strong enough to stand up to regular use – but sounds like I thought wrong. Plexiglass is certainly easier to come by and a bit cheaper than acrylic.

Oldnovice – I had to look up Micarta – never heard of it before.

Thanks for the suggestions – hopefully in another week or so my wrist and I will be ready to try out a new router base and work on some new projects.


-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Silverback's profile


18 posts in 3874 days

#14 posted 10-02-2016 06:19 PM

Years ago I found a rubber hydraulic hose manufacturer which had a “cut off” bin with various thicknesses of phenolic. It is very easy to machine and is IMO much better than acrylic or plexiglass even though it is not clear. It does however stink pretty bad when you do. Not sure where you live but you may want to investigate at places like this or plastic shops and ask if they have cut offs for sale. Sometimes it can be very cheap and you can load up.

-- Started with nothing, got most of it left.

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