Router Trammel ... Pinless?

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 12-05-2017 12:12 AM 695 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

609 posts in 2250 days

12-05-2017 12:12 AM

Hi all,

I’m getting around to building a Thien Baffle separator (attempting to, anyway). I found that I need to do a lot of circle cutting and decided to start building a router trammel. For this specific project I can get away with drilling a pin hole in the center of the pieces I’m working with. However, I’m curious to know if there’s a reliable way of centering a trammel that doesn’t involve any drilling or gluing or surface damage to the workpiece.

Also, what do most people build jigs like this out of? I had some 1/4” MDF with melamine on one face that I’m using, with the melamine face down for less friction. I do have some 0.220 acrylic sheet I could use, too.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4428 days

#1 posted 12-05-2017 12:15 AM

Sure, use a vacuum puck.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4428 days

#2 posted 12-05-2017 01:24 AM

I think Micro-fence sells something that uses
vacuum as the fulcrum for a trammel. Very
pricey of course.

View Lazyman's profile


5492 posts in 2168 days

#3 posted 12-05-2017 02:58 AM

You could use some double sided tape to attach a plywood pad that you could place your center hole in. If you don’t want the hassle of cleaning the tape residue off, perhaps you could attach it with 3M command strips for easier removal.

My router trammel was quick and dirty out of a piece of scape 1/2 plywood. I didn’t bother cutting it to any sort of shape. Just drilled a center hole and the 4 mounting holes for my router and another for the pivot point. When I need a different radius, I just drill a new hole and write a note next to it for the distance and size of the bit I used in case I need that radius again.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View cebfish's profile


169 posts in 3469 days

#4 posted 12-05-2017 05:22 PM

I made a small router circle cutter with a small finish nail as pivot point

View pete724's profile


70 posts in 1589 days

#5 posted 12-06-2017 06:52 AM

Agree with Lazyman! Make the hole portable, square, and with corner to corner “centering lines”, like a gun site you know? Also a pad of same thickness as the hole so that the trammel and router are at the same height.

PlexiGlass(acrylic) works fine. Anything nice and flat will work!

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