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router + track jig

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Forum topic by MarkCh posted 10-25-2020 01:08 AM 438 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MarkCh

22 posts in 139 days


10-25-2020 01:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jig router track

I wanted the ability to route dados of arbitrary width using a router + track. To do so, I would do multiple passes with a slight shift on each pass. This jig mounts the router to acrylic that shifts, and has a stop on the side for repetition.

This will probably need another iteration. What are your thoughts?


12 replies so far

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MarkCh

22 posts in 139 days


#1 posted 10-25-2020 01:09 AM

Oops, didn’t insert image.

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Rich

6141 posts in 1501 days


#2 posted 10-25-2020 05:36 AM

You have developed what looks like a decent DYI version of a track jig. If it’s working for you, stick with it.

For dados up to what you’d need for a typical cabinet, there are more accurate solutions. Take a look at this concept for inspiration.

I posted my version of that jig on here on LJ.

Still, for anything longer than 30 inches or so, your track jig will do the job. Nice work!

Finally, for precision dados and grooves, don’t overlook the side rabbet plane. I use it often when I need dead-on cuts. With it, you can cut your dado or groove slightly under and plane the sides for a perfect fit.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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SMP

2852 posts in 817 days


#3 posted 10-25-2020 05:52 AM

What do you use for side rabbet? I have been wanting to get an old stanley but i cant find one under $100, so have been looking at the Veritas.

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Rich

6141 posts in 1501 days


#4 posted 10-25-2020 06:30 AM


What do you use for side rabbet? I have been wanting to get an old stanley but i cant find one under $100, so have been looking at the Veritas.

- SMP

I looked at all of them too. The vintage options are beautiful, but I had a heck of a time finding anything that looked complete and usable for a fair price.

The LN set (it’s a pair of planes) is to die for, but again, pricey for the amount of use I’d get. It does have the advantage of the long blades which will be easier to sharpen.

LV is a nice design. It’s similar to the WoodRiver, but has the pivoting cap that would probably make it more comfortable in the hand—but at twice the price.

I went with the WoodRiver. I paid much less than the $90 I see it listed at now. I think it was around $60 or $70. Still, that doesn’t change my recommendation. It’s very uncomfortable to use, but given the amount of time spent doing what it does, it’s no big deal. I really don’t see the LV being that much better.

Those tiny blades are a bitch to sharpen, but that part won’t vary between the WR and the LV.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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therealSteveN

6619 posts in 1485 days


#5 posted 10-25-2020 08:10 AM


I wanted the ability to route dados of arbitrary width using a router + track. To do so, I would do multiple passes with a slight shift on each pass. This jig mounts the router to acrylic that shifts, and has a stop on the side for repetition.

This will probably need another iteration. What are your thoughts?

- MarkCh

Back when I was doing this for money I had the Dewalt tracksaw, and used it. They offered a jig to attach to the rails you mounted a router to, and you just needed to lock it down (required the use of the Dewalt tracksaw clamps) I used exact size bits, the 15/32, and 23/32 for plywood sizes most of the time, and didn’t need any width adjustability. I mostly used it to let in dados for shelves in the cabinets, so I was talking 1/2 or 3/4” plywood.

I find, maybe because I do use the clamps when routing that it locks the track firmly, so even at 8” I don’t get deflection. To be truthful I am usually going across 4’ lengths of plywood, If you are looking at 24” + – as the depth of your cabinet I cut them 48” rout the Dados. Rip the plywood in 2. That way I have placed the Dados at the same exact height, with minimal of measuring, just to make sure the track is set right, and I have dead flat shelves. Plus it has side to side adjustment, so you only had to clamp it close, you could wiggle it over to dead nutz. I also used the track square, to get the track started square to the plywoods edge.

Today I most often see the adjustable width dado jig, they work fine, it’s just at longer length you need to jump from 3/4” stock, to 8/4 or so if you want to make straight true Dados along a full sheet of plywood. The thinner stock can bow, which messes with your line. Even at 4’ length, the 3/4” stock is challenged to flex some.

https://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-plans/routing/exact-width-dado-jig

I also have an older jig. It was called a DadoWiz, and it too seemed to work best on shorter lengths, but it was adjustable width. Now it’s marketed under a different name by Infinity. Again because of the type of track they use, it has a lot of side deflection, so longer pieces are tough to do.

It’s most like your jig, which attached around the rail. The metal jig also registers into the slots on the track, which makes a firmer attachment, and because it’s a 2 spot attachment within the track, twist is impossible. I think using a few 1/4 – 20 through toilet bolts into your track, would firm it up some. See link below.

https://www.infinitytools.com/infinity-tools-precision-router-dado-jig

I used the DadoWiz with essentially the same rail you show. It’s biggest issue is deflection at longer then 2’ or so lengths, and it’s not robust enough if you are trying to plough out a full depth Dado for a shelf, something like 3/8” it’s better to do with a plunge router in 2 passes. That seems to calm the rail wanting to move.

More recently I got a MPower CRB7 router base as a gift. It’s truly the coolest thing to attach to a plunge router I can think of. I make a rabbet on the edge, then using a scrap that fills the rabbet, you can leapfrog it along the piece at really adjustable distances up to around 2’ jumps, and it’s rock solid, and for something with several spacings for drawers, or several shelves it makes it childs play.

Mine came from here. Lew had the best prices available at the time, plus my Wife thinks he’s cute. I had an issue on the one sent to me. I contacted MPower, and within a few days everything was better, so I give them 10 stars for product, design, and customer service.

https://www.chipsfly.com/crb7-router-base.html

Let me know if deflection, and movement aren’t the things causing you to rethink what you have made.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Rich

6141 posts in 1501 days


#6 posted 10-25-2020 05:03 PM

Just a quick followup… Like I said, it looks like you’ve built a solid track solution for your dados (decent was a bad choice of words—it’s far better than decent).

Since you asked for thoughts, one thing that would enhance its usability is if you could incorporate a lead screw for adjustments as you sneak up on the fit. With an acme screw having a 16 pitch, you could easily make adjustments of 1/64” with a quarter-turn. That would be simple to accomplish with just the screw. Attaching a larger knob to the screw head with marks indicating smaller increments than 1/4 would offer even finer adjustments visually.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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MarkCh

22 posts in 139 days


#7 posted 10-25-2020 06:48 PM

Thanks, I appreciate the thoughts! I’ll help walk it back to just decent—the dimensions are a little wonky and the acrylic is too small to see how the bit lines up when placing the track. For a hack with scrap, it works as a prototype. I gave up trying to get a jig right on the first try.

I think the dado jig you posted is in my near future. I didn’t realize a guide bushing was a thing, and it looks like one can get a lot of mileage out of it.

For the dado jig – it looks like yours and the WM one use solid wood in construction. Is this so the bushing moves more easily? I also started playing around with engineered hardwood flooring as a material for jigs—people are often selling high-end leftovers on craigslist that have 1/4” hardwood laminated onto 1/2” plywood. Dimensionally stable and has a smooth/strong surface. But, as with all this, open to learn.

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SMP

2852 posts in 817 days


#8 posted 10-25-2020 06:59 PM


The LN set (it s a pair of planes) is to die for, but again, pricey for the amount of use I d get. It does have the advantage of the long blades which will be easier to sharpen.

LV is a nice design. It s similar to the WoodRiver, but has the pivoting cap that would probably make it more comfortable in the hand—but at twice the price.

I went with the WoodRiver. I paid much less than the $90 I see it listed at now. I think it was around $60 or $70. Still, that doesn t change my recommendation. It s very uncomfortable to use, but given the amount of time spent doing what it does, it s no big deal. I really don t see the LV being that much better.

Those tiny blades are a bitch to sharpen, but that part won t vary between the WR and the LV.

- Rich

Thanks! I always forget about WR planes since I have to drive up to OC for the nearest Woodcraft about an hour and a half drive.

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Rich

6141 posts in 1501 days


#9 posted 10-25-2020 08:16 PM


Thanks, I appreciate the thoughts! I ll help walk it back to just decent—the dimensions are a little wonky and the acrylic is too small to see how the bit lines up when placing the track. For a hack with scrap, it works as a prototype. I gave up trying to get a jig right on the first try.

- MarkCh

Pretty much every jig or fixture I build that I intend for long-term use gets a second iteration before I’m happy with it. That jig I posted the link to was one of them.

Regarding material to make it, anything that’s straight and stable will do. There’s not a lot of drag on the guide bushing, so don’t worry about that part. Your engineered wood will be an excellent choice.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Rich

6141 posts in 1501 days


#10 posted 10-25-2020 09:54 PM

One more thing. Since you’re new to guide bushings, the math is simple, but not always obvious if you haven’t used them. If you notice in the WOOD Magazine article, they’re using a 1” O.D. bushing with a 1/2” bit. That’ll work just fine as long as you maintain that combination. It means there is a 1/4” difference between the bushing and the cut (1” – 1/2” divided by two). Say you needed to cut a groove narrower than 1/2”, you could use a 1/4” bit with a 3/4” O.D. bushing. Basically any bushing and bit combination with a 1/2” delta will work.

I always use a 5/8” bushing with a 1/2” bit. It’s something I just leave on one of my routers since I use it so often. Most templates for things like hinge mortising use that set up, so it’s pretty much my standard go-to choice.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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MarkCh

22 posts in 139 days


#11 posted 10-25-2020 10:03 PM

I appreciate the advice – since I only trust my measurements for the most imprecise of steps, when thinking through the jig construction I figured I would cut an oversized rabbet (depth), then trim off the excess with a bushing+spiral bit. Or is this destined to fail?

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Rich

6141 posts in 1501 days


#12 posted 10-25-2020 10:17 PM


I appreciate the advice – since I only trust my measurements for the most imprecise of steps, when thinking through the jig construction I figured I would cut an oversized rabbet (depth), then trim off the excess with a bushing+spiral bit. Or is this destined to fail?

- MarkCh

That’s the right way to do it. I mentioned it in my project post but didn’t explain it very well, but I cut my replaceable strips for the legs 1/8” oversize so I could use the bushing and bit to trim it to exactly 1/16” of an inch.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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