We have all heard about template guides. They refer to tools that are typically constructed from any sturdy material such as steel and aluminum.
These guides feature cutting slots of specific dimensions according to your project. The cutting lots are used to design some types of joints when it comes to woodworking. Similarly, a router edge guide is a tool that attaches the router to its router base.
It attaches the router to its base, attaching the two components and facilitating the smooth movement of the router on a work surface. The router guide controls the router path. Thus, ensuring the quality of work, precision, and output quality.
What is a Router Edge Guide?
A router edge guide is what attaches to your router. It can follow a curve or straight edges. It is helpful for numerous tasks such as routing groves, creating joineries, and mortising.
While you can do all these things without an edge guide, it is helpful because it helps build fixtures or jigs.
Advantages of a Router Edge Guide
Some of the advantages that come with having an edge guide are;
It Attaches Quickly
An edge guide helps a router attach quickly to its base. It does not need any tools such as wrenches or screwdrivers to connect it.
A router edge guide can be made of different materials such as acrylic, aluminum, steel, or high-grade UHMW plastic. Thus, it is made of durable material and guarantees you service for a longer time.
Easy to Tell As You Approach the Pencil Mark
Most router edge guides are made from clear acrylic plastic. Thus, you get to see as you approach the stopping point, which is an appreciated advantage.
Most guides have laser sights which help knowing where the router should be in relation to the guide, which is a common challenge when setting it up.
Disadvantages of a Router Edge Guide
Here are some of the disadvantages of a router edge guide:
Depending on the router edge guide’s construction, some may not be compatible with some fixed base routers.
Sometimes, depending on the construction material of the router, it may have some quality issues. For instance, it may begin to wobble after some years of use.
How to Construct a Router Edge Guide
The best thing about a router edge guide is building one and customizing it to your liking. If need be, you can make the guide adjustable with bearings that can follow curves.
Take your preferred type of wood, preferably plywood. Cut the guide to the preferred size. Measure the size of the hinge to know what size to cut the plywood to. After cutting your plywood, go to the next step.
Measure the distance between the center where you intend to place the router bit and put it into your router base plate’s outer edge.
You can easily do so by having a v-groove in your router. Because the v-groove bit has a very sharp center, it will be easy to rely on the pointed tip as your reference for the finding center.
In case you do not have a v-groove bit, you can use a small but straight bit. Then, rely on its center as a reference guide.
Put the base plate on. Then, measure the distance between the top of the base plate to the router base plate’s outer edge. Now, set a fence on the table. Remember, the dimensions will vary depending on your router.
Then rip the plywood. Now, you will have two pieces of your material, in this particular example, two pieces of plywood.
Directly attach the piano hinge to these two pieces of wood. To ensure the accuracy of this process, it is necessary that you connect the two parts of your construction material as close as you can. Then, clamp them tightly to each other.Put the pieces on the table (we recommend using double-sided tape) on the hinge of the piano.
Then place it on the barrel of your hinge, which will be directly on top of where the two intersect. We recommend using double-sided tape because it helps hold the pieces in place as you attach them.
Pre-drill the holes. You can use the center finding bit, alternatively the Vix bit. These two bits are ideal for hinges, and they ensure your drilling is done perfectly and is centered in the hole. It is easier if you begin from the outer ends as it eliminates the worry of aligning all the holes in the middle.
Begin by placing screws on the outer ends before beginning to pre-drill the holes at the center. Once the screws are on the outer ends, carefully move the clamps to the center and continue to pre-drill the other holes. Once you are done, put the screws in place. There, you have your complete router edge guide.
When using the jig, line up the edge of your narrower piece with your previously cut mark, and then clamp it down. Gently lift the flap, and you can now route away. Always remember that the jig will always cut through the center. Therefore, you need to have that in mind as you mark out the lines for your cut.
Routing will never be complete without a router edge guide. Be it a cheap or professional router table; router edge guides make it easier.
With our guide above, you are well equipped to make a highly-functional router edge guide. Thus, you can make a router edge that will increase your overall router using experience.
Remember, your router is as good as your construction material. Therefore, you need to use durable material and clamp it together using screws. Router guides are necessary for precision when it comes to inner woodworking.
So whether you are an amateur, beginner, or a woodworking expert, you will find router guides necessary. It can help you see when you are approaching the pencil mark.