Router advice

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Practical_D

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Hello everyone
I am a new member here, but also relatively new to the art of woodworking/ furniture making, especially compared to most members here, after doing some research. On that note I have looked into related threads concerning the help I need but could not find anything related hence my post here.
I am currently building a pair of very unique speaker cabinets with very high end components, and have reached a point where I simply need the holes for speakers and crossovers routed so that they have a flush fit so as not to touch the cloth grille which I am still to make.
My question (sorry for the procrastination), is there a manual version of a router machine, or electronic trimmer?
The problem is that I have spent countless hours making sure the cabinets are identical so as to produce accurate sound ( I will post pics later tonight when I get home), and cannot mess up the holes as if I route even 1mm too deep or too wide, I will have to take the cabinets apart and start again. Upon having done a fair amount of reading, I am of the belief that using a router is sort of an art. I even bought a 1400w router but cut my hand quite badly trying to fit a 1/4” collet into a 1/2” slot ( bad design I think), I did return this. Therefore I am now hoping there is a manual alternative which will perhaps work as slowly as I do!
I suppose my other alternative is to get someone to do it for me, however due to the current social climate, people are avoiding contact with others so am hoping I could do this myself as this is the first of a few pairs I plan on making.
Any ideas?
 

Amateur

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I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to do in the description you give....Post some pictures of you want help so folk know exactly what you are asking.
 

NOTTNICK

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I'd guess that a router would do what you want really well. The art to being successful is in the template you make. If it is really accurate, your cutter depth is accurate and everything is really secure you should be fine. Of course you'd practice lots of times beforehand with scrap wood too to ensure you were confident when you take on the task for real. As said above, pictures would be helpful as I am guessing a bit here.
 

Jameshow

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You can buy Manual router planes which work best on softwood and hardwood. Not sure about manufactured panels.

If your having problems then a table is probably a good idea for repeated accurate cuts.

Cheers James
 

Spectric

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Hi Nick is on the ball, the template is your key to success, a router is not an art form, using a handtools is a real art and why I try to avoid.

I gather you want a circular aperture that is recessed to accomodate the speaker. You could drill the actual hole using something like this


and then the template would allow you to rebate around that edge to the required depth, You need to align the initial hole centre with your template, just mark it with the X & Y axis. You will need a decent router which will probably cost more than paying someione to do the job, unless you have future plans for doing more with a router.
 

novocaine

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You route the recess then you route the hole. You use a circle cutter with your router. Basically a pin in the middle and bar attached to your router.
It isnt hard to do, but if youve never walked before then running might seem impossible. Therefore, practice on a load of scrap.

You could do it with a template and a follower bit but you really dont need to, its a circle.
 

Practical_D

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You can buy Manual router planes which work best on softwood and hardwood. Not sure about manufactured panels.

If your having problems then a table is probably a good idea for repeated accurate cuts.

Cheers James
James this was really helpful! Muchos thanks!
 

Practical_D

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You route the recess then you route the hole. You use a circle cutter with your router. Basically a pin in the middle and bar attached to your router.
It isnt hard to do, but if youve never walked before then running might seem impossible. Therefore, practice on a load of scrap.

You could do it with a template and a follower bit but you really dont need to, its a circle.
The template seems to be the way to go, will make one after work tomorrow. Thanks so much!
 

Practical_D

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Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to respond, apologies but got in quite late this evening so did have the chance to do anything much on the speaker cabinets, but here is a pic of the front from about a week ago which will help give an idea of what I’m talking about...
Recess has to be 9-10mm deep, and 176mm wide, existing holes are 167mm wide.
Also please excuse the derelict surroundings, it’s my spare bedroom which I recently stripped and is waiting some work...
 

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novocaine

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You may find a template harder to use.
You will need a back bearing template follower router cutter. Or make the template the correct size and use a collar on the base.

Do some practice.

Best way to make your template is the way i suggested for cutting the holes.
Ypu will need two and it is imperative that you mark them with lines so you can line up the inner after the outer.
 

Practical_D

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Sorry the last pic shows the hole for the crossover which goes about 7mm wider and just 3mm deep to accommodate a back plate.
 

novocaine

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And now i see your pictures i see what the issue is. you've screwed up the order of operations and cut the holes first. Ah well. Now you need to use a template there is no other way really.
 

Practical_D

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Hi Nick is on the ball, the template is your key to success, a router is not an art form, using a handtools is a real art and why I try to avoid.

I gather you want a circular aperture that is recessed to accomodate the speaker. You could drill the actual hole using something like this


and then the template would allow you to rebate around that edge to the required depth, You need to align the initial hole centre with your template, just mark it with the X & Y axis. You will need a decent router which will probably cost more than paying someione to do the job, unless you have future plans for doing more with a router.
I can’t believe I never saw this before, wow thanks so much! On top of the list for Friday payday!
 

Practical_D

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And now i see your pictures i see what the issue is. you've screwed up the order of operations and cut the holes first. Ah well. Now you need to use a template there is no other way really.
No I should have joined this forum first! Lol.
Will definitely make a template tomorrow. Thanks so much!
 

novocaine

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Trust me on this. We have all done it.
First time i cut a set of component holes i cut them half inch to small. Ive also cut 6x9" hole the wrong shape.
 

Practical_D

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Trust me on this. We have all done it.
First time i cut a set of component holes i cut them half inch to small. Ive also cut 6x9" hole the wrong shape.
Thanks Mr Novacaine, yeah I suppose I’m lucky I got so far with no errors. Have actually found a cheap laminate trimmer which according to reviews is really good.
 

southendwoodworker

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I'm not an expert wood worker, but could what I did recently with my router table help?

I needed a precise hole with a shallow depth.

To create the accurate hole I made a template using a laser cutter. This made the template exact - sub-millimeter exact. Here is a picture of my template: template picture

With my situation I needed the metal plate to fit snug within the hole, so I made my template exactly the same size as the plate using CAD software.

I then used a stubby template router bit seen here in the middle which is this one from amazon which cut to 7.95mm depth. After cutting to that depth all the way around I lowered it slightly more and had the bearing roll against the edge of the 7.95mm bit I cut before.

Here is a picture of the end result for me. I messed up the right and bottom side, ignore them. The left and top are perfect and hopefully gives an idea.

I used a similar cheap router like you linked to previously. To stop it tilting in to the whole I had some off cuts from the board I was routing placed in the middle of the hole to stop the router tilting.
 

novocaine

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buy this one.

(a lot of people have it, it's great)

these router bits


make one of these to make your template with


use your template. superglue and masking tape trick to hold it down.

because you've cut the holes already you can plunge the router there instead of trying to plungcut with a fixed base.
 

Practical_D

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I'm not an expert wood worker, but could what I did recently with my router table help?

I needed a precise hole with a shallow depth.

To create the accurate hole I made a template using a laser cutter. This made the template exact - sub-millimeter exact. Here is a picture of my template: template picture

With my situation I needed the metal plate to fit snug within the hole, so I made my template exactly the same size as the plate using CAD software.

I then used a stubby template router bit seen here in the middle which is this one from amazon which cut to 7.95mm depth. After cutting to that depth all the way around I lowered it slightly more and had the bearing roll against the edge of the 7.95mm bit I cut before.

Here is a picture of the end result for me. I messed up the right and bottom side, ignore them. The left and top are perfect and hopefully gives an idea.

I used a similar cheap router like you linked to previously. To stop it tilting in to the whole I had some off cuts from the board I was routing placed in the middle of the hole to stop the router tilting.
Hey thanks so much for this detailed response. Although I don’t have a laser cutter or anything near, am pretty surgical with my hand tools, rubbing blocks and jigsaw. Hence me wanting to start using a router as I know that with a little practice I should be pretty proficient.
Will work on this template this evening and post a pic or two...
Thanks again!
 
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