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Router stabilising foot.

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Steve Maskery

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I have to make a very shallow groove on the edge of some MDF panels. I have to use a particular wing cutter, because it is a match for some tongued lipping I have made, and that cutter has a 1/2” shank. That in turn means I have to use my big router, but because I want only a shallow cut, most of the cutter has to be shrouded inside the aperture of the fence.

This router is big and heavy and a bit unweildy. The result is that the centre of gravity of the router is way off the edge of the board, most of the weight is unsupported and there is a huge tendency for the router to tip, which would seriously spoil my day.

15 The tilt problem.JPG


The start and stop positions are even worse, there are just a few square centimetres of contact between the router base and the workpiece; it is very precarious indeed.

16 The start position problem.JPG


If I had only these relatively small panels to do, I could groove them on the Router Table, but I also have some 2.1m long panels to do and there is no way I can manhandle them on my own.

The traditional way to overcome this is to fix a teardrop-shape sub-base to the router, but that is not possible here, as the sub-base and fence would get in each other's way.

So I decided to make a stabilising foot to stop my router from tilting.

I started with a piece of 6mm MDF which just fits nicely between the fence rods, and this is then glued across the middle of the base of the foot. This will prevent the foot from twisting.

01 Spacer.JPG


02 Clamp to foot.JPG


That base is 12mm thick, but the distance from the underside of the fence rods to the base is a little over that, so by sticking on a piece of plastic laminate I get the right thickness to make the foot and the router base level with each other, as well as a nice smooth-running surface.

03 Laminate to thickness.JPG
 

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Steve Maskery

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The central hole for the clamping nut is prepared, first by transferring the position from the top surface to the bottom with a 1/16" bit,

04 Transfer centre hole.JPG


then exposing the MDF through the laminate,

05 Expose MDF.JPG


then a 10mm cavity for the nut,

06 Drill 10mm cavity.JPG


and finally right though at 6.5mm for the clamping stud so that an M6 nut can be pulled in.

07 Draw in nut.JPG


08 Underside with nut.JPG
 

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Steve Maskery

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The clamping plate is attached with double-sided tape, and two holes for location pins are drilled,

09 Drill pin holes.JPG


as well as an access hole for the clamping stud.

10 Mark clamp for knob.JPG


The holes which receive the pins are enlarged from 6mm to 6.5mm using a twist drill.

11 Enlarge pin holes in foot.JPG


Two 6mm dowels are glued into the clamping plate, two knobs screwed to the foot and an M6 stud epoxied into the clamping knob.

12 The separated components.JPG


13 Assembled foot.JPG
 

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Steve Maskery

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In use, the stabiliser is clamped to the fence rods. In the start position, I use the foremost knob to stop the router from tipping.

17 Start position setup.JPG


18 Start position grip.JPG


Even with such a small area of contact it is perfectly stable now. As soon as the cut is established I change my grip to the centre knob,

19 Foot in main position.JPG


and as the cut ends, I transfer pressure to the rearmost knob, again keeping the router stable even though there is very little surface contact between the workpiece and the base.

20 Foot in end position.JPG


It works beautifully and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

21 General view.JPG


22 Closeup.JPG


Workshop Essentials 1 - Gravity 0.

:)
 

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xy mosian

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You do keep coming up with cracking stuff Steve. Another great one here! In the 'Get round to it list' already.

xy
 

ColeyS1

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Makes you wonder why they didn't put the fence bars the other way on the router base. Its a good solution to that specific router though. All the routers I've used have had the handles inline with the bars so pressure can be applied easily when using the fence. That router handle/knob arrangement looks like something you'd find on an orbital sander.

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Steve Maskery

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I agree that the pistol-grip design makes the problem worse for this kind of application. This is where I miss my old Elus. I hope that whichever barsteward is using them now appreciates what they have.
 

Aquachiefofficer

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As a novice I'm rapidly learning that a well designed jig can make the job a whole lot easier and more accurate.
Neat solution, thanks Steve.
Regards, Paul
 

Doug71

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Steve, I almost always use my Festool router with the fence on the other side to what you have it so I am pulling router towards me rather than pushing away, I find it much easier. The way you are using it looks really awkward with how you are gripping the long handle but if you go the other way (pulling it towards you) your arm is in line with long handle, it just feels right.

I know the way you are using it you get the wider side of the base on the material but it is much harder to control.

I like your stabilising foot, this does the same job if you use it off the rail, being Festool a bit spendy though.

https://www.ffx.co.uk/tools/product/Fes ... il-Adapter

A good thing about the Festool version is if you replace the bolt in one of the knobs with a longer one that sticks out below the rail adapter you can use it as a trammel for routing circles, maybe you could do this with your design.

Sorry if this is teaching grandmother to suck eggs, I have seen people using the fence both ways but to me pulling router towards me is the way to use it.

Doug
 

AES

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I've not (yet!) met this problem Steve, but when I do? Bookmarked.

Thanks a lot, excellent design and, as always, very well executed.
 

Steve Maskery

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Doug71":kb2hshjl said:
Steve, I almost always use my Festool router with the fence on the other side to what you have it so I am pulling router towards me rather than pushing away, I find it much easier. The way you are using it looks really awkward with how you are gripping the long handle but if you go the other way (pulling it towards you) your arm is in line with long handle, it just feels right.

I know the way you are using it you get the wider side of the base on the material but it is much harder to control.
I'll have to try that, Doug, I've never done it that way. It does seem strange to me, but I won't dis it until I've tried it. Thanks for the idea.

S
 

ColeyS1

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Steve Maskery":bjpsply7 said:
I agree that the pistol-grip design makes the problem worse for this kind of application. This is where I miss my old Elus. I hope that whichever barsteward is using them now appreciates what they have.
They are still available except have a different badge.

Bit cheaper than the festool aswell!!!

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Steve Maskery

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I had an old Elu 177E and a later Dewalt 625.

Ostensibly they were the same, but they were not, the Elu won hands down on quality. The DW wasn't bad, but the Elu was beautiful.

I also had a Trend T11, which again was supposed to be the same. But put a guide bush on it and I got different offsets depending on how I held the router!

Neither could hold a candle to the 177E.

If you've got it, I'd like it back please :)
 

Sideways

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Cuts with half the router hanging over the edge are something I would do without thinking with my MOF96's. I never noticed and it never occurred to me that someone would orient the fence rods 90 degrees out. Yet another reason to keep the Elus going as long as possible.
Good job on the foot though. Homemade jigs and accessories are what make a router so versatile 8) 8)
 

Steve Maskery

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Ah yes, the MOF 96e. I'd like mine back as well, please.
And my SCMS, my CL3, my SM fence, my grandad's pattern-maker's rule, my dad's No 8...
And the other 12K that some unspeakable lowlife thought it was fine to take away.

Me, bitter?
S
 

Steve Maskery

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Actually there is a serious point here.
There is the world of difference between having an MOF 96e overhanging and the Festool 1400 overhanging.

It's the weight.

I have to use the 1400 because of the cutter shank. So the whole unit is much bigger, and heavier, than it would be if I could chuck a smaller cutter in a smaller router.

But given the position that I am in, I think that this is a good solution.
 

xy mosian

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Steve Maskery":2uo57kkz said:
I also had a Trend T11, which again was supposed to be the same. But put a guide bush on it and I got different offsets depending on how I held the router!
I had a very similar problem with my Makita 3600, biggish 1/2" job. The guide bush was eccentric by the best part of 0.5 mm. When I got my smaller Makita I sorted the snag.
Firstly I packed the edge of the 3600 bush rebate with epoxy. Next I used the smaller machine to open out the bush rebate with a circular cut centred on the shaft of the larger router. I had previously virtually cut the power plug from the big router of course.
The result? Turning the larger router around half way along a cut, when using the guide bush, gives no step to the cut discernable to the fingers touch.
HTH, xy
 

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