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 In Tricks of the Trade

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I cut custom base plates for my routers, which not only allows me to adjust the size for better stability, but to better see the work.

They’re 14“-thick Plexiglas that I cut to size and shape on the band saw, then smooth with a belt sander.

I use a hole saw to remove the center, then file the rough edges with a half-round file. I also wrap a camping head lamp onto my routers to light up the bit through the clear plate. –Brian MacAllister

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Showing 3 comments
  • Kenneth Tubman

    Take a large piece of plexiglass and cut a straight edge – then use a circle cutter and router to di sect the straight edge to cut your router base plate.

    Drill holes to match your router bottom and walla – you have a new base plate.

  • Traupmann

    I like your idea of using an added light source. I just ordered a perfect addition for that.

    By using a square base it is very effective. The center is easy to establish by cross-corner lines, then using a pointed bit in the router to match. Mapping the location holes for the attaching of the router is quite easy. Once they are drilled and counter-sunk I mount the router with an under-sized cutter but greater than 1/2″ and work my way up to the desired size. This makes the edge of the square usable for numerous activities. One may also countersink for guide collets.

    I am wondering about using a bandsaw to cut the round base and sanding it smooth. In order to be able to use the edge as a surface to route against the base needs to be either mounted on a lathe, or on a router table with a movable centering pin.

    I hope you find these suggestions helpful.

  • JTH

    I bought a ⅜ inch thick sheet of acrylic just for this but never thought of the headlamp idea. Great tip! I have a Rigid router with LEDs built in but my Bosch and Makita don’t so this could really help. I’m have to give it a shot, especially with the Makita which is a palm/compact router.

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