Shop-Made Router Edge Guide
I've been using my hand-held
router a lot lately. For one project, I had to rout some stopped dadoes. With
this kind of cut (or when you have to rout any groove or profile near the edge
of a piece) an edge guide is almost a necessity. And although most router manufacturers
offer an edge guide as an accessory, it's really no trouble at all to build your
own. As you can see in the photo, it's just a replacement base made of hardboard
with an adjustable hardwood fence.
Base. Start by cutting the base of the edge
guide from a piece of hardboard. Its size isn't all that important. You just want
it big enough to give solid support, but not so big as to be cumbersome, see the
drawing at left. (I made my base 6" x 12".)
In the center of the base, you'll need clearance for the router bit. And the larger
the hole, the easier it'll be to see what you're routing. (I drilled a 1-1/4"
dia. hole with a spade bit.)
Finally, cut two slots for the fence. These let you easily adjust the fence to
the proper distance from the router bit.
Fence. When making the fence, you want a straight, smooth edge to slide
against the workpiece. I made my fence from hard maple, and I check it often to make
sure it hasn't warped. To attach the fence to the base, I just used carriage bolts,
washers, and wing nuts, see the drawing at right.
To use the jig, lock
the fence in position and set it against the workpiece. (One end will need to
be tipped so the bit isn't touching the wood.) Keep a firm grip on the router
when turning it on. Then slowly lower the bit into the wood and push the router
from left to right. Note: If you need to make a dado or groove that's deeper than
1/4", rout it in several passes.