Popular Woodworking 2004-10 № 143, страница 26

Popular Woodworking 2004-10 № 143, страница 26

Tricks of the Trade

continued from page 22

Zero-clearance Routing

When shaping stock or cutting joints on a router table, it's best if the opening in the table is not much bigger than the bit diameter. This is particularly important if the stock is small, thin or narrow, and therefore is subject to bending or tipping down into the bit opening. Some commercial insert plates include accessory insert rings to reduce the size of the opening, but these don't always sit flush with the plate and can snag the end of a workpiece. Plus, they're only available in particular diameters.

I find a much better solution is to cover the router table's top with a sheet of inexpensive V8"-thick tempered hardboard (such as Masonite) that has been drilled out to create a near-zero-clearance opening for the particular bit I'm using. To locate the hole, I first install a straight bit in the router table and adjust it so it projects just Vl6" or so above the tabletop.

After clamping the hardboard sheet in place, I quickly turn the router on and off to mark the center location of the bit opening. Then I drill a hole with a diameter that only slightly exceeds the diameter of the router bit I intend to use. After lightly chamfering the edges of the hole, I wax the hardboard to

Drill hole in cover to match bit diameter

reduce friction, then install my chosen bit. I clamp my router fence down on top of the sheet and rout away.

Mike Turner Renton, Washington continued on page 26

1/8"-thick hardboard cover

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