Not every suggestion I receive ends up in a video, often because I just don't have the capacity, but sometimes because what was sent, for some reason it may look like I would need to make a prototype of it before I video that tip, jig, or project. Such was the case with the wood router clamp.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/lJjsj4ZVoPo
I can't take credit for this idea, it was sent to me compliments of the nice folks at the Sunflower Woodworking Guild in the Wichita, Kansas region, who have so kindly kept me on their member's list and send me newsletters and other club notices. What I received were some pictures and some plans from which to get started ...
I must admit when I first looked at the idea, it looked intriguing, but I did wonder just how safe and sturdy it would be to hold a router by its base while clamped in a wood vice. I was also a bit unsure of some of the dimensions on the plans, so I decided to take some time and make a prototype. I very rarely make a video without checking things out first, whether it's a woodworking tip, jig, or other ideas. And so, I went ahead and made this jig and discovered that, yes ... this jig was a solid working project suitable for specific smaller jobs and unique, maybe more remote locations.
I started off by gluing 2 off-cuts of some better quality 3/4" plywood sheets together, the top sheet is slightly smaller than the bottom so that the bottom can be used to more accurately and safely cut this glued-up sheet into 2 evenly sized pieces.
Below is what the finished jig looks like after the anti-skid material has been attached with a few lines of hot glue gun - glue.
When the 2 sides are pushed together firmly they are 4-1/4" wide (front to back) and 6 inches long.
EACH SIDE (finished), is 2-1/8 x 6 inches and 2-1/2 inches high
This means if you start off with 2 quality pieces of 3/4 plywood where the top sheet is about 13" long and 5" wide, glue that ON TOP of the lower 3/4" plywood sheet that is 13-1/2 inches long by 5-1/2 inches wide, should give you enough room to make the same jig I made.
I HAVE A DIFFERENT ROUTER, you may need to start from scratch and work the dimensions back from what YOUR size is.
Once the blocks are glued, dried, and cut into 2 identical blocks, the next thing is to cut out the center holes, the top hole size is important as that is what will hold the router, and the bottom hole is only a vent hole, so not as critical is size.
The top hole will be 4" in diameter, while the bottom 2-1/2 to 3" ... the 4 holes for the 1/4" metal rod is 7/8" in diameter, and the center of each of those holes is 3/4" from each of the 2 sides (as you can see in the picture below)
After all the holes are cut, the next thing is to cut the block's thickness down to what I found best was 1-1/4 inches. (1-18" would be fine too)
Now you will have 4 blocks, 2 lower and 2 uppers with the lower also having the 4 holes near the corners.
Next, you will need to cut the bar holes ... use the method I showed in the video in order to get good alignment.
Finally, you will need to cut the bars to length, I around 4 inches worked well, and you will need to drill holes about 1/4" from the end of each rod, again use the method I described in the video.
Now the 4 halves can be glued together. It's important that the fronts and backs are aligned nicely because this is what will be pushing against the router when it is mounted. I ran mine through my jointer, just to ensure they were perfectly trimmed and even.
While waiting for the glue to harden with the top and bottom, I decided to make a new plate for my router as I was not happy with the large hole in the manufacturer's plate, and I felt it was much too small to do much with. For my new plate I acquired some 1/4 plexiglass, 14" x 10"
For details on how to make the top, see this video I made a few months ago - https://youtu.be/yZielQL1ed8
Once all the parts are assembled, I also decided to add the anti-skid material to my jig, just the clamp an even better chance of gripping the router base, and now it's time to try it out. The first thing I did was try to wiggle the router around in the base. Of course, I first did this with my prototype, which did NOT have the anti-skid material and I was quite surprised at just how well the clamp held the router. It was only then that I was convinced this was a good alternative way of using a router, in the clamping device, for smaller jobs and particularly in times when you were away from the workshop and didn't have the luxury of a full-sized wood router table, such as woodworking demonstrations anywhere, such as a fall fair or woodworking club meeting or any location away from a workshop.
Then I decided to try it with a shop-made wood router fence ... another easy project that worked surprisingly well.
All in all, felt this little jig was a winner, yes it takes a bit of time to make, but if you need to use a mini router table someplace remotely, or even in your own shop, this is a great alternative. I cannot vouch for how it works with other routers, and I would NOT use this method for palm or trim routers, and that I looked at were just too small they are far better off being used with the "plate method" which requires the plate to hang inside some sort of a mini wood router bench to stand as I did in this article, Making a Mini Router Table - http://bit.ly/2K46f5x
Copyright Colin Knecht