I don’t fall in love with tools very often but I’m making an exception for this Router Base Jig from M-Power Tools. The first thing I wondered was why is this called a CRB7, if you look on the box, it says Combination Router Base and the 7 just designates how many functions this jig can accomplish.
The base comes partially assembled but has some parts, depending on the router you have, that can be changed to make it fit better. It was at this point I began to see just how innovative this unit is.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/TmdC0m5J8fU
Most router jigs that I have seen, you need to remove the plastic base from the router and re-attach it to the new base, and often, you need to drill and countersink new holes because there is no standard in router base attachment holes.
But this jig is different, it uses the rails that are often used for Edge Guide Adapters ...
But what really sets the CRB7 apart from others is the Micro Adjustment Wheel. This allows the user to make cuts that are precise. For example, if you need a round wooden blank to sit inside of 18.25 diameter opening. This router jig will make that exact cut with almost no fussing around.
One of the most used functions of any wood router is edging. Putting anything from rounded over to decorative edges on things like table tops. One of the challenges of making these cuts is not so much the main cutting, but making the transition from one side to another at the corners. The reason for this is because there is very little of the router base on the wood so it’s very easy to tip the router slightly and make a bad cut. The CRB7 has a very wide base that keeps the router stable, even at the corners so making those corner transitions is much easier.
Another form of edging we often need to do is leveling edge bandings, such as when you are working with special plywoods like Teak or Oak and you want to edge plywood with strips of natural Teak or Oak. The leveling process can be tricky without marring the thin veneer on the plywood. The best way to do this is with one of the accessory bases that easily attaches to the CRB7 and allows quick, simple set up and includes a steel bearing and if you use a Bowl Bit, you can get excellent, no tear out banded edges in no time.
When you examine the CRB7 base, you will notice a series of holes in different parts of the jig, these are used for attachment of other accessories, or you could even make your own custom accessories if needed. One of the things these holes can be used for is in aid of making Dados or Rabbets. Wood Routers make excellent tools for making good clean dados and rabbets and the CRB7 can be used with an edge guide to do this, and if you want to make duplicate dado cuts for things like shelving, utilizing some of the holes on base plate to adapt your own dado blanks is a quick and easy way of making parallel dado cuts.
Making circles with the CRB7 is quick accurate and you can cut circles or arc from 3/4 of an inch to well over 18" or more if you adapt your own circle bar.
I think one of the best functions of the CRB7 is its mortising capabilities. There are 2 ways of making mortises with this jig.
The first is to use the standard jig as it is and utilize the 2 Mortising Pillars that come with the base plate. These pillars are attached in holes in the base plate across from one another. This allows the router and router bit to sit somewhat central, but then my moving the router back and forth on the rails, and in concert with the micro adjust wheel, you can set up amazingly accurate mortise cuts. And if your mortise holes are near the end of the wood, using extension wood is easy and allows the pillars something to ride on and again, you can make mortises anywhere you need.
The second way of making mortises is with another accessory called the MHL (short for Mortise, Hinge, Lock & Flute). This accessory attaches to the bottom of the main CRB7 Base Plate in 2 minutes and even has it’s own adjustment wheel. With this attachment, the jaws of the MHL grab the wood on either side that now allows you to center the router bit where you need the wood and begin cutting mortises.
If you cut a lot of mortises, this attachment is a must. Easy to use, accurate and you can make wide or narrow, short or long mortises in no time. For some, this accessory alone will be enough for them to want to own a CRB7.
This is easily one of the best router jigs I have seen in quality and versatility. If you own a router, this jig will give you a huge bump in accuracy and functionality and really allow you to put your router to work, and it's widely available in the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia and the USA to name a few ... check here for more.
Copyright Colin Knecht