Author Topic: Routing an edge profile without a router table?  (Read 935 times)

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Offline Jimxavier

  • Posts: 31
Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« on: January 11, 2019, 01:58 PM »
I don’t have a router table, but I do have an MFT, OF1400 and a Microfence-both the edgeguide and the guide rail extrusion.

I’d like to know a good method to route an edge profile into wood, for example a picture frame. I’ll need to route a profile on the front, and a space for glass and a backing on the rear.

I understand a router table is ideal, but I’d like to know what I can do with the setup I currently have.

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Offline DynaGlide

  • Posts: 371
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 02:57 PM »
I actually did exactly this recently. Here's the problems I ran into. .you have to layer up the material of same thickness next to each other so your router base has something solid to ride on. Clamping the material is difficult because the router has to move over it so you can't clamp from above. You can try to use the Festool clamping elements but the material is probably 3/4 thick and the elements are almost that thickness so you have to watch out that the router bit doesn't hit your clamping elements. Maybe if you have one of those router pads or a piece of carpet or something that can hold the material in place you'd be okay. I think there's special tapes that work as well.

One thing you could try is to get the material several inches longer than needed so you can clamp both ends without interfering with the router. You'll still need stock the same thickness behind the material to give the router base something to ride on.
@matts.garage

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 67
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 04:17 PM »
If you have a vice/some way to make one with clamps up against a flat vertical surface, you can essentially just clamp your router upside down with the fence attached and use it like a router table. Or, drill a hole in a piece of plywood/your MFT for the bit and put a couple of matching screws down into the base of the router. A router table doesn't have to be fancy - it's just a hole in a table with a router attached to the bottom.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1526
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 04:31 PM »
Typically for things like this you're using a bearing guided router bit that rides on the edge of the work piece.  You don't need a router table for that.  You don't even need your edge guide for that.  But you might need scrap material to place next to the work piece so your router base has a stable surface to ride on if the work piece is narrow.  Does that address your question or was your question really around workholding and clamping that was discussed above?
-Raj

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2625
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 05:10 PM »
Mount your router under a 1/2" piece of plywood with a hole cut in it.  Use clamps and a piece of wood for a fence. 

I think it's the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to do what you want if you don't have a router table.

And for sure the safest way as well.


Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 238
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 05:46 PM »
I often just rest the workpiece onto thin rubber matting, when hand routing with bearing guided cutters.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5802
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 08:41 PM »
There are always a few ways to skin the cat. If I were on a job site and needed results “right now”, then I’d use the shim stock to match material heights method.

However if time is on your side, and it sounds like that’s the situation, I’d follow Neil’s suggestion and cobble together a simple router table. It doesn’t take much effort and the results will be a lot more consistent, will appear more professional and be safer to execute. Especially for a picture frame that will be hung on the wall for all to view. After all, the art work and the picture frame are the focus of everyone’s gaze.

Reading between the lines, I also think that this will not be your last picture frame so start off on the right foot and spend just 30 minutes to construct something that will pay you back 10 times over.  [smile]
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 09:38 PM by Cheese »

Offline Don T

  • Posts: 1875
  • Phoenix, Az
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 11:43 PM »
I have routed many edges without a table. If you keep one handle over the work piece you should be able to put slightly more pressure on that hand and route the edge. You do need to clamp the part and if your routed edge goes all around then you will need to move the clamps to finish the part.
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Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 268
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 12:50 AM »
Personally I think that it depends on the specific job at hand. The relief in the back (for the glassj is easy, a good rabbet router bit set, a way to hold the pieces firmly and a scrap piece of equal thickness to help you stay flat and steady and you are in business. The profile on the front of the frame might be more complicated depending on what you want. There are vertical profiling bits that do a great job for frames but they are used with the piece on edge. That would really require some type of router table to be safe. I would go to a woodworking store with a large router bit selection and work out your profiles. From there we can help you try to plan a safe approach. I also think that there a lot of YouTube videos as well as some great books out there on basic router techniques that might help. There are also a ton of plans out there on how to make a simple router table.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 935
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 06:55 AM »
Could you route the profiles you need on a wider piece of stock long enough to cut your four frame pieces from, the rip off the width you need for your frame.

So as an example if you wanted a finished frame say 2-1/2" wide use a piece of 8" or wider stock. Route the outside edge of the frame on the edge of the board. Then route the rabbit as a dado at the required distance from the edge. Now rip the finished width from the board with a track saw. This would leave a square cut on the inside edge which you would probably want to treat with some profile.

Another option is use a piece of plywood and double stick tape to fix your frame stock to the ply and then do the same with a second piece of stock the same thickness for the rail to ride on. This would keep the frame stock from shifting during routing. The plywood could be clamped to the workbench.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Farming_Sawyer

  • Posts: 125
  • Sawyer, builder, winemaker, farmer, chef
    • Foley's Custom Sawmill
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2019, 07:43 AM »
My first router "table" was an old square dinner table top. The spot where the round steel base was screwed was the perfect size for my porter cable, recess and all. I drilled a hole for the bit to stick thru and grabbed a piece of 8/4 oak for a fence. Drilled a 2" hole in the lower 3rd, most of the way thru. Clamped on the table wherever needed it worked great. I milled all the trim for my first house on that router. Bead board, cove, bullnose, stair treads. It  was only 3ft square but I ran 16ft thru it. Clamped it to hang out of the table saw or work bench. The only real pain was removing the router for other work. Now I just leave it there. Picked up a Ridgid router for rough construction work and an of1400 for everything else.
30 years on I still have the top. I upgraded to a folding router table that I hate. Stuck the Porter cable in that and built a slew of windows on it. But I prefer my old top.
Can't wait to step up to a cms setup.
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Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3652
Re: Routing an edge profile without a router table?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2019, 10:26 AM »
Can you show us a picture of the bit you are using, as the size of the profile and whether it has a bearing will make some difference in the setup.

If the profile is under 2" in height, and you have access to a tracksaw -- or can cut narrow strips accurately on your tablesaw -- another option is to cut the profile into the edge of a wide piece of thicker stock, and then cut off the strips as you go.  I did this a couple of years ago to create some moulding for my miter saw cart using my 1400 (I can no longer remember why I didn't just do it on the router table -- maybe I was trying to use up efficiently some of the 8/4 scrap I had gotten?)  Variations on this process (depending on the thickness of the wood, the height of the profile, and if there's no bearing on the bit) could include double-sided taping of a "fence" to the wood being cut for your edge guide to ride along.

Here are some pictures of the process I used:

290617-0

290619-1

290621-2




I don’t have a router table, but I do have an MFT, OF1400 and a Microfence-both the edgeguide and the guide rail extrusion.

I’d like to know a good method to route an edge profile into wood, for example a picture frame. I’ll need to route a profile on the front, and a space for glass and a backing on the rear.

I understand a router table is ideal, but I’d like to know what I can do with the setup I currently have.
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