Routing with tom O'Donnell

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Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

I have spent a life time working with wood now retired and still working with wood finding new methods of using the World's most versatile Woodworking tool The Router

Friday, June 02, 2006

Small Rectangular Boxes



Small rectangular/square boxes are produced in various sizes and constructed using a number of joints. (See below) Various timbers are available for use from 'square' material to man made moulded materials already sold at the local wood store, or the profile could be added with the router inserted in the router table before the box is constructed.
Some additional mouldings can also be added after the box has been glued together.



Each box can be individually designed and may include one of the following methods of joining each corner.
(1) Simple Butt joint
(2) Rebated Joint
(3) Finger joint
(4) Dovetail joint
(5) Mitre joint
(6) Lock Mitre Joint (Subject to the section of material used)

Mitred Joints
For a number of years we were limited to a number of hand tools available to produce the small box. (Illustrated left).
(1) Tenon saw in a Mitre box
(2) Mitre Saw
(3) Smoothing plane

Consider an alternative method of producing mitres with the aid of the router.

Mitred Corner Boxes
With modern technology, electrical tools have been introduced to make the process of producing the mitres easier, and may consider the project can be produced quicker and more accurately.

Ask yourself is it safer?

The dimensions of the box are approximately 210 x 140 x 55mm and is created from material 8 – 10mm thick, therefore there is a need to consider greater safety awareness before attempting to produce the box. This is an attempt to show how versatile the router can be when the joints are produced with the router.

Inserting the router in the router table may be considered as the obvious choice to construct the joints and many boxes have been constructed this way.


Take time to deliberate on an alternative method that may be considered safer, a method where the router is used in the plunge mode. You may deem this technique to be new and therefore I have found it is necessary to construct a number of detailed drawings to illustrate and assist in the preparation before construction of the joint. .

The 45degree chamfering cutter with a bearing has been chosen to rout the mitres

Jig Holders play an important roll in holding the material secure during the process

The purpose of the jig holder displayed in previous chapters is to assist in securing the material in position in a simple Jig which is inserted into the jig holder. This jig holder will also hold the Template during the process of routing the mitre. Sectional view have also been included building up to the final project as we proceed from stage to stage. Note: Ignore the feint images seen in the drawing as this is a series of drawings that will build up to the final drawing as we proceed in stages.

After the Jig holder is constructed insert a base piece 400 x 300 x 16mm thick (Jig). This will hold the material to be cut in position, therefore converting the base piece into the Jig. It may also be necessary to secure the jig to the sides. This can be achieved with a number of screws inserted through the side of the Jig Holder.