Pie Crust Table #2: Machining the outside edge of the top

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 05-02-2009 04:19 AM 4918 reads 2 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Starting with the top. Part 2 of Pie Crust Table series Part 3: More work on the top. (Does it ever end?) »

In this installment I will machine the outside edge

The first thing I do is break out my large circle cutting jig. It’s set to give me a 34” circle. Then I drilled a 1/4” hole 3/8” deep into the center of the top to use as a pivot point using a 1/4” dowel. (Don’t go any deeper. This will be machined out later to remove all traces of it.)

After that is done I mark up the top into 8 pie sections and carry the line over the edge a little ways.

While it’s set up I make a blank template from the corner from a piece 1/4 MDF. I just flipped the jig upside down and fed the part. Make sure that you feed it against the rotation of the bit!

Then I assemble my Paper patterns. You can download it HERE in pdf format.

I then marked 3 lines on the MDF matching those I previously drew on the top, again carrying the line over the edge, and then drill a 1/4” hole where they meet.

Then carefully cut out your pattern as shown in the next picture.
Then I lined up the pattern to the edge of the top and the lines drawn as shown. Then tape it down and trace the pattern to your MDF. Then you need to carefully cut out and sand your template. This will give you a template that will allow you to route 1/8th of the top at a time.

The reason I only put the pattern on half of the MDF template is that it allows you to clamp the other half to your top out of the way of your router.

Here is the bit I used for my first pass. That’s a Porter Cable trim router.

Then just line up your lines and add a clamp and you’re ready to route.

Here it shows the cut

Here is the first pass complete.

1/8 of a section complete.

Here I want to add a few comments about routing it. Be very careful of chipout on the sharp points. It turns out that small diameter bit work best. Pay special attention to the grain direction.

I used a 3/4” bit and had some chip out. This required that I reduce the diameter of the top to 33 3/4”. I just used the same template and moved it in 1/8” from the edge and routed it again. Oh, well. Live and learn.

Here’s quick video of that broom I reviewed. You can see just how nice it is to use and how well it works.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#1 posted 05-02-2009 04:31 AM

Hey Gary
This is similar as to how I was going to do My pie crust table top .I got mine from Charles Neils “Router Magic”
This is a great photo aray and Blog. Thanks for the total break down and pattern. Can’t wait for more.
Great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View SawDustnSplinters's profile


321 posts in 3778 days

#2 posted 05-02-2009 04:34 AM

Sweet Rig N Jig my friend, nice explanation of the execution… thanx fer the post

God Bless…

-- Frank, Dallas,TX , , “I have a REALLY BIG chainsaw”

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4397 days

#3 posted 05-02-2009 04:37 AM

Gary. The table top looks great. I wonder about using a carbide spiral bit. You can get them with bearings also.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3752 days

#4 posted 05-02-2009 04:39 AM


I see taking care of your daughter has given you a new skill, you can sweep with one hand and do something else with the other (hold the baby or a camera) ;^)

Thanks for the tutorial. Did you have any problems as you changed the depth of cut on the trim router? Mine always seems to be “off” a little with each adjustment. I wasn’t using a bit with a bearing, however.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10097 posts in 4049 days

#5 posted 05-02-2009 05:20 AM

Very nice approach… Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


18269 posts in 3673 days

#6 posted 05-02-2009 08:32 AM

Nice start. Did you get your pattern some where or draw it yourself?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3710 days

#7 posted 05-02-2009 12:59 PM

Gary, great blog and great project. Weather I ever make one or not You have taught me things already that I only vaguely understood before. (PS where can I get one of those brooms ?)

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3616 days

#8 posted 05-02-2009 02:02 PM

For those who want to supplement Gary’s blog, years ago I came upon a book that is dedicated to making a piecrust table. Making A Piecrust Table by Tom Heller and Ron Clarkson, Schiffer Publishing 1994. Nice job Gary. You appear to be well organized. Keep updating the blog.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4296 days

#9 posted 05-02-2009 02:47 PM

A great tutorial!

An excellent presentation, you can learn something everyday.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View musician's profile


38 posts in 3352 days

#10 posted 05-02-2009 06:35 PM

These tutorials are certainly valuable, and I’m wondering if I am looking at galley proofs for a new book!

-- Joe,Texas,

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4027 days

#11 posted 05-02-2009 07:40 PM

Hi Gary
Nice tutorial – Thanks for the tip on the bit size . I guess I need to get some new bits soon. By the way I cannot download the video on the action of the broom.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3985 days

#12 posted 05-02-2009 11:01 PM

Karson – I don’t have any, so I just used what I had laying around.

Lew – They were off a little, but this isn’t the completed edge anyway.

TopamaxSurvivor – I just took the pattern from the picture in Part #1. Don’t know exactly how close it is though.

rtb – You can find one at any Asian store.

Tony – Don’t know why you can’t see it. Try this:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#13 posted 05-03-2009 11:58 PM

Keep up the good work look forward to the rest of the blog


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3725 days

#14 posted 05-05-2009 10:15 PM

This may be a dumb question, but I noticed that you say “carefully” cut out the pattern. Did you use any tircks to make the smooth curves? I assume it was done on the bandsaw. Maybe it takes practice, but I’m not very good at folloring a line perfectly.

My guess is that the better the pattern, the better the table. Just wondering.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3985 days

#15 posted 05-05-2009 10:52 PM

Hokie – I use whatever method will best do the job. In this case I used a bandsaw to cut close to the line and then a spindle sander to take it to the line. I will also use files and small sticks with sandpaper glued to them for tight areas.

I some cases the pattern doesn’t have to be perfect, just consistent.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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