Simple Pin Router

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Project by EMVarona posted 06-02-2011 11:14 AM 6862 views 23 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I made the oval box (a few projects ago) I cut five ovals from a ½ in. thick board with a scroll saw and glued four of them, the bottom included, one above the other. The fifth one became the cover. It was a tricky business since it was difficult to follow the line. Of course, sanding saved the day. The output of a pin router requires less sanding. Later in another site, I saw how a simple mirror frame was made with a pin router jig. The contraption used is quite expensive nonetheless I thought I must have this device.

More searches yielded information that led to this project. I have a simple router table that I use for box joints. Just by constructing another contraption, it becomes a pin router. The pin is a drill bit the size of the router bit. The template in this experiment is a white bottle cover attached to board with double-sided foam tape.

So, don’t you worry, if you dream of a pin router, you can make one. It’s really quite simple. Dimensions may vary according to your requirements and the router table you have. Important thing is that the pin is adjustable up and down and sideways and must be rock steady when locked.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

7 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21743 posts in 3309 days

#1 posted 06-02-2011 01:08 PM

Ed, that is a really cool idea. I wondered how you cut out that oval box?? Thanks for sharing!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3489 days

#2 posted 06-02-2011 07:14 PM

Interesting idea, How well does it withstand the force against the pin?

Thanks for sharing


View mfike's profile


100 posts in 3869 days

#3 posted 06-02-2011 07:17 PM

Please forgive my ignorance if this is a stupid question. What’s the difference between the pin router jig and a pattern routing router bit? Don’t they do the same thing?

View bubinga's profile


861 posts in 2871 days

#4 posted 06-02-2011 09:48 PM

Great, simple, and very functional, (I tend to over complicate things sometimes) I have looked at many commercial pin router set ups.
I like the fact that you can use a straight bit, and your pattern is on top. I guess I’ll have to build one similar to yours , thanks for the idea !
I also have some questions ,about scrolling portraits, I will ask under that project

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 3039 days

#5 posted 06-03-2011 02:10 AM

First, thank you all!

Hello Kent, Yes, that was the problem I had to solve after the first trials. The earlier design consisted of the arm and the hole for the drill bit and the tightening screw. That was unstable definitely. The pin yielded to the pressure. To solve the problem, In screwd a block above the drill bit mounting area and drilled a hole through, same size as the drill bit. The tendency to yield disappeared. I guess it can take slightly above average pressure. I intend to make more tests using a new router bit. I believe the pressure is more on the router bit.

Hi mfike,
Yes, there is a difference between a pin router and a pin router jig. From my observation (I won’t claim to know all) is that a pin router is a self contained machine that includes a table, motor, guides, router pin, adjusting facility, etc. It is dedicated only to pin routing. The pin routing jig on the other hand is an attachment or accessory to an existing router table or a similar device like a drill press.

Of course it may be treated as a rhetorical issue. In other words in certain situations it may be used interchangeably depending on who is using it and the context, like the question of the jig saw and the scroll saw. Language is imprecise, constantly changing, and variations are all over. Often one simple idea is subjected to endless debate. Let the debate rage for as long as pin routing jobs are accomplished.

Yes, bubinga,
Glad to answer your questions about scroll portraits.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View Armand's profile


232 posts in 3114 days

#6 posted 06-04-2011 04:01 AM

Another cool idea Ed. Thanks for posting the pics.

-- My Master is Mankind's Greatest Carpenter.

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 3039 days

#7 posted 06-04-2011 01:29 PM

Thank you. I am still experimenting with various shapes to see how well it works out. I tried a flower shape piece but I am not too happy with it. It was not as clean as I expected. It probably is with the stability of the pin, sharpness of the router blade or the template that I shaped from lawanit (masonite). I am sure the system can be refined. I also tried a 2-in. diameter circle with rounded edges. It looked better. The thing is my fingers were too close to the router blade. Extra care must be taken with small pieces.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

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