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routing out lip for a jewelry box top - suggestions needed

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Forum topic by mnorusis posted 11-04-2009 04:20 PM 3273 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mnorusis

153 posts in 2603 days


11-04-2009 04:20 PM

So, I figured out (the hard way) last night that when using a hand-held fixed base router to rout out the lip for the lid os my jewelry box, the router just isn’t stable enough. The slight wobbles when going around the inside edge of the box were pretty bad (to put it nicely). So I’m going to have to use the table saw to cut a 1/2” off the top of the box and try again.

So, the question is, what have others done to get the needed stability? The best I’ve come up with is to use scrap I have on hand to essentially build a larger box around the jewelry box (exact same height) that would act as a platform for the router to run on. I think that would provide enough support.

If anyone has any experience with this, I’d love to hear what worked for you.

Thanks,
Mike


16 replies so far

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lew

11334 posts in 3215 days


#1 posted 11-04-2009 04:29 PM

How about using the router in the router table. Set a straight cutting bit to the “height” of the lip and expose the bit to remove the desired amount. If the lip is on all 4 sides, you should be able to make passes around the box.

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

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mnorusis

153 posts in 2603 days


#2 posted 11-04-2009 04:36 PM

I would definitely do that, but unfortunately I don’t have a router table.

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lew

11334 posts in 3215 days


#3 posted 11-04-2009 05:43 PM

Mike,

If the jewelry box is for your wife, this would be an excellent opportunity to buy a new tool. It goes something like- “this would be so much nicer for you if I just had a router table. I’m so ashamed to give it to you this way”.
Usually works ;^)

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

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mnorusis

153 posts in 2603 days


#4 posted 11-04-2009 05:47 PM

Lew,

That’s what I did to get the table saw, surface planer and router set!

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2634 days


#5 posted 11-04-2009 05:48 PM

I faced the same problem—sewing box lid.

Seemed there were only a few answers (but there are probably more. I’m a n00b):

- become perfect at free-hand routing (yeah, right)
- router table (they CAN be shop-built, reasonably cheaply)
- some sort of shop-built jig, perhaps made with a jigsaw, allowing you to use a router bearing to follow your curve

Me? I bought a router table. I wasn’t going to be able to get it right without it. I see them for sale, used, on CraigsList, daily.

IF you think about going that way, my one piece of advice—if you can get one that’s a cabinet, you’ll have a MUCH easier time with dust control!

Good luck, and … have fun!

-- -- Neil

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3678 days


#6 posted 11-04-2009 06:50 PM

Best option to me is to change your design.

From your description, I can’t determine exactly how you are planning to make your lid fit, but there are many ways to skin that cat. Whenever I find that I don’t have the proper equipment to do something the way I’d like to do it, I either buy what I need, or make a design modification to fit the tools I already own.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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gagewestern

307 posts in 2810 days


#7 posted 11-04-2009 07:33 PM

clamp extra board to box to make wider base for the router to set on

-- gagewestern

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Dan Lyke

1510 posts in 3585 days


#8 posted 11-04-2009 10:09 PM

Although I like the suggestions of those who’ve said modify the design>

A router table is also something you can build from not much more than a 2×4, a bit of melamine coated MDF, and some acrylic from the scrap bin at the plastics store. And getting used to building jigs to hold your router to do things you can’t do with it free-hand is good practice.

Other option if you want to stick with the router might be to just build a bigger base-plate that’ll ride over the entire surface. Take off your existing baseplate, use that as a template to drill mounting holes in a piece of ½ or so ply with a smooth finish (I’ve used pre-finished ApplePly left over from making drawers), countersink those holes, and you can have a 18”x24” or so baseplate (or however big you need to span the top of your box) that should help you keep it steady on the top.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

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mnorusis

153 posts in 2603 days


#9 posted 11-06-2009 06:30 AM

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I nearly decided to modify the design, but I had my heart set on a recessed lid, and since I already messed up once on this jewelry box, I figured I could get more router practice and worst case scrap the box all together.

I decided to use 2×4’s as support on the outside of the box and double-sided tape the box to the workbench so it wouldn’t ride up (actually though of the taep idea after the first rabbet pass when the box rode up). Here are some pictues of the setup.

And the result:

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stefang

15512 posts in 2794 days


#10 posted 11-06-2009 08:18 PM

There are many good ways to solve your problem. One way would be to use double sided carpet tape to attach a piece of wood the height of you jewelry box to the router base. It could also act as a spacer to rub against the side of the box as you rout. I to think a router table would be great, but I do think you should have done the rabbet before you glued up the box. So your problem is really in the sequence of your work, not really how to rout it now. Unless of course,the box is not glued up to begin with. It looks like you got a good result on it anyway. Hope you will post it as a project when it’s finished.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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mnorusis

153 posts in 2603 days


#11 posted 11-06-2009 08:24 PM

Stefang, I hadn’t considered that. Routing out the rabbet before I cut the sides, just like I did the dado (I think it’s a dado?) for the box bottom to slide into, sounds like a great idea. I’ll definitely do that next time.

Thanks!

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CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3678 days


#12 posted 11-06-2009 08:26 PM

Mike hit the nail on the head, now that I see what you were trying to do.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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stefang

15512 posts in 2794 days


#13 posted 11-06-2009 09:07 PM

Mnorusis, dados are a groove across the grain and a groove runs with the grain. So you want to cut grooves for your box bottom. All this terminology seems complicated at first, but if you are talking to another woodworker he will be able to immediately visualize what you are talking about when you speak his language. It’s a lot more complicated for me because I have the English, the Norwegian and the American terminology to cope with. In England for example a rabbet is called a rebate. I usually get so befuddled when I’m trying to explain something that I can’t remember the proper terminology in any language!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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CharlieM1958

16241 posts in 3678 days


#14 posted 11-06-2009 09:37 PM

Now you’re schooling me, Mike. I thought a dado was a dado regardless of whether it was across the grain or with the grain.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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stefang

15512 posts in 2794 days


#15 posted 11-06-2009 10:56 PM

See Charlie, you can even learn something from ignorant people!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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