Overhead Routing: Weird Idea?

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Forum topic by jasoncarpentry posted 02-03-2014 08:55 PM 1118 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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142 posts in 2654 days

02-03-2014 08:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router overhead router radial arm saw drill press

I have a thin 17” diameter disk which needs a cove cut and three roundover cuts around the perimeter. I realize that this can all be done on a router table with the disk upside down, but I’m not yet good enough with the router to do this accurately, and without burning. I really want to see the cuts as I’m making them!

So here’s my idea: Is there a way to securely attach a handheld router to the yoke of a radial arm saw? This would permit me to see the cuts as they’re made, plus change the height, plus move the entire router along the arm as needed. I wouldn’t be using the RAS motor at all; just the mechanism for moving a device up & down, and along the arm.

A second idea, if this is nuts: how about doing the same thing described above, but putting my router bits in a drill press chuck? The immediate problem I see is RPMs; I can’t get more than about 1500 RPM out of my drill press, whereas router bits are designed to work at about 10,000 RPM or more, right?

-- Jim in Tennessee

6 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10401 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 02-03-2014 09:02 PM

There is some availability of router collets to fit the accessory
spindle on some radial arm saws.

I would not advise running router bits in a drill press. A drill
press is not normally designed for side loads.

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142 posts in 2654 days

#2 posted 02-03-2014 09:05 PM

Thanks, Loren: Does anybody know where I can get a collet for the arbor of a 10” 1974 Craftsman RAS?

-- Jim in Tennessee

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2296 days

#3 posted 02-03-2014 09:10 PM

Buy or cobble up a compass jig for the router. You’ll have a hole in the middle to fill, but so what. You can make the entire thing with the jig.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10401 posts in 3647 days

#4 posted 02-03-2014 09:13 PM

Sears used to sell them.

View sawdustjunkie's profile


383 posts in 1717 days

#5 posted 02-03-2014 09:37 PM

Actually, with a circle jig for a route, you could use two sided tape to hold the anchor point down. That way you are not drilling a hole in the center of your disc. You could even make your own jig. There are all sorts of plans on youtube on making one. I saw one that had a small hole for the pivot point and he simply used two sided tape and lined up the small hole over the center of the circle he was going to rout. Seemed simple enough!

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

View Texcaster's profile


1281 posts in 1673 days

#6 posted 02-03-2014 09:40 PM

This is a common set up for binding & purfling on guitars. The problem with overhead routing is the job rising and cutting more than you want.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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