Routing a recess for a insetting 12 inch tile in a window bench

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Forum topic by cdp posted 08-19-2014 06:46 PM 2397 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 1399 days

08-19-2014 06:46 PM

I am a novice router user. My wife wants me to inset two 12 inch tiles into a wooden window bench, How can I do this?

8 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2993 days

#1 posted 08-19-2014 07:19 PM

I’m no expert router user, by any stretch of the imagination, but I can tell you what I did wrong and maybe help you avoid at least one mistake I made routing a mortise bigger than the router base..

I used a plunge base router and a straight bit.
I clamped guide rails along the sides to avoid routing an oversize mortise.
The mistake I made, and you want to avoid, is routing all the material away and left nothing to support the router as I moved back and forth. Better to leave some support posts every couple of inches. You can come back and knock them out later.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5701 posts in 2836 days

#2 posted 08-19-2014 07:37 PM

Make a template out of mdf or plywood. It is just a square that is sized the same as the tile. Make the template big enough to clamp down to the bench. Then using a plunge router and template bit, cut out the recess. The bearing on the bit will follow your template, and you can complete the cut in several passes.
Since the template is larger than the router base, you will need to use an auxillary oversized base. You can make one out of plywood. This will prevent the router from falling as it loses contact with the template.
After the recess is cut, square the corners with a chisel if needed.
It is a similar process to cutting a recess for a router table insert.

Good luck.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View cdp's profile


4 posts in 1399 days

#3 posted 08-19-2014 09:31 PM

I think I understand that. There isn’t a lot of clearance on the wall side of the bench, so I guess I need to make my oversized base with the router close to one edge? Oh, and what is a template bit? I was thinking I could just use a straight cut bit. Thank you.

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1965 days

#4 posted 08-19-2014 09:43 PM

A template bit has a bearing on it so the bearing can ride along the edge of the template. The work piece is cut but not the template.

You could also drill the bulk out with a forstner bit and use a chisel to clean out the rest. I did this for a similar project because my tiles were not perfect squares.


View cdp's profile


4 posts in 1399 days

#5 posted 08-20-2014 12:49 PM

Interesting. I may try the forester bit as my recess will have to be very close to the wall at one point – no room for a router. I’m thinking the hardest part would be keeping the recess level, i.e. stopping the bit at the same depth repeatedly. Thanks.

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3166 days

#6 posted 08-20-2014 01:06 PM

You said you were a novice router user, how are you with a drill? I ask because most Forstner bits tell you to only use them in a drill press. It’s obvious BJOday is pretty advanced in his skill set, how about you?

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View cdp's profile


4 posts in 1399 days

#7 posted 08-20-2014 01:22 PM

Good point! At least my concern was valid – I will try this out on some scrap material first for sure. Thanks.

View fuigb's profile


490 posts in 2980 days

#8 posted 08-20-2014 10:21 PM

I hate to sound like the nanny, but I will: clamp that damn board before diving in with the forstner bit.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

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