router base plates - tricks for aligning screw holes?

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Forum topic by robdew posted 03-11-2009 06:18 PM 5054 views 2 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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86 posts in 3920 days

03-11-2009 06:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I like to make my own router baseplates (mostly out of clear plastic) but I have a #$%!@# of a time getting the screw holes to be accurate.

Any tricks? I know about the template bushing trick, but I don’t have a problem holding the plate center, I have a problem getting the screw holes marked and drilled accurately.

7 replies so far

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3879 days

#1 posted 03-11-2009 07:11 PM

This is how I mark mounting hole for everything. Just finished doing it with a music box movement.

Take a piece of paper and hold it over the base of the router.

mark the hole locations with a sharpie.

Put the paper on the plate, use a punch to mark the holes.

remove paper and drill

For things you can’t drill from the opposite side you of course mark from the wrong side and use it that way.

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3920 days

#2 posted 03-11-2009 07:33 PM

the sharp set screws should be pretty easy to make. Excellent idea.

As for the sharpie method – tried it and it’s not accurate enough.

View Steve Maskery's profile

Steve Maskery

48 posts in 3590 days

#3 posted 03-11-2009 08:16 PM

I use the machine screw method, too. If you grind your own screws, make sure that the point is central on the screw – if it is not then your hole will be off. You can get it pretty central by chucking it in a drill press and using a file with the machine on the lowest speed.

A good idea it to make a marking template from 3/4” MDF, using the machine screw method, and then use that to mark up future router bases. If you make it with 1/8” holes in, you can just clamp it to your material and drill through with a 1/8” brad-point bit, to a a 1/16” depth, then drill properly at whatever diameter you want.

The extra thickness of the MDF means that the drill is held vertically, so it marks the spot accurately


-- The Complete Tablesaw -

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3920 days

#4 posted 03-11-2009 08:45 PM

That’s a great tip to make a master template from MDF.

Ya know, I bet the hardware store has pointed screws in the form of set screws in their hardware section. The threads aren’t exotic.

View Doug S.'s profile

Doug S.

295 posts in 3913 days

#5 posted 03-12-2009 12:34 AM

If you have a Drill Doctor you can put a perfectly centered point on any size machine screw you want otherwise you can grind them freehand and try for the best. Then insert them and tap against the base to mark it. Eagle America also sells (or at least did) some pre-made ones for this purpose and had them listed by router make/model.

-- Use the fence Luke

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3959 days

#6 posted 03-12-2009 12:46 AM

Here is a link to the above sets at Eagle America.

Thanks a bunch Doug S!

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4606 days

#7 posted 03-12-2009 01:16 AM

I use VIX Bits, they are used to align screw holes for hinges.. They have a V and line up perfectly with the existing holes in the new base.. I used double faced tape to hold the original plate to the new surface. Drill the holes and then cut what ever is needed to put your new screws below the surface.

My router offset jig.

Click for details

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

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