making large or highly repeatable router jigs

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Forum topic by Tailor posted 05-12-2009 07:57 PM 1843 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 3317 days

05-12-2009 07:57 PM

I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around a way to do this, and so far have struck out. My gut says there is probably an easy way around it, but my gut has a bad track record.

I am trying to design a jig to allow me to route out many small hexagons about 3 inches across. Each hexagon would be separated from its neighbor by a small piece of square stock that I will later by routing out a square bottomed channel in, so it ends up a bit like a piece of aluminum u channel. In the end it would be a flat surface with cutouts, or a flat surface with another surface glued on that had these shapes cut out. The conglomerate of al the cutouts would make one big hexagon.

If that just made no sense, maybe this rough picture will make more sense.

This Rough Sketch

In the picture, the black hexagons would all be surrounded by the blue border, perhaps 1/4 inch wide with a notch in it. The red circles would be at every place where the corners meet to hide where the router cant cut sharp angles, but are otherwise optional if I learn a way to do it that will allow for crisp angles cut to the 180 degrees for the hexagon corners.

Of course this is only an example, the end goal product would be many more tiles across in size.

I’m either looking for any suggestions on how to go about this. Whether to make a single large jig (and what such a jig would look like). Or if such a task would be better accomplished with a small jig that does one or more hexagons that can be moved around.

Oh, and I guess as a further limiting factor, my toolset might be limited compared to some here.

My current tools:

10” drill press
7.25” circular saw
hand power drill
hand saw (marples Japanese pull style)
hand held power planer
scroll saw
jig saw
an unreliable compound miter saw
plunge and fixed base router
a reallllly crappy table saw.
far too few clamps
pad sander
RO sander
some assorted hand tools

I could justify another tool is there is a tool or two that would make this job easier/doable.

Any advice or tips would be super appreciated. If this isn’t making sense, by all means let me know how I can clarify.

Also, it occurs to me that maybe the router isn’t the way to go with this. So if there is some other better way, I would be open to using another method entirely.

2 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 05-12-2009 08:09 PM

Hey Tailer
If this is meant to be inlay work , I would cut out the shapes you want to cut out of wood or mdf and stick them to your material with double sided tape and then use a pattern router bit in a trim router then inlay those patterns then go on to the next shape and do the same, for the circles & hexagons you just use two different sizes one for the in side and on for the out side. Make sure your patterns are smooth without defects or the router bit will duplicate any defects.

-- Custom furniture

View Tailor's profile


7 posts in 3317 days

#2 posted 05-12-2009 08:25 PM

Hmm, well that sounds like a good reason to figure out how to do inlays. I think I might even have some of those bushings for doing them.

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