Make a versatile jig for safe and fast pattern routing
Pattern routing is the perfect technique for cutting multiple, identical workpieces quickly and accurately. With this method, a workpiece is rough cut to its shape at the bandsaw, and attached to a pattern which rides along the bearing of a router bit mounted to a router table. Perhaps one of the most common methods for attaching the pattern to the workpiece is double-stick carpet tape, and while this works, it can be a bit dangerous. The key to using a router table safely is keeping your fingers well away from the spinning bit, and Seattle-based woodwork Tim Celeski has a brilliant solution.
Celeski’s pattern routing jig is composed of two independent components: a base plate and clamping plate. The clamping plate can be locked down to its mating base plate in a variety of positions to accommodate a wide range of pattern shapes. Best of all, the jig uses large toggle clamps which double as handles. They keep your hands clear of the spinning bit and offer great control.
Make your own jigs
To make a jig like the one in the video you’ll need some jig hardware as well as a couple of toggle clamps. Rockler have a great jig hardware kit – Rockler 129-pc Jig Hardware Kit which has all the components you’ll ever need and saves you 50% compared to buying the components individually.
As far as toggle clamps are concerned you can’t go far wrong with the POWERTEC 20305 Vertical Quick-Release Toggle Clamps – they’ve got a 500lb capacity which ensures your workpiece will be held securely.