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Using a Fixed-Base Router to Make Plunge Cuts

Using a Fixed-Base Router to Make Plunge Cuts Photo I own a fixed-base router, so I figured I'd have to invest in a more expensive plunge router if I ever wanted to make plunge cuts. But then I figured out a way to make safe, accurate plunge cuts with my fixed-base router.

To keep the router from skidding out of control across the workpiece, you'll need a jig that keeps the router base aligned so the bit cuts exactly where you want (Photo at right).

There are only three parts to this jig. The base is a piece of ¼" plywood with a slot down the center to provide clearance for a straight bit. A pair of parallel fences (2×4's) screwed to the base guide the router in a straight line. Finally, a pair of stop blocks define the length of the cut (see Fig.1).

Using a Fixed-Base Router to Make Plunge Cuts Diagram 2

Using a Fixed-Base Router to Make Plunge Cuts Detail After setting the bit for no more than a ¼"-deep cut, tilt the router at an angle, holding one side of the router base firmly against the base of the jig. Then slowly lower the bit into the slot in the jig until the router is flat on the base of the jig.

Now move the router back and forth between the stops. Don't worry about the routing direction since the fences keep the router aligned. You may need to make several shallow passes, depending on the depth of cut.

Have a great weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

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