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Shop-Made Router Edge Guide

Shop-Made Router Edge Guide Photo I’ve been using my hand-held router a lot lately. For one project, I had to rout some stopped dadoes. With this kind of cut (or when you have to rout any groove or profile near the edge of a piece) an edge guide is almost a necessity. And although most router manufacturers offer an edge guide as an accessory, it’s really no trouble at all to build your own. As you can see in the photo, it’s just a replacement base made of hardboard with an adjustable hardwood fence.


Shop-Made Router Edge Guide Diagram 1 Start by cutting the base of the edge guide from a piece of hardboard. Its size isn’t all that important. You just want it big enough to give solid support, but not so big as to be cumbersome, see the drawing at right. (I made my base 6″ × 12″.)

In the center of the base, you’ll need clearance for the router bit. And the larger the hole, the easier it’ll be to see what you’re routing. (I drilled a 1-¼″ dia. hole with a spade bit.)

Finally, cut two slots for the fence. These let you easily adjust the fence to the proper distance from the router bit.


Shop-Made Router Edge Guide Diagram 2 When making the fence, you want a straight, smooth edge to slide against the workpiece. I made my fence from hard maple, and I check it often to make sure it hasn’t warped. To attach the fence to the base, I just used carriage bolts, washers, and wing nuts, see the drawing at right.

In use

To use the jig, lock the fence in position and set it against the workpiece. (One end will need to be tipped so the bit isn’t touching the wood.) Keep a firm grip on the router when turning it on. Then slowly lower the bit into the wood and push the router from left to right. Note: If you need to make a dado or groove that’s deeper than ¼″, rout it in several passes.

Have a nice weekend,
Ted Raife
Online Editor, Woodsmith

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