Attempting to make small parts on any woodworking machine means extra care is needed and almost always some sort of a holding jig to keep your hands and fingers away from cutting bits and blades, which is why this jig is so handy. Router bit spin at very high speeds and for some, just the noise can be intimidating. The high speed spinning bits will normally produce excellent results, but if you ware working with smaller pieces, if then are not supported properly, can whip smaller pieces out of your hand in an instant so support for smaller pars means a safer way to cut, and equally as important ... a better quality cut because working safely means we can take our time to ensure better quality results.

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This small parts holding jig is easy to build and doesn't take a lot of time and when you are done you will appreciate how well it works for holding those small parts in the router table. I started off with some bits of plywood ...

For the base I selected a better quality 1/4 inch plywood 20 inches long by 6-1/2 inches wide. The sliders were cut from 3/4 inch plywood and are 3 inches wide and 10 inches long. The backer board for the jig is also from 3/4 inch plywood and is also 20 inches long.

Small parts jigs

The first thing I did was to mark the sliders as to how they would sit against the backer board, so a little arrow on the top - back side of each slider told me that the arrow would be next to the backer board when the jig was assembled. The reason for this is in case I did not get the exact center of each slide when cutting the slot, at least each slot would align across, and this is only for looks, if the slots on each side are off from one another, the jig will still look fine, it just won't look as good. I cut the slots in the sliders and just made sure that the little arrow on each slider was against the router table fence. I used 1/4 inch up spiral carbide bit and made 5 passes to cut the slots and you can see from he video how easy it is to set up the distance of those slots.

Before taking the jig to the drill press to drill the holes through the base, I fastened the backer board to the base board and when I took you jig to the drill press to drill those through holes, I clamped each slider against the backer board to make sure ti was a snug fit.

the "T=bolts" that I used in my jig were from some knock down hardware that I found at the hardware store. The heads are round, but I grind them so to oposing sides are flat then they work great for recessed T-bolts.

router jig

The base board needed a bit of work to recess holes where the T-bolts heads would fit in so that the bottom of the jig would sit flat on the router table. A couple of shallow forstner bit cuts and small amount of countersinking and T-bolts fit like a glove.

All that remained was to attach a toggle clamp to the top of the backer board near the middle, and then to cut a small recess into the leading edge of the base board so that the base board will not interfere with any parts of the router bit that might be used.

Then it came to testing the jig ... like so many jig this one worked like  dream ... what a great way to make good quailty, safe cut using the router table ... wish I had made one of these years ago ...

Copyright - Colin Knecht

 small parts router jig


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