Router Compass

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Router Compass

Postby kramergwt » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:11 pm

I wanted to really get a perfect match between my inner walls, the plywood frame and larger outer wall. I came up with an idea for a rotating arm that can hold a pencil and then the pencil holder attachment to draw the curve which can be swapped out with another attachment the bolts to a router. I can cut about 1/16” outside the drawn line and then use the router to cut a perfectly round edge that will also be perfectly perpendicular to the wall. Anybody try this kinda thing before? I have to wait for the glue to dry before I attempt to use it. After a light sanding and a coat of George’s Clubhouse Wax or paraffin it’ll be ready for action. I used the flush trim bearing from a dull router bit to keep the hole from getting loose and less accurate. It pressed in nice and tight into the 3/8” drill hole.

I did google this and the do make these but not for the range of radii I am working with and they don’t come with pencil holders. Pretty simple to make.

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Re: Router Compass

Postby halfdome, Danny » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:26 am

Cabinetmakers use trammel points to layout circles and radiuses, similar methodology that you used..
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Before I retired I made radius reception desks and library circulation desks, etc. in my shop for a living.
I made up to 30' radius with the trammel points and 3 sections of 1/8" x 3"x 120" aluminum strips (fastened together) with a fin to attach to my 3 1/2 hp. router.
Worked very effetely since I didn't have a CNC at my disposal.
Good thinking on your part. :thumbsup:
:D Danny
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Re: Router Compass

Postby Aguyfromohio » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:18 pm

Yes, We made such a large radius beam compass for a router for our build.
It worked, with a couple caveats.

When a router is taking a deep cut it can push and pull strongly, so be sure your diameter adjustment mechanism locks very tightly, and take lighter cuts.
Our first cuts were heavy and the compass changed settings, ruining the cut.

We made a simple router mount at one end, just a wide end of the plywood beam with a center hole for the bit and three countersunk holes to attached the router.
We have to take the router completely off the compass to change the bit, there was no way to get a wrench on the collet with the rig assembled.
That sure slows you down, but is suppose that's less of a problem and more of an inconvenience.

It worked and we got the job done with it, cutting very accurate circular arcs with a radius as large as five feet.
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Re: Router Compass

Postby aggie79 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:29 am

I made a jury-rigged router/compass/trammel creation out of a piece of t-track and left over plywood scraps. It was used to cut the upper radius of my doors and door openings:

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I also used it to cut the upper radius portions of my interior door jambs.

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Re: Router Compass

Postby kramergwt » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:02 pm

Aguyfromohio - I did forsee that the router can take on a mind of it's own like I've seen it do in the past, so I figured I would use a jigsaw to cut the initial line and just use the router to trim off 1/16" or so to get the edge clean and perfect. I think the way I designed the slot that the adjustable arm travels on will provide enough friction for the 1/4" carriage bolt and wing nut in the middle that pinches it all together to keep it from slipping. ...all of this stuff is a big experiment so we will see this weekend. :worship: I think the most important thing to do is make sure the router is moving in the same direction that the bit attacks the edge being trimmed.

aggie79 - Well, the idea seems to work because your teardrop turn out beautifully. Love your wheels. I have 3 unpainted 15" smoothie rims that might get painted tonight if it's warm enough & baby moon caps ...whitewall tires on the way but will give the paint a good week to cure before mounting. Looking at yours, they make a huge difference in appearance.

My thing with the router is that the walls I already cut have very minor imperfections and the door shape isn't really what I want to live with so I decided to do it over. ...and since I'm doing it over I thought I'd spend a little more time perfecting what I didn't like in the first attempt. You can get pretty close by cutting and sanding but seems like you can get EXACT cuts with a router and a guide. The first cut of each major shape will also serve as a tracing template and backer for using the router and a flush trim bit to obtain 2 identical sides.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Re: Router Compass

Postby kramergwt » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:00 pm

Yesterday I decided it was to see if this was going to work. I can’t believe how much time and swearing this contraption saved me and the result was as perfect as if it was done on a CNC. Image


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Re: Router Compass

Postby aggie79 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:41 am

Well done! And a fine looking circle cutting jig, I might add. :thumbsup: :applause: :thumbsup:
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Re: Router Compass

Postby tony.latham » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:29 am

kramergwt wrote:Yesterday I decided it was to see if this was going to work. I can’t believe how much time and swearing this contraption saved me and the result was as perfect as if it was done on a CNC. Image


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Looks super! I assume it was bolted in place at the pivot point?

If I ever make another 'drop, I'll start off with a brand-spanking new template...

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Re: Router Compass

Postby kramergwt » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:41 pm

There is a rectangular plate that holds the pivot bolt. I take the bolt out to line the pivot point up with the “crosshairs” I drew on the wood and the I drill 2 or 3 pivot holes for flat head Phillips screws. I drop the pivot bolt in (countersunk from the bottom) and the add the 2 or 3 flat head screws that hold the plat in place (also countersunk). Then I add a brass washer, a nut, a brass washer, a star lock washer, another brass washer and a wing nut (in that order). Sounds complicated but take a few seconds to mount and remove. The plate has 6 places to screw it down so you can position it where the holes might end up being cut off as waste when possible minimizing holes.


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Re: Router Compass

Postby halfdome, Danny » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:18 pm

I dusted off my radius set up today.
I modified a Porter Cable Straight Edge Guide and attached it to a 10' piece of aluminum, I have two more aluminum pieces if the radius is larger.
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Someone made the smaller radius jig for me, must have got it from an article, works great.
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Ignore the collar, it was in the router from anther task.
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A plunge router works best, but any router will do the job, as long as you don't try to hog out a 3/4" piece of material in one pass.
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What I like is how you can fine tune the radius at the edge guide.
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:D Danny
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Re: Router Compass

Postby kramergwt » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:38 pm

That’s nice! I think trying to do the whole cut with the router is where problems occur. I drew the cut line, cut it with a saw, and the made a nice clean finishing pass with the router and it was completely stress free. As useful as this is, I’m surprised that for number of people that I’ve found here that made their own, they’re not readily available at any stores I could find.


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