Routing with Tom O'Donnell

Projects with the Router 

When was the last time you considered making changes to the way You used the router?

Some routing enthusiasts may consider that the projects published in this section are suitable for producing in the router table and no doubt maybe they can. With a change to routing with the aid of the template guides you can introduce new routing techniques where the projects can be produced with greater safety awareness and in most instances produce a better finish to the edge elliminating a need for spending time sanding the edges.

 Enclosed three snap shots of different style clocks to illustrate the need to understand how the template guides are used with the router.

The router has to be removed from the Table mode if this type of project is to be produced.

This will require a firm understanding as to how the guides are used to determine how the templates are to be produced. Each clock has been produced with the aid of a Jig Holder to hold the material secure and a number of templates.

Each project has it's own stye of template making. E.g. One template for the 12 sided clock. At least three templates for the Mantle clock and two templates for the balloon clock.

When designing projects such as the three presented it is important to start with a full size drawing of what you wish to achieve, then calculate the off-sets required for the Template guide and cutter to be used to complete each process when constructing the project. 


The dish produced from solid material, again is another example of the need for template work at its best. The making of the templates are considered the most important part of the procedure, and care should be taken to produce them without any blemishes as the final result will show up on the finished article.

Templates are not really difficult to produce  once a firm understanding of how and why the template guides are used. Producing the various templates and using the router in the plunge mode will add greater safety awareness when using the router.


Note; The three projects on the left hand side have been completed by members of a class at the Association for the Blind. There is no reason why the balloon clock could not also be achieved by one of the members.

Finding handles to add to your drawer or cabinet in the same material as the cabinet are hard to find,therefore ther is a need to construct your own. With the aid of the template guides and producing the various template handles such as the one published and others can be made with the router in the plunge mode.

The Heart Shaped Boxes were a popular project when I was teaching the blind woodwork at the Association for the blind in Western Australia. The router was the only tool used to complete the project after all the jigs and templates were produced.

With a few more templates the box can be partitioned into three sections


 Experimenting with the guides gave me the opportunity to come up with simple templates to produce the following designs

 Enhance the lid of your boxes with simple patterns produced with the aid of the template guides with the router in the plunge mode

You would need to agree to make an attempt at routing the doors in the table mode would not be advisable; and also if you  considered routing using the conventional method of making a template and using a trimming cutter would not be a viable proposition so an alternative method has to be created

Kitchen Cabinet doors. 

With a firm understanding as to how the guides can be used it is possible to produce the door designs posted here.

No matter what project is contemplated or how it is shaped we require to consider the best (safest) method of producing the various sections 

The 12 bottle wine rack has been produced with the aid of the template guides and the router in the plunge mode to produce all the various parts required and construct the joints to put it together.

Note; A project completed by a blind person 


Pedestal table created a new challenge to produce all the components required. Safety was the main factor when choosing the method of construction. Jigs and template were introduced and each section was completed with the router in the plunge mode with the aid of the guides.

Note; The mitres were  produced with the router in the plunge mode with the aid of the guides.

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