Introduction: DIY Adjustable Router Template

I made this adjustable router template based on Festool's MFS Multi-Routing Template http://amzn.to/1QaqWtM.

Building this thing out of plywood keeps the cost down SIGNIFICANTLY compared to the commercial aluminum model, but fulfills the same features and works with the same clamps!

Specifically, these clamps:

This system offers the most versatile template routing setup that I am aware of, and it can be had with just a couple hours in the shop + a few bucks worth of plywood.

Stuff you'll need to build this:

Step 1: How It Works

T-tracks on the edges of each profile provide the size adjustment, and pocket holes (with machine screws) lock in any specific size.

The hardware used is:

  • #10-32 x 3/4" machine screws
  • #10-32 hex nuts

For a detailed look at the profiles, check out the SketchUp model in the next step!

Step 2: SketchUp Model

Here's a dimensioned view of the profile.

You can download this SketchUp model from my website: http://fasteasysmarttool.com/template/

Step 3: Cut the Plywood

Now to build it! Ripping an 80mm wide board off a sheet of 3/4" plywood.

Step 4: Sand the Plywood

I take this opportunity to smooth the plywood. Best to do this now, as the surface becomes too intricate after all the T-tracks are cut in.

Step 5: Route T-tracks on the Faces

Using the 1/2" keyhole bit (http://amzn.to/1Qassfp), I make T-tracks for the clamps.

Step 6: Test Fit the T-Tracks

The clamp should fit in the slot and slide freely (when not engaged, of course).

Step 7: Route T-Tracks on the Edges

Pockets holes are on a 15° angle, so I set up a 15° fence on the router table for this step.

Now I'm using the 3/8" keyhole bit (http://amzn.to/1o27rGW).

Step 8: Drill Pocket Holes

It may take some trial and error to get the position of the pocket holes just right so it fits in the T-tracks. Just be patient.

Pocket hole jig: http://amzn.to/1QasqEu

Step 9: Cut to Length

Make as many of these as you want, and cut them to any length.

Step 10: Assembled and Complete

You're awesome!

Thanks for reading :)

Comments

author
Jayefuu made it!(author)2016-03-24

Good to see you're on Instructables Kriss!! I've been following you on Youtube and had planned to make one of these soon. I'm going to try using some aluminium cam lock fittings like Ikea use for their furniture as the slanted t-slot looks a bit tricky.

author
Sandray123 made it!(author)2016-03-23

Made mine about a year or so ago. Little different from yours, did not mess with pocket holes or any special angles. Used plywood sandwiched in MDF for stability and applied a coat of Poly so the router would slide smoothly. In the photos cannot see the T-tracks slots (cut with keyhole bit) on the bottom for the hold down clamps. Did not invest in expensive clamps, just took some 6" quick quick clamps and modified one end of each, to fit in the T-track. Added aluminum end plates to prevent blow outs and wear on the ends of each piece.

RouterAdjustableGuide1.jpgRouterAdjustableGuide2.jpg
author
Sandray123 made it!(author)2016-03-23

Made mine about a year or so ago. Little different from yours, did not mess with pocket holes or any special angles. Used plywood sandwiched in MDF for stability and applied a coat of Poly so the router would slide smoothly. In the photos cannot see the T-tracks slots (cut with keyhole bit) on the bottom for the hold down clamps. Did not invest in expensive clamps, just took some 6" quick quick clamps and modified one end of each, to fit in the T-track. Added aluminum end plates to prevent blow outs and wear on the ends of each piece.

RouterAdjustableGuide1.jpgRouterAdjustableGuide2.jpg
author
Sandray123 made it!(author)2016-03-23

Made mine about a year or so ago. Little different from yours, did not mess with pocket holes or any special angles. Used plywood sandwiched in MDF for stability and applied a coat of Poly so the router would slide smoothly. In the photos cannot see the T-tracks slots (cut with keyhole bit) on the bottom for the hold down clamps. Did not invest in expensive clamps, just took some 6" quick quick clamps and modified one end of each, to fit in the T-track. Added aluminum end plates to prevent blow outs and wear on the ends of each piece.

RouterAdjustableGuide1.jpgRouterAdjustableGuide2.jpg
author
Wild-Bill made it!(author)2016-02-21

That is good video and a real beautiful and elegant jig. I like you technique for cutting the angled slot which I think I may have a use for in the future. I rarely need a jig like that, but if I did, I would do a quick one off with 4 pieces of wood. You need to know that I view myself as a wood butcher. For example my router table is just a piece of 3/4" plywood stiffened with some 2x4s and to use it, I just clamp it to my work bench and drop in my router with its fancy Veritas/LeeValley base plate. Fess tools are very nice but they are way too expensive for me and are, in my opinion, designed for old farts like myself but with way too much money. Don't get me wrong track panel saws are really nice as they make panel materials easy to cut, unless of course you have a huge shop with a nice full size cabinet saw in the middle (I would so love to have that). Many of my tools (even my panel saw, tracks and clamps) are second hand. I credit my brother-in-law, a master carpenter, for helping me become a better wood butcher as his favourite comment directed toward me was "You are not building a Piano.". I now only use extreme precession when it is really necessary. I make this point, "You are not building a Piano.", directed to your comments about sanding your jig. A quick sand to quickly round off the edges and remove splitters with 80-100 grit would be a good idea but beyond that, in my opinion, nothing. Remember, it is only a jig.

author
charlessenf-gm made it!(author)2016-02-21

Great video and a neat tool you made. However, if one could afford all those brand new Festools, why not buy the real thing?

Where'd you get all that expensive hardware?

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-21

Money is still money. If it can be saved, why not? Let's be real – building a machine with a motor is a different game than a router template.

I got the hardware from Lee Valley :P Just kidding, I know what you mean. The FAQ on my site should cover it: http://fasteasysmarttool.com/faq

Cheers!

author
Ralphxyz made it!(author)2016-02-21

Wow, $360.00 for the Festool version and I like your version better.

I love the pocket hole clamping that is really great.

I have thought about using other material, but for the ease of building why bother.

If it a piece breaks just make another piece.

Now I still need to understand where to use it. I am just starting to use a router.

author
ILykMakin made it!(author)2016-02-21

Did you apply for patent before posting?

I can see some "Human"/corporation making $$ of this.

author
OmarJ3 made it!(author)2016-02-21

Hi "FastEasy..."

Wonderfully detailed and clear video. However, would make suggestion. I think that plywood (or most woods, for that matter) is relatively fragile, so your T-slots could not take a lot of repeated adjusting, which can crush/fracture the wood. Instead of using regular nuts in the angled slots you might try a 2" long prism shaped steel piece with a tapped hole at center point. This type of hardware is (or was) used to clamp a kitchen sink to a counter top. I'm still drooling after looking at your shop. I WANT THOSE TOOLS :-) BTW, I've done various wood and metal work projects and often jury rig some tool on a "one off" basis. Actually built a standing cabinet from scrap "melamine" found on the street, and used IKEA style "thimble" bolt anchors. Then pocket drilled the doors to take the "invisible" style hinges with makeshift jigs. You seem to be better equipped than Norm Abram on PBS. My career was in production machinery design, and have done some house construction and serious car repair, etc. Cheers, oj

author
WoodCrafts+67 made it!(author)2016-02-15

Nice Work. It looks like this would be a great jig for any workshop. I would certainly use it in mine. Great design.

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-15

Thank you!!

author
procter made it!(author)2016-02-14

I enjoy your presentation style. The content is excellent, and your style makes it even more interesting. Thanks.

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-14

Thank you!

author
cestes1 made it!(author)2016-02-11

ok, so now that you've built it, what do you use it for? I get that it's for a router, but what does it help you do? video, links, etc. would be helpful.

author
Profkanz made it!(author)2016-02-13

easily used for hinge and latch plate mortises on doors etc.

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-11

There's a video on step 1 :)

https://youtu.be/InipG5bb7B4

author
JGDean made it!(author)2016-02-12

While I love many of the Festool ideas, their prices put them totally out of reach for me. Just the screw-type clamps that you show are $43 each, while Bessey makes essentially the same thing for $22, also available on Amazon. I may have champagne tastes, but I have a beer budget. Sorry, Festool.

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-12

That's funny because the screw clamps are $43 for a 2 pack :P $21.50 per clamp, therefore $0.50 cheaper than the Bessey

author
JGDean made it!(author)2016-02-12

Sorry, I missed that part and was going by where it said "Item Package Quantity: 1" . Makita also makes similar clamps ($38.73/pair).

However, I'm enough of a metal-worker to make my own anyway and have made something similar (mine were smaller and lighter-duty). I would have to modify my design to work in a track. The one shown cost less than a dollar.

Clamps 10.jpg
author
the_tool_man made it!(author)2016-02-12

I've been wanting to make one of these for a while now. Thanks for sharing. Nicely done instructable with good photos and video. Well done. Though I feel a touch of irony that with a shop full of expensive Festool equipment, you make a DIY substitute for the Festool jig, lol.

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-12

It's easy to build a tool when there's no motor, or blade involved :)

author
Neeraj+Juneja made it!(author)2016-02-11

Well done! Been thinking of this exact design for quite some time. Nice work.

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-12

That's pretty awesome. It baffles me when multiple people independently co-invent a design!

author
BeachsideHank made it!(author)2016-02-11

Yours may be a better answer than the Festool product which, has at best, mediocre reviews. I had an occasion to build a temporary router template that is close to yours in design, and it did a perfect job for me:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Precision-Router-P...

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-11

That looks great!

author
livichris made it!(author)2016-02-11

$360!!! what a great saving. amazes me how much people will pay for stuff

author
Toolify made it!(author)2016-02-11

Yeah, it's pretty crazy

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi I'm Kriss! I'm 24. I like making tools, jigs, and other random contraptions with wood.
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