Intro: Acrylic Router Base Plate
It is a very fast and simple project. If you need a base plate tailored to your needs, I will show you how to do it! This type of base plate is most often used for wooden signs, inscriptions and decorative motifs. Depending on your needs and available tools, you can make a base plate in any size and with any handles. Such custom-made modifications make work easier by increasing the precision and convenience of the router.
To view the process of making my base plate in motion, watch the video above, and if you like it, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- 8 - 10 mm (5/16 - 3/8 in) cast acrylic scheet (cast acrylic is more durable than extruded acrylic and better in processing),
- Scrap pieces plywood or wood for handles,
- Bolts, nuts and washers.
- Jigsaw or bandsaw,
- Drill press or hand power drill,
- Belt sander or sandpaper,
- Mini drill/grinder.
Step 2: Layout Design
The size of my baseboard was dictated by the size of the scrap of acrylic I had. Its width was perfect matched to the bottom of the router base, and the length was just right for comfortable placement of the handles. That's all I needed.
If you have an acrylic sheet covered with foil, you can use a marker for design or, like me, peel off the foil on one side, cover it with masking tape and use a pencil to draw. If you have acrylic coated with paper, you have it easier.
I unscrewed the original plate from the router base and placed it in the center of the acrylic sheet. Then I traced the plate around, the hole inside and the holes for screws (here you should especially make sure that nothing moves).
Rounding on the sides I traced using insulating tape (because I had it with me, you can use anything that suits you). Using a ruler and a pencil, I joined the edges of everything I drew earlier, thus creating the shape of the future base plate.
At the end I measured and marked the place where there will be holes to attach the handles.
Step 3: Cutting and Drilling
When the layout is ready, I cut out with the jigsaw (ora bandsaw) everything behind the outside lines.
Then I drill the holes for the fixing screws to the base and the handles. From the bottom of the base plate, I countersunk with a larger bit so that the heads of the screws are flush with the surface.
The largest hole in the middle of the plate is drilled with a hole saw.
Step 4: Making Handles
I made the handles from the round pieces of plywood I have left after another project. Of course, they do not have to be round and it does not have to be plywood, you have to use the shape and material that will be more comfortable for you.
First, I drilled holes for screws, then countersunk with a larger drill bit. In the enlarged holes I hammer in the nuts, thus creating large nuts from the handles.
I screw the handles onto a piece of threaded rod and fasten with nuts. This handles can now be attached to the drill and rounded with sandpaper.
Step 5: Finishing
I used a mini drill/grinder to shape the indentation in the central hole.
I used a belt sander with a P60 abrasive belt to get rid of the saw cut marks and the coarse shape of the sides.
For smoothing the sides and rounding off the edges, I used the abrasive belt P120.
At this step, you can end finishing and go to mount the plate to the router base. I decided to polish all the edges with a felt disc on my mini drill/grinder and polishing compound. This is just an aesthetic procedure and takes some time, especially using such a small tool.
Step 6: Mounting the Base and Handles
Now is the time to screw our new plate to the base, you do it in the same way as mant the original one, but you will probably need longer screws.
To fix the handles, select the screws of the appropriate length so that you can hold the router conveniently, fill the entire space between the base and the handles with washers.
And that's all! Make sure that everything is properly screwed before work. To make it easier to work and not to scratch the base, you can cover it with wax from time to time.