so I have a cabinet to build with a dish display rack which requires
routing 14 identical mortises in alder veneered mdf. a few months ago
I upgraded my drill press to a mill-drill for just this sort of thing.
a router template made with machine tools....
first I ran the "tennon" stock through the performax. there are no
shoulders- the ends of the sticks set directly into the mortises- so
the fit is critical. gang the parts and run them in batches for
consistency. got them to a decent dimension and finish, not trying for
any absolute size, just all the same. all went well.
get out the vernier caliper and measure. parts are within .010 or so.
I'd like better, but I can live with it. Now a little head
scratching... measure the template guide, figure the diameter of the
router bit, the diameter of the mill cutter, the size of the hole I
want to end up with... come up with some numbers to use at the
handwheels of the mill... clamp up a scrap of ply.... plunge the mill
cutter and start counting turns on the handwheel.... simple shape...
somehow I get it wrong the first 2 times, but finally the third try
yields a template that produces a nice tight fit.
I could have made a template that indexed from the previous hole, but
for this one off setup I laid out the pattern on the material and
positioned the template by eye. the sticks seat top and bottom and lie
at about a 10 degree bias to the face of the cabinet, so I made my
template with a lip on both sides so I could turn it over and use it
to cut both left and righthand sets. unfortunately, this made it so I
couldn't get a plunge router in there- the lip got in the way if the
big base. I used a laminate trimmer and tipped it in to plunge the
start cuts, which was a bit hairy. I'll do it differently if I make
another one-perhaps a lip/ fence thing that indexes via pin holes....