OK, yet another pin routing thread. I figured I wouldn't hijack woodworkers thread again.
So I had a chance to use my pin router this weekend, and it worked great. I used it to make a relief for a house-number sign. It took almost no time at all (carving the molds took some time, but once I had those the sign itself was pretty fast). I switched out the router bit at the end to a half-round to create some nice bevels, and used a half-round chisel to distress the backdrop.
Check out the pics! ( http://www.ulvr.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num 83824903 )
That worked so well I decided to try it out for inlay, and that's where I ran into issues. The problem was/is in creating a inverse mold. I want to be able create accurate inverse molds quickly and easily. So what I tried was plaster of paris. I created a shallow dish, and poured the plaster around my original mold (OK, it was a copy of my original mold, as I didn't want to wreck the original). The hope was to remove the original, and have an absolute perfect inverse. The problem was that the plaster of paris cracked when I was lifting the original. I had sprayed my original with WD-40 before trying this, but I don't think that was good enough. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make this work? If I can get past this hurdle then I should be able to do very accurate, and very nice looking inlay, in very little time.
As far as the pin router goes, if anyone is interested, I created it with MDF which is glued together (I tried putting some screws in, but it seems that screws and MDF don't mix very well...). I used an arm configuration as that would allow me to use bigger pieces. As you can see from the pictures, it's simply clamped to the router table... No bolts required. After playing with it, it seems that that's good enough for what I was doing (cutting 1/4" cedar). It will shift if you push it to hard though, but using the pin router doesn't seem to do that. I have a detachable pin-holder, which holds either a 1/2" or 1/4" pin. I can make another one if required. In the picture you see the 1/2" pin. I cut the 1/2" bin a bit short so I tapped the end and added a bolt, to give me a grip when raising/lowering the pin. The pin can slide up or down if I loosen the wing nuts on the pin holder. I have about 1/4mm play in any direction with a pound of force, which I think is awesome. The whole thing took about an hour plus glue-drying time to put together (but some of that time was spent designing).
If I can figure out how to make inverse molds, I'm thinking of making a bridge configuration for the pin router. That would likely have even less play, and would not have the misalignment risks. But I still need to figure out how to make the inverse molds.