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I have a project where I have an arbitrary hole in a tabletop that I want to fill with an insert. I would like to use a router t make a plug that matches the hole.

I thought that I could make an oversized copy of the hole by using a 1/2” rabbet. (That you can do). I could then use a 1/4” dia pattern but (that I can’t find) to make the insert from the oversized pattern.

what is the correct method for doing this?

thanks
 

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If it were me I wouldn't make the hole bigger. You might use the 1/2" rabbet on the back side and insert a piece of wood that size and then make a second smaller piece of wood for the top side. You could just make the round plugs cutting it with a jig saw or bandsaw.
 

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what is the counter made of ? how big is the hole ?
photos might help with the most accurate feedback.
 
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where's my table saw?
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First post
I have a project where I have an arbitrary hole in a tabletop that I want to fill with an insert. I would like to use a router t make a plug that matches the hole.

I thought that I could make an oversized copy of the hole by using a 1/2” rabbet. (That you can do). I could then use a 1/4” dia pattern but (that I can’t find) to make the insert from the oversized pattern.

what is the correct method for doing this?

thanks
That all depends if the hole is round or irregularly shaped. A round hole would be the easiest, of course. Just plunge your slightly "oversize" router bit down about 1/16" or so and use a round dowel the same size as the hole. OR you can make a dowel from a different hardwood by drilling a hole in a 1/14" thick piece of steel and spinning the shape into the hole using a powered drill.
If the hole is irregularly shape, consider making a "bow tie" to fill the area. It's often done to prevent pieces from splitting:

 

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An image will be helpful. As a general matter, yes wood and routers can be used to plug holes in a table. That said, how much does it need to match? What is the final use, a work table in the shop or a kitchen table, a butcher block table or something better? Is it currently finished, painted or stained or something else? Are you going to attempt to match the finish after the fact?
 

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You just have a straight router bit, top bearing bit?

So you have a grommet you wish to put in the Said hole?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry that I wasn’t clear. The immediate problem is a 3x4” sacrificial piece of plywood for a drill press. The hole is not exactly square and has round corners. I hand carved a plug for that spot.

the general question is more like— how would you cut an irregularly shaped piece such as a 10” eight point star of plywood or hardwood to inlay into an existing hole. Or, even simpler, how would you create a router table insert that would fit into an existing hole in a router table..

It seems like it would be easy but, I don’t know how to do it.
 

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sketches, drawings and/or photos please
 

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A star? So you are looking for an easy way to do inlay? The word "easy" threw me off. Maybe easy is a word that works. I don't know. Not a word that I would use.

Have you made the star yet? What is the material? Can or does it have a border? How big is this star? As inlay, can you make this star in pieces?

Pattern bushings can be helpful for some applications and are a good tool along with the proper size bit to make router table inserts or router plates.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Sorry that I wasn’t clear. The immediate problem is a 3x4” sacrificial piece of plywood for a drill press. The hole is not exactly square and has round corners. I hand carved a plug for that spot.

the general question is more like— how would you cut an irregularly shaped piece such as a 10” eight point star of plywood or hardwood to inlay into an existing hole. Or, even simpler, how would you create a router table insert that would fit into an existing hole in a router table..

It seems like it would be easy but, I don’t know how to do it.
You can't do that "easily". There is no router bit that will leave sharp points like in the star's tips, because the bits are all round. It will require hand chiseling. Why go to all this work to "patch" a hole in a drill press table, a sacrificial piece? It makes no sense. Start over with another piece that's in better shape!

3-2-21 EDIT: So the sacrifical piece is in the drill press table where it get chewed up by drill multiple holes? You just want to replace that piece when it's time for a new one, so nothing fancy, but it needs to stay in place and be somewhat easy to remove. A square shape would be easy or a large round shape like the inner plug from a hole saw. The plugs would be easy to make from 1/4" thick stock and the outside of the hole could be made by the drill press using the same hole saw. Rout away the depth to the thickness of the material you made the plug from and you will be done.
 
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The immediate problem is a 3x4” sacrificial piece of plywood for a drill press. The hole is not exactly square and has round corners.

Or, even simpler, how would you create a router table insert that would fit into an existing hole in a router table..
This ^^^^^^ might clear up what he wants to do.

Pattern bushings can be helpful for some applications and are a good tool along with the proper size bit to make router table inserts or router plates.
Yes, from what I read he wants to create a pattern of the existing hole. He wants to create this pattern using a rabbiting bit and the proper size bushing riding inside the existing hole, to cut a female pattern, 1/2 inch per side oversize, of the existing hole.

He then wants to use said pattern to cut a male plug, the same size as the existing hole in the drill press table.

At least that is the way I read it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Dave, you are correct.
I am trying to understand how one would approach the problem. This is a learning exercise.

How do you proceed if you have a hole that you want to make a plug for. The problem is that the hole does not go all of the way through the surface.
 

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I would fill it with resin or Bondo - just to get it filled.
photos would help us help you.
 

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How about routing out a square and making a few inserts? That's what I did with mine.
I am trying to understand how one would approach the problem. This is a learning exercise.
How do you proceed if you have a hole that you want to make a plug for.
DrRobert, That is exactly what he is asking; The process of "making a few inserts" to fit his existing opening.
 

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For something like a sacrificial insert in a drill press table the trick is to put the time into making the hole in the table a simple shape so it is easy as possible to make the insert. If you are making the hole in the table with a router the corners can't be square (without using a chisel etc). An easy way to handle it is to drill the corners first with a Forstner bit (a brad point will do). This also makes it easy to grip the corner with your finger to get the insert out.

Here's my 2 DP inserts. In the 2nd you can see screws for leveling. After making the hole I glued a 2nd piece of plywood to the bottom.

424815



424816
 
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