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I recently purchased a router lift and Im wondering how to go about routing the recess for the plate. I understand how to do it with a template except I didnt spring for the template. It seemed silly to pay $15 for a piece of MDF with a hole in it that I would use one time when I could make one myself. So how do I go about making it? Im baffled yet Im sure theres a simple solution that Im not seeing.
 

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Lay the plate on the table, and then tape (double coated tape) a series of hardwood strips around it, being very careful to keep them tight to the edge of the plate. Remove the plate, and jig saw most of the waste out, maybe 1/4" or so from the edge. . Flush cut the hole to the depth of the plate. Pay attention to the radius of the corners, using a bit with that same radius usually solves the problem. Lastly, it's best to try this out on scrap first to make sure you got it laid out correctly.
 
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Yeah the radius was my concern. If its not right, my OCD will kick in and Ill have to make a new top! Lol. Anyone know off the top of thier head what size the radius is on a JessEm lift? Mine will be here tomorrow so I guess I can just measure it then.
 

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It's not too late to invest the $15.00 in your, by now, many hundreds of dollars router table! However;

I've made a couple dozen cutouts over the years and what works best for me is pretty much what Fred advises. However, I start with a 1/2" pattern bit (has a top bearing) in a router. Most, if not all of the plates I've installed has had a 1/2" radius, so I start out with the required radius in mind.
Using the right-hand rule, I cut plunge thru the top veneer in a clockwise motion with the bearing riding on the edges of the template. The height or thickness of your template depends upon the length of your bit. I use a 1/2" X 1/2" top bearing bit, that's also sold as a dado cleanout bit. After I reach the desired depth, I drill holes in the waste at all 4 corners, and using the edge of the waste as a guide, I cut the waste out. Never had this take over 30 minutes to give you an idea of the job.

Once, I didn't take my own bit to a fellow WWrs shop and the shortest bit he had was a 1" bit. So, we squared up a 2 X 4, and used it as template stock.

Anyway, what ever approach you use....Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's not too late to invest the $15.00 in your, by now, many hundreds of dollars router table! However;

I've made a couple dozen cutouts over the years and what works best for me is pretty much what Fred advises. However, I start with a 1/2" pattern bit (has a top bearing) in a router. Most, if not all of the plates I've installed has had a 1/2" radius, so I start out with the required radius in mind.
Using the right-hand rule, I cut plunge thru the top veneer in a clockwise motion with the bearing riding on the edges of the template. The height or thickness of your template depends upon the length of your bit. I use a 1/2" X 1/2" top bearing bit, that's also sold as a dado cleanout bit. After I reach the desired depth, I drill holes in the waste at all 4 corners, and using the edge of the waste as a guide, I cut the waste out. Never had this take over 30 minutes to give you an idea of the job.

Once, I didn't take my own bit to a fellow WWrs shop and the shortest bit he had was a 1" bit. So, we squared up a 2 X 4, and used it as template stock.

Anyway, what ever approach you use....Good luck.
Yeah I definately have time as I havnt started the build yet. This will be a table saw/router workstation and Im still restoring the saws.(almost done!) It just seemed silly to me to buy it allthough I see now how it would simplify things. Ill have to check the JessEm site again but it seemed like they reccomended a 5/8" pattern bit. It never occured to me that the bit size might be the radius size.

Thanks for the tips guys!
 

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My mistake. Must havebeen Woodpeckers plate I looked at that reccomended the 5/8" pattern bit.

JessEm reccomends a 1/2" straight bit with a 3/4" template guide bushing. Oh and the template was $25, not $15.
 

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My mistake. Must havebeen Woodpeckers plate I looked at that reccomended the 5/8" pattern bit.

JessEm reccomends a 1/2" straight bit with a 3/4" template guide bushing. Oh and the template was $25, not $15.
http://www.jessem.com/CURRENT_PRODUCTS/routrplate.pdf

Check page 7. It looks like the opening needs to have a 3/4 radius corner as they are calling for a 1-1/2" shank bearing bit. The 1/2" bit/3/4" bushing is if you are cutting it WITH the template.

You could make your own template. The hole in the template would be 9½x12" with 7/8" radius corners. You could make the template corners with a 1¾" hole saw or forstner bit. That would allow you to use any bit bushing combination that yields a 1/8" offset.
 
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