The top reason a router is such an essential tool is its sheer versatility. You can make custom molding, cut joinery, make multiples, drill holes, form workpieces ...
The second reason to have a router? All the fun, practical, and money-saving jigs you can build to go with it, of course.
Don't get the idea that building jigs is super complicated or time-consuming. I gathered a collection of easy-to-build jigs that you can make in just a few hours of shop time.
Snug Fitting Dadoes Perhaps one of the top ways I use my router is for cutting joinery. And simple joinery likes dadoes comes up in project after project. This Dado Jig does the job nicely. It has two stand-out features: it adjusts to match the size of with workpiece and it's self-clamping.
Rout Hinge Mortises Installing hinges in a project is one place that trip you up. The mortises need to be right on and you usually need to make several. Having an Adjustable Hinge Jig gives you the peace of mind knowing that all the mortises are accurate right from the start.
Cut Circles For most woodworking projects, parts are straight, flat, and square. So if you need a large round part (think tabletop) the goal can be intimidating. I made a Circle Cutting Jig that uses an inexpensive aluminum ruler. This lets you dial in the exact size with minimal setup.
Change Bearing Safely Several of the bits that I have allow you to change the bearing to make different cuts: rabbeting bits, slot cutters, and some profiles bits, to name a few. Trying to hold a sharp bit while pulling on an Allen wrench seems sketchy. This Bearing Jig solves the problem in a clever way.
The Ultimate Pocket Hole Jig Finally, let’s go a little nuts. You can turn your router into a turbo-charged Pocket Hole Jig. This setup turns a handheld router into a benchtop station for creating lots of pocket holes in a short amount of time. Made with some plywood, handful of common hardware, and a toggle clamp, you can still get it done this weekend.
Don’t stop there. There are other router videos on our YouTube channel. And for more router plans, take a look at Woodsmith Plans. There you can find the FREE plans for the Dovetail Jig Workstation like the one shown at the top of the page.
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