20 Mar This Multi-Function Router Base Makes Dadoes, Grooves, Mortises and Arcs
New from Woodpeckers in Strongsville, Ohio is an innovative, well-designed universal base for portable routers that offers quick set-up, a high degree of accuracy and stability, and the capacity to make very precise micro adjustments. The jig runs $239.99 and fits most routers as long as they have through holes for guide rods (most do). Once the base is attached, a woodworker can guide the tool in either a controlled straight line or a perfect arc. Whether cutting curves on toe-kicks or valances, chopping mortises in stiles or legs, creating decorative patterns or just routing hardware recesses, the Multi-Function Router Base delivers a very high degree of accuracy.
Setting up a cut that is guided by and parallel to the edge of stock is simple. A woodworker can lock the edge guide in any one of ten different positions, either right at the cutter or anywhere up to 8″ away. Slide the router along the guide rods until it’s close to the layout line and then dial in the exact location of a cut using the built-in micro-adjuster.
Extension rods allow the user to make a groove or dado up to 21″ in from the edge of the board. And a shop can add as many optional extension rods as needed – they’re sold in pairs, and each pair adds another 12″ of reach.
When cutting a groove or profile at an angle, just clamp a straightedge to the work to guide the cut. The micro-adjuster eliminates the tedious adjustments that are involved when using a standard router base.
Circle and arc cutting are also easy with this jig. The base has four locations for an included trammel pin, each of which provides a range of distances to the router bit. Just like the straight cuts, the operator only needs to get close to the final setting in the initial set-up, and then dial in the exact radius using the micro-adjuster. What’s impressive here is that when one is working with the axis point that is closest to the bit, the jig will cut circles all the way down to 3/4″ in diameter.
The extension base also accommodates that trammel pin, which means the operator can position the axis point of an arc up to 22″ away from the bit, or even more when using the extension rods.
One of the key advantages of the Multi-Function Router Base is in furniture making. It’s the perfect tool for chopping mortises in the edge or end of stock. Two large pins can be installed in the base, and one runs on either face of the workpiece. But with this jig, the micro-adjuster means that the bit doesn’t necessarily have to be centered between the pins. This means the woodworker can accurately machine mortises that are wider than the bit, and also offset the mortise (perhaps to create a shoulder).
Unlike some other jigs with extensions, this one is sturdy. There’s a clamp to lock the rods and the router firmly to the base. When using the extension, the trammel pin is perfectly centered in the entire assembly, improving balance and making it easier to rotate. For all applications, the micro-adjuster can travel all the way up to 1-5/8″. The base is solid phenolic, which is a dense, flat, tough material that will stand up to heavy use. All the metal parts are either stainless steel, anodized aluminum or brass, so there’s nothing that will rust.
To be sure you order the correct model, you’ll need to know the diameter of the guide rods for your router – 1/4″, 5/16″, 3/8″ or 10mm. Guide rods can’t be used as extension rods, nor extension rods as guide rods. These parts are not interchangeable. The Multi-Function Router Base is precisely machined and carefully inspected in the Strongsville, Ohio factory just south of Cleveland.
For a plunge base with built-in lights, have a look at this product.