the Router Workshop

Router Tips

Making A Recess Template

In order to cut a recess is your tabletop to hang your router, you must first make a template. There are several ways this can be done, in this tip we include information on two different ways. Our recess in our table is located approximately 3 3/4' from the left hand side of the table top. We used a piece of 1/4' masonite to make our template.

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Option 1: Making The Template

We need to make our template 1/8” larger on all four sides of the base plate because we are using a 1 1/4” guide with a 1” flat bottom bit to cut the recess in our top. We used 1/8” brass bars as a spacer between the plate and the plywood strips. Attach the plywood to the masonite with double stick tape and/or screws.

Attach the plywood to the masonite with double stick tape and/or screws. Once secure remove the base plate.

Drill a hole for a starting point.

Using your router and a flush trim bit, cut out the square template which when finished will be 1/8” larger than the router base plate. (You will be working with the plywood sticks on the underside so the bearing of the bit will follow the sticks.) Now when we use the 1” bit with the 1 1/4” guide the recess will be the exact size required. (The 1” bit matches the 1/2” radius of the plate corners.)

This is the template for option 1.

Cutting The Recess With The Template

Place the template on your table top material.

Mount the base plate on to your router, use a 1 1/4” guide and a 1” bottom cleaning bit. Bottom out the bit to the table top and set the depth the thickness of the base plate.

Cut the recess moving in a clockwise direction.

Change the cutter to a 3/8” spiral bit and using the same template cut through the table top.

You will now have a recess the size of the base plate with a rabbet cut for the base plate support.

Option 2: Making The Template

Again using a scrap piece of masonite, cut a square opening (with a table saw or sticks as shown before with a flush trim bit)making sure it is exactly 3/8' smaller on all four sides of the base plate. Use a flush trim bit to cut a opening this size (3/8' smaller than the plate). Now use a 3/8" rabbet bit to cut the recess the thickness of the plate.

Test Fit

To make sure that your template is correct be sure to make a test cut from scrap material first to be sure that everything fits nicely before cutting in your final table top material.