The Many Uses of a Router Jig

A router jig is one of the most versatile tools for woodworkers. They can be used to flatten and shape wood, add patterns for inlay, and more.

These jigs make routing more efficient, accurate, and safe. They are a great addition to any shop and a worthwhile investment for woodworkers of all skill levels.

Tenon Joint

The tenon joint is the most common and versatile of all woodworking joints. It’s used for everything from tables and chairs to windows, frames, cabinets, paneling and more.

The typical tenon is about one-third the size of the overall piece of wood. This leaves enough material around the four sided mortise hole to make the tenon reasonably strong.

To cut the tenon, use your router and a router jig. The jig keeps the workpiece square and secure while the router cuts.

Set the depth stop on your router to rout a mortise that is just slightly deeper than the length of the tenon. This allows you to remove the tenon without cutting through the stile.

Once the tenon is cut, round the corners with sandpaper, a chisel or a utility knife. This will give you a nice finished end product.

Mortise Joint

The Mortise Joint is a basic joinery technique that works by inserting one end of a piece of wood into a hole carved in another. It is used in a wide variety of applications, from rustic carpentry to fine furniture making.

It can be cut with a router or a sharp chisel and mallet. A plunge router is especially useful for this task.

The tenon should be about one-third the thickness of the piece of wood it joins. This is to ensure that the tenon does not bottom out in the mortise, and provides enough material around the four sided mortise hole to keep it strong.

Housing Joint

One of the simplest and most common router cut joints is the Housing Joint. They are ideal for fixing shelves or partitions into cabinets and can be made perpendicular to the face of the workpiece, though they can also be angled.

Traditionally they were made on a circular saw fitted with a wobble saw or dado blade, but the router is an eminently suitable replacement. Unlike traditional comb joints, which have no gluing surface, the box joint presents plenty of surface for the glue to stick to and offers much greater mechanical strength.

Simple slot templates can be made to suit specific guide bush diameters and to specific mortise lengths, with a batten fixed under the template to centre it on the workpiece. A single stop is then fitted to the underside of the template to ensure that it positions the mortise exactly every time.

Profile Forming Cutter

There are a variety of different router jigs to suit many routing applications. Some are simple straight edge arrangements, others are more sophisticated and allow you to make the exact shape that you want.

For example, you can build a tenon and mortise joint jig using a router. These are incredibly useful for cutting angled or compound tenons, as well as the standard square ended versions.

The jig can also be used for drilling holes in workpieces. This can be particularly handy when constructing staircases.

Templates simplify many routing operations involving irregularly shaped work and offer an accurate method of performing repetitive operations such as recessing, edge moulding, edge trimming and slotting. They can be made from wood, MDF or similar materials and may form part of a router jig, or held in place on a piece for cutting several workpieces at once.

Mitre Joint

Mitre joints are used to join two pieces of wood at an angle. They can be made using a hand saw, but a mitre saw is usually preferred.

A mitre joint is a simple and easy to make and can be used for a wide variety of applications. They are often used for architraves around doorways, skirting boards and picture frames.

A mitre joint is a simple but neat and tidy looking way to join two timbers together at an angle. However it is not as strong as some other joints and so needs to be reinforced with a spline or hidden dovetails in order to carry any significant load.