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Thread: Tools of the trade!

  1. #1
    DIYFK member Wildisme's Avatar


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    Tools of the trade!

    Joey, IDK if you want to give this its own section so each tool can have a seperate topic for questions etc.

    OK so, there has been alot of questions regarding tools. What they are, how they work, and what can be accomplished with them.

    I am going to start writing about some of these tools and will try to answer most questions about them.

    First up is a tool that has came up more then once this week. This is the Router.

    Click here to enlarge

    A router is a power tool that holds a Bit and spins it at a high speed, usually around 10,000-30,000 rpm. There are many options available in different routers. One of these options is Variable speed, Variable speed will allow you to adjust the rpm (rotations per minute) that the bit will spin. Typically you want to be able to match your rpm to your project. Your bit for each project will vary in size. Your rpm should lower the longer your bit is.

    0”-1” 24,000rpm
    0”-2” 18,000rpm
    0”-2.5”16,000rpm
    0”-3.5”12,000rpm

    The next option I will show you will be the actual bits.

    Click here to enlarge

    These profiles are made using different types of bits. Typically a router is used for woodworking, but it is seen a lot with acrylic as well. When using it to trim acrylic edges you will use a straight fluted bit much like this one.

    Click here to enlarge

    This is used to make a straight edge along a side of the material and can be used as the first step to clean up your acrylic edges.

    Other bits can be used to make profiles along the edge of materials to create a nice finished look to a tank. There are many things you can do to enhance the look of an aquarium. The tank below has encased the tank in wood. They have added trim to the top and bottom of the tank as well as made a nice oval cut out. The oval viewing window can then be made to have a finished look by routing it with a round over bit or any other bit to make a nice finished edge.

    Click here to enlarge

    Another useful option is a Jig. A jig is an adaptor used to create a pattern which is attached to the router. This one is a circle jig, which is used to make a perfect circle. I cannot really see this jig or the next coming in handy with acrylic but more in your woodworking. Say you want a large circle cutout in the back of your base to run plumbing though. Or possibly you want to route holes in a custom canopy to allow evaporation and heat out. This jig is easily used by drilling a pilot hole with a drill and drill bit in the center of your circle. Your drill bit will need to be matched up to the size of the peg on your particular jig. Once you have your hole made, you will set the jig up to half the diameter you with your hole to be. This will allow you to set the peg in the hole and “Plunge” your router into the wood, and then simply move your router around while the jig holds it at a perfect distance to make your circle.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    This last jig is a very small fence. This is a great jig to have while working on acrylic edges and you don’t want to spend the money on a table. Or you may not have enough room where you are working to move the acrylic around the table or the acrylic may simply be too heavy to run along a table. This jig will allow you to set a fence to a distance or centered on your bit. This allows you to run your router along the edge of your acrylic while the fence keeps it from going too deep into the acrylic. The next picture shows an actual table setup. This is someone’s DIY table. With a table, your router will attach from underneath the table and the bit will stick up though a hole in the table. You can use the fence to run your material along and keep a consistent edge much like the fence that attached to the router. Or you can remove the fence all together and move your material around the router. Say you made your hole using a circle jig and now wish to round over the edges. Simply place the material on the table with the router in the middle. Turn on the router and then move the material so the bit runs along the edge of the bit.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Now you have the “plunge” option of a router. This is simply a slider setup built into the router. Rather than having a set router where the bit is always sticking out. This router is set up where the bit is behind the base of the router, you can then push the router down and lower the bit into the material. When using the plunge technique make sure you have a plunge bit. Most router bits have a silver guide along the bottom end. You can see this very well on the straight fluted bit shown earlier. This edge keeps your bit from going too far into your material when running along an edge. However it also keeps the bit from being able to cut into materials while move straight down into them. A plunge bit will have the guide removed and a pointed edge in its place. You will typically use your plunge option while cutting designs into a material or while using a circle or oval jig. Your plunge router will also allow you to set a depth to where the bit will only go so far into your material. This can be used to make a nice design cut into the wood without having to cut all the way though the wood.

    Click here to enlarge

    The last thing I want to mention is safety. Seeing that this machine is very powerful and spins at a high speed, make sure to wear eye protection. Always move your material along the bit in the opposite direction that the bit is spinning. Always keep both hands on the router if free handing, or on your material if the router is mounted to a table. Keep a firm grip as the router will give a feeling of pushing or pulling your material away. Always remember that the bit is doing the work, this means don’t try to rush and force your material past it. Give your bit some time to cut its way through your material, you will notice this more when making a designed edge such as a roundover since it is cutting more material at once then it would be just running a straight edge.

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  2. #2
    Owner UaruJoey's Avatar


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    Re: Tools of the trade!

    Well done. I might turn this into an article for the main portion of the site..

    only thing is, i cant really use those pics...
    Click to view-->My personal DIY projects

  3. #3
    DIYFK member RollerDJ's Avatar


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    Re: Tools of the trade!

    Another good jig I use alot is a jasper jig. I have all three models and love them for cutting circles.
    <-- Has more tanks than allowed by law

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  4. #4
    DIYFK member RollerDJ's Avatar


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    Re: Tools of the trade!

    Another thing.

    http://www.woodcraft.com/Category/20807 ... -Saws.aspx


    I made a home made version of this for woodworking. Cuts dead-nuts straight if you take your time and do it right. Could be a good way to save some money if the supplier is charging to much, or when cutting large sheets of ply-wood for a stand. If people want I'll post up some pic's and info on how I made it.
    <-- Has more tanks than allowed by law

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  5. #5
    DIYFK member Wildisme's Avatar


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    Re: Tools of the trade!

    A Jasper Jig is another type of circle jig. It is used the same way as the other circle jig, only you push your peg into the hold on the jig depending on the diameter of your hole.

    This Jasper 200 jig has preset holes every 1/16" from 2 3/4" - 18 3/4". This allows you to simply place the peg though the hole matched to the hole you want. Eliminating having to measure the distance from the center of the router to the center of your hole. This perticular jig uses an 1/8" hole for its peg so use a 1/8" drill bit when making your pilot hole.

    Click here to enlarge

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  6. #6
    DIYFK member RollerDJ's Avatar


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    Re: Tools of the trade!

    Thank you. I use them a ton doing my audio thing. Love the fact that I don't have to measure and worry that I did something wrong.
    <-- Has more tanks than allowed by law

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  7. #7
    DIYFK member Wildisme's Avatar


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    Re: Tools of the trade!

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by RollerDJ
    Thank you. I use them a ton doing my audio thing. Love the fact that I don't have to measure and worry that I did something wrong.

    Ive used them before. Never did buy one myself, had my own jigs made for different speaker holes and different adpator plates. Mainly GM and Ford plates to go from say a 5x6 to a 6" and so on. Been a while since i made speaker stuff..

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  8. #8
    DIYFK member Ella J. Lassen's Avatar


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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wildisme Click here to enlarge
    Joey, IDK if you want to give this its own section so each tool can have a seperate topic for questions etc.

    OK so, there has been alot of questions regarding tools. What they are, how they work, and what can be accomplished with them.

    I am going to start writing about some of these tools and will try to answer most questions about them.

    First up is a tool that has came up more then once this week. This is the Router.

    Click here to enlarge

    A router is a power tool that holds a Bit and spins it at a high speed, usually around 10,000-30,000 rpm. There are many options available in different routers. One of these options is Variable speed, Variable speed will allow you to adjust the rpm (rotations per minute) that the bit will spin. Typically you want to be able to match your rpm to your project. Your bit for each project will vary in size. Your rpm should lower the longer your bit is.

    0”-1” 24,000rpm
    0”-2” 18,000rpm
    0”-2.5”16,000rpm
    0”-3.5”12,000rpm

    The next option I will show you will be the actual bits.

    Click here to enlarge

    These profiles are made using different types of bits. Typically a router is used for woodworking, but it is seen a lot with acrylic as well. When using it to trim acrylic edges you will use a straight fluted bit much like this one.

    Click here to enlarge

    This is used to make a straight edge along a side of the material and can be used as the first step to clean up your acrylic edges.

    Other bits can be used to make profiles along the edge of materials to create a nice finished look to a tank. There are many things you can do to enhance the look of an aquarium. The tank below has encased the tank in wood. They have added trim to the top and bottom of the tank as well as made a nice oval cut out. The oval viewing window can then be made to have a finished look by routing it with a round over bit or any other bit to make a nice finished edge.

    Click here to enlarge

    Another useful option is a Jig. A jig is an adaptor used to create a pattern which is attached to the router. This one is a circle jig, which is used to make a perfect circle. I cannot really see this jig or the next coming in handy with acrylic but more in your woodworking. Say you want a large circle cutout in the back of your base to run plumbing though. Or possibly you want to route holes in a custom canopy to allow evaporation and heat out. This jig is easily used by drilling a pilot hole with a drill and drill bit in the center of your circle. Your drill bit will need to be matched up to the size of the peg on your particular jig. Once you have your hole made, you will set the jig up to half the diameter you with your hole to be. This will allow you to set the peg in the hole and “Plunge” your router into the wood, and then simply move your router around while the jig holds it at a perfect distance to make your circle.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    This last jig is a very small fence. This is a great jig to have while working on acrylic edges and you don’t want to spend the money on a table. Or you may not have enough room where you are working to move the acrylic around the table or the acrylic may simply be too heavy to run along a table. This jig will allow you to set a fence to a distance or centered on your bit. This allows you to run your router along the edge of your acrylic while the fence keeps it from going too deep into the acrylic. The next picture shows an actual table setup. This is someone’s best scroll saw and DIY table. With a table, your router will attach from underneath the table and the bit will stick up though a hole in the table. You can use the fence to run your material along and keep a consistent edge much like the fence that attached to the router. Or you can remove the fence all together and move your material around the router. Say you made your hole using a circle jig and now wish to round over the edges. Simply place the material on the table with the router in the middle. Turn on the router and then move the material so the bit runs along the edge of the bit.

    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

    Now you have the “plunge” option of a router. This is simply a slider setup built into the router. Rather than having a set router where the bit is always sticking out. This router is set up where the bit is behind the base of the router, you can then push the router down and lower the bit into the material. When using the plunge technique make sure you have a plunge bit. Most router bits have a silver guide along the bottom end. You can see this very well on the straight fluted bit shown earlier. This edge keeps your bit from going too far into your material when running along an edge. However it also keeps the bit from being able to cut into materials while move straight down into them. A plunge bit will have the guide removed and a pointed edge in its place. You will typically use your plunge option while cutting designs into a material or while using a circle or oval jig. Your plunge router will also allow you to set a depth to where the bit will only go so far into your material. This can be used to make a nice design cut into the wood without having to cut all the way though the wood.

    Click here to enlarge

    The last thing I want to mention is safety. Seeing that this machine is very powerful and spins at a high speed, make sure to wear eye protection. Always move your material along the bit in the opposite direction that the bit is spinning. Always keep both hands on the router if free handing, or on your material if the router is mounted to a table. Keep a firm grip as the router will give a feeling of pushing or pulling your material away. Always remember that the bit is doing the work, this means don’t try to rush and force your material past it. Give your bit some time to cut its way through your material, you will notice this more when making a designed edge such as a roundover since it is cutting more material at once then it would be just running a straight edge.
    Where I can buy these tools?

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