Bandsaw and Router Templates and Jigs for Cutting Shapes

      Advice on setting up to efficiently and cleanly cut and route multiple copies of the same complex curved shape. December 12, 2008

I am making some organic peanut shapes out of 3/4" vertical grain bamboo sheet and thought I should run this down here before I cut into this expensive material. My concerns are chip-out, minimal screw ups and production speed.

I have the shape template. I want to make a pattern jig on my bandsaw (14") using a 1/4" blade. Can someone explain how to make a pattern jig or point me to a resource so I can bandsaw out my shapes two at a time, leaving minimal material to be routed (.125"?).

I am going to have to route across the bamboo in every direction and I am bugging about potential chip out. Any tips to minimize that occurrence? Router speed faster or slower? I am using a hand router not CNC. The shapes are about 17"x14", tightest radius is 2".

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor J:
Off the cuff, I'd say you could plan on using the same template to both cut and rout the shape. I'd set up the router in a table, using a large-diameter flush trimming bit, and fashion a simple guard to keep fingers away. For the saw, the guide would probably be a couple of steel pins sticking up from the table immediately in front of and behind the blade. Double-stick tape (or screw, if you can tolerate holes on one side) the template to the blank and saw it out, flush trim at the router table, remove the template and go on to the next one.

From contributor W:
If you used thin double sided carpet tape between the 1/4 inch ply you could do more than two at a time. Just a few squares of tape will hold very well. Make a test run to determine the minimum number to use to hold well but be easy to separate.

From contributor Y:
Lee Valley's bandsaw duplicator works like a dream. It's great to get within 1/8 of final dimension before taking a final pass on the router table.

From contributor F:
I do a lot of pattern routing and use CMT router bits exclusively. The solid carbide spiral bits are razor sharp and cut better than any other bits I've tried. The upcut spiral in a router table helps lesson the tearout as well.

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