Adding a New Router Clamp

One of the downfalls of a wooden router clamp is that through constant use it slowly loosens up, wears down and starts to flex.  Well, I had enough of that and needed to do something about it.  Fortunately, I have a friend named John who is an excellent metal working sort of fellow.  Well, at least excellent in my opinion, because if you ask him you may get a different answer.  He is a rather modest individual!

John took a look at the problem and suggested that he could use some strap and angle and whip up a stout and usable router clamp.  The images below show the clamp installed and I have to admit, it went a long way towards stiffening the router assembly up.  Thanks John for making this most excellent clamp for me.  I owe you one (more like 10 or so) for this one!  You can click on the image for a larger view.

Side view of the new router clamp. Front view of the router clamp.

In order to make the clamp work with the JGRO machine I had to make a change or two.  First, I drilled out the threads on the Z-Axis plate.  They were starting to loosen up and I was afraid that I would strip them out.  I guess wooden threads and super glue only gives you so much mileage.  With these holes drilled through I inserted a 1-1/2", 1/4x20 bolt and used a nut and lock washer on the outside.  But then I noticed that the bolt head would not clear the heads of the adjusting bolts for the Z-Axis pipes.  The solution was to grind the heads of the bolts holding the clamp down to about half of their original height.  This gave me enough clearance to run the Z-Axis up and down without interfering with the Z-Axis pipe adjuster bolts.

After adjusting the clamp and Z-Axis pipes so that the router was square and purpendicular to the bed and the rest of the machine, I thought I would try cutting something.  I have been looking on CNC Zones forums and found several DXF files for 3D puzzles.  Well, I took one of the simpler ones and created toolpaths for it.  It wasn't too bad but the vectors need a little adjusting.  The images below show the finished Bi-Wing airplane.  I cut this from 1/8" Tempered Hardboard, also called masonite.  I used an 1/8" upcut flat endmill at a feedrate of 20 i.p.m.  This will be the first and last thing I hope to cut from this stuff.  The cutting took about thirty minutes to finish, but the cleanup from that nasty fuzz it left on the edges took about an hour with the help from my two oldest boys.

Bi-Wing Airplane. Bi-Wing airplane.

If you want to try this little project out either email me and I will send you the DXF file or you can search the CNCZone forums for it.