This project is an adjustable router guide template made with 20x60 V-slot. It was meant as a less expensive and more user friendly alternative to commercially available units. The project was originally published at instructables and written for an audience of widely varying skill levels, many of whom who have not seen V-slot before so it was kept relatively basic. As most of the members here can pretty much build anything from sight I won't provide a regurgitation of the original post but rather focus more on the takeaways from the project.
The main goal was to achieve a stable framework with members that would slide easily against each other making the frame adjustable. The other main objective was to make the system tool-less, something that the commercial manufacturers fail to offer.
The materials are fairly basic, a 1500mm stick of 20x60 V-slot, and assortment of screws and Tee-nuts, M5 adjustable clamp handles, and some small pieces from a flexible Dollar Tree Chopping Mat. These chopping mats are a hard but smooth, abrasion resistant plastic that make for an excellent glide system. I also used some Makerlink Quad Tee Nuts to make the system expandable.
Early models showed that no matter how smoothly I sanded the ends of the V-slot there was no way to get smooth interaction between the moving parts. No matter what, I was scraping the anodizing off the face of the rails. The chopping mats offered the ideal solution. If you haven't seen them before, they are a hard, smooth, stiff but flexible plastic sheet and at two for a dollar they can meet pretty much any budget requirements. The mats were cut into pieces 3/4" wide by 80mm long with holes drilled to match the three holes in the V-slot and the fixing bolt. Some smaller pieces were also cut 10.5mm x 60mm to act as guides within the V-slot channel.
The smaller strip was inserted into the V-slot channel as the pieces were fitted up. This not only kept the screw heads from rubbing the inside face of the channel but also kept the assembly centered on the slot.
The glides worked exceptionally well. After initially trying to set the screw heads perfectly in the channel to hold the system snugly together this actually caused the system to bind up when the pieces got even the slightest bit out of parallel so the screws were significantly slacked off.
The Makerlink Quad Tee Nuts worked great for expandability of the system. They held the V-slot in proper alignment to where the intersecting framework had no issue gliding across the joint.
Note: the second photo shows the original version with the thumb screws. The thumb screws were relatively difficult to get fingers on and have subsequently been replaced with the M5 thread adjustable clamp handles. The handles are available from Amazon and many other sources but I didn't find them in an appropriate length so I went with whatever length was cheapest because any excess was to be cut off. I wound up trimming them to about 8 mm to reach through the 1/8" angle and into the tee-nuts.
While the vast majority of forum members will have absolutely no use for this type of build, the glide system may be useful to many desiring some kind adjustability in a build which is the reason behind this post. The lever and extension systems may also be useful. If you come up with a decent use for them, please leave a note in the discussion section.
Adjustable Router Guide Template
This project is an adjustable router guide template made with 20x60 V-slot. It was meant as a less expensive and more user friendly alternative to commercially available units.
- Build License:
- CC - Attribution NonCommercial - CC BY NC