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Old 15th April 2010, 11:09 AM   #1
oublie is offline oublie  United Kingdom
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Default Hole Saw or Router

Hi,

Just got a router for my 40th birthday along with a new drill and other bits and bobs.

Now i have to cut a lot of 4" holes (64 to be precise). I have a hole saw of the correct diameter which tends to leave the holes i drill a bit uneven it's also very hard to hold steady when going through 1/2 inch wood I don't have a table drill or whatever theyre call so its very hit and miss getting the sides vertical. I drilled 12 holes with the hole saw for a prototype panel (open baffle line array) and found them to be very uneven.

Also whats the best way to setup for even centre to centre spacing. The driver diameter is 110mm ideally i want no spacing between them so whats the best way to mark for hole cutting or is it just measure twice cut once ?


Would I have more luck with the router and if so which bit would i use? btw i'm a bit of a woodworking noob If you hadn't already guessed.

p.s. if i'm building a 4" hole cutting guide for the router where do i measure from to get the correct size. I'm assuming a basic guide will be a piece of wood screwed to the base of the router with the correct cutouts and a single hole for pinning the wood in place the correct distance from the bit?
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Old 15th April 2010, 12:19 PM   #2
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Hi Oublie I made my own circle jig for my router for cutting round holes. Just use a straight bit of sufficient length to make it through your thickness of wood. A small diameter will be much easier on the router.

I've attached a picture of my circle jig in the making. Note that I did use a drill press to make it but there is no reason you couldn't use a normal drill.

You need to take into account the diameter of the router bit and add the radius of it to the distance to the pin around which you spin the router. The reason it looks like there are two lots of holes in this jig is because the first one wasn't quite right and this is the picture of the second attempt. After the point where all the lines are radiating out from was drilled out and is where the router bit went through. I took the plate off the bottom of the router and replaced it with the jig. Obviously if you only need one diameter hole cut you can simply measure and drill one hole for the pin.

The holes this cut were quite good. second pic shows the result. Note my router bit wasn't long enough to make it through the 25mm MDF and I had to flip it over and finish from the reverse side. I also used a much larger diameter bit (due to the rebate).

Tony.

PS. I used a hole saw for the holes for the ducts in my bass reflex speakers, it was a 70mm hole saw and 70mm pvc but the resulting fit was very loose... not so accurate, and I'd use the router next time.
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Last edited by wintermute; 15th April 2010 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 17th April 2010, 12:48 PM   #3
audi0 is offline audi0  Australia
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For routing small holes it can be difficult to pivot a router around a fixed point. If you have a circular base on your router, for small diameter holes you can rout a larger hole in a template and use this as a guide for your router. The size of the template hole = the distance from the edge of your router bit to the edge of the router base + the desired hole radius. If you are doing a lot of holes in a line, attach a strip of wood to the underside of the template, and use this as a guide. At least you get all the holes in a straight line, all you have to worry about them is the spacing.
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Old 17th April 2010, 02:43 PM   #4
oublie is offline oublie  United Kingdom
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Thanks Guys,

Appreciate the advice.

I'll give your ideas a try and see how i get on.
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Old 19th April 2010, 06:21 AM   #5
audi0 is offline audi0  Australia
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Hi oublie,
Further to my previous post, I dug out some photos of a couple of router jigs that I have used.
The timber setup was for routing knob holes in 3mm thick alloy plates and the clear polycarbonate jig was for routing the recess shape for some Tang Band W3 full range speakers. A photo of the finished speakers is also shown.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 10:08 AM   #6
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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There's a router circle guide sold by Sears or maybe B&D... it has an offset pivot that makes it possible to cut smaller diameters (with a radius smaller than that of the router base).

For 64 holes, though, a drill press and a hole saw is attractive. "Imported" 8" or 10" drill presses can be cheaper than a good electric hand drill if you catch the right sale.

On the other hand, you have the router and bits already. Something like audi0's clear jig could work. Make a guide out of scrap material the length (or half the length, if you don't mind moving it down the baffle after doing half), mark out the intervals and drill. Put pins (dowels, cutdown nails, bolts with countersunk screws) in the jig which plug into the guide board. Then just clamp or otherwise attach each baffle alongside the guide, and shift the jig along the guide for each hole. This should save some time, since you only have to lay out the hole intervals once, rather than repeat it for each baffle.
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Old 24th April 2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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I highly recommend the Jasper Jig- I bought the combo pack. I have used these many times with PERFECT results. Parts-Express.com ? Jasper ? Jasper Tools, Jasper Audio, Circle Jigs, Circular Template, Plunge Router Circle Guide, One-Pass Circle Guide
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Old 29th April 2010, 02:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audi0 View Post
Hi oublie,
Further to my previous post, I dug out some photos of a couple of router jigs that I have used.
The timber setup was for routing knob holes in 3mm thick alloy plates and the clear polycarbonate jig was for routing the recess shape for some Tang Band W3 full range speakers. A photo of the finished speakers is also shown.
Nice looking speakers!
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Old 10th May 2010, 01:25 PM   #9
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Hi,

for small holes <10cm I don't like the router since it's a pain to turn it over such a small space, and I'm too lazy to make a template. For larger holes, or for recessed edges, the router is king!

In my experience, using hole saws on a hand drill is outright dangerous! As soon as you tilt the hand drill a little bit, the hole saw 'bites' in the wood and the drill gives you a mighty kick in the hand you won't quickly forget (guess how I know )

OTOH, I have very good experiences using hole saws in a (cheap) table drill press. Had perfect holes every time.

Just my experience.
Kenneth
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Old 10th May 2010, 01:58 PM   #10
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When I built my line arrays I used a Jasper Jig to create a template/jig for my front baffles. After the template was ready I clamped it onto the blank front baffle and routed out the holes using a guide bushing 1-3/16" Brass Template Guides - Lee Valley Tools and 1/4" straight bit from Lee Valley. An elaborate and time consuming process but it did result in perfect front baffles. I also rabbetted the driver cutouts to mount the drivers flush.

Regards,
Dan

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