• Showing Steve Hay's custom made palm router base in use.
    Showing Steve Hay's custom made palm router base in use.

One of the most useful power tools in my workshop has to be the humble trimmer. I use it for all sorts of tasks, for example removing fine layers of waste before Inlaying veneers or a piece of marquetry. It’s also great for creating the rebates for butt hinges and locks on boxes and cabinet doors. It’s fantastic for the final profiling of many small jobs. I never have used it for laminate trimming though…

In the early days I did have some problems with rolling the trimmer over and off narrow edges thus causing unwanted textural effects, such as ripping timber out where not required. To overcome this problem I fabricated a larger foot for it to skate on from a piece of scrap clear perspex (about 6mm thick) which was lying around. (Your local plastics factory might give you a small piece if you asked.)

The larger base increases contact area with the job at hand. By further adaptation with the fitting of an old brass drawer knob I was able to have greater control over the feed rate and fineness of work being done.

Making your own trimmer base

1. Remove the bottom plate from you existing trimmer carrier.

2. Copy the outline onto a piece of thin ply or MDF. Draw around and mark all screw holes and the centre clearance hole for the router bit.

3. Now simply draw an enlarged profile that you feel will give you the control and ease of use you would like. Sand the ply or MDF to shape.

4. If the perspex still has the paper on it transfer your template shape to the cover paper. If the paper has already been removed mark the perspex with a fine permanent marker, an awl or something sharp.

5. Cut around the shape and finish to your requirements. I found forstner bit are best for drilling into perspex. If you use a spade bit it’s advisable to double cut; that is go half depth, then turn the plate over and drill through the other half from the other side. When doing this be aware of all safety precautions and wear safety equipment, ie glasses and a breathing mask as many plastics are toxic and can prove dangerous to your health.

Note: Make sure you have recessed the housing screw sufficiently or they will protrude and mark the surface of any job it does. This is most important!

Steve Hay presents Woodworking Masterclass on 31 Digital, TVS, C31, 44 and WTV. Find out more from www.woodworkingmasterclass.com

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