Using Router Template Collars

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March 2004

Template "collars" for a router can easily be used to route a hole or depression which exactly matches the dimensions of an existing piece.

This is handy if you want an exact match for something like a table insert or you want to route a large depression into a wood surface. I have used this approach to make a router table with an insert hole for the router mounting plate. I have also used it successfully to make the "wells" found on the base of piperacks.

The general idea is to use the original piece (or a blank piece of wood of the desired dimension) to create a "frame" which will serve as a guide for the final routing. Both the creation of the frame and the final routing use collars fitted to the router base. These are available in various sizes and a set of collars that fit your router is usually inexpensively obtained at your local tool store. Here are my (handwritten) notes on how this is done...