Triton Router Template Guides

There has been a bit of confusion about the Triton Router Template guide kit in a number of forum posts, so I thought I’d go through a few of the aspects here for the sake of clarity.

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This is the kit for the MOF001, the 1400W Triton Router.  However, I always recommend that owners buy this kit even if they have the larger 2400W router (although if you are in the US or UK, I would investigate the contents of this kit just to make sure my observations hold true over there).

The reason I strongly recommend this kit is

a. it is cheaper than the one for the TRA001

b. it contains ALL the contents of the TRA001 kit (and more)

c. if you end up with both routers, there is no need to get another kit!

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This is the heart of the system – the template guide base plate.  The Triton routers do not have the ability to fit a template guide in their standard as-sold configuration.  They need the addition of the template guide base plate to allow the guides to be fitted.  There is very little drawback from having the template guide baseplate fitted – you loose a tiny amount of plunge capacity, although there is a huge amount available, so this is unlikely to ever be missed.  The dust collection capacity of the router is maintained.  The only time I’ve felt a need to remove the baseplate was when I wanted to run a monster router bit, with a diameter larger than the hole in the template guide baseplate.  I don’t even rememeber which bit it was, as I’ve not had that problem since.

There are 2 baseplates shown here, and both come with the MOF001 kit.  The left-hand one is specifically for the 2400W router.  It can fit the 1400W router, but with some overlap at the edge. The baseplate for the larger router fits fully underneath the router plastic(?) baseplate.  The second (middle) baseplate shown is for the 1400W router.  This one fits into a recess in the plastic baseplate of the 1400W router (pic of this shown shortly).

The final ring is the baseplate alignment bush.  When you are first fitting the template baseplate, it must be absolutely centred on the collet, and this bush is used to achieve this (again, shown shortly).

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For either router, step one is to remove the four screws holding the plastic baseplate of the router.  There is often quite a bit of dust that has collected here, so worth cleaning out.  You can also see up the plunge tubes, and again, good opportunity to get any dust out of there that has collected, particularly if your router is normally table-mounted.  Another one of those occasions that an air compressor proves invaluable.

If you are fitting the baseplate for the 2400W router, it is placed directly on top of the router here, then the plastic baseplate is put back on top.

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If you are fitting the 1400W router baseplate, it is inserted into the recess of the plastic base.  There are a couple of tags that line up with the plate.  Note here, the recess in the template baseplate goes to the bottom of the router.  The 2 screws seen here are the ones used to hold the templates in position – it is not necessary to have them already screwed in place.

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The assembly is now placed back onto the router, but at this stage is not secured.  You then plunge the router so the collet protrudes through the base, and secure the  baseplate alignment bush into the template baseplate.  The two notches in this, and all the template guides are so you can get it past the screw heads.  Loosen the screws, drop the guide below the screw heads then rotate the guide so the notches are not lined up with the screws, then tighten the screws down.  For the alignment bush, this will, by default, cause the baseplate to be centred on the collet.  To remove, loosen the screws, twist the template guide so the notches are in line, then lift it clear.  Without the notches, you’d have to fully remove the screws every time to fit a new guide.

This centering is absolutely critical for template guides.  If the template guide is offcentre, you can be sure that the template will not work as required.  If it isn’t centered, then as you turn the router, the bit will be too far right, or left of where it should be according to the template you are trying to follow (leigh jig or otherwise).

You only use the alignment bush once – when securing the base plate in position.

You can now use the original screws to secure the baseplate to the router, and fitting the template guide baseplate is complete.

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Here, a template guide is shown fitted, with the router bit protruding through.  I’ll cover actually using template guides another time btw.

In some cases, you want to use the template guide with a router bit that is too large to fit through the hole in the guide.  In this case, you will put the bit through the template guide before actually fitting the guide, then tighten the collet on the bit, and then secure the template guide.

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You do need to ensure that the shaft length of your router bit is long enough to still be fully inserted into the collet.

As you may also see, the Triton template guides have gaps in them – this is so the dust collection system of the Triton router can still operate with the guides fitted.

There are 7 different template guide sizes in the Triton kit, and they are used with different router bits, and templates.  The smaller the template guide, the sharper the corner that can be achieved, but also the smaller the bit itself needs to be to fit.

So hopefully that helps answer any questions you have about fitting the Triton template guides!

Router bit of-the-month (January)

The router bit-of-the-month featured in Episode 19 is a raised panel bit from Carb-i-tool and has their typical quality features: low friction coating, high quality carbide, anti-kickback design and importantly, accurate dimensioning of the shaft. I have quite a few Carb-i-tool bits, as you may have gathered from other posts, and I always have a great deal of respect for the quality of the bits (and the subsequent quality in finish they produce), as well as the (for me) very important fact that it is a local manufacturer turning out such a good product.

There are a number of profiles available for the raised panel, it is a matter of choosing which one you feel suits the product you are making (and one that complements the rail and stile profile). This cutter is a horizontal style cutter, as opposed to a vertical raised panel bit. In other words, the panel you are routing is presented to the cutter horizontally, ie resting on the router table. I tend to prefer this type of bit, as it means the workpiece is fully supported by the router table, and I don’t have to balance the panel against the router fence. This is particularly important for large panels. So that is the positive aspect, and I feel this is the preferred orientation. However, it does mean the router bit itself has to be huge (and the raised panel bit is often the largest router bit you’d ever own). It is a huge chunk of steel and carbide that the router needs to spin, and as such, you need a strong, heavy duty router to cope with it, and essentially, one that is variable speed. (Check a post I made recently about matching router bit speed to the size of the bit).

If your router cannot cope with such a large bit, then the vertical raised panel bit is the way to go, as it is nowhere near as large a diameter bit, and the router can cope with it much easier. You do need a good, high fence to support the panel then, so that is the compromise.

I tend to use an unbearinged raised panel bit, as it leaves my options open for exactly where I position the fence, and I can centre the fence on the bit, or have it as far forward as I’d like. If the bit had a bearing, I would be limited to just how much of the profile I could expose with the fence. In any respect, I am always going to use a fence with this bit (and a router table). It is way too large to ever consider handholding the router.

Also, given the amount of material this bit can remove, it is highly advisable to take multiple passes to remove all the material. You can achieve this in 2 ways. Either by moving the fence, starting with only a little of the cutter exposed, then expose more for the second pass, then set the fence close to the final position for a third pass and finally set it for the full depth pass so that one is a very light pass (ie removing very little material) which really improves the quality.

The other method is to set the fence in the final position to start, then raise the router bit each time instead, until it is at the correct depth for the final pass. For some reason this is my preferred method, but either is perfectly valid. Both have the problem that if you want to produce another panel later, you need to reposition the fence and the bit depth exactly, so obviously, ideally, you’d have all the panels ready to go, and do the same pass on all the panels one after another before changing bit depth (or fence position), so each panel is at the same stage when you set up for the final pass. It is worthwhile also running a bit of scrap wood through the process at the same time, so that you can set it aside, and use it to help reset up the fence and bit depth if you ever do need to produce another matching panel at a future date.

Episode 19 Router Bit Review Raised Panel Bit

Raised Panel Bit. To complement the rail and stile bit featured last month, the raised panel bit is used to produce the panel that fits into the frame created by the rail and stile. The result is a very traditionally styled raised panel, used for cupboard doors, drawer fronts, and even the sides of some types of furniture.

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