Some Torque Functions

Getting ready for the jaunt across to the US in a week’s time, I put some time running through some of the basic Torque functions.

Firstly, I wanted to do some refinements to the overall setup – getting the centreline of the router as perpendicular to the workcentre top as possible.  I’ve touched on this recently, using a dial gauge mounted directly to the router collet.  That provides a significant level of accuracy, perhaps beyond that which is required.  I’ve also been using the Wixey Digital Angle Gauge directly onto a rod mounted in the collet, and that is a pretty simple system to use.

First step is getting the main arm parallel to the table.  Using the Wixey is the best way to achieve that – zero off the table (with the gauge parallel in alignment to the arm) then place it on the arm itself, and get it level.

Zeroing the Wixey

Next, repeat the process, this time zeroing the gauge then check the rod is at 90 degrees.  Repeat the process for the other axis of the router.

Aligning the Router

(You can see in this photo the router is out a significant 1.4 degrees around the Y axis).

I’ve also tried using the simplest technology – a square, and that is also quite successful.

Using a Square

The use of a straight rod in the router collet is so successful, I’d almost suggest it would be a useful inclusion in the Torque Workcentre package, and later it could become one of the set of copying attachments (although the copy attachments would need to be increased in size from 12mm to 12.4mm, but I’d see that as an advantage).

First job I did was finishing off the downsizing of the 4″ pre-separator bin.  It needed a new base, and although I’ve cut circles by other methods in the past, the TWC is by far the easiest method.  There are justifiable times that the bandsaw will still be better (thin kerf of the blade vs router bit width), but if that is not a consideration, then the TWC wins.

Circle Cutting

A circle is cut by placing the workpiece on the TWC pin (by drilling a pilot hole in the underside of the material), offsetting the router by the radius of the required circle and locking it’s X and Y axis.while rotating the workpiece, slowly plunge the router into the work, cut a circle, increase the depth, rotate again, rinse and repeat until the circle comes free.

New Base for Dust Bin (Pre-separator)

Next, I wanted to try some of the pin-routing technique.  This is a 2 stage process.  First you need to create the path that the pin is going to follow.  In this case, I have secured down the body of the racing kangaroo.  A couple of extra supports are added so there is no issue with the panel rocking on a too small-a pattern being duplicated.

Setting up the item to be duplicated

This is flipped over and run against the pin, with the router directly over the top of the pin, a channel is cut.

The path created for the pin

This is the path that the pin will fit into for the actual duplications.

All the parts for the racing kangaroo

Flip the pattern over, mounting it on the pin, and attach the blank board on top.  With the pattern captive on the pin, a perfect copy is made, and this can be repeated as many times as is desired.  The only thing I need to do is get a better match in size between the pin diameter and router bit diameter – they need to be a matched pair.

Pattern Copying

The other method is using the copying attachment.  This has a pin that follows the original path, and moves the router over the workpiece, rather than moving the workpiece relative to the router as happens with pin copying.

Resulting sign

In this case I used a router bit larger than the pin, so the thickness of the letters were increased.  Signwriting is only one use of this technique.  The ability to easily and accurately duplicate an object or pattern is a very powerful tool.  (As you can see, I was using the same workpiece to test this technique as I did for the pin routing)

Producing raised (bas-relief) lettering is as easy (if not easier!)

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