Sunday, August 13, 2017

Oak Router Bed

I have a Record 071 router plane which I like a lot, but it has some issues. Most important, it's missing its depth adjustment screw, though I'm hoping to fix that shortly.

The other issue is its cast steel base, which though great for gliding across a wood surface, does tend to leave black marks behind it. (I have a much older brass Stanley router plane that does it too, probably due to the lead content of the brass alloy.)

To fix that problem, and also to increase the surface area of the base, I've given it a new wooden base, laboriously planed down to thickness from a piece of oak I had sitting around. Oak isn't ideal for the purpose; it's good and stiff, but it has a very prominent grain, and because it's being pushed across the grain there's quite a bit of friction. Some nice slow-grown English beech would be better. However, oak is what I've got, so oak it is for the moment.

I'm wondering if a few coats of shellac might help it slip a bit more easily. I'm reluctant to try wax, because I don't want it leaving wax on the surface of the timber I'm routing.
LATER: Shellac works a treat, About three coats, applied quite thin, and then polished back with an 0000 nylon abrasive pad, and now it slips and slides beautifully.

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