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Teach me about routers

Old 11-24-2019, 05:51 PM
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Watch out, the bits are sharp and oddly shaped. I went to use a new bit which came with a rubber sheath on it. The bit was just a little over 1/4 inch wide. So naturally I grabbed the sheath and slid it off. While I was at it I sliced my thumb in the sharp part of the blade. It must have been sharp because I didnít feel a thing.
Old 11-24-2019, 08:30 PM
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Use your existing dash for a template, space it off the starboard 1/4 inch. Starboard routes like wood, should be a simple operation. I routed my dash with a 1/4 inch flush trim bit following a template I made out of 1/4 inch ply. My panel is rectangular so only routed the internal cut outs. I used 1/2 inch black starboard.

I'll make a suggestion regarding the switches. I used Carling rocker switches, and bought the panel inserts that fit in the routed openings and hold the switches. It gives a much better finished look.


Old 11-24-2019, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
Use your existing dash for a template, space it off the starboard 1/4 inch. Starboard routes like wood, should be a simple operation. I routed my dash with a 1/4 inch flush trim bit following a template I made out of 1/4 inch ply. My panel is rectangular so only routed the internal cut outs. I used 1/2 inch black starboard.

I'll make a suggestion regarding the switches. I used Carling rocker switches, and bought the panel inserts that fit in the routed openings and hold the switches. It gives a much better finished look.

Do you have a source for the inserts. That looks very similar to what I'm looking to accomplish.
Old 11-24-2019, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Going with 1/2" just to avoid this happening. Undecided on black vs white, but leaning toward black. Looked at doing aluminum, but just way to much $ to have someone else do it, and I have no desire to spend that much time cleaning up cuts/edges.
I made an aluminum dash for my boat when I installed new electronics. Using a template I made from foam board,I used a hole saw where it made turns, clamped a straight edge to it to make long cuts and free hand on the curves to a line I drew. Easy to clean the edge with a grinder with fine sandpaper and hand sanding. Then primed and painted to match the rest. I find aluminum easy to work with, strong to hold the gear, and it has no problem with expanding/ distorting.

Old 11-24-2019, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post


thatís what Iím not following. Is my current dash panel not an acceptable template to work from? If not, how would a wood/Metal/etc. be advantageous vs it?
You need to pay someone else to make it for you if you don't understand why "you" shouldn't use your panel as a template. Good luck
Old 11-26-2019, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
that makes complete sense. Any reason not to hold the gap with flat washers or similar as opposed to sandwiching anther material in there?
Yes. You want to sandwich the template piece and the material to be cut with something solid or it will flex and you will not get a perfect cut
Originally Posted by maintenanceguy View Post
Inside square corners can't be done with a router (stereo, switches, etc.).
Not really true - you can get more than square enough corners for trim panels using a 1/8" straight bit and a collar with a template. Having a slightly rounded corner reduces the chance of stress cracking.
Old 11-26-2019, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Buoy Scout View Post
Use your existing dash for a template, space it off the starboard 1/4 inch. Starboard routes like wood, should be a simple operation. I routed my dash with a 1/4 inch flush trim bit following a template I made out of 1/4 inch ply. My panel is rectangular so only routed the internal cut outs. I used 1/2 inch black starboard.

I'll make a suggestion regarding the switches. I used Carling rocker switches, and bought the panel inserts that fit in the routed openings and hold the switches. It gives a much better finished look.
This is what I would do. Pretty simple. The spacer can be a piece of mdf cut slightly smaller. I would also consider screwing some pieces of strapping through existing cutouts to hold everything in place using the strapping basically as clamps. Just need to make sure they do not interfere with the router pad.

inside cuts can be done using the same method. Can secure the outer edges before removing screwed in clamps. Squared off edges can be accomplished with a file. They are covered with a bezel anyhow.

Not sure I would be using starboard though.
Old 11-26-2019, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
This is what I would do. Pretty simple. The spacer can be a piece of mdf cut slightly smaller. I would also consider screwing some pieces of strapping through existing cutouts to hold everything in place using the strapping basically as clamps. Just need to make sure they do not interfere with the router pad.

inside cuts can be done using the same method. Can secure the outer edges before removing screwed in clamps. Squared off edges can be accomplished with a file. They are covered with a bezel anyhow.

Not sure I would be using starboard though.
good info.

Any material recommendations that arenít wood or metal?

I have a quote request in with new wire, and going to check the local place next week hopefully.
Old 11-26-2019, 01:58 PM
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Starboard actually works pretty well for a dash on a boat. Otherwise, most boat manufacturers use acrylic, which is pretty easy to source online.
Old 11-26-2019, 02:02 PM
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Got a quote in today from Newwire. Price is fair for what it is, about $350 for the cut panel itself. Gotta figure out how much my time is worth. Looks like they use CNC and have a pattern for my dash in file. Iíve got to print out the prof and size it up to be sure.
Old 11-26-2019, 07:39 PM
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Default Teach me aboutrouters

I have about 5 or 6 which inclues 2 in router tables. Be aware you can get hurt with one. No cabinet maker/woodworker can live without one.They are not complicated. Buy one , accumulate some bits and dive in, You will like them. Be careful.
Old 11-26-2019, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Do you have a source for the inserts. That looks very similar to what I'm looking to accomplish.
The cut out insert frames are modular, so you buy ends and middle pieces. They friction fit in the cut outs, so dimensions need to be precise. I cut them a hair undersize and filed them a bit to get a tight fit. The switches themselves just snap into the frames.

https://www.carlingtech.com/mounting#2

https://rockerswitchpros.com/accessories/


Old 11-27-2019, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
good info.

Any material recommendations that arenít wood or metal?

I have a quote request in with new wire, and going to check the local place next week hopefully.
Acrylic is pretty common as mentioned. $350 is short money considering the time to make the spacer, router, file and buy the materials. I assume they also drill and bevel the mounting holes?
Old 11-27-2019, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Acrylic is pretty common as mentioned. $350 is short money considering the time to make the spacer, router, file and buy the materials. I assume they also drill and bevel the mounting holes?
Correct. That would include everything except drilling the mounting holes.
Old 11-27-2019, 06:45 PM
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My only reservation with acrylic is that it is brittle and can chip along edges and if not countersunk for flat head screws or fastened with pan head screws, can crack around screw holes. Starboard, while not glossy, does not show scratches and does not to crack as acrylic does. Starboard is a lot easier to work with with woodworking tools as well. YMMV.
Old 11-27-2019, 09:43 PM
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A router is probably the most dangerous power tool in a wood shop if you look at injuries per hour the tool is in use. If you've never used one before please reconsider your options. I jig or template is the way to go but likely you have no experience in setting one up for use with a router as well. Sounds like a one-and-done type of project. Either do it with tools with which you have experience or farm it out. A professional can probably also provide worthwhile advice on selecting the best material for your application. If the thermal expansion of starboard is too great, a thicker panel might only impact the site of damage when something breaks. In other words the panel may not buckle but the housing around that panel might crack instead.
Old 11-29-2019, 04:43 PM
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Artist rendering from new wire. I like it.



Old 11-29-2019, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
Artist rendering from new wire. I like it.


Looks like a no brainer! I must say I like the lower panel the best!
Old 11-29-2019, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Vantaredoc View Post
Looks like a no brainer! I must say I like the lower panel the best!
yep. What Iím thinking. I like the lower one best because the logos match the rest of the boat. Probably either do that or no logo at all.
Old 11-29-2019, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
yep. What Iím thinking. I like the lower one best because the logos match the rest of the boat. Probably either do that or no logo at all.
If you leave off the logo, it would allow for a spot for something else, like a Man Overboard unit...lol I will not own another boat without a MOB unit!

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