Cutting Identical Slots

I recently built a large entertainment center that needed several identical slots for cord access. Roughing out the slots with a jigsaw wasn't difficult. But getting them all identical, with clean edges was another story. To solve this problem, I decided to cut the slots with my router and a simple shop-made template.

Making the Template
I made my template from a piece of ¼" hardboard. Be sure the overall size of the template is large enough to support the router base. Center the slot on the width and length of the template, leaving the centerlines visible. (Later, they'll serve as reference lines so you can align the template on the workpiece.) I cut the slot in my template by drilling two end holes and roughing out the waste with a jig saw. Then I sanded the edges to provide a smooth edge for my router bit bearing to ride on.

Using the Template
First lay out centerlines on your workpiece where you want the slots located. Extend these lines far enough out that they won't be covered by the template. Then rough out the slot in the workpiece with a jig saw.

Now it's time to use the template. Align the centerlines of the template with the center lines on the workpiece and clamp it in place (see drawing). Then, using a pattern bit in your router, start routing in a clockwise direction around the template opening. Then simply move the template to the location of your next slot and repeat. This will make all slots in your workpiece smooth, clean, and identical.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great help thanks for the tutorial. I am really curious on making wood templates these days.
    dovetail jigs