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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #1 

I have searched the forum with regards to using a router in toy making so if this question has been addressed before I apologize. I have been asked to make more of the same toys that I already made and think that templates are the way to do this. I have several routers and a router table but I think my DeWalt 611 would be best for making the cutout for toys. Please no CNC advice as much as I would like an CNC but it would not be cost efficient for me and the learning curve for this old man would be too mentally demanding.  LOL.

So, with all that said, my questions are about using a router for toy making using templates. I already have made a few templates.

Does anyone on this forum use a router for toy making and to what extent?



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Posts: 1,618
Reply with quote  #2 

I've tried usinf a router, but was not happy with the results. The damage from tear-out and occasional burning took longer to repair than it took to cut the toys on the scroll saw.

Even just using a round over bit didn't work for me. I can round over corners faster sanding than I can with a router. Tear out was some times a problem rounding over edges. It just me, but I didn't like the artificial look the routed corners gave my toys.

Add to this that most of the toy designs do not lend themselves well to cutting with a router and must be modified extensively to get it to work well.

Compared to a scroll saw, a router is a blunt instrument.

Advanced techniques are the basics perfectly applied.
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Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for the info

Posts: 255
Reply with quote  #4 
Hello Gyn,

   I tend to agree with BadBob about a router being a blunt instrument compared with  a scroll-saw.
There is a LOT more energy being expended here, and you cannot easily see the line/cutting tool interface so a pattern-following bit is essential.

 However, my scroll-sawing skills are still in their infancy, and I cannot turn out a string of the same item  looking exactly the same.  So I tend to cut a little outside the line ( err on the side of caution) and then if the shape is such that I cannot effectively use my disc sander to clean up exactly to the line, I prepare a 3mm mdf template and clean up with a ball-bearing bit in the table router.
There is a fine line to make the feed rate slow enough to minimise tear-out and yet not get the odd burn mark.  Like any technique, the more you do it the better you get. Keep the bit sharp and the bearing clean and oiled!  Some timbers are easier than others.

I will usually use the table router to create the edge radius on toys, then clean up with a light sand if I want more than to just break the edge.  I get a better consistency that way, and as an old engineer with little sculpting skill, I like uniformity and repeatability.

I would never advise using a router as the primary cutting-out tool. Even using a pattern-following bit, you can get wander, and with the bit trapped on both sides, it takes a very steady hand to avoid bite and kick. Progressive depth cuts are limited/prevented by the pattern thickness, adding to the problems.   I did try it once when making the Quick n Easy Super train window openings, with a custom made sled and toggle clamp setup.  I did get perfectly aligned windows and window frames, but it took more effort than careful cutting and sanding would have done.
We learn from our mistakes, and I have learned lots.[frown]

Hope this helps


Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks Wombat.

All good advise. I too didn't like my window cut outs and I am not skilled in scroll sawing, especially  trying to cut 3/4" hardwood stock. But I have used a router table and templates and jigs for many years now. I have mastered the router climb cut to avoid the "tear out" that you and BadBob talked about. (I use the climb cut as I get to the end of a cut). 

I guess I really didn't think out the using a router as a "primary cutting-out tool" as it would be time consuming with set up and cutting. I think I may try using my router table for some finish cuts and/or windows. I will pass on my results as (and if) I become proficient.  

Thanks again,

PS: I use Freud and Whiteside bit only and a Kreg Router table system.



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