How to Use a Pattern Router Bit

Pattern Router Bits image by Photos by Gene Tencza


A pattern router bit is a straight cutting bit with a bearing or "pilot" on it. The bearing runs against a pattern or template, and the bit cuts your workpiece to the exact size and shape of the pattern. The pattern can be as small as a hinge mortise or as large as an entire table top. Whatever the pattern is, you will reproduce its shape on your stock.

The pattern

Step 1

Make a pattern that is the size and shape you want final piece to be. Be sure that all the edges are sanded smooth.

Step 2

Place the pattern on the work and mark the work with a pencil.

Step 3

Remove the pattern from the work.

Step 4

Make a rough cut of the work, staying about 1/8" outside the pencil line. Use a band saw, saber saw, coping saw or whatever is appropriate.

Selectiing the router bit

Step 1

Use a bit with the bearing on the end if you want the pattern to be beneath the work

Step 2

Use a bit with the bearing on the shank if you want the pattern to be on top of the work.

Step 3

Select your bit and mount it in the router.

Making the cut

Step 1

Clamp the pattern to your work, carefully matching it up to the previously made pencil line.

Step 2

Turn on the router, place it on top of this assembly, hold it firmly and carefully push it into the work until the bearing touches the pattern.

Step 3

Proceed around your work only as fast as the router will cut without laboring.

Step 4

Stop at a convenient spot (such as a corner) and move your clamps to an area that has already been cut, then proceed with the rest of the cut.

Tips and Warnings

  • Unplug your router whenever you are changing bits.

Things You'll Need

  • Pattern router bit
  • Router
  • Material to make a pattern (plywood, MDF or plastic)
  • Sandpaper
  • The workpiece to be shaped
  • Clamps

Who Can Help

  • Pattern Router Bits
Keywords: pattern, router, bit, template

About this Author

Gene Tencza has worked in the furniture industry all his life. Tencza has always been a chronic home handyman, mechanic and "Jack of all trades". He has been writing professionally for since May of 2009. Tencza has a Bachelor of Science in industrial education from Central Conneticut State University

Photo by: Photos by Gene Tencza

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Use a Pattern Router Bit