We currently converting a large capacity ecclesiastical 24 slot umbrella stand into a glass topped coffee table. This stand dates from about the 1930’s. Sadly we have no photo of the original piece when it came into our workshop. Our technical challenge is to cut a rebate on the inside edge of the stand’s frame. It is intended that the table’s glass top will sit in this rebate. A rebate is a step cut into the edge of a piece of wood. Normally for such a task we’d use a router with a bearing guided rebate cutter. A router is similar to an electric drill but it holds a high speed rotating cutter. The following photo is of such a cutter, the hatched area superimposed on the photo is a section of timber with the rebate cut. However on this occasion this cutter cannot be used because the surface of the stand that it runs along is uneven. This unevenness will leads to an uneven cut so another way of doing this needs to be found.
Thus we have 2 challenges, our bearing guided cutter cannot be used and the surface to rest the router on is too narrow to be used safely. The solution is for us to construct a jig as no commercial off the shelf jig solutions exist.
Our solution is to use a board which spans the frame and on which to mount the router. This frame also has a guide to ensure that the cut is a constant distance from the edge.
The board is just an offcut of ply that we have in our store. In essence this is an exercise is careful measurement and placement of router and fence.
Tho’ this may seem like a waste of time and effort the accuracy of the resultant cut and the ease of the cutting is, we know, more than well worth the effort.
Here is a pic of the cut being made
And this is the result.