Arrow of Light – Getting Started

O.K.  It’s time to get this project rolling.  I’ve already finished the design, now it’s time to turn it into some plaques.   I’m going to be making nine plaques and each plaque is going to have numerous operations including

  • Pocketing the holes
  • Profiling the curved edges
  • Engraving the names and other information
  • Drilling the holes for the arrow holders
  • Drilling a keyhole for the wall hanger on the back

The first problem I have to solve is holding and alignment.  Since I’d like to do the same operation on all nine before moving to the next operation, I need to find a way to hold the stock material securely and repeatably.  Here’s the solution I’ve come up with:  I’ll attach a piece of MDF to the router table and pocket out a large area to exactly fit the stock.  The pocket will only be a 1/4″ deep or so to keep the stock from sliding sideways with the force of the cutter.  Then I’ll attach each piece of stock in the pocket with double-sided tape.

The other advantage of this is that I can cut the stock to the exact dimensions on the table saw and avoid having to profile the entire edge.  The only section that will have to be profiled is the two curved corners.  This will help speed up the machine time.

In the picture above, you can see the design for the ‘jig pocket’.  The pocket has round corners to let the cutter move in.  Without that, the corners would be cut round at the radius of the cutter and wouldn’t accommodate the square corners of the stock.

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