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Mike McCarthy

Help with Routing a design into a table

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Hey guys, I just have a question for some of those more knowledgeable here. I'm building a desk for a buddy of mine and I wanted to put his logo in two places on the top. The table is approximately 1.75" thick. The logo is basically a JR. 

Not sure if this is feasible or a dumb idea, but let me know what you guys think. My idea is to route out the JR about 1/2" to 3/4" deep and on the other side of the table I want to route out a circle slighting bigger then the JR, this way on the top side of the table it looks like the JR is cut out all the way through. Then I'm going to put a piece of acrylic glass on the bottom, silicone it off, and then use color tinted epoxy resin to fill in the JR. Then I want to put LED lights in the bottom circle so the logo glows.

Anyway, my questions are what's the best way to cut out the circle and the JR logo? I'm assuming a router, but what bits would I use? Also, should I cut out the circle first roughly an inch deep and then cut out the JR so it will go straight through the bottom? I can cut out a template for the JR if that helps too. 

Also, if someone has a better idea of how to accomplish this, please let me know. Thank you.

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Router makes sense. I would define the circumference of the circle on underside first, using a simple trammel jig. Leave the material in the middle for now.

Switch to the top side and route the letters. Using a mask of blue tape, shelf liner, or vinyl stencil (like a Cricut stencil), waste away the material from the middle toward the edges. You can start with a larger bit, but use a small diameter, preferably spiral cut bit to clean the edges. That reduces the chance of a catch that will ruin the clean line.

The switch back to the underside, and waste away the circle, working from the center out toward the rim you defined earlier.

That's how I would tackle it, anyway. If you can add a router base that spans the entire area to be wasted out, you won't have to worry about the router tipping. Alternatively, I sometimes use an offset base, with a counterweight to hold the router level when it overhangs the edge.

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A down cut spiral bit.  That is to say a bit that is to say a bit that cuts from the wood surface into the wood.  

Also practice this on scrap, even MDF, before you attempt on your project.

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