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Router jig for cutting shelf slots

If you own a router, making jigs cuts down the amount of work on repetitive projects. In this case, we made a jig for cutting slots for mounting shelves.


You can use scraps of timber and board to make up jigs to make repetitive cuts easier. This simple jig is made using 2 pieces of 16mm supawood and a couple of pine offcuts. This isn't an adjustable jig but a jig that I can use whenever I need to cut slots for pine shelves. The slot width is 22mm wide to allow 20mm for the width of the pine shelf, plus 2mm allowance for the guide bushing.





The guide bushing is slotted into the base of a router by sliding the lever on top of the base plate to open the gear mechanism.

The guide bushing is inserted and lined up and the locking lever released to lock the guide bushing in place. 

The guide bushing allows you to follow any jig design easily, which means that you can route almost any design you want. For this project I used a 12mm straight bit narrow and long enough to fit through the guide bushing and be set to a 5mm cutting depth. Set the depth of the straight bit against the side of the jig (template) and lock into the router. 

Invest in a router bit set that offers a variety of different lengths, sizes and types of router bits and you will be ready for any project. The Tork Craft set includes chamfer, cove, round over, romanogee and straight bits in varying diameters, as well as dovetail, slot cutters  and keyhole.

The jig is clamped on top of the boards to be cut. Since the jig is 600mm wide it allows for cutting slots in boards up to 450mm wide. The router is placed at the end of the slot with the guide bushing flush against the front or back of the slot in the jig and - working from right to left - the router guided to the other end.

This process is repeated with the guide bushing against the back edge of the jig. 


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