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Thread: Plan or Procedure for Building a Wooden Wall Switch Face Plate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Staint John's, FL (near JAX)
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    Plan or Procedure for Building a Wooden Wall Switch Face Plate

    Hi Folks,

    I have some spare wood left over from a project that would make really nice wooden wall switch face plates.

    I am having trouble getting started ..
    Has anyone made one of these ?

    I have searched the internet and could not find a plan.

    Thanks in advance.

    -Fred

    Fred J. Stellabotte
    Newbie Woodworker

    Jacksonville, Florida
    United States

    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    "The generous will prosper;
    those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." - Proverbs 11:25

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    5,015
    Hi Fred...not much help for you, having never made one, but if I had to make some I would go to Lowe's or Home Depot and take a look at their wooden switch plates to see what the back looked like and take it from there. My switches are rocker types, so the hole is large and rectangular. I'd probably make a router template of some kind to make more than a few and chisel the corners square, or print out a pattern, paste it on the wood and cut it out with a jig saw. Lots of ways to do it.

  3. #3
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    I made a couple of them a few years ago. A friend wanted them in a different wood species than the choices available. I bought some cheap wooden one to use as a pattern and to scavenge for the metal plates they glue on the inside. I made them on the Router Boss so I didn't need to make a template but a template or two would be a good way to go. How many plates are you planning to make?
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  4. #4
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    Hi Dave,
    I would like to make one or two every time I have some nice wood leftover. I have some really nice wood leftover from projects, small lengths. I can't throw them out, but the lengths are small. That is how I got the face plate idea.
    I think I understand how to use a trim router bit with a template, but I was wondering how to carve out the backside, and is a metal back needed.

    It would be nice to come up with a way to make them quickly. then I could give them away to family, friends and our Church which has fund raiser sales.

    Thanks,


    Fred

    Fred J. Stellabotte
    Newbie Woodworker

    Jacksonville, Florida
    United States

    __________________________________________________ __________________________
    "The generous will prosper;
    those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed." - Proverbs 11:25

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Stellabotte View Post
    ....It would be nice to come up with a way to make them quickly... Fred
    CNC...your next big tool purchase

  6. #6
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    Fred, I have a template idea for a trim router in my head. Maybe I can make a sketch to show you.

    The metal plate will add a lot of strength--there isn't much when you get the plate as thin as it must be. If you tighten the screws down to secure the plate to a switch, it would likely split. There may also be electrical codes that require it. I know that we had to add extensions to the electrical boxes in our finished basement where the birch car siding was installed. The electrician had installed them for sheet rock not wood. It would be worth checking anyway.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  7. #7
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    See if this makes sense for you.

    Basically you would have a base to hold the plate which is cut to size. Then a template goes over it to guide a router bit with a bearing on it. Make a different template for each cut but make them so you can swap them quickly. You'll probably also need to make a recess on the front of the plate around the switch bat or it won't stick out enough to be used easily.
    Last edited by Dave Richards; 01-05-2014 at 11:14 AM.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  8. #8
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    Dave, you should write that up and send it in to the wood working mags. That's a great idea!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  9. #9
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    thanks, Brent. I suppose now that I've made it public, it is too late.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  10. #10
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    We wont tell a soul Dave ( in my best Klinger voice I no NOTHING)
    A Turn N Time
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