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Thread: Fluting a pilaster - Know of any good jigs?

  1. #1
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    Fluting a pilaster - Know of any good jigs?

    A customer dropped off a rush job today (needs it Monday morning). He is a local chimney sweep that, somehow, has been asked to replace some water damaged pilasters and trim around a fireplace. He has supplied the material and I am only supplying labor. The flat MDF needs to be fluted. I have the right bit but now guides other than a plain edge guide. I could probably get by with that, but thought that there must be a home made jig I could build to insure better results.

    A quick look at YouTube turned up many suggestions on jigs from Festool, Rockler, and others, but I just do not have time to buy. Any suggestions?

    Here's what's being replaced.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
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    do you have a router table? If so then set up stops and work from the center out. if not, what I used to do in the field was to clamp stops at each end and use my router fence, again working from the center out.
    so in this case, the inner two first, run the router along one edge then down the other, move the fence for the outer flute and repeat.
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Soby View Post
    do you have a router table? If so then set up stops and work from the center out. if not, what I used to do in the field was to clamp stops at each end and use my router fence, again working from the center out.
    so in this case, the inner two first, run the router along one edge then down the other, move the fence for the outer flute and repeat.
    Thanks Rich - I do have a router table, but since the pieces are long, about 45", I was not sure how to manage the stops as the table is only about 30" wide. Not sure how I would set stops. I also have the fence, but was a bit wary about making everything nice and straight running up against one edge. Most of the jigs I've seen capture the work with a fence that rides both sides. Maybe I just don't trust myself to keep everything tight to the fence.
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  4. #4
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    I use a handheld router and a core box bit. I make a jig that's nothing more than a straightedge that guides the router base. The first flute on the outsides is the same pass (turn the setup to run the send one the other way). Then I place a spacer against the edge for the next two inward...and so on. You get perfect spacing that way. Just set up a stop block at each end. You'll likely get some burning at the ends, and an easy fix for that is use a riffler to scrape the ends. There is a shape that fits perfectly for most diameters. Good for smoothing out the flute too.
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  5. #5
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    use a featherboard to hold it against the fence then mark a line on the fence showing the leading and trailing edge of the bit. Mark the start and finish on your pilaster then just take your time go slow.

    another way is to work from one side to the other and attach a stop to the side of the pilaster with blocks clamped to the table. still using the feather board.
    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

  6. #6
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    Last edited by Charles Hans; 03-15-2014 at 11:53 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hans View Post
    Here is one Rennie, works really well
    http://www.toolcrib.com/blog/2009/10...-mortise-jigs-
    One of my jigs is listed on that site...thank you.



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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hans View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mike marvel View Post
    One of my jigs is listed on that site...thank you.



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    PERFECT!! I'll start on this tomorrow! THANKS!
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  9. #9
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    Fluting a pilaster - Know of any good jigs?

    Many thanks to Charles and Mike for the link to that neat jig. Took me about three hours using scrap I had laying around the shop to build one. Not quite as pretty as the one in the magazine but it did a great job.

    I did not have the small knobs necessary so had to build up some for the outside adjustments so they would clear the rails for the router base.

    It worked like a charm. Thanks again to Charles and Mike.
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  10. #10
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    Nice. Looks like time well spent. Now you have another jig in the arsenal.

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