DIY Network

How to Make a Routing Guide

It can be difficult to manipulate routers to create accurate dadoes and grooves. DIY experts demonstrate how to make a routing guide that'll help make straight cuts every time.

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make routing guide that make straight cuts
  • Time

    30 Minutes

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Draw Lines

Draw a dead center line on both T boards. Form the boards into a T, then place a piece of scrap wood the same width as the boards to support the top piece while building the jig.

building the jig

Step 2: Align the Center Lines

Align the center lines drawn on the boards, then use a square or a combination square to make sure the top board is straight.

Remove the top piece and draw a line along the edge of the square (across the top of the bottom piece of wood).

Step 3: Re-form the T, and Add a Brad

Re-form the T, using the line that was drawn with the square to show the proper alignment for the top piece.

Use a brad nailer to put one brad in the pieces, then check to make sure the T is square. Adjust as needed.

Step 4: Screw the Pieces Together

When the jig is square, put in another brad to hold the pieces in place. Screw the pieces together for a more permanent hold. Drill pilot holes and countersink the screws.

screw pieces together for permanent hold

Step 5: Route Into the Work Piece

Clamp a board tightly into the jig and route through the bottom piece of the jig and into the work piece. The next time you use it, the hole already cut into the jig allows you to align the board properly. The jig is bit and tool specific, so write down the bit and router used to make the routing guide right onto the jig.

clamp board tightly into jig