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Using the Router as a manufacturing Tool…

May 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Craft Paint Boxes

Talking to local businesses…

So you want to create a special project that can be duplicated many times over…let’s say you have talked to the local Wine Store or any store that sells small gifts to their clients. You are creating a sample gift box that is used to replace the wrapping paper. It holds a wine bottle, a bottle of high end perfume or that special knick-knack. This box is made of MDF and has been painted with the Faux finish. The cost of production is approximately $1.50 each.

You present this to the Store manager and mention that this box can have their custom logo painted into the finish. Cost of each box is $9.95 without the logo and $14.95 each with the logo in groups of 10 boxes per order. Use your sample box as your sales tool…get the orders then create the manufacturing line around the construction methods.

You explain that the boxes can be made into any shape and/or size. You can even work with the store to create a in-store special event that groups four wines into one gift box. The store creates a special price that includes your gift box. Retail price of a four wine hand made gift box is $29.95 and works as the gift box plus once brought home it can be the modular wine storage system on the pantry shelf. It’s a collectible item…

Manufacturing with your Router…

Well today’s post is about using the router to create many projects made the same way. As you create this one design then develop the manufacturing process that will then create ready to sell multiple projects. With this technique you can create many items very fast and accurately. The process is to create Jigs and Fixtures that are designed to aid you in the construction operations.

Here is the step by step system for the manufacturing technique,

1) Identify the project you want to duplicate,
2) Make a list of construction processes,
3) Identify the processes that require assistance,
4) Create Jigs and Fixtures for the identified processes,

Test the processes with your new Jigs and Fixtures by creating a pro-type run of let’s say ten items. This is where you have the list of construction operations, required Jigs and Fixtures, and the workstations set up to manufacture your projects. It is recommended to set up each workstation with separate routers and template guides. You need to set up the entire manufacturing line.

Here is an example, the Magic Box from episode 103,

1) Using the dynamic box calculator create a sample box using the inside measurements from the dimensions of one of your favorite wines. This is going to be your sample bottle used to generate sales.

2) The list of construction processes:

A) Using 3/8″ MDF size the 3 different pieces,
B) router the two pieces one side with two rabbets and
C) one top/bottom with four rabbets,
D) router the inside groove in all side pieces,
E) Mark the groove on the outside of the piece,
F) Glue and place into the gluing jig,
G) Cut apart the lid/bottom using the small jig,
H) Sand the manufactured box,
I) Antique and Paint the finished box,
J) Package and deliver to client.

3) Processes that need assistance:

F) Glue and place into the gluing jig, (see project PDF to see gluing jig)
G) Cut apart the lid/bottom using the small jig, (See Project PDF to see the jig to separate the lid and bottom)

4) Make the jigs…

Hopefully this has been a help with regards to the many uses of the router in the manufacturing process. Just one more point, be sure to add a clear Avery label on the bottom of the gift box with all your contact information. Plus add four small felt stickers one on each corner. These will act as small protective feet used to keep your painted surface from being transferred to the clients furniture.


3 Responses to “Using the Router as a manufacturing Tool…”

  1. john stark on May 7th, 2010 5:35 pm

    Rick, I have followed your advice on how to remove the springs from my Dewalt 625 plunge router. Inside the plunge tubes in addition to the springs were brass tubes. One came out with the spring which was fine with me. The one in the other plunge tunnel refuses to come out. I have tried to remove it with a pair of surgical tweezers and it wont budge. Unfortunately it wobbles about its rolled bottom edge and leaving the top edge of the tube leaning against the side wall of the plunge tubel making it impossible to completely lower the plunge base. I have spent four hours without success trying to either remove the tube or align it so the base can go all the way down. The DeWalt service center was of no help. HELP!!!
    john stark

    Not sure what to say, the old Dewalt routers come apart like a charm with no hassles. This doesn’t sound good if their support team is as non responsive as you say. I guess they don’t want to sell you a router…Rick

  2. Leon E. LeBoldus on May 8th, 2010 4:58 pm

    I would like to sign up for the video workshop series. What constrains me is just how do I retain the material so that I can access it at my leisurely pace of utilizing it? Currently I have very little time that I can devote to woodworking and this will be so for the foreseeable future.


    You can watch each of the videos as many times as you want. There are no restrictions on when you can view a released video. The system releases 4 new videos per month and the cost per month is $4.00. That is $1.00 per video

    Hope this has been helpful,


  3. john stark on May 8th, 2010 10:13 pm

    Rick, More to the point, I think you have a lot of good advice in your tip. I would add, consider whether you have a target market in mind or a target holiday and how much time you need to prepare your samples prior to that time. Father’s Day is in June. Step back and figure your time to prepare for that market.. for example.
    Second, as your prototype, keep good records of material and time costs so you can fairly price your items. to your customers.