I have a router template with a shape that I want to replicate on a piece of wood (it's some sort of oval) but it is a bit larger than I want it. I've never used a rabbet router bit but it seems that I could use one to replicate the shape while making it bigger, right?. Now, if the size of the bearing was bigger than the size of the cutting part of the bit, it seems that it would make a whole with a similar shape but smaller. Does such router bit exist? if yes, how is it called?

Or is there a better solution for what I'm trying to do?

  • How much do you want to reduce by, the template being "a bit larger" doesn't tell us quite enough ;-) If it's the kind of size reduction I'm thinking would the simplest option of a brass bushing do what you want? Fixed offsets from an edge (straight or curved) is precisely what bushings are for.
    – Graphus
    Dec 16 '19 at 7:52

Graphus mentions using a bushing in his comment on the OP. If you rout around the inside of the template, then a bushing will work to make your newly produced part smaller. If you rout around the outside of the template then a bushing will only serve to make the new piece larger.

If you have an "outside" template, you could use the router to create a new, "inside" template which will, by it's very nature, be larger than the original template. (Use the smallest diameter straight-cutting bit you can find to make this new template to minimize the enlargement.) Then find a large enough bushing to use your new, "inside" template to make the final piece of work the size you're after.

If you need a significant reduction such that you cannot find a large enough bushing to make the reduction in one pass, you could make a series of "inside" then "outside" templates, making each one smaller than before. When you're done, you'll have gone through a lot of plywood/hardboard/etc, but you'll have a nice set of templates that should work for just about any size you'd need in the future!


I think this may be easier that trying to tweak existing tools to scale the work.

My first inclination would be to make a copy of the existing template on paper. Then you can use almost any multi-function printer to make a copy, but reduce it by some percentage. In a related manner, I suspect there is software you can use that will reduce a scanned PDF to a new size, which gets you the same result. (I've never used such software, though, and sizing real-world images with software is a bit of a black art.)

Alternatively, you can use a tool like a pantograph to help you free-hand a new template drawing, just at a reduced size.

Now, with your template drawing that matches the original, only reduced in all dimensions, you can fashion the new template as you wish.

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