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How to Build Your Own Pantorouter with Free Plans and PDF

A pantorouter is a woodworking machine that can make complex joints and shapes with a router. It works by using a pantograph mechanism that guides the router along a template, while keeping the router bit perpendicular to the workpiece. A pantorouter can be used to make dovetails, mortise and tenon, box joints, finger joints, and many other types of joints and shapes.

If you are interested in building your own pantorouter, you will be happy to know that there are free plans and PDF files available online that you can download and use. These plans will show you how to make a pantorouter from scratch, using common materials and tools. You will also learn how to make your own templates and how to use the pantorouter safely and effectively.

In this article, we will show you where to find the free plans and PDF files for building your own pantorouter, and what you need to know before you start. We will also give you some tips and tricks on how to get the best results from your pantorouter.

Where to Find the Free Plans and PDF Files for Building Your Own Pantorouter

One of the best sources of free plans and PDF files for building your own pantorouter is the website of Matthias Wandel, a Canadian woodworker and engineer who invented the pantorouter. His website, woodgears.ca , has detailed plans and instructions for two versions of the pantorouter: the original pantorouter, which is designed for routers with cylindrical body up to 89 mm diameter and for palm routers; and the pantorouter XL, which is designed for plunge routers. You can see a preview of the plans on his website before buying them.

The plans include detailed drawings of every part of the pantorouter, full-scale printable templates of many parts, full-scale printable drawings of the assembled machine, detailed building instructions with over 200 photos, a SketchUp model of the pantorouter that you can view from any angle and modify as you wish, and more. The plans are in metric units, except for drill and shaft sizes, which are in imperial units. You can also convert the plans to imperial units by changing the units in SketchUp.

The plans cost $20 each, but you can buy both versions together for only $23. On payment, you will be able to download your plans immediately as a zip file. A download link will also be emailed to you automatically. You can also download the plans for the original (2010) pantorouter for free if you want to see how it works.

Another source of free plans and PDF files for building your own pantorouter is GitHub, a platform for hosting and sharing code and projects. On GitHub, you can find a repository called Pantorouter by John Frei, which contains plans for a pantorouter based on Matthias Wandel’s design. The repository includes a PDF file with drawings and dimensions of all the parts, as well as a DXF file that you can use to cut out the parts with a CNC machine or a laser cutter.

The repository also includes some photos of the finished pantorouter and some examples of joints made with it. The plans are in metric units only. You can download the repository as a zip file or clone it with Git. You can also fork it or contribute to it if you want to make any changes or improvements.

What You Need to Know Before You Start Building Your Own Pantorouter

Before you start building your own pantorouter, there are some things you need to know and prepare. First of all, you need to have some basic woodworking skills and tools, such as a drill press, a jigsaw, a bandsaw, a router, a sander, a drill, a screwdriver, a hammer, a saw, a tape measure, a square, a level, and some clamps. You also need to have some materials, such as plywood, hardwood, aluminum angle, threaded rod, nuts, washers, bolts, screws, bearings, springs, knobs, and hinges. You can find most of these materials at your local hardware store or online.

Secondly, you need to have a good understanding of how the pantorouter works and how to use it safely and effectively. The pantorouter is based on a pantograph mechanism that consists of four bars that are connected by pivots. The bars form two parallelograms that move together. One end of the pantograph is attached to the router base, while the other end is attached to the template holder. The template holder slides vertically along two rails and has a pin that follows the shape of the template. The router bit follows the same shape as the pin but at a reduced scale.

The pantorouter has two main adjustments: the scale and the depth. The scale is determined by the distance between the router base and the template holder. The closer they are, the smaller the scale. The scale can be changed by moving the router base along two slots on the pantograph bars. The depth is determined by the position of the plunge stops on the rails. The plunge stops limit how far the template holder can slide down. The depth can be changed by loosening and tightening the knobs on the plunge stops.

The pantorouter also has some safety features that you need to be aware of. The most important one is the guard that covers the router bit and prevents accidental contact with it. The guard also has a dust port that can be connected to a vacuum hose for dust collection. Another safety feature is the switch that turns on and off the router. The switch is mounted on one of the pantograph bars and can be easily reached by hand. The switch also has a lockout feature that prevents unauthorized use of the machine.

How to Make Your Own Templates and How to Use the Pantorouter Safely and Effectively

One of the advantages of the pantorouter is that you can make your own templates for any shape or joint that you want to make with the router. You can use plywood, MDF, hardboard, or any other thin and flat material to make your templates. You can draw or print the shape or joint that you want to make on the template material, and then cut it out with a jigsaw, a bandsaw, a scroll saw, or a CNC machine. You can also use existing objects, such as coins, washers, or metal plates, as templates for circles or curves.

To use the pantorouter, you need to mount the template on the template holder and secure it with screws or clamps. You also need to mount the router on the router base and insert the router bit that matches the shape or joint that you want to make. You also need to adjust the scale and the depth of the pantorouter according to your needs. You can use a test piece of wood to check and fine-tune your settings before working on your actual workpiece.

To use the pantorouter safely and effectively, you need to follow some basic rules and precautions. First of all, you need to wear eye and ear protection, as well as a dust mask, when using the pantorouter. You also need to keep your hands and fingers away from the router bit and the guard at all times. You also need to make sure that the workpiece is clamped securely on the table and that there is no interference between the workpiece and the pantograph bars. You also need to feed the workpiece slowly and steadily against the router bit, without forcing or twisting it.

Conclusion

A pantorouter is a versatile and useful woodworking machine that can make complex joints and shapes with a router. It is based on a pantograph mechanism that guides the router along a template, while keeping the router bit perpendicular to the workpiece. You can build your own pantorouter from scratch, using free plans and PDF files that you can download online. You can also make your own templates for any shape or joint that you want to make with the pantorouter. You can use the pantorouter safely and effectively by following some basic rules and precautions. A pantorouter is a great addition to any woodworker’s workshop, as it can help you create amazing projects with ease and precision.

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