Step 4: Rout the Shape

Rout the Shape for how to Build a Gingerbread Balustrade
Photo: Anthony Tieuli
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Chuck your bit into a router. Starting with the bit in the space beside the blank, power up the router, plunge down through the jig base, and guide the bit's collar to the template's edge. Carefully work your way counterclockwise around the template, cutting out the waste as the collar rolls along the shaped edge of the template. If your router struggles to make the cut in a single pass, start with a shallower cut and make progressively deeper passes until the bit dips through the base. For the negative space in the center, plunge the bit into the waste area to get started, then follow the template counterclockwise.
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    Tools List

    • jigsaw
      jigsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver and bits
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      combination countersink bit
    • hole saw
      2-inch hole saw
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • router
      router
    • router bits
      -by-2-inch straight router bit with -inch collar
    • random orbit sander
      palm sander and 180-grit sanding pads
    • 2½-inch angled sash brush

    Shopping List

    ½-inch plywood Get one 2-by-4-foot sheet for the template.

    ¾-inch plywood Get one 2-by-4-foot sheet for the jig base.

    ½x5 pine Get six 16-footers for the balusters.

    2x4 primed straight-grain Douglas fir bottom rail Get two 8-footers.

    2x4 primed and chamfered Douglas fir handrail Get two 8-footers.

    1x2 primed pine Get four 8-footers for the nailing strips.

    wood glue

    2-inch wood screws

    1½-inch stainless-steel screws

    2½-inch stainless-steel screws

    exterior latex primer

    exterior latex paint

    5/16-inch spacers