Plunge lever and plunge stops

The plunge lever has an elbow joint where it hinges, which I made as a loosely fitting bridle joint, joined with a pin.

I cut the bridle joint as far as I could on the table saw without over cutting, then finished squaring up the cuts on the bandsaw. The tenon jig would have worked better, but it wasn't worth setting up for just one joint.

I added a 1/4" round over to all edges near the top of the plunge lever using a plunge router.

Drilling the hole for the pin. I put a spacer in the slot to keep the drill from chipping out in the slot. If I thought of drilling this hole before I cut the slot, I wouldn't have needed this spacer.

I used a knock-down fastener type screw for the pin. It has a long enough smooth shank for my purposes, and, cut to the right length, there is just a bit of thread left to engage one side of the plunge lever.

I cut it off with an angle grinder. A hacksaw would work too, but an angle grinder is more fun.

The pivot for the plunge lever is just one big wood screw.

I used a relatively long wood screw which has a relatively long un-threaded shank, but I had to cut it off to fit, then grind a new point onto it.

The wood screw is quite hard metal, so a hacksaw would not work very well on it.

Screwing on the plunge lever.

And screwing the other end of the link to the table. I positioned it so that when the router collet touches the table, the plunge lever tilts forward but doesn't interfere with the motion of the operator handle on the pantograph.

The router really doesn't need to come forward any further than for the collet to nearly touch the table.

With the plunge lever installed, I immediately used it to cut a mortise. The plunge lever makes mortising so much easier!

Making the plunge stops

Preparing the pieces for the plunge stops. These are all a bunch of rectangular pieces, so I didn't photograph or film cutting those.

The plunge stops are two small bocks that clamp onto a 1/4" (6 mm) shaft, with one end fixed to the plunge sled at left and the other end sliding through a block attached to the table support near the right. The two smaller blocks will clamp onto the shaft to act as stops.

The next part consisted mostly of drilling holes for screws and for the 1/4" shaft to pass through the various blocks.

The small blocks get holes for the head of a carriage bolt to be recessed in them (right), and the block that mounts to the table gets a bit cut off each side so that dust is less likely to cause inaccuracies.

Then most of the blocks get a slot cut into them to allow them to clamp onto the 1/4" shaft.

I rounded the edges for the blocks on the belt sander, as these will be touched often for adjusting.

Inserting 1.5" long carriage bolts into the small blocks. A coupler nut screws onto the end of the bolt for locking the blocks onto the shafts.

I cut some small blocks, 30x30 mm, as handles for the coupler nuts. The hole is slightly smaller than the coupler nuts, and the coupler nuts are pressed into the hole with a vise.

This is an easy way to make threaded knobs, and much cheaper than buying threaded plastic knobs. I made two more to replace the plastic ones I initially used for the template holder.

Alternatively, you could just use wing nuts.

Next: Pantograph spring balance

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