Re: Routers and Tesla coils

Not having a lot of equipment or access to a machine shop, I am 
constantly having to come up with sub-optimal solutions to a lot of 
construction problems.  Recently though, I just bought a router guide 
($20 from Sears) for my router and I found that I use it to quickly and 
easily make a lot of the parts that I need for my coil projects AND make 
them look nice and professional to boot!

The router and guide can be used (among other things) to cut out nice 
circles from a few inches across up to 24" in diameter, and I've used it 
quite a bit in the past few days.  I've used it to cut nice, smooth, circular 
plexiglass ends for my 4" and 6" secondaries and  I used it to cut a 
1/2" wide groove around the edges of the circles so the end-caps are 
"hat" shaped and fit nicely on the ends of the secondary (I had to drill a 
small hole in the each end-cap to insert the router guide pivot pin, but I 
sealed the holes with epoxy when I epoxied the end-caps onto the 
secondaries).  I used it to cut out two plywood circles for my coil 
winding jig and I used it to put grooves in the circles so I can wind 4" or 
6" pipe and keep the pipe centered.  And finally, I used it to cut out a 
12" diameter plywood disk to use as the center for a dryer-duct toroid (I 
still need to cut out 2 more disks for toroid centers, but I ran out of the 
scrap plywood that I was using last night).

Since it seems easier to be more accurate with my router than with my 
table saw (this might just be my lack of experience) and my router can 
make a nice, clean cut in the plexiglass whereas my table saw seems 
to shatter the plastic as much as cut it (maybe a different saw blade 
would help this?), I am going to use the router to cut out my plastic 
primary coil supports and groove them to hold the copper tubing.  In 
addition, I am going to use my router to cut grooves in my wooden 
primary base to position and reinforce the primary supports.

I imagine that when I get to the point that I need a rotary gap, I will be 
able to use the router and guide to cut out the disk for that, too 
(glass/epoxy laminate, not metal).

Steven Roys (sroys-at-radiology.ab.umd.edu)