How to Cut Solid Surface With a Template Guide

Our standard "Cutting Solid Surface" article details cutting solid surface using a router without a template guide (often called a router collar). The few key differences and adjustments that must be made to use a router with a template guide are outlined below.

Key Difference

Locating the material 3/8

Without a Template Guide 

The router base is raised on material with the base held tight against the straight edge.

cutting solid surface with a template guide

With a Template Guide

The router base rides on a straight edge with a template guide held tight against a straight edge.

Locating Straight Edge

measuring router bit edge to outside of router base

Without a Template Guide 

Measure from router bit edge to outside of router base.

Cut Offset graphic for cutting with a template guide

With Template Guide

Cut Offset = (Template Guide Width - Router Bit Width) / 2

Note: Using a template guide requires a much wider straight edge. Because the router base now rides on top of the straight edge, you must have sufficient room to clamp the straight edge and still clear the clamps while making your router cut. If you don't have a wide enough straight edge, consider removing your template guide and making your router cut without it.