Cutting bowties into slabs, cookies, tabletops… is quite the rage. Slab Stitcher has created a complete package for this process that includes the required templates, guide bushing, router bit, AND the bowties. Complete starter kits as shown here range in price from $80 to $115.
A handful of companies make templates. What’s unique about Slab Stitcher is that they’re also making the inlay or plug. This saves you a step (making the plug yourself) and means you can get some unique shapes (an elk, for instance), unique materials (like aluminum and brass) and even double inlays.
Once you’ve got the starter kit, shown in the first picture, you only need the template and inlays in order to do other shapes. Templates only cost $5.75. Inlay prices vary depending on size and material but start at around $2 each. Aluminum, copper, brass and two-tone inlays cost more.
These pictures only show a small sample of what Slab Stitcher has available. Be sure to visit their website for a look at their complete library. Shapes include state outlines, dog bones, deer, elk, they go WAY beyond simple bow tie shapes.
Using the kit
The large acrylic piece is called the main frame. Clamp the main frame to your work to position the cut and snap the template into the main frame. Install the guide bushing in your router base. You need a router base that accepts the standard Porter Cable-style guide bushings. If yours doesn’t, Slab Sticher sells router bases, too. You don’t need a plunge router to use this product, which is another plus.
With the bit installed in your router and depth of cut set, allow the guide bushing to follow the template and remove the waste. On a sharp cornered bowtie you’ll need to follow the router work with chisel work to change round inside corners to sharp inside corners.
Remove the template, put a little glue in the bottom of the recess, and tap the inlay in place.
I like this kit. I really appreciate the unique inlay designs that are available. The template and inlay pricing is reasonable. I’m excited about trying out some of the unique shapes the next time I need to bowtie a project.
Visit www.slabstitcher.net for more information.