The Pathfinder™ is the easiest way you could dream of to make the commonest and most useful joints. For the beginner it makes no-brainer tenons and easy dovetails, and for the professional it cracks out perfect work at speed, making it ideal for the busy commercial workshop.
The Pathfinder came about as a way of making tenons with rounded ends exactly to fit the round ends of mortises made with the router bit. Something was needed to track the bit around, rounding off the tenon ends. Trying to do this freehand with the router was a tad hit and miss, and carving them round takes time. So, we devised the tenon template that travels in the MB3 MitreBox under the baseplate going East West, while you move the router with a straight bit North South, all guided by a pin finding the pathways in the template.
We decided that our tried and tested MR4 Mortise Rail was good and versatile enough for digging out all kinds of mortises: it holds the two stiles of a door frame in its trough together so that the same arrangement of stops could be set for repeating the mortises exactly opposite each other, and you can cut the groove to fit the panels easily. The dagger beneath the trough has a plunge pin to catch the pegs in the channel
Having perfected the tenons we found that we could make a template to cut through dovetails, simply, easily and well.
But, the star of the show is the drawer-making ability of the half-blind template. It sets up the dovetail sockets opposite the tail pockets, to be cut with the same bit. One pass does both tail and pin, and they just lock together. The bit is our 1in7 classic bit so the result is quick and craftsmanlike. A typical drawer can be jointed in less than five minutes, which makes the Pathfinder a commercial proposition for proper classic drawers, saving time and money.
In fact any shape you need such as stars and Christmas trees, toy parts and cams for automata and heart shaped boxes, can all be cut using an appropriate shape glued into the blank template.
The further jam on the pudding is making secret or hidden dovetails with the half-blind template so think Pathfinder™ when next you want to make perfect boxes with some nicely grained wood, and don't want to show the joints.
Because it's relatively simple to cut new templates with CNC machinery (all you need is a data file to work from) we can offer a service whereby any shape can be cut out of 3mm material, and laid in the blank template, which you can use to cut any shape you need... for toys and letters and logos and decorative shapes of all kinds.
Any of our templates for through dovetails and half blind dovetails can be made to sizes and pitches different from those shown in our catalog... just ask us for a quote. firstname.lastname@example.org