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Imperfect Egg Holder

author-gravatar physicistinthegarden Feb 08, 2021

Everyone has a plan until they start trying to plunge a 1 1/2" core box router bit.  My hens just starting laying eggs, so I decided to make an egg holder for our counter. I had a plan for a simple egg holder using a piece of scrap African Mahogany and a core box router bit. But marking out the theoretical location for the holes and actually routing to the layout mark are two very different things.  Still, for all its imperfections I'm still pleased enough with the end result that I'm not compelled to immediately make another.  

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

This beautiful piece of African Mahogany was the scrap that I cut out when I was installing my Twin Turbo vise. One of those odd shape pieces you keep around because *some day* you'll have the perfect project for it.  I quickly cleaned up the ends  with a miter saw and squared the last edge with a hand plane.  Then it was on to my layout.  I want to emphasize that I really took my time with this layout.  I measured. I re-measured. I mades sure my holes would have sufficient clearance from each other and the sides to not get huge blowouts when I routed.  The first set of holes were marked out  1" from the side (3/4" radius + 1/4" clearance).  Each successive hole was the diameter of the bit (1 1/2") plus a 1/4" clearance from the last hole.  That was the plan, anyway. 

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

Onto the workbench I go.  I wanted the board clamped firmly in place, I didn't want it moving at all once the routing started.  I have to say the Armor Tool clamps worked really well, it was the next bit that got me in trouble. 

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

Here's my initial setup for routing.  The edge guide was very helpful for keeping the columns aligned. I bought a 1 1/2" core box router bit to make the holes for the eggs to sit in -- so far it seems like a perfect size for the eggs we're getting.  I set the plunge depth so that the full diameter of the bit was barely plunged into the workpiece, but it had somewhere between 1/4" and 1/2" of clearance on the bottom.  I didn't measure the depth out exactly, just went off what looked right based on the board thickness. 

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

Things went off the rails pretty quickly at this point. My very first hole was way off of alignment. I should have done some test holes in a piece of scrap to practice alignment. It was also difficult to keep the router perfectly aligned as I was plunging and coming back up to clear chips. Slight movements resulted in some messy holes. One idea would be to drill out material using a forstner bit and a drill press, which might help with alignment and reduce the workload on the router bit. When I stopped to take this picture, I texted my wife that this may just be a practice egg holder, with an improved model to come in the near future. 

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

Misaligned holes and just a little bit (read: a f***ing boatload) of burn marks from the routing.    

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

Should I sand out all of those burn marks? No way. Milk paint to the rescue! Old Fashioned Milk Paint in Marigold Yellow.

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

After a few coats of milk paint I sanded the top of the board back to clean up any excess paint. 

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

I applied four coats of rattle can lacquer.  

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

The finished product. Again, the flaws are glaring but at a glance I think it looks fantastic. 

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

In my humble opinion, adding eggs makes this thing look 100x better.  

Photo of Imperfect Egg Holder

One last shot of the finished product. 

2 comments

Very creative! Kudos for the milk-paint coverup! I wonder if you could put the cove bit in a drill press and get more control? Worth a try anyway! 

Thanks for the suggestion! I actually Googled putting router bits in a drill press before I started the project and the consensus seemed to be that its a bad idea because drill presses run at much lower speed than routers.  Haven't tried it out myself, though.  

@WoodGate  said:

Very creative! Kudos for the milk-paint coverup! I wonder if you could put the cove bit in a drill press and get more control? Worth a try anyway! 

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