ITP Blog

Subtraction - Week 1: Router Skill Builder

DATE: Jan 27th 2017




I watched an Italy net series during the winter break, and found an interesting scene.

Since I'm taking Subtraction course, I think it's a brilliant application of subtraction concept. I got inspired by this trick and wanted to make a night lamp, showing GOOD NIGHT once I turn it on. Though I didn't finish it yet, I did some test of routing letters before doing the routing skill builder.

Before I started, I did some research of how to cut letters. This video (Cilck to watch) turned out to be the easiest way to do it.

I noticed some key points here:

  • It has to use router guide bushing kit
  • The parts inside the letter which were not attached to the outlines can be ignored. Just move the router along the outline

So in this testing, I used the font named Bauhaus 93, as it showed above, because it has the largest "fontweight" in my font style collection. Actually, the paper board testing template cutted by laser cutter looks good.


Unfortunately, when I tried to borrow the kit from Ben, Ben told me that the guide kit could be moved when the template only had rounded edges. Some of my testing letters still had right angle.

As I looked back to the video tutorial again, I found that I did miss this part:

  • Guide kit only move along rounded edges


I have to look through all my font style again to find the right font. I think Arial Rounded MT Bold and Dosis may be the solution. I will try them next time.

Ok, it's time to do the real skill builder.



  • Clean the dust after every pass, or you will regret
  • Move the router anti-clockwise, so the dust won't be blown to your chest
  • Why the handle has a trigger and some kind of lock beside it? I tried to find out the function and got nothing...
  • Since I found the trigger was not working as I thought it would be, I doubted that I plugged the strips reversely. I unplugged them and tried to change. It was very interesting that the plug of two strips(one for the handle, one for the machine) look exactly the same, but they don't fit the outlet reversely.
  • Well, special safe attention for myself: