So, this is about where I left off last time, yes? The jig is built, the melamine top is screwed into place, in perfect alignment so the jig will guide my router bit to cut out the exact shape I want in the exact location I want it. The reason we build jigs is to make a job easy, controllable and, if needed, repeatable. And this jig meets the first two requirements.
The next thing to do is to place the router on the melamine top and start routing. As you can see here the router rides perfectly level because the center piece of the jig has a melamine top of it's own made of scrap pieces left over from the construction of the real top.
Here is the piece with part of the routing done. I started a little north of the lower right corner, moving clockwise, against the rotation of the bit so I can control the movement of the router. If you move with the rotation of the bit ("Climb Routing") the router can get away from you and accidents can result. There is a time and place for that technique, but this ain't it.
My wife, Debra, was kind enough to take this shot of me during the routing procedure. As you can see I am wearing all the proper safety gear, including safety glasses, respirator and ear plugs.
Here the work is nearly finished. One thing about hardboard, melamine coated or not; it may be a tiny bit brittle and very heavy to work with, but at least it produces mountains of nasty dust when you cut it! It is a remarkably versatile product when used properly, though.
So here it is with the dust vacuumed off. It looks a little better this way, yes?
Next time: I'll size the top and begin the process of mounting it to the substrate.