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Thread: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking )

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking )

    A long time ago I had asked whether I should just sell my tools since I hadn't touched them in couple of years. even that question I believe was asked 4-5 years ago. So all my tools sat in my basement for all these years until couple of months ago when we decided that within next year or so we will be finishing our basement. So I asked for help from our local handyman and with his help added extra power outlets on different breakers in garage. I added 2 x 220v 20amp on one breaker, 2 x 110v on 1 breaker & 2 x 110v on 1 breaker total. All my tools are on 110v so idea was that I would have my dust collector and one more tool ( bandsaw, table saw etc ) each running on different circuit. 220v is specifically for my compressor whose motor cannot be switched to 110v. right now, except for dust collector, jointer and router table everything has been brought up from basement. I think I am going to need some help with jointer & dustcollector.

    Which brings us to Router table For all the years my router table had been 2' x 4' sheet of MDF on 2x4 dimensional lumber legs. Althought it did serve it's purpose I think it's time to retire it. It will also help me get reacquinted with my tools ( mods, given my skill level, if this should be in new woodworker section, please move it and I will continue posting in that area ). Most router table designs I have seen tend to mount router in the middle of the table top. I will be using my router table with both standard shop built fence as well as incra joinery fence I have. so I decided to build a table that mounts router plate towards one end. Table also needs to have drawers to store all router accessories I have. So I got ecabinets out and did a quick design. this is what I have so far. Few things to note..

    * All joints were set to be butt joints in ecabinets software so that I could use biscuits to do the joinery.
    * three of the small four drawers on side will require extra 1/2" panel that is cut in same dimensions as 1/4" drawer bottom in cutlist. this panel will have 1/4" lip all along it's sides. it will fit just like drawer bottom in a 1/4" groove that will be set 1" above drawer bottom groove. one of these panels will have 1/4" thru holes drilled on 1" X 1" grid to hold 1/4" shank bits upright. second panel will similarly have 1/2" holes drilled for 1/2" shank bits. third panel will have 1 3/16" holes drilled to hold all my template guides.
    * Top will be made out of 2 layers of standard 5/8" MDF with white laminate on top.
    * Door on section which holds router will have middle panel of acrylic with holes drilled in to make sure there balanced air pressure ( right term? ) to offset dust collector suction.

    router_table.jpg shows what finished router table is expected to look like. router_table_exploded.jpg is exploded parts display with one side set to transperent.
    Tomorrow I will check what I have by way of sheet good in inventory and start the build.

    router_table.jpg
    router_table_exploded.jpg
    router_table_parts_cutlist.pdf
    router_table_parts_layout.pdf


    --Rajiv

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Woodbridge, Ontario
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    837

    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Good luck with your move to the garage!
    -------
    Cheers,
    --Rick

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Ottawa,Ontario
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    Real Name
    Charles Anderson

    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    I would add two mods to your cabinet. For one, unless you want to go with a router lifter I would mount the table top on hinges and hook up some kind of support to hold it at an angle so you can change bits in table and make all your adjustments with the table at eye level. I built this feature into my table and love it. Your idea of moving the router off to one side is a good one. You always seem to need to do a large project at some time or another and having extra table to support it is always appreciated.Are you going to install T-track in the table top? Very useful for hold-downs,feather boards and other jigs and can also be used for a mitre gauge.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    I am still toying with the idea of Jessem router lift. I have bosch router with two bases. right now, fixed base is permanantly attached to router table baseplate and router can be removed from base and set on table to do all adjustments. I will definately have a T-track on table top as well as on standard shop-built fence to attach feather boards etc.

    --Rajiv

  5. #5
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    Edmonton
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Couple of suggestions: Add a mobile base. Locate the router towards the front of the table leaving room behind the fence for micro adjustment mechanisims, center the router instead of towards one end of the table so as not to impair support for longish work pieces. Cut down on the number of drawers unless you really like making drawers.

    Lee

    Lee

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    I like the bit storage on the closing side panel
    Nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems.

    Glenn from Winnipeg

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Brubaker in Edmonton View Post
    Couple of suggestions: Add a mobile base. Locate the router towards the front of the table leaving room behind the fence for micro adjustment mechanisims, center the router instead of towards one end of the table so as not to impair support for longish work pieces. Cut down on the number of drawers unless you really like making drawers.

    Lee
    Hi Lee,

    No mobile base. but router table will have locking casters attached to bottom. Router will need to be towards one end of table due to nature of fence I am using with this table. Althought this image is not of a top I am building, it should give you fairly good idea of how my table top will look like. Incra fence I have has 18" travel. http://www.carbideprocessors.com/pro...99663_zoom.jpg

    --Rajiv
    Last edited by Rajiv_in_KW; 06-26-2012 at 02:41 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    The Jessem lift is a good one and it will allow for bit changes above the table with normal wrenches so it's a darn good investment.

    The miter slot is unnecessary for me and requires another setup procedure to get the fence absolutely parallel to the slot. If you're going to use it only for feather boards I would forget about it. There are other ways to secure feather boards.

    My router is on the right side of my table saw which is longer than most. Close to 7 feet. With the additional size and the ability to move the fence from the left to the right of the router I can use a foot and a half for support one way and 5 and 1/2 feet the other way. I know lots of guys don't like the idea of a router table in an extension wing of the TS but it works great for my stuff.
    "Do it Right!"

  9. #9
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    Mississauga, Ontario
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    The miter slot is unnecessary for me and requires another setup procedure to get the fence absolutely parallel to the slot. If you're going to use it only for feather boards I would forget about it.
    Why would you want to do that? If you are using a miter gauge, you should move the fence out of the way, so it is not interacting with your workpiece. Trying to register against a fence and a miter gauge simultaneously invites turning your workpiece into a missile.

    Having only a fence on your router table means that you can only route a dado (or whatever) parallel to an edge of your workpiece. Having a miter slot in addition allows for routing a dado at pretty much any angle. Plus, if you want to route across a relatively thin workpiece, it is often more stable to register the long edge against a 90-degree miter gauge rather than attempting to register the short edge against the fence.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Wessels View Post
    Why would you want to do that? If you are using a miter gauge, you should move the fence out of the way, so it is not interacting with your workpiece. Trying to register against a fence and a miter gauge simultaneously invites turning your workpiece into a missile.

    Having only a fence on your router table means that you can only route a dado (or whatever) parallel to an edge of your workpiece. Having a miter slot in addition allows for routing a dado at pretty much any angle. Plus, if you want to route across a relatively thin workpiece, it is often more stable to register the long edge against a 90-degree miter gauge rather than attempting to register the short edge against the fence.
    There is more than one way to skin the cat. You can built a crosscut sled like fixture that can do same job as miter slot. in that configuration, crosscut sled will have a slot running thru middle that will match in size to outer diameter of one template guide. I know it's hard to visualize and I am not explaining it right either. I will see if I can make up a quick drawing in next couple of days. but I have seen similar sled used in router workshop episode before and felt that it was much better option than miter slot on table.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Wessels View Post
    Why would you want to do that? If you are using a miter gauge, you should move the fence out of the way, so it is not interacting with your workpiece. Trying to register against a fence and a miter gauge simultaneously invites turning your workpiece into a missile.

    Having only a fence on your router table means that you can only route a dado (or whatever) parallel to an edge of your workpiece. Having a miter slot in addition allows for routing a dado at pretty much any angle. Plus, if you want to route across a relatively thin workpiece, it is often more stable to register the long edge against a 90-degree miter gauge rather than attempting to register the short edge against the fence.
    That's my point. I don't do that! I said I don't have a miter slot so there's no way I could do want you're suggesting

    What I said was IF,,,,,IF,,,, you have to place your fence parallel to a miter slot it's just another useless time consuming setup procedure.

    Don't EVER try routing a dado on a router table.You can rout a rabbet but not a dado. Use a handheld router with a straight edge guide [or two] or a table saw with a dado set might be better.

    AND if you want something long to register against it should be the fence not a miter guage. I use a sled with two locking clamps to hold small stock and run it along the fence. There really is no need for a miter slot on a router table IMHO. If you want one to hold feather boards go ahead but other than feather boards you won't find much use for it.
    "Do it Right!"

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    That's my point. I don't do that! I said I don't have a miter slot so there's no way I could do want you're suggesting

    What I said was IF,,,,,IF,,,, you have to place your fence parallel to a miter slot it's just another useless time consuming setup procedure.
    What you said was that "the miter slot ... requires another setup procedure to get the fence absolutely parallel to the slot". My point is that I don't understand why that setup procedure is required.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    Don't EVER try routing a dado on a router table.You can rout a rabbet but not a dado. Use a handheld router with a straight edge guide [or two] or a table saw with a dado set might be better.
    Care to elaborate on why that is so bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
    There really is no need for a miter slot on a router table IMHO.
    I don't disagree with you, but that same logic says that there is really no need for a miter slot on a tablesaw either. You can always make jigs to do what you want. But having the miter slot can make some things faster to set up.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Wessels View Post
    What you said was that "the miter slot ... requires another setup procedure to get the fence absolutely parallel to the slot". My point is that I don't understand why that setup procedure is required.

    Then we agree.


    Care to elaborate on why that is so bad?

    If you think about it I probably won't have to explain but I certainly will if you can tell me when you might try to do that and on what? You mentioned missiles. This is a perfect possibility if you try pushing it thru a dado blade with a miter guage and it moves the slightest bit.

    I don't disagree with you, but that same logic says that there is really no need for a miter slot on a tablesaw either. You can always make jigs to do what you want. But having the miter slot can make some things faster to set up.
    Not true! The big difference is what a table saw does versus a router table. The RT has a multitude of different cutters and can actually edge a circle. A TS cuts straight lines with a blade or a dado set up. With a router the cutter is spinning Horizontally and a table saw is spinning vertically. Your work piece only touches part of the edge of the cutter on the RT while a whole blade passes thru the workpiece on a TS. The forces exerted on your work piece are VERY different. A miter slot on a table saw is a whole different animal when it comes to guiding stock thru a spinning tool.
    "Do it Right!"

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Garage workshop Step 1: Router Table Build ( a.k.a. getting back into woodworking

    So looks like I mostly had 1/2" and 1/4" sheets in basement. nothing in 3/4" thickness. caracass of table is going to be 3/4" ply. HD usually carries paint grade maple ply. all I needed is one sheet. drawer boxes are all going to be 1/2" thick. Today I finished breaking down the 3/4" ply into parts for table. paused to snap a picture ...

    router_table_parts.jpg

    Now time to break out biscuit jointer and start the assembly. Current plan is to finish caracass, put the top on and then use that setup to make drawer boxes. Hopefully I will finish basic router table ( sans the drawers ) this long weekend.

    --Rajiv
    PS: Happy Canada Day everyone!!

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