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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 01:07 AM
DesertRatTom
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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First Name: Tom
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Welcome and those are some good questions. First off, I suggest you check Amazon for used copies of Bill Hylton's books, either "Woodworking With The Router," or "Router Magic." The first title is older, which may include your present router. Lots of pictures which clarify many of his methods.

A router table gives you several choices. A manufactured table is easy, and you should consider a larger one. They cost a fair amount and there are many brands. You can also make a router table, all you need to start is a very flat top of plywood with a hole cut in it for the router to poke through. You screw the router to the bottom. If you want, you can make it two layers thick and purchase a router plate (an aluminum plate about 5/16ths of an inch thick. If you look up router plates you will find many brands (I've had Rockler plates and like them), but Kreg also makes them as well as a number of other companies.

On top layer of your table top, lay down the plate and draw its outline. Drill a starting hole and use a jig saw to cut out this opening. Lay the cut out top on your second layer onto the second layer and mark, then cut out a hole that's about half an inch smaller all round that your plate will rest on. Glue and screw the layers together. Kreg makes a nice set of levelers (in picture) that you mount in the corners of the bottom layer. These allow you to match the plat to the top surface so you don't catch your workpiece on the edge. I think these levelers run about $30 or so. The plate will cost more depending on the brand--do not get a phenolic (plastic) plate, they eventually sag.

When you order your plate, do it by phone and tell them the brand and model number of your router. Most places can sell you one that is pre drilled for your router. You can drill your own if necessary, but it is a pretty exacting project I won't go into here.

You do need a fence, and you can spend a bundle on one from one of several makers, Kreg is just one of many companies that make one. Or, do what a lot of guys and gals here do, which is find a really flat and straight piece of 2x4, cut a portion out of the center bottom for the bit to sit in, and use a couple of clamps to hold it in place.

If you want to get fancy, you could buy a chunk of laminated material for the top. If you do that, your jigsaw is going to chip out the edge, it will still work, but it's ugly. Put some green painter's tape on the laminate before you mark and cut the opening and it will somewhat reduce the chipout.

If money isn't an issue, you can purchase a complete table, but it will set you back anywhere from $350 up to $800, depending on the brand and type.

There are lots of videos, pictures and drawings online on how to make your own router table. Before you buy or build, watch a number of them, go visit a woodworking store in your area (I'd plan to drive if necessary, they don't have them on ever street corner.) Look at what they have on the floor so you can see how simple they really are.

I've put in several pictures.

First are the leveling screws from Craig.

Second is a plate in drawing form.

Third is a shop made router table with home made fence. There is no plate on that table.

Fourth is a home made table with a plate and a fancy home made fence that has a dust collection port on the back side.

Fifth is an illustration of how a plate looks when it's recessed into the top of the table.


The last item is a pdf of the 17 or so things that helped accelerate my progress in woodworking. Do pay attention to the segment on sawdust collection. That stuff is nasty and will wreck your lungs.

I also think Stick is likely to post a link to several great pdfs of how to use a router, well worth studying.
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The more I do, the less I accomplish.

Last edited by DesertRatTom; 12-31-2018 at 01:09 AM.
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