Oak-Park style table questions - Router Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Default Oak-Park style table questions

Getting ready to build a very basic Router Table similar to what they use on TRW.

The fences they use appear to be some sort of PTFE...? But when I check suppliers, that stuff is expen$ive.

1) Seems to me that maybe some PVC molding boards might work as well as the PTFE, and MUCH less expensive. Any opinions?

2) As far as building a square Router Base, mostly so I can drop it into a cutout in the table top, what type of plastic would use use? Again, I looked at the price of Phenolic sheet, and it ain't cheap. I assume that acrylic would work as well?

??

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 04:38 PM
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Art take a known straight edge to a wood working store in your area and see what is straight and what isn't. I bet the only thing you will dead flat is an aluminum plate. They ain't cheap either. We all wish good wood working tools and accessories were cheap but they aren't.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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I know what you are saying, but not sure how PVC would be any less straight than PTFE? But I will definitely take a straight edge to make sure before I buy.

And aren't there a number of folks on this forum who have used acrylic to make a base?

I believe that somewhere in my junk pile I have some 3/16" Lexan. I would think that would work.

As far as lumber, well these days I think you are darn lucky to find anything straight.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 06:11 PM
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Art, the Oak Park fences are HDPE and their plates were a phenolic I have been unable to find. PVC boards for the fences would most likely work. No to acrylic for a mounting plate... it will sag. The best solution I have found is the very inexpensive Grizzly mounting plate. You should spend the money for Baltic birch plywood, it is very stable with no voids. There are Sticky threads with the dimensions for my economy table and converting C clamps. Moderator BrianS looks so serious rounding over the edge on that top.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Mike - I bookmarked your Economy Table thread and will definitely refer to it.

Re: the Grizzly mounting plate, Does it replace the stock router base? I am hoping to use a square plate mounted to the Router, so I can use it freehand or drop it in quickly and use it as a table Router, like on TRW. Looks like a great deal.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 08:54 PM
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For what it's worth, MLCS offers square (approx 11 3/4 in, 30 cm square) in both 1/4 in an 3/8 in thicknesses. these These can be easily cut to size. The 3/8 in thick plates can be purchased, for additional price, with pre drilled center holes.
https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shop...er_Tuff_Anchor

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-12-2017, 10:53 PM
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Art, the Grizzly plate replaces the black or clear sub base plate on your router. Before you remove it I highly recommend that you buy a Rousseau centering kit which includes the centering pin, disk longer mounting screws and transfer screws to fit your router.(Woodcraft for this kit) Infinity offers a similar kit minus the centering screws which you can find at any good hardware store. The two Bosch centering cones are actually identical; the pin can be reversed. I have two on hand so I don't need to reverse them. DeWalt also offers a centering cone with a much smaller diameter and I do not recommend it.

Once you have your mounting plate, routers fixed base and centering kit ready remove the sub base plate and screws and put them in a zip lock bag. Be sure to label which router it is for!(I learned this the hard way) Install the transfer screws as shown an even number of turns in each hole. The Bosch 1617(shown) uses 4 screws to mount or you can also use the PC three hole mounting pattern with larger screws. The centering disk snaps into the PC sized hole in the plate; then flip the plate over making sure the two small safety starting pin holes are towards you. Install the centering pin in a 1/4" collet and then insert it in the center hole. Lightly tap the routers base with a mallet or piece of wood and the transfer screws will make small dimples marking the exact spots to drill through.

There are jigs you can buy or make and attach to your router for specific jobs. When installing them or replacing your sub base plate on your router the centering cone assures you are correctly centered. i remove the knobs from the router base when table mounting, this makes for easier adjustments in the table. Plate mounted routers can also be used free hand and have added stability.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 01:20 PM
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Dang, Mike! You didn't leave me anything to add.

I use a chunk of aluminum angle with MDF facing for my fence. MDF stays pretty flat and cheap to renew when I chew it up.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 01:45 PM
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Didn't notice this in the post so far, but if you're making your own table, consider making it with two layers of 3/4 material. Top of very flat baltic birch ply, underneath a layer of MDF. Carefully glue the two layers together. Glue a layer of laminate on top. Cut out the rough shape of the opening about half an inch smaller on each of the four sides, than the size of the plate. Place the plate on the blank table and mark the outline then use a half inch spacer to mark the inside cut line. This allows for the 1/2 inch rabbit that will hold the router up.

Next, lay the plate back into the outline and snug some straight edged boards up agains the four sides of the plate and clamp them down very tightly. Give yourself a little wiggle room by placing playing cards between the plate edge and boards. Push the plate out, and with a hand held router and a top bearing trim bit set to cut a rabbit slightly deeper than the thickness of the plate, cut a rabbit the size of the plate using the four boards as your template. Some companies will sell you a template for their plate. BTW, get aluminum as Mike recommends.

Drill holes in the rabbit smaller than the coarse thread leveling screws you will pas. through them. This will take up the slight gap and allow you to set the plate level with the table top. BTW, if you are not excited about gluing up 3 layers of different material, you could just buy a short section of assembled, new laminate and attach a layer of MDF or Baltic Birch ply to strengthen the top.

You can buy leveling screws on Amazon or a woodworking store.

At some point in the future, you may wish to install a router lift so you can adjust height from above the table. Instead, consider buying a Triton routher that has a lift already installed. The router is actually cheaper than most separate lifts.

Before you decide to install any kind of miter track, I suggest you watch some of the YouTube videos by Marc Sommerfeld, whose technique (and table plan and parts) is pretty much flawless, will affect how you decide on your final build. There are many things he does on the table that will really make you more productive with your own table.

Hope this doesn't put you off on your table, it makes routing more precise and safer than trying to do things freehand. If I can figure out how to do something on the table rather than freehand, on the table it goes.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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OK - I guess what I need is good enough material to support about 12# of Router. I think I am leaning towards a square plate, so it can be dropped into the table in any direction.

What size would you recommend? My guess is it would have to be as large as the width of the two handles (at least)?

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