Originally Posted by aniceone2hold
>Roy, you will find as many answers to your question
>as there are grains of sand on a beach. The interesting thing is none of
>them will be wrong.
So, my recomendation is to use 1" x 12" pecky cedar fence boards.
Ok, maybe that suggestion would be wrong.
> My tables are built with 3/4" cabinet grade plywood topped with 1/2"
>thickness of hardboard,
My suggestion if using any sort of plywood would be to pay very
close attention to the flattness of the plywood. I've yet to see
any plywood that is dead-flat, or at least as flat as MDF can be.
But it is certainly flatter. If you're using plywood maybe use two
thicknesses of it and when you sandwich it together you should
place the opposite faces together to cancel out any possible
warp. In other words, if both pieces are slightly convex try putting
them together so that the centers touch first and the slight warp
of each piece will cancel the other out as they bend to reach each
other. I hope that's clearer than mud. I used MDF and I still had
to pay attention to use pieces that weren't slightly warped. I'm
pretty picky about my homemade tools though and I expect them
to be at least as good as I could buy. A table top that's more
than a few thousandths of an inch out of flat just won't do for me.
I hate being able to blame my tools for any errors in my work.
Keeps me honest!
> I use Rousseau mounting plates. They have corner snuggers; small
>adjustable clips that keep your plate securely located and yet easy to
>remove.Leveling holes with allen screws make it easy to flush the plate
>guide bushing for making the through cut and creating the lip for the plate
>by removing a collar from the bushing. This is the plate Norm used on NYW
>for 10 years. Trend sells this plate in the UK with their name on it through
>a licensing agreement. The plate is not flat, it is slightly convex and this
>ensures the wood passing the cutterhead is always at the same height.
>This allows for slight irregularities in your wood.
I've never used the Rousseau plate but there was a thread that
mentioned them on another forum recently and several people didn't
like them for the same reason that you do like them. I don't quite
see the point of going to a lot of trouble to make a table flat only
to add the most important part of the table that isn't flat. I see
your explanation and that would work for smaller pieces but if I
was running a larger or longer workpiece over the plate it would
have to change the angle that the cut surface contacts the cutter.
Cutting a longer dado or rabbet would mean that there will be a
variation in the depth of cut somewhere along the groove. To each
their own but I prefer to go with a flat plate and not have to worry
about it. I use the phenolic plate from Woodhaven and it works
great. I also use their plate levelers because they're so simple to
use. No rabbet to cut and adjustment is accomplished by just
turning the thumbscrews. But most importantly, it's dead-flat.
JMHO of course.
>You want a work area big enough for it to support any work you will be
>doing on it. Off the top of my head I believe my tables are 20 x 30 in size.
>This allows you to set small pieces on the side while routing others.
I agree completely with this. I prefer a larger table over the small
table that Bob and Rick use. While the smaller table works for the
majority of what I do it's so nice to have a larger table for when you
need the extra support of a larger workpiece or for stacking the
other workpieces out of the way. I have my table mounted into
the space between my extra long fence rails of my table saw. I
work positioned on the same side as I would if using the TS and
that way I can have all of the outfeed I need from the TS space.
If I have the TS fence set up and don't want to change it and it's
in the way of a longer piece to be routed I can easily rotate my
fence to feed from a different direction. I have aluminum T-slots
added to my table in a tic-tac-toe pattern and the fence has
nobs and bolts that get trapped in the slots to lock it down. It's
very versatile and looks pretty cool too.
>I also built the ShopNotes fence which clamps with two knobs, has sliding
>faces and is easy to set up and remove.
I'm not familiar with the ShopNotes fence but if you end up using
angle iron, (steel or aluminum) you should check it to make sure
that it's really square and straight. Most isn't. I worked for a steel
supply company for a while and I went back to buy some 3"x3" 1/4"
angle for my fence base. I didn't find any size steel or aluminum there
in their huge stock that had both faces square to the other. I paid
a guy to machine the piece I bought so that it was square, straight
and flat. If it's not you could add some thicknesses of tape between
the angle and the faces of the fence until it's square but it's easier to
start with something that's true. Good luck!