Ok, building a table, but... - Page 6 - Router Forums
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post #51 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-20-2019, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mgmine View Post
You could do it with a power strip but why not just add a switched receptacle to the table. One flip of the switch and both the router and vac go on.

https://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/...-diagrams.html
But I'm not an electrician!

And at the moment, I don't have a dedicated workspace or shop vac, and not likely to in the near future, so it isn't practical.
But it's a good suggestion for the future. thank you.
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post #52 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-21-2019, 08:57 AM
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...I like that locking mechanism, do you have any rubber grip or anything where it grabs the table? And does it adjust at both ends?

I've seen a couple of tables with sliding faces on the fence - what's the advantage to this?...
Yes I have a lock on each end of the fence. You have to make your fence longer than the table to accommodate them. My table has melamine on both sides and I didn't use rubber on mine. You don't need to tighten the knobs very hard and it's solid. I used C-clamps before these, I wish that I had done it sooner... it is very easy to do, don't need to go find the C-clamps, easy to use, cheap and holds very well. My table has melamine on both sides. The only modification to an existing fence is a slot on each side.

You can loosen one end and nudge the fence for small adjustments. The gap between the edge of the table top and the L-blocks will limit how far you can go though.

The sliding faces let you adjust the opening for the bit (kinda zero-clearance). If you want to clean the edge of a board you can shim the out-feed side so you don't get snipe near the end of your cut. Basically: if you take off a tiny bit off a board, the fence's out-feed side will be that much away from your material. When you come near the end of your pass, the in-feed side isn't enough to guide the piece so when the material moves back on the out-feed side, you get a snipe in your cut. So shim the out-feed (playing cards?), use a straightedge to align the out-feed with the bit. Now when you're making a pass the out-feed supports the work too... no gap.

I just used construction lumber to make the locks (about 1-1/2 inch thick). Your top needs to extend past the table sides enough for the locks. I didn't want to cut slots or T-track into my top, to preserve it's integrity as much as possible.

The lower section and angle blocks on the back of a fence will help to keep it square. I intend to use man-made wood for my fence (no grain to warp).
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post #53 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 11:56 AM
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Keep in mind that if you screw your router to the wood, you'll affect how deep you can cut. Most plates are somewhere around 3/8 inch (~10mm) and if you remove the router base-plate there is hardly any difference in depth of cut. As Biagio said, two layers might be a solution if depth of cut matters to you.
Paul, on page one what program did you use to draw the image you posted?

Last edited by ranman; 01-23-2019 at 12:12 PM.
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post #54 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 09:36 AM
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[QUOTE=jj777746;1990453]Nice table Steve,I'll be building a new one soon but not as wide as yours,which is looking real good so far. James.[/QUOTE

Make it as long as possible you need good support for the outfeed and infeed. If you don't have the support it makes it difficult to keep longboards like molding steady.
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post #55 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 11:57 AM
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Just got back to this thread. You're really on top of this.

If you don't have a jointer, it can be hard to find wood that is really straight. It is possible to use a table saw to cut a straight edge, but it will require making a carrier that runs in a miter slot and holds your not-straight piece solidly. The carrier type of jig requires you have one really straight edge, and the best way to get that is to use a factory edge on plywood to start with. You cut a long strip off the end and that will produce a straight edge on the cut off piece as well as give you a new straight edge on the leftover. You will need this for your fence as well.

You can also use a large hand plane to flatten the edges and thickness of a board, but for the wood you buy at local stores, the table or circular saw method will work for far less money.

That straight edge will form part of your triangle braces for the fence, plus a straight edge for the flat part of the fence as well. Table saws are by far the best way to cut these items, but it has to be set up correctly so that the blade is aligned with the miter slot, and the fence aligned with the slot and blade, but tilted very slightly away from the blade (about 4/1000 will do.

You will also need a straight edge to guide your router as you cut the grooves to hold the T-track, if you choose to use them. Once you have your fence set up, it's pretty easy to cut grooves.

I noticed awhile back that you wondered about mounting T-track on the face of the fence. Yes, it's a good idea because you can mount a feather board vertically to hold your workpiece down. Pix of multiple featherboards in use.

Personally, I think it's best to have not only the solid fixed fence, but to put T-track on it to mount a second split fence in front of that. Tbolts link the two, and you can shim them to make both sides align perfectly across the front surface. Use card stock for shims. That way you have proper support all the way across without having a slight notch as you cross the center of an uneven fence.

An incentive for doing the fence just right is that you can now use the router to flatten one edge of uneven stock on the router. You add a long shim(s) to push the left half front fence out about 1/16 (1-2mm) and line the straight bit up with the forward fence. When you run a piece through it, it will gradually shave off the crooked part. This is what a jointer does, but it also can flatten a wider piece. Jointers are not cheap. Start with pressure against the right fence, then as the piece moves over the left fence, shift the pressure to the left. This works for mildly curved stock, but not for badly crooked or twisted stock.

Last word on speed squares. They are seldom really square. When you buy one, pop for aluminum and take your draftsman's triangle with you. You will use the draftsman's square a lot to check for 90 degree angles, and occasionally for 45 degrees. Hopefully your fence will be 90 to the table, but if your draftsman's triangle says no, consider building up one side of the bottom with tape until it is.

If you don't have a table saw, you can use an edge guide to make that cut. See pix.

Making right angle triangles to support the fence a perfect 90 degree cut is more challenging without a table saw, but you can use a circular saw with a speed square. Hook the wide edge of the speed square on one straight edge and run the saw against it. Cut extras and check for the exact 90 angle with a good draftsman's triangle. Keep and use the good ones and reject the ones that are not as close to perfect as you can measure. If you can make the triangle supports out of solid wood, not ply, they will be easier to install with screws and/or glue. Pre drill holes for screws!

When cutting with a circular saw, the face of your piece should be down to reduce chip out. Another trick is to put painter's tape on your cut line, preferably on both sides. Rub it down firmly. Doesn't prevent all chipout, but greatly improves it.

Rather than spend a lot of money on the Rockler router fence dust port, you might just want to add a box behind the opening area of the fence with a simple dust port on top. Sometimes you can find pvc fittings that will work with your dust collection hose. That way you can use local parts.

For sawdust collection, given your situation, consider a combination of the biggest shop vac you can get (2.5inch hose), and a Dust Devil cyclone with bucket. Will work for you for a long time, given what you're doing. Won't break the bank and will do a good job.

Wow, this post went all over the place. Be well down there.
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post #56 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 01:32 PM
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You know, you might be able to make really good cuts without a table saw. The picture is of a very nice jig someone posted that allows you to use your circular saw with great precision. There's a video on how to do it as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=H0BZLbW1lvQ

A similar, but smaller jig will allow you go make dados and grooves with your freehand router. Here's the jig someone here made.
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The more I do, the less I accomplish.

Last edited by DesertRatTom; 01-28-2019 at 01:36 PM.
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post #57 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ranman View Post
Paul, on page one what program did you use to draw the image you posted?
I have an old version of Illustrator from when I was working. I'm very comfortable with it - used it for ages. It (surprisingly) still works quite well on a much newer OS. There are a few glitches but nothing I can't cope with.

A cheap (free) alternative would be Inkscape. "Path operations" and "snap to grid" are basics you need to learn to get comfortable with this type of program.

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post #58 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-31-2019, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Default Wow! Thanks Tom!

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Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
Just got back to this thread. You're really on top of this.

If you don't have a jointer, it can be hard to find wood that is really straight. It is possible to use a table saw to cut a straight edge, but it will require making a carrier that runs in a miter slot and holds your not-straight piece solidly. The carrier type of jig requires you have one really straight edge, and the best way to get that is to use a factory edge on plywood to start with. You cut a long strip off the end and that will produce a straight edge on the cut off piece as well as give you a new straight edge on the leftover. You will need this for your fence as well.

You can also use a large hand plane to flatten the edges and thickness of a board, but for the wood you buy at local stores, the table or circular saw method will work for far less money.

That straight edge will form part of your triangle braces for the fence, plus a straight edge for the flat part of the fence as well. Table saws are by far the best way to cut these items, but it has to be set up correctly so that the blade is aligned with the miter slot, and the fence aligned with the slot and blade, but tilted very slightly away from the blade (about 4/1000 will do.

You will also need a straight edge to guide your router as you cut the grooves to hold the T-track, if you choose to use them. Once you have your fence set up, it's pretty easy to cut grooves.

I noticed awhile back that you wondered about mounting T-track on the face of the fence. Yes, it's a good idea because you can mount a feather board vertically to hold your workpiece down. Pix of multiple featherboards in use.

Personally, I think it's best to have not only the solid fixed fence, but to put T-track on it to mount a second split fence in front of that. Tbolts link the two, and you can shim them to make both sides align perfectly across the front surface. Use card stock for shims. That way you have proper support all the way across without having a slight notch as you cross the center of an uneven fence.

An incentive for doing the fence just right is that you can now use the router to flatten one edge of uneven stock on the router. You add a long shim(s) to push the left half front fence out about 1/16 (1-2mm) and line the straight bit up with the forward fence. When you run a piece through it, it will gradually shave off the crooked part. This is what a jointer does, but it also can flatten a wider piece. Jointers are not cheap. Start with pressure against the right fence, then as the piece moves over the left fence, shift the pressure to the left. This works for mildly curved stock, but not for badly crooked or twisted stock.

Last word on speed squares. They are seldom really square. When you buy one, pop for aluminum and take your draftsman's triangle with you. You will use the draftsman's square a lot to check for 90 degree angles, and occasionally for 45 degrees. Hopefully your fence will be 90 to the table, but if your draftsman's triangle says no, consider building up one side of the bottom with tape until it is.

If you don't have a table saw, you can use an edge guide to make that cut. See pix.

Making right angle triangles to support the fence a perfect 90 degree cut is more challenging without a table saw, but you can use a circular saw with a speed square. Hook the wide edge of the speed square on one straight edge and run the saw against it. Cut extras and check for the exact 90 angle with a good draftsman's triangle. Keep and use the good ones and reject the ones that are not as close to perfect as you can measure. If you can make the triangle supports out of solid wood, not ply, they will be easier to install with screws and/or glue. Pre drill holes for screws!

When cutting with a circular saw, the face of your piece should be down to reduce chip out. Another trick is to put painter's tape on your cut line, preferably on both sides. Rub it down firmly. Doesn't prevent all chipout, but greatly improves it.

Rather than spend a lot of money on the Rockler router fence dust port, you might just want to add a box behind the opening area of the fence with a simple dust port on top. Sometimes you can find pvc fittings that will work with your dust collection hose. That way you can use local parts.

For sawdust collection, given your situation, consider a combination of the biggest shop vac you can get (2.5inch hose), and a Dust Devil cyclone with bucket. Will work for you for a long time, given what you're doing. Won't break the bank and will do a good job.

Wow, this post went all over the place. Be well down there.


That was a lot of info, and I'll have to make sure I re-read it to take it all in. Thank you.
Yes, sadly no table saw in my garage, or one in my immediate future. But I have managed so far with the mitre and circular saws. Mostly I'm worried about the straightness of the fence, and maintaining that straightness over time.
I guess I also need to learn to not be so precious about it, as I could always make another

I still struggle with the concept of making mistakes and the "cost" of making those mistakes in wood. Time I'm not so worried about, but I have yet to learn all the coll things I can do with more scraps of wood. It's part of my journey of discovery and letting go.
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post #59 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 12:29 AM
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Great stuff Steve! Thanks for the thread,

Andy
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post #60 of 60 (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Great stuff Steve! Thanks for the thread,

Andy
My pleasure Andy - it's useful info for me, I figure many others should be able to get something good out of it too!
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