Ok, building a table, but... - Router Forums
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Question Ok, building a table, but...

Hi guys 'n' gals, haven't been on in ages, but I haven't forgotten y'all.

I'm in the process of trying to set myself up with a table router setup, as the list of things my wife would like me to make has suddenly grown from 0 to about 4 since we moved house

Consequently I have a higher desire to have a table-mounted router to complement the Ryobi plunge router - which won't go in a table without a cable tie or duct tape (thanks Chuck for the suggestion in another thread). I'm not keen, only because I want to use this outside the table, and going back and forth is just going to annoy me.

So, I purchased today the Makita 3600G. Still a plunge router, but it has a toggle switch to turn on and was not expensive ($159 Australian which is about what my Ryobi RRT1600 costs). It also has a great built-in lift system that helped seal the deal, along with another discussion in another thread that I felt was positive. Yes, no speed controller yet, so goes full noise, but that'll come.

Anyway, back to the saga and the reason for my posting.
I bought a cheap tabletop table which I hoped to mount the Makita to - only it doesn't fit. The ring that you're supposed to drop the router into to mount it with some clamps is about .5mm too narrow around the circumference. I cannot lie, I wanted to swear at the manufacturer for making a supposedly generic table less than accommodating. I also discovered after I bought the table it had a maximum weight limit of around 3.5Kg. Fine for the Ryobi (which is also too big), but not the Makita which weighs in at 5.5Kg. She's a heavy beastie.

So, as I don't have the funds to buy a $500+ table, I have had to decide on what to do - return the cheapie table and make something, or, and this is what I choose, pinch bits off the cheapie like the external power switch and plastic fence with built-in dust port (which I'll replace at some point) and featherboards, and make something myself.

So here I am, about to embark on the version 1.0 of my router table, which I'm sure will change and evolve over the years.

My plan is to get some wood for a top, cut a hole, mount the router to it with some countersunk screws, mount the fence and featherboards and go from there. I'll probably use a melamine top or something similar. Ideally a mounting plate sure, but the cost of a plate that I then have to work out where to bore holes.. and I'm not sure there's enough advantage right now. Plus I can add it later should I need to.

What I wanted to ask everyone was:
Do you think the countersunk screws will be enough to hold the router, or should I make some sort of frame to better "clamp" the bottom of the router to the board?

Because it's so heavy, I'm a little nervous about how well it'll hold.

I'm mounting the Makita, as it's single speed, not soft start, but should definitely do what I need for now (especially as I learn new things). I'll possibly modify it or replace it later as funds and demand dictate.

Thoughts everyone?
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Last edited by 1fizgig; 01-06-2019 at 03:55 AM.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 04:41 AM
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I was in a hurry , so I mounted my PC690 under the extension of my table saw . It looks like that particle board / melamine stuff , and I countersunk screws into my router base and have had no issues at all . I put a bit in the router and let it carve right threw, then went to the biggest bit I use and repeated . Probably not a good practice but it worked .
There couldn’t be a weaker material imo , and it works just fine for me . Someday I’ll install a plate , but for now it’s certainly working for what I wanted
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 07:25 AM
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Hi Steve,
You don’t say what you plan to mount to top onto, but you could use a double layer of the board you have in mind. Cut a hole big enough for the base of the router in the lower board, and then do what Rick says with the upper board, once you have drilled through and secured the router with countersunk bolts.
I imagine you will use plywood, particleboard or mdf, as they are pretty flat. Glue and screw (from underneath) the two boards together - quite solid. Depending on the frame onto which you will mount, you can place some cross-braces fairly close to the router base (be sure not to impeded the movement of the handles, or you will lose depth), to further counteract sagging.
I have had a top made from Formica (kitchen countertop 32mm) for more than 30 years, with no problems.
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 07:44 AM
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Does the router have a removable plastic base attached to a metal one? If so remove the plastic part and screw the metal part to the top. In either case the counter sunk screws should hold since that is how you would attach the router to a plate. One other thing be sure that once the router is attached you will be able to raise it high enough to use the bits. If it can't be raised high enough because of the thickness of the table you can route the underside out. Check out used office equipment stores you might be able to get a top from a modular cubical which is perfect. You will find that a 4 foot long table gives just the right amount of support for just about anything that you might make. If you happen to have this type of a circle cutter you can make a series of rings that snap together because it cuts bevel edges in 1/4" plexaglass. Doing so you could get away without a plate but still be able to have the benefit of different size holes for the bits like you do on a plate.
https://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-55-Cutter-Adjustable/dp/B00004T7P1/ref=asc_df_B00004T7P1/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adpositio n}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt= e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocph y=&hvtargid=pla-4584345016406707&psc=1
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 10:05 AM
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Steve, it seems to me you are pretty much making a shop-made table using a pricy bit of material rather than a cheapie with plywood. I'd get a refund and use a bit of that to buy a couple of pieces of 18mm ply and build a table that way. Put it up on some saw horses. Or get a chest of drawers from a second hand store, scrap a couple of drawers and use the chest's top to mount the router. Slide a thin piece of ply atop one of the drawer slides to catch the sawdust and you have a nice router stand with storage.

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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 10:46 AM
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I've never screwed a router to a table yet and neither have many others. Gravity works perfectly well to hold it down and once you have a piece of wood over it there is even less chance of it moving. You just need to machine the opening to be a close fit to prevent any side to side movement. This allows you to take the router out of the table to change bits which makes that job much easier. I also don't leave the router in the table hanging from the plate which reduces the possibility of it sagging.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 11:40 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.
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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 08:44 PM
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Yup, a router plate is a very good idea. With a 2 layer table, cut the top opening to fit the plate, the bottom layer smaller to form a ridge on which the plate sits. Put screws or Kreg levelers in place to raise and level the plate with the top and you're done. You can probably find a plate pre drilled for your router, which means you'll likely be able to use the stock nuts to hold it in place. Aluminum plates are a better choice for a heavy router, but you can use phenolic if you remove the router and plate for storage. Left in the table, phenolic (plastic) plates can sag over time. The leveler screws are about $19 a set on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/PRS3040-Preci...SIN=B000VRML54

Router plates run in the $30 range, https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...m+router+plate Order one pre drilled for your router if you can.

I think phenolic plates are about 10 less and I think you can get them pre drilled as well. Mine have been aluminum.

Second illustration shows how the 2 layer plate fits, plus a different kind of leveling screw setup. Pretty easy to make.
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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 01-06-2019 at 08:50 PM.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default Yes it does

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmine View Post
Does the router have a removable plastic base attached to a metal one? If so remove the plastic part and screw the metal part to the top. In either case the counter sunk screws should hold since that is how you would attach the router to a plate. One other thing be sure that once the router is attached you will be able to raise it high enough to use the bits. If it can't be raised high enough because of the thickness of the table you can route the underside out. Check out used office equipment stores you might be able to get a top from a modular cubical which is perfect. You will find that a 4 foot long table gives just the right amount of support for just about anything that you might make. If you happen to have this type of a circle cutter you can make a series of rings that snap together because it cuts bevel edges in 1/4" plexaglass. Doing so you could get away without a plate but still be able to have the benefit of different size holes for the bits like you do on a plate.
https://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-55-Cutter-Adjustable/dp/B00004T7P1/ref=asc_df_B00004T7P1/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adpositio n}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt= e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocph y=&hvtargid=pla-4584345016406707&psc=1
Thanks Art, yes, I was planning on removing the plastic base.
My concern was more around the wood material and using the original mounting screws (assuming they are long enough) being strong enough to hold the weight of the router.
I can absolutely make the board(s) holding the router solid enough, but should I take enough material out to make the mounting say 10mm, I want to be sure it'll hold the router.
That's where I think the metal inserts have the advantage.

I have hole cutters for my drill, so cutting the hole for bits to pass through will be easy, but I don't know how they would go for cutting rings - I may look into that if necessary
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Default Well, I'm considering all options

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Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
Steve, it seems to me you are pretty much making a shop-made table using a pricy bit of material rather than a cheapie with plywood. I'd get a refund and use a bit of that to buy a couple of pieces of 18mm ply and build a table that way. Put it up on some saw horses. Or get a chest of drawers from a second hand store, scrap a couple of drawers and use the chest's top to mount the router. Slide a thin piece of ply atop one of the drawer slides to catch the sawdust and you have a nice router stand with storage.
Thanks Tom.

I was planning on mounting the whole lot on an old cabinet once I get my hands on it, similar to what you describe. I do have a board I could use as a trial piece and mount onto some sawhorses. I guess I just wanted to finesse a bit more.
The cheapie table was only $69, just slightly more than the price of the external power switch I'd still want to buy anyway, so I'm not too worried about cannibalising it.
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