Height adjustment on table router - Router Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Default Height adjustment on table router

Hi Guys, I am new to routing and am currently contemplating making a bench top router table for my Bosch POF500a plunge router. I was wondering how I would be able to make the height adjustment simpler as the resistance from the springs is quite strong and to do this and hold it steady, whilst measuring with one hand seemed daunting. Today I thought - "why not remove the springs when using the router in the table top?" I tried this with the router just hand held and it seems easy to adjust the height this way. Am I perhaps missing something or is it acceptable and safe to work this way?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:14 PM
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Hi Guys, I am new to routing and am currently contemplating making a bench top router table for my Bosch POF500a plunge router. I was wondering how I would be able to make the height adjustment simpler as the resistance from the springs is quite strong and to do this and hold it steady, whilst measuring with one hand seemed daunting. Today I thought - "why not remove the springs when using the router in the table top?" I tried this with the router just hand held and it seems easy to adjust the height this way. Am I perhaps missing something or is it acceptable and safe to work this way?
Hi Stan - Welcome to the forum
You'll be fine without the springs. Some router mfg recommend removing them anyway. Just keep them where you can find them for use out of the table.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 10:10 PM
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Stan, the springs function as a safety item by lifting the cutter inside of the router base when released. While you can use the router free hand with out the springs I would not recommend it. Removing the springs for use in a router table is the best way to go.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 04:45 AM
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Stan, the springs function as a safety item by lifting the cutter inside of the router base when released. While you can use the router free hand with out the springs I would not recommend it. Removing the springs for use in a router table is the best way to go.
Mike, Mike, Mike, I just have to butt in here and say that "not recommending" the router to be used hand held without springs is not strong enough language, a plunge router MUST NEVER, EVER be used without springs, it's just plain dangerous. The main safety feature of a plunge router is the fact that if a problem arises, simply release downward pressure and the bit safely returns to the body of the router under SPRING pressure!

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Router Newbie View Post
Hi Guys, I am new to routing and am currently contemplating making a bench top router table for my Bosch POF500a plunge router. I was wondering how I would be able to make the height adjustment simpler as the resistance from the springs is quite strong and to do this and hold it steady, whilst measuring with one hand seemed daunting. Today I thought - "why not remove the springs when using the router in the table top?" I tried this with the router just hand held and it seems easy to adjust the height this way. Am I perhaps missing something or is it acceptable and safe to work this way?
Welcome to the forum Stan. For table use the springs are always removed, with a router in good condition it's own weight will take it down, in any case it's good practice to set the bit lower than required then slowly bring it up to correct height. Some time ago I "purchased" a table top router table for the princely sum of $3.00 and fitted a Ryobi router. I made a simple mechanism that enabled height adjustment from above the table. The attached zip file contains shots from the thread that I posted at the time, I'm sure that most routers, providing that the table is high enough to allow full up and down movement could have a similar modification carried out.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 09:42 AM
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Maybe only one adjustment/session. Not much need to extract springs then.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 10:40 AM
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Router Workshop: Spring Removal

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again to all our learned contributors. I am relieved to see that springs can and should be removed. My router weighs only 5.6lbs so should be easy to adjust with one hand. (I have attached a photo to illustrate). Harry I appreciate your words of warning when using hand held and can promise never to use without springs in that mode. Your lift is a little beyond my abilities to construct at this stage. Pat, I like the idea of spacers and would like to know what material you recommend for them? Is hardboard suitable?
The other problem I found today, is that I cannot buy T track here as nobody supplies it! One manufacturer who lists it has min order of 250 kgs but gave me the name of their only customer who had bought in the last year. He said he had used it all up and doesn't use it anymore! Can you believe this? I am now looking at how to carry on without it. I can see it is easy enough to clamp the fence but what about featherboards, mitre fence etc?
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 05:47 PM
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The other problem I found today, is that I cannot buy T track here as nobody supplies it!
Hi Stan

May I proffer a suggestion or two? Why not make your own. Rout out a groove with a straight bit then use a T-slot bit to cut the remainder. I think you might need a bigger router, though as I've only ever found T-slot cutters in 8mm and 1/2in shanks. That's the sort of cutter I've used to do T-slot for shop fittings where a special was needed. Works well in fine grained hardwoods, birch plywood and even melamine-faced MDF.

Another possibility might be to cadge-up some slatboard offcut from a shop fitting firm (it's used in an awfull lot of retail outlets, is made by T-slot machining melamine-faced MDF, generally 18mm thick) and then face off the top with something like 4mm MDF or oil-tempered Masonite/hardboard. Not as long-lived as hardwood or an ally T-slot, but nonetheless a useable solution IMHO

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Last edited by Phil P; 07-21-2011 at 03:55 AM.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Phil for your suggestions. I like the look of the keyhole cutter which has a 1/4 inch shank and could be a solution. I will also canvass some shopfitters for the slatboard and see if they know what I am talking about. Do I understand you correctly when you say "face off the top" meaning to cover the slatboard with a smooth surface either side of the one t track which is to be used? I managed to purchase a 6mm perspex plate 210 x 300mm this morning for my insert, so I am making slow progress. My router is very light so I believe this will be strong enough. We also do not have a suppier for all the ready made plates that are available in UK, USA etc. The good news is, that Walmart has recently taken over our Massmart which owns a number of stores such as Builder's Warehouse, Builder's Express, Makro, Game etc so maybe we will see better choices on offer in the not too distant future.
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