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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Default Router table plate placement?

I built a router table, and the top measures 24" x 32" with no miter slot. The router plate is 9-1/4" x 11-3/4". What is a good placement for the router plate? I would assume centered on the top lengthwise, but should it be offset to the front instead of centered for the width? Thanks.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 08:24 AM
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Ron, having tried both a centered plate and one offset to the end as shown in the sticky thread about building an economy table I can tell you both work. It really depends on what type of fence you will be using. (again, a matter of choice) There is one real advantage in offsetting the plate, that is when you want to cut dadoes for longer items like book shelves. Off setting your plate to the end also allows easy installation of some jigs. Keep in mind the actual work area needed for making cuts is only about 12" long. This is enough to allow the use of finger boards to keep pressure on your material when making mouldings. This is why there are so many of the small step stool sized router tables. Anything larger than the 12" work area is for supporting longer pieces of material. If you use the Router Workshop's "Keep it simple" methods then offsetting your plate to the end of your table is the best way to go. If you want to use a fancy fence then centering should be your choice. Go with what is most comfortable to you; there is no wrong way to install your plate.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 03:52 PM
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Hi Ron,
I have 3 tables, 2 with the router centered and one as far back as I could put it, more or less centered on the length. If you clamp your fence on and need to work from different angles or sides then centered is good. Otherwise you are wasting tabletop. Unless you are making grooves you will only move the fence back as far as the center of the bit or to the pilot bearing. By putting the one table with insert as far back as I could put it I have more support surface for my work.
Just another opinion.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 04:57 PM
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Offset like the Oak Park template is a perfect option, because it truly gives you the most flexibility. It is obvious that you can move the fence far from the bit for jointery, but you can also have a HUGE amount of table space when profiling edges, if you work from the other side of the table.

Working from the other side of the table, the fence is over the 'short side' of the offset, allowing you the huge open area to support your work.

A little out of the box thinking.... but it works! Just make sure the fence is always on the right hand side.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2011, 06:25 PM
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Just my 2 cents, I like it in the center of the top and to front side of the top. most forget you can just flip the fence around and use the router from the backside of the cabinet, it will give you a bigger foot print for the big items.

To me I like having more (support ) room getting on the bit and getting off the bit and you can't get that with the narrow table top way (off set way ), if you flip the fence around to the other side of the bit you are still stuck with short way.. (support) , it's true you can use a longer fence but you will have less support coming off the bit.

Rock and Rolling is a big deal on the router me
but that's why I use a long fence with hold downs and feather boards to hold the stock down to the table top..

Many forget the router bit is always trying to lift and push the stock from the router bit and just using a stick for a fence will not give you a true cut, it's true if all you do is short runs (10" or less) it's not a big deal.


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