My new design for router "tables"
I have a cast iron wing on a table saw with a Triton.
I have a dedicated router table with a 7518 motor in a Woodpeckers lift.
I like this design better than either of those. When you first see it, it will not appeal to you. Anyone that sees it run wants one. It has absolutely 100% dust collection with no more than a Shop Vac. The vacuum hookup has the added, and unexpected benefit of holding the workpiece tightly against the fence. No router table I've ever run, mills a piece as cleanly as these.
It looks low tech. It is, sort of, because only c-clamps hold the fence in place.
For a recent 18th Century reproduction window sash project, I had Whiteside make a set of 5 different, custom bits. We needed to make 43 sash in different sizes, so I wanted to keep each bit in a dedicated table router, but didn't want to buy more tables.
A friend had a piece of scrap synthetic bowling alley flooring on sawhorses for a temporary table in the yard at a party. I had never seen it before, but had to have it, and talked him out of it. It's solid phenolic, hard as a rock so as no damage from bowling balls, flat, and only a little less than 3/8" thick.
I drilled pieces as replacement sub-bases for 7518s. A 1/2" straight cutting bit was chucked in the router, and plunged up through the top, leaving a perfectly fitting, and placed hole for a 1/2" shank bit to pass through.
Another router was used to mill out some clearance below, and slightly around where each of the bits would need a little clearance at the bottom.
We planed all the pieces to be run to their finished thickness, and at the end of each run of a size, we ran a couple of pieces to be used as fences for those thickness setups, so they were exactly the same thickness.
A hole was cut in each fence to allow clearance around behind the bit to leave space for a vacuum pickup, and an air inlet. A hose adaptor was glued in one hole on the holddown plywood fence topper, and a PVC pipe riser for the intake so chips wouldn't get thrown out, and no possibility for a finger to find harm.
No hold down pressure fingers were needed anywhere. The vacuum manifold fence topper was screwed down to the fence, making a perfectly spaced hold down.
With the first piece we ran, with much excitement, everyone said, "I WANT ONE!!!"
They ended up being the most perfectly milled pieces I've ever run through any router table. I hope the pictures are self explanatory.
I know it looks like it's more trouble than a commercial table, but it's really not. Just lay the whole rig on top of the bench and swapping a bit is easy. We had 5 different ones setup and changing from one to the other was less than a minute.
You can see the window project outlined in pictures on my "windows" page on my website.
The new 7518s have flawlessly run several hundred feet of Heart Pine, and never seen a spec of dust on any of them, and none in the air.
Last edited by Tom King; 01-30-2014 at 09:10 PM.