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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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Default adding rings to router plate

I have a used router table that is pretty nice and big enough (23" x 30") see attached photos. The only drawback is that it has a non-standard sized insert plate (10 1/2 x 15 1/2). The current insert plate has a 1 3/4"diameter hole for the router bit. I'm planning on making my own plate since I can't use a standard one like the Rousseau. I bought a large enough 1/4" phenolic plate. I want to use a ring system so I can easily change bit sizes and still have decent clearance between the bit and the top of the plate. My largest bit is a huge chamfer bit to route 3/4" thick boards. I'd also like to use guide bushings like with the MLCS through-dovetail system that you can use with a router table. MLCS Woodworking Through Dovetail Templates - YouTube (see 8:40 for the router table setups)

What ring system would be easy to embed in the plate? I've looked at the woodpecker rings, for instance. They have 8 rings, though they don't have the standard size rings that come with their plate. Router Table Mounting Plate TLR Set Also, this is pricey (more than the cost of the table and router that came with it). and I'm not sure I need all of these. Some may be easier to embed that with others. It looks like rockler has some rings that are available by the ring. Here's an example of one: http://www.rockler.com/insert-for-1-...ng-large-plate

How would I route out the circle to fit the rings? Another possibility for the guide bushings would be to have a cutout for a router sub base, but I don't like that idea as well as the rings.

If anyone has done this, I'd love to hear/see how you did it and which rings you used.

I'm not sure how to route the plate to hold rings and couldn't find anything on the site to do this.
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Last edited by Goblu; 05-13-2014 at 03:47 PM.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 09:26 PM
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From your message I'm not getting whether you want to make a whole new plate that accepts rings or just copy a ring that already exists but:

I think you would find the easiest way to do this is take the original ring or plate and trace it onto a solid piece of wood or plastic. That way the plate or ring will fit exactly. If you have a bandsaw cut the shape out, if not a handsaw will do. Normally I like to use key hole saws for this type of work but bandsaws make it much quicker.


Whether you decide to make a plate yourself or buy one the hole procedure works the same for both.

There are a couple of ways you can drill the hole in the center of the plate or ring you just made. If you have a forstner drill set they work pretty well with a drill press. If not then you could make a drawing to cut out a the size of circle you want. Normally I use my scroll saw to cut a hole in the middle of a piece of wood but if you don't have one then use the key how saw. You could also use a hack saw blade.

Just remember to sand everything down flush with the router table. If you don't the wood could catch and blood may be spilled. Just be careful with commercial solutions. If they don't exactly fit your router table you could spend a lot of time with them and wind up with nothing. Thats why I prefer to make my own custom plates or rings. Once you get the hang of it it's simple and fast plus you have the control to make the item fit anyway you want. Although for saftey's sake make sure you clamp down your work so nothing flies into you if using power tools.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Victor. Here's some clarification:

I'm going to make a plate (square) and feel relatively confident in doing that. I know about leveling systems for the square plate, etc.

But I also want to buy some interchangeable rings to put in the plate, like most of the commercial router plates have. This would involve putting a circular hole in the square plate I'm making. And buying rings to go in that hole. I'm not so confident about that.

I just wonder if anyone else has done that. The current plate has no rings in it. Will the new rings in the new plate be flush? Also, the phenolic I bought is 1/4" thick, so putting rings in it seems a bit of a problem. Unless there's some ingenious way people here might know. Or a particular brand that works for this.

The current plate and the hole for it is much larger than the commercial plates or I'd just buy one like the Rousseau.

Last edited by Goblu; 05-13-2014 at 10:20 PM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 10:37 PM
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Hi Katie, unfortunately, you do not show in your profile what tools and equipment you have.

The job should be relatively easy using a hole saw set....You will need two sizes to set the 'ledge' the rings will sit on.

You could also use a circle jig to cut the hole very accurately.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 10:43 PM
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Why not make the hole bigger in the table to fit a insert plate that has rings for it?

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jw2170 View Post
Hi Katie, unfortunately, you do not show in your profile what tools and equipment you have.

The job should be relatively easy using a hole saw set....You will need two sizes to set the 'ledge' the rings will sit on.

You could also use a circle jig to cut the hole very accurately.
Thank you, James. Maybe I'm overthinking this. I'm sure I can do those things with some practice, but my concern is that the 1/4" inch plate is too thin for ledges to hold the rings. I'm also not clear if the rings screw in or sit on top of a ledge. In other words, how do I make the rings stay in place?

I don't have a woodworking place with router tables nearby so I can't go look at one. It's a bit of travel, but maybe I'll be able to do that soon and it will seem easier than I thought.

I updated my profile a bit for the routers I have and router table. I'll try to do more later.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 10:59 PM
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This is what I do, the two inserts on the right are original. I rout, using the circle jig Acrylic discs which are a snug fit into the table rebate then open up the 1/4" hole from the circle jig as required. I bore the holes in my metal lathe but hole saws would be just perfect.
The last three shots are from a totally different project but illustrate the routing procedure.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Salty Dawg View Post
Why not make the hole bigger in the table to fit a insert plate that has rings for it?
Ah, therein lies the problem! The square hole in the table is too large for any insert plate on the market that I can find. If anyone knows of an insert plate that's 11" x 16" or so, I'd love to hear about it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
This is what I do, the two inserts on the right are original. I rout, using the circle jig Acrylic discs which are a snug fit into the table rebate then open up the 1/4" hole from the circle jig as required. I bore the holes in my metal lathe but hole saws would be just perfect.
The last three shots are from a totally different project but illustrate the routing procedure.
Thanks, Harry. It looks like you have made your own circular disks that fit in the opening that the original rings were in. It sounds like having a tight fit will keep them in place without any further fasteners. The challenge is going to be finding the right thickness of material so that it will be flush with the surface of the router plate (as Victor points out). The plate I'm setting them into is 6.25 mm (1/4" imperial). So, the lip would be 3.125 mm (1/8") and the material the same thickness. Possibly too thin? If so, it may not be possible to add rings to the plate I have. It may be that I will just need to make plates with a few different hole sizes and forget about the rings.

Last edited by Goblu; 05-13-2014 at 11:37 PM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 10:26 AM
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The Acrylic that I used is slightly thinner than the depth of the rebate. I cut shims from packaging to make the discs flush with the table/plate. I don'e see any problems with 1/8" material, All material being routed will be wider than the diameter of the insert so no real weight is placed on the insert. If the work-piece isn't wider than the insert then it would be VERY DANGEROUS to proceed without a jig of some sort.
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Last edited by harrysin; 05-14-2014 at 10:32 AM.
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