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Hello folks. I am new to the forum and am putting things together to start a trim project here at our home. I have very little router experience and am looking for a bit of guidance on how I should proceed. I have ordered a Bosch 1617EVSPK which will likely arrive today. I have a Vermont American table that a friend gave me but I am not certain it will work as it is. I have inspected all surfaces and cannot find a label with a model number. I believe after doing some research that it is a model 23463 but is unconfirmed. The problem is the mounting plate is missing. I tracked it down to Bosch now being the owner of Vermont American and have not been able to get a definitive answer from their customer support folks. Here is a pic of the unit

Wood Table Furniture Plywood Machine


and from underneath



and even though it is a bit distorted from the angle of taking the picture the apparent inlay for the plate is 7 1/2" square. I have not been able to make sense of acquiring a universal plate or an original for that matter. This is likely a real simple thing to those in the know but it has me a bit stymied. I am not sure if putting energy into resolving and rehabbing this old incomplete table is prudent or just find a different option.

hoping I have created this thread and images properly, please excuse if something is not quite right.

Geoff
 

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Geoff some of those old tables were meant to fit a specific router, especially some old Sears tables. I don't know if that one was. Most newer tables go with a removable plate but that doesn't appear to have one so to mount a router of your choice to it you'll need to dill holes to match the pattern on your router. Most of us do that by taking the thin black plastic base off the router and use it for a template to mark the pattern.

A lot of us use the Grizzly plate because it's cheap ($13 when I bought mine). They don't come drilled for any router so you have to. Insert plates all come with one or more snap in rings to limit how much much space is left open around the bit. The smallest of the rings is usually sized so that it will accept guide bushings for doing pattern routing. We normally use those and bushings or centering tools or cones to center the router in the hole before we drill the plate. Unless you have one of those reducing rings that is sized for using template guides for your table then it's not an issue. You'll just need to get it as close to center as possible.

A large percentage of the members on this forum built their own tables. We have a long running thread showing some of them and it might be helpful to you to see what others have done. You can see it here: https://www.routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/17212-wanted-pictures-your-router-table.html
 

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Hi, Geoff; welcome!
Charles pretty much covered it, but may I suggest that you not get bogged down with the Vermont American issue? You can put together a very simple and totally functional table using a slab of plywood (or MDF) and a plate like Charles suggested. All you need then is a straight strip of plywood and a couple of clamps for a fence. You might need to cut out a small section to allow for burying the bit into its length, to adjust for front to back bit exposure.
An old carpenter I know has used that setup for years and he does beautiful work with it.
The danger, financially speaking, is to fall into the 'Lee Valley' syndrome, where one confuses "I want that" with "I need that"! ;)
We pretty much all want a $3K+ cabinet saw but most of us get by quite nicely with a decent contractor's saw, or jobsite saw.
By the way, good choice on the Bosch 1617EVSPK; i think you'll love it!
 

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Both Charles and Dan gave great advice. My 2 cents is if you are focusing on the "Trim Work" focus on that and buy a complete router table where all you have to do is plug and play. You might not have the time. There are many to choose from here's one of them https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-Cabinet-Style-Router-RA1171/dp/B000H14DLY/ref=asc_df_B000H14DLY/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198090983914&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13215987263648308699&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015555&hvtargid=aud-801738734305:pla-383712729001&psc=1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanx for the responses here, they helped put a few things into perspective.

Charles, that thread is fabulous and I get it. In poking around (lurking) this website looking for all things routers 101, and then posted an introductory thread a member stick responded with a link to a particularly helpful thread with much great info about this discipline. It led me to the member's tables thread and I said this is the kind of group I need. The Vermont American thoughts helped bolster my thoughts of where my head was on this part of the situation. Thoughts of something different, new vs. used vs. build my own etc. Saw this on CL and said for under $100 I could go grab it and likely have all I need to get started but I can build that for less...later.



Dan added to this and believe me I am a New Englander and frugal by nature. I can only imagine the rabbit hole that can be woodworking tools and the like. After reading these two responses I was settled on getting a functional table and bail on the Vermont American. While the idea of building a table is romantic I work a full+ time job and have plenty of time consuming things so I decided to purchase a table and start there with a new system all around. Came home and grabbed my laptop and ordered a Bosch RA1181 figuring it would be designed to work the best with Bosch router, it will be here next Wednesday.

Then I open the forum and see Marco has basically sent a link for a Bosch table.

Yes, trim in general is the focus and the truth is I have a tremendous amount of trim to do! We have been in remodel mode for a couple years and finish work is what is left for the most part. It used to be a colonial style trim which was easily purchased as needed but the house has gone in a different direction now. Shaker and industrial steam punk is where it has gone, and Diane (wife) found a set of shutters years ago at an antique shop that she loves. The profile on those is what we plan to duplicate for the most part with our trim. There are a number of other trim applications that are yet to be determined but it should be fun exploring options.

I will need a good deal of guidance and it sure seems like I came to the right place.

Geoff
 

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I'm still using my now decade old Rockler brand table. I changed the plate out when I put in a larger router for the table only. I suggest you make your own, buy a plate that's pre drilled for the 1617. Find a source of real Baltic Birch ply and use it to make a top. Make it 3 ft long by about 24 inches wide. Lay the plate on that board and draw the outline. Then use a jig saw to carefully cut it out.

Kreg makes some leveling screws that you put in the corners of the cut out opening. See the picture below. You will then use the screws in the Kreg levelers to make the plate absolutely level with the Baltic Birch. If you can feel an edge with your fingernail, it's not quite flat.

As far as plates go, I prefer aluminum, pre drilled for the Bosch fixed base, and with twist lock type inserts. The pix below is of the plate I used and you can see the inserts are red. Some plates come with 3 holes to hold in the insert, but those screws instantly disappear.

The same small bolts that hold the round base on the router are sometimes used with the plate. but if you need longer bolds, you can find them in the odd piece drawers at Lowes and sometimes Home Depot. Pre drilled plates will let you use the Bosch provided bolts. They don't have nuts but thread into the fixed base of the router.

The fixed base is bolted directly to the plate. You can look for and find a Bosch part that is a "key" that allows you to do final adjustments on bit height.

You will need a fence. A really really straight piece of 2x lumber will do, or you can buy a commercial fence, most of which will a small dust port and have a variable split fence so you can open it to fit the bit. A couple of clamps from Harbor Freight $4-5 bucks each, will hold it in place as you run your stock up against it.

Stick with half inch shank bits, and Freud bits are very good and available at Home Depot.

One other item you might consider is a dust collection setup for your router. The picture below shows a bucket with a Dust Deputy cyclone separator, linked to a shop vac. The bucket collects most of the sawdust so you don't clog the shop vac filter. I'd go for at least a 14 gallon shop vac, and you might find one used in a thrift shop. That dust collection will save your lungs, that with a dust mask is very important. And, you will find sawdust gets under your workpiece. Keep brushing it away or it will lift your piece up a bit and ruin the alighment on assembly.

I also added a picture of the type table and fence I started with, vs a shop made fence with dust collection.

You could also check second hand stores for a wood table or dresser and use that for your router table.

OK, here are the pictures, including a fence. As always, they have jumped out of order, but you can tell which is which.
 

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The 1181 will serve you well to start with. I have one from Lee Valley about the same size and I like to set it on my workbench and use it for small items. For bigger stuff I like my rolling cabinet table I made.

Dan was correct about just taking a piece of ply and making a cut out in a straight section of 2 x 4 for a fence. Lots of us have done it and you'd be surprised how long some of us used it after because they got the job done and we didn't really need better at the time. I've built at least 6 by now and some were as cheap to make as $5-10 by repurposing materials. I made one for my son with folding table legs because he had very limited storage space for it. Only the last one I made took more than a few hours. Most newcomers look at building a table as far more complicated than it really is.
 
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Welcome Geoff and you've received a great deal of solid advice. Simple will get the job done at a very affordable price. I used a Sears metal table for a short while until I realized it short cummings as it was very flimsily which made it difficult to work with especially longer pieces. As I worked more with the router and realized how much it would be used and found out so many more uses I hadn't tried I then decided to make a larger table. As time went on I built a very sturdy cabinet that offered stoargae of the many parts and pieces you'll find you'' get. For your later possible use look at these plans for a complete routertable based on a design by Norm Abrams.
 

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When you say trim work what are you referring to? Are you making the trim and if so the most important thing that you will need will be feather boards. You will need a set attached to the table to keep the stock tight to the fence and another pair attached to the fence to keep the stock tight to the table. It will also help if you have a long table to support longer boards. The table in your picture needs a smaller ring in the plate to keep the smaller bits usually used in trim molding covered more.
 

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Geoff, You can mount your router with a couple of slabs of wood to hold your router to the table without modifying. You will have to shape them for your particular router. Mount to the holes you already have in the router table top.
 

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For me it's easy to start a project and get caught up doing projects inside the project just to move forward, It's very time consuming and frustrating.

To me it sounds like you will have some time and research in finding the right bit or bits to mimic the look of the trim you are trying to duplicate. When you get to that point post some pictures of the trim you are trying to duplicate and I imagine someone can lead you in the right direction.

I feel your pain on the extended remodeling time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
spot on Marco. The remodel has been a wonderful journey.

I appreciate all the various input and am looking forward to setting up a work area and starting this process.

I think I will start a new thread for the trim design question posed by Art, but I have been given private message guidance on inserting photos in a thread so here is a picture of the shutter my wife found

White Black Black-and-white Room Monochrome


and it may give you an idea of the simple chamfer edge with the tailing up before terminating.

thanx again folks, if this opening thread is any indication, I am thrilled to know that I can get sound guidance from a group of like minded members.

Geoff
 

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After suffering with Bosch’s cheesy router lift mechanism on my RA1181 table, I opted for Jessem’s Rout-R-Lift II insert ($189). Had to route the top plate to fit the Bosch opening but am in router heaven now. If you see any need to have accurate, easy lift control (hint, hint) look for a decent product for the job. There are several but the Jessem works beautifully and can be ordered to accept a Bosch 1617EVPKS router, which is the one I use too.

Building your own table is a wise approach for storage and other considerations. All my tools are on casters and make my small shop very usable. Hope you find a solution that serves you well.
 
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