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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm making a router lift and a machinist would charge $45 to cut a large hole in the 1/4" aluminum top plate so it could accept aftermarket drop in center plates. I decided on cutting a single1 5/8" hole, and that would fit a 1 1/2" chamfer bit... largest bit I'd ever use. I don't ever plan on routing or rounding over anything tiny 1/4x1/4 inch stock either. I suppose small thin materials do need more support than my one size fits all hole.
Any issues with the choice I made? (yes it's too late now) >:)
My router is a PC 690LR so no, I'm not ever gonna use a large wing type shaper bit. :wink:
 

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at least 3'' and make the hole smaller as required w/ inserts...
don't dedicate, cover you bases for later use as in thumbnail and door bits...
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why not mill the plate to accept a router plate...
suggest you stay away from the phenolic type plate.. they sag over time...
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I suspect that ¼'' will be too thin unless you underlay or torsion it..
have you allowed for miter and T slots???
are you also aware that un-anodized aluminum will oxidize and that oxidation will contaminate your material/project making for issues..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't even designed the table top yet. Re-thinking my hole size, I can build a tiny lip screwed on from the underside of my plate and make a smaller drop in ring from the same 1/4" plate to reduce the size of the hole.
How does one decide the correct or best bit to hole relationship? I'm sure if the hole was .003 larger than the bit, that would be ideal but also ridiculous in the real world.
Nothing is anodized or going to be anodized. Polished up smooth and waxed is as good as it's gonna get. I read about clear or epoxy coatings, but those cause more issues that are hard to correct.
 

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I just get the hole side as close as I an...
a larger open hole make changing bits a lot easier...
 

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I had the Rockler Group A plate for the Bosch 1617 router. The hole was too small to fit a raised panel cutter through it. I had to make some temporary parts to attach to the fence on each side of the cutter. Then I had to make an auxiliary table top and screw/clamp it to the existing table so I could mount the cutter from the top side. It was a pain in the arse but it worked.

I solved that problem by buying a Kreg insert plate. It has an opening of 3 1/2 inches for the various inserts. The cutter fits up through the opening just fine. Lot of hassle could have been eliminated by purchasing the right tool to start with.

The doors turned out nice and the little lady was happy. That is all that counts. :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right now, I'll be able to change the bits using one wrench on the top side and one held on the under side. I'm thinking of a way to build in a permanently mounted spring loaded "wrench" of sorts on the underside of the top plate to engage the lower nut. Again, I don't have any plans for a bit larger than the hole diameter that I have in the top right now. If I ever do, I can disassemble the top plate and have some machine work done to it. The machine work plus the aftermarket plates is too expensive to justify for my occasional router use. I already have over $150 in the lift's parts including taps, screws, bronze bushings, aluminum plate etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had the Rockler Group A plate for the Bosch 1617 router. The hole was too small to fit a raised panel cutter through it. I had to make some temporary parts to attach to the fence on each side of the cutter. Then I had to make an auxiliary table top and screw/clamp it to the existing table so I could mount the cutter from the top side. It was a pain in the arse but it worked.

I solved that problem by buying a Kreg insert plate. It has an opening of 3 1/2 inches for the various inserts. The cutter fits up through the opening just fine. Lot of hassle could have been eliminated by purchasing the right tool to start with.

The doors turned out nice and the little lady was happy. That is all that counts. :grin:
I don't buy stuff..... I make stuff. :nerd: I make stuff even if it's not cost effective. For less than twice what I have into this contraption, I could have bought one ready to go with more bells and whistles.
.......maybe I'll add a USB port just to make it look hi tec. :dance3:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Stick486, you mentioned the plate possibly being too thin. Naw, plenty strong for my 6# router and it's weight support locations.
Here's the beginnings once I was able to assemble the main parts. Look how far out on the plate the 1/2 inch support rods are. All the weight is supported by those rods which are 3" or less from the edges. The table top will have supports cross ways directly under the plate edges. I'm thinking 1" x 1" heavy wall (.160") square aluminum tubing as the table frame with MDF or particle board for the top. The unit has come a long ways since this image was taken. The round hole drawn in the top didn't get made. It's 1 5/8" now. One of these days I'll get more photos. I'm not digital yet, so I need to borrow a camera.
 

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too thin to put in miter and T slots...
what you have is nicely engineered and well bade...
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
170$...
serious fine quality and CS/TS...
JessEm™ Rout-R-Lift II™ - Lee Valley Tools
That takes the fun out of sharp curly metal shavings getting all over and driving to the store to get more oil, taps, drill bits, screws, nuts, bolts saw blades and files. Then driving back down to the store to exchange what ya bought for something different when you change your mind on some part of the plan. .......... and not sleeping at night.
You're missing out on a lot of fun there buddy. :grin:
Seriously tho, I've learned a lot about working with aluminum, especially cutting it with a table saw.
 

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you mean you haven't started cutting it w/ a router????
who'd thunk...

TS and a TCG negative rake waxed blade...
cake and pie...
Freud Tools | Products
 

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My version of "not ever" seems to change as time goes by. Cover your bases by engineering in adequate versatility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My version of "not ever" seems to change as time goes by. Cover your bases by engineering in adequate versatility.
No, no Chuck. That's when I build my next router with the 15hp Binford XTS-1500 router.
Unless someone makes a router with the exact same diameter and total height as my PC 690, I'm kinda screwed. The movable (center platform) portion of the lift was designed for this router only. If it burns out, I'll need another of the same model.
I can always have the top plate carved out by a machinist if I feel the need to use aftermarket plates. That part of the setup can be modified. I could actually do that myself with my jig saw and a sanding drum if I really wanted to spend the time.
Lennox makes a laminate blade with no kerf. Tiny little teeth like a piranha. If ya make a scribe line with steel dividers, use plenty of lube and cut accurately it's amazing how neatly you can cut aluminum plate.
I rarely use a router. Now that I have a decent one and if I can make a good table, I think it will be like my other tool purchases............ I'll use it a lot more than I thought I would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
you mean you haven't started cutting it w/ a router????
who'd thunk...

TS and a TCG negative rake waxed blade...
cake and pie...
Freud Tools | Products
Now if I had a decent router table at the beginning of this project. :wink: That woulda made for some really slick cleanup cuts and eliminate a lot of hand work with a file. The lift section as almost complete now. Just a few more minor details. It's actually usable if I drop it into my old swayback tablesaw cutout. I'd still have to make and use a temporary fence. I'll need to start a bit collection too since I can now use 1/2 inch bits.
 

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I got around all that. I made all my router plates. Don't like lifts, so my plates just lift off, quick and easy. All of mine have the same size hole, around 1 1/2", don't know for sure, but works fine for me, so don't care. However, if I ever decided I need a plate with a larger, or smaller, hole, no biggie to make. I think I have 5 routers, not counted them in awhile, and normally just use the same one all the time anyway. Got I think 3 routers fastened to plates, with different bits. Change bits, no problem, lift off one plate, drop another in place, takes longer to unplug and plug in than it does to change routers. Been doing it this way since maybe 1997/8.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
which ones for what...
These. I looked at the site but didn't see TS or TGC negative rake..... just lotsa bits with different profiles. No specific numbers to show me what yur thinkin'.



you mean you haven't started cutting it w/ a router????
who'd thunk...

TS and a TCG negative rake waxed blade...
cake and pie...
Freud Tools | Products
 
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