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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I got a couple of projects out of the way (As well as a couple started that weren't exactly planned :grin:) and I've started on my router table. I successfully managed to drill some mounting holes in the insert plate without messing it up and I cleaned up the threads in the router base as well.

One way in which I think that buying a cheaper router may be biting me in the bum is those mounting holes. They're only M4 x 0.7 threads in cast aluminium, the threads aren't great and I'm a bit wary of hanging the router off of them entirely. I do have room to drill some more holes in the insert plate and add a couple of straps clamping the router base to the insert plate and taking the vertical force off of those four screws.

Does that sound like a sensible idea or total overkill??
 

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Use threadlock on the bolts to stop them vibrating loose.

I dont see any problem supporting the router with those bolts. If they were used to hold a bracket to the ceiling you could easily swing on them all day without them breaking.

What make of router did you buy?
 

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Hi Jon, I am with Bob on that one. No point drilling more holes - if you are really worried, use longer bolts and lock with nylock nuts under the router base. You could even use high-tensile bolts, if you could find that size, but overkill.
 

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I also wouldn't worry. I think M4 is about average for all routers. The worn holes might prove to be a problem in the future. Rather that drilling them larger if they strip I think I would just drill them through and use a longer bolt with a nut on the top side of the base. Bob's idea of using a thread compound would help if the threads are worn but use the type that is just to keep them from vibrating loose and not the actual thread locking type. In Loctite brand it would be the blue colored one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Use threadlock on the bolts to stop them vibrating loose.

I dont see any problem supporting the router with those bolts. If they were used to hold a bracket to the ceiling you could easily swing on them all day without them breaking.

What make of router did you buy?
Not sure I'd want to swing my bulk on four M4 screws on a bracket on the ceiling :grin: The router is an own brand router from a DIY/building company this side of the pond called Wickes - https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-Multi-Purpose-1-2in-Corded-Plunge-Router---1500W/p/150411#

Hi Jon, I am with Bob on that one. No point drilling more holes - if you are really worried, use longer bolts and lock with nylock nuts under the router base. You could even use high-tensile bolts, if you could find that size, but overkill.
I also wouldn't worry. I think M4 is about average for all routers. The worn holes might prove to be a problem in the future. Rather that drilling them larger if they strip I think I would just drill them through and use a longer bolt with a nut on the top side of the base. Bob's idea of using a thread compound would help if the threads are worn but use the type that is just to keep them from vibrating loose and not the actual thread locking type. In Loctite brand it would be the blue colored one.
It's not so much the screws themselves I'm concerned about as the threads in the router plate which are not great to begin with (I had to tap them properly to even take the M4 screws, the plastic plate that was on the router had been fitted with Taptite screws :sad:) and are in a relatively thin section cast aluminium. I don't really want to drill right the way through just yet as that will totally invalidate the warranty for the router although that is always an option in the future. I'd definitely going to be using some form of thread lock whatever I do.

I must admit, coming from an engineering background I'm surprised that, given the forces involved, this is considered acceptable to hang a router on but I know very little about routers so I'm always open to advice from those more experienced than me. I'll leave it as it is for now and just monitor it carefully. If it looks like things are loosening up, I can always beef it up later.
 

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...I'll leave it as it is for now and just monitor it carefully. If it looks like things are loosening up, I can always beef it up later.
Sounds like the best approach to me. Because you can doesn't always mean you should do something.

I no longer buy bargain power tools that I hope to use regularly.
 

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The bolts only have to take the vertical weight of the router.
All torque is sideways to the screws.
As an engineer, you can work out how much torque force is required to shear all 4 bolts simultaneously, I can guarantee its a damn sight more than that router produces.
I'm English by the way (although an ex-pat), and am fully aware of wickes. In fact my plastic garden shed came from them a dozen years ago and its still fit for purpose (lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The bolts only have to take the vertical weight of the router.
All torque is sideways to the screws.
As an engineer, you can work out how much torque force is required to shear all 4 bolts simultaneously, I can guarantee its a damn sight more than that router produces.
I'm English by the way (although an ex-pat), and am fully aware of wickes. In fact my plastic garden shed came from them a dozen years ago and its still fit for purpose (lol)
Glad to hear that some Wickes stuff is good LOL!! The screws shearing isn't concerning me, it's the threads in the cast aluminium that worry me, especially as, after having Taptite screws fitted they're not in the best of condition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Can you tap the holes out to m5 or m6 to improve the holding power?
I don't think there's enough wall thickness in the casting to do that to my satisfaction otherwise I'd definitely consider it. From what others have said, I'm just being a bit paranoid so I'm going to live with it for now and just keep a careful eye on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, as life tends to do, it's restricted my shop time for a while hence the lack of progress on this. I did manage to get a little time today though and managed to butcher the work surface into roughly the size I want for the top. While doing it a couple of thoughts occurred to me.

Yup, more questions!! :rolleyes: I'm so sorry folks, thanks again for the patience!!

Firstly, when positioning the cutout for the insert plate, is it normal to have it central in the table or maybe set a bit towards the back? I'm probably hedging towards centrally mounted but can also see some advantages with it being a bit more towards the back. Having said that, I really don't have any experience with router tables so I could be way off the mark.

Secondly, what would be the best way to trim the edges of the particle board work top I'm using? I'm guessing probably glue and screw? I even have a light electric tack/staple gun but I don't think the tacks would get enough purchase in the particle board to grip.
 

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its not where it is in the table, its where it is for you to work comfortably, without having to reach across. A table for a 6 footer is no good for a 5 foot person.

i'm 6ft, my table is 3 foot square, but quite high, so I have the plate slightly to the rear of centre so I can safely reach the work piece. But i do have a T bolt slot and a mitre slot track running left to right on the front apron. i edged mine with 1" cherry (only because I had it available), glued and screwed into the edges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
:surprise::crying::':)sad::nono::mad::angry:

So, a 40mm thick bit of particle board working surface isn't necessarily going to be flat...who'd a thunk it!!??!!

I sure as hell didn't and it wasn't until I put a long straight edge on it to start marking up for the insert table that I realised the whole thing is dished. I'm not exactly sure why or how, my suspicion is that, as we've been having a lot of rain recently and my garage, while dry inside, isn't exactly draught proof, the unsealed edges of the work top have absorbed some moisture and swollen a bit.

So, plan B is probably to do what I should have done in the first place which is to go buy a sheet of 12mm ply, cut it in half and make the top out of that. At least that way if there is any warp in the sheet, fixing the two sides together should allow me to get it flat enough and will make cutting out the hole for the insert a lot easier. Would something like Teak oil be a good finish for it, maybe with a coat of wax over the top??
 

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You think ply is going to be dead flat? (uh uh).
I'm on table Mark 4, Mark one was countertop (curved like a skateboard course) and I have slowly improved each time.

For Mark 4 I have melamine board, 2 pieces 18 mm thick, glued and screwed from the underneath, screws every 12" in all directions to make 36 mm thick. Then 40 mm square cherry edging, glued and screwed in from the sides.
That is mounted onto the drawer base laying on an extra thick bead of silicone while its still wet.
Strategic weights around the top ensured it was level in both planes while the silicone dried.
I'm now working on the plan for the mark5. (lol)
OH, and I started out with the Kreg phenolic plate, but that warped. the free replacement from kreg also warped (not a lot, but enough to measure and i make a lot of small parts where dead level is important) so now I have an Incra alloy plate, which is spot on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You think ply is going to be dead flat? (uh uh).
I'm on table Mark 4, Mark one was countertop (curved like a skateboard course) and I have slowly improved each time.

For Mark 4 I have melamine board, 2 pieces 18 mm thick, glued and screwed from the underneath, screws every 12" in all directions to make 36 mm thick. Then 40 mm square cherry edging, glued and screwed in from the sides.
That is mounted onto the drawer base laying on an extra thick bead of silicone while its still wet.
Strategic weights around the top ensured it was level in both planes while the silicone dried.
I'm now working on the plan for the mark5. (lol)
OH, and I started out with the Kreg phenolic plate, but that warped. the free replacement from kreg also warped (not a lot, but enough to measure and i make a lot of small parts where dead level is important) so now I have an Incra alloy plate, which is spot on.
Oh I'm well aware that plywood wont be dead flat. I'm hoping that by cutting a sheet in half and then screwing/gluing it together and mounting it onto a sturdy frame I can even out the warp. Hadn't thought of melamine covered furniture board though. I could get a 16mm x 600mm x 2000mm piece for the same price as the plywood, get that cut into three pieces and fix two or three of those together. I bet the melamine gives a nice smooth slide for routing.

My insert plate is an aluminium plate machined from a solid piece rather than cast so I'm reasonably happy that that's not going to warp on me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For Mark 4 I have melamine board, 2 pieces 18 mm thick, glued and screwed from the underneath
Another quick question that just occurred, what did you use to glue the melamine faced board together? Wood glue or something more like epoxy??
 

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I heavily scratched the melamine on both surfaces and applied ordinary wood glue, because I knew i was going to use a lot of screws anyway. To be honest, i doubt if I needed the glue, but I had it so I did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, the store made the choice for me as they were out of stock of wide furniture board but they did have some surprisingly flat looking 18mm ply so I've gone with that. Got the sheet cut in half and ready to work out where to put what once I've out the frame together. Run out of time today, but I actually feel like I'm starting to make some headway with this amongst all the other stuff I have to do :grin:
 

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Well, I got a couple of projects out of the way (As well as a couple started that weren't exactly planned :grin:) and I've started on my router table. I successfully managed to drill some mounting holes in the insert plate without messing it up and I cleaned up the threads in the router base as well.

One way in which I think that buying a cheaper router may be biting me in the bum is those mounting holes. They're only M4 x 0.7 threads in cast aluminium, the threads aren't great and I'm a bit wary of hanging the router off of them entirely. I do have room to drill some more holes in the insert plate and add a couple of straps clamping the router base to the insert plate and taking the vertical force off of those four screws.

Does that sound like a sensible idea or total overkill??
M4 isn't unusual in router bases and is perfectly OK to hang even a heavy router.
 
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