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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ll post this here because it actually is going to be a table mounted router as well as a work bench when I’m finished. This is the progress I made today. Top is not mounted yet. The router will go in the square that is cut out in one half of the bench. That portion of the top will be double thick. Probably overkill for a DeWalt DW611 router, but I like things heavy duty.

There will be a receptacle in three corners and a switch in the fourth. The switch controls one receptacle while the other two are hot when plugged in. I left only a short cord hanging out to be intended for use with a longer extension cord. Thought about hooking a 100’ cord up permanent but this thing is already heavy so I nixed that idea. It will also have a place to use my swing arm work light as well, and possibly a side pocket for stowing a tape and pencil. I can use clamps along all four sides, and have plans to make a jig for clamping door slaps on their edge on the ground along one side of the bench for routing hinge mortises. This is primarily for work, as I am a maintenance man for an apartment complex.
 

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Nice job Duane. It looks like it should be pretty handy. It doesn't need to be double thickness for the router but it might be handy when used as a workbench. One suggestion though is to duct tape or caulk the holes in those electrical boxes to keep dust out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I’m trying to build in as many functions as I can with this. I made it right at 34” tall so it can serve as an infeed or outfeed table for my table saw. The extensions are higher than the surface. I was going to built the top flush with them instead but that meant sacrificing the outfeed function, as well as needing more wood. The extensions are easily removable for table saw use and I can simply slide them out if I just need them to be out of my way for other work.

Also wanted storage in it but that’s probably unnecessary since it is meant to be mobile. I have the space for some storage such as a couple of Plano Stowaway boxes for parts but that would add weight and require that the top have a lid in it which would complicate things to make sure it all stayed together when moved. I don’t want to make it to “gimmicky”. However I do want to think about making the router fence double as an upright clamp jig, and for that matter I may make it more like a box so when I’m using the bench for other work I can toss parts into it that I don’t want rolling off the top. The router isn’t meant for precision work, just utility stuff so it won’t matter if the fence gets dinged up some by being multi-functional.

Since I need to be able to mortise door hinge attachments on doors from 24” to 36” then I’m planning to make an H shaped jig to clamp along one edge. The horizontal bar will extend past the uprights and let me use that to clamp it to the bench. The vertical bars will hang down and allow me to clamp a door slab on edge to them to stabilize it for work. This happens often where I work. These cheap hollow doors get busted up and replaced a lot. I get a door slab and cut to fit it’s been hard up to now but I’ve managed to use a park bench as a workable surface a few times. No more!
 

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Nice job Duane....
I like it...
 

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Nothing nicer to have than a portable work surface!!! This should serve you well Duane.
Couple of thoughts if you don't mind....

Go with ground fault outlets.
mount a magnetic tool holder to the side
install a 3/4" x 2" x 6" piece of angle iron for use as an anvil. 1/8th thick
Configure the opening for the router so that it could also double as a opening to install an inverted circular saw (think jobsite table saw)
a couple of t-tracks for use with hold downs
Pneumatic tires
 

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Great ideas Bill. I like the skill saw mount the best! If I remember right, you only need the first outlet to be a ground fault outlet (I think that is code here). It will break the circuit for anything after it (I think?). Does anybody know for sure?
 

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Wow, for a purpose built portable workbench, this one gets an A+. My did a lot of apartment maintainence for the 6 units they had. He would have really loved something like this. Plumbing was his nemisis. He would have needed a thread cutter installed since everything back then was galvanized iron pipe. Personal question Duane, is this a job you took for retirement or do you own the apartments? Just curious.
 

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Great ideas Bill. I like the skill saw mount the best! If I remember right, you only need the first outlet to be a ground fault outlet (I think that is code here). It will break the circuit for anything after it (I think?). Does anybody know for sure?
It depends on how you connect the GFCI into the circuit Quenten. The instructions come with the outlet for wiring to single or multiple.

The outfeed table rollers may get in your way at times Duane. For example if you wanted to lay a sheet of something on the platform to mark it out. Could you attach the rollers to wooden blacks and then hinge the blocks with butt hinges and pin them in position when needed?
 

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Great ideas Bill. I like the skill saw mount the best! If I remember right, you only need the first outlet to be a ground fault outlet (I think that is code here). It will break the circuit for anything after it (I think?). Does anybody know for sure?
You must run the next outlet off of the "LOAD" side of the GFCI receptical. Protection isn't provided downstream from the GFCI if you use pigtails at each outlet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Anything wired passed the load side of a GFCI is protected by the GFCI. Pigtails going to each outlet won’t matter. It will only matter if you use pigtails at the GFCI itself because you have effectively bypassed it with the splices. The power must pass through the GFCI to protect anything after it, and you could connect literally 100 plain Jane receptacles to the load side and all would be GFCI protected. Nuisance tripping might become a problem with that many, but under normal circumstances of about 6 plain Janes on the load side, it all works fine. You would want to use pigtails at the GFCI only if you want the GFCI to be the ONLY outlet in the circuit that is protected. All others would work as normal unprotected outlets, protected only by the breaker in overcurrent/short situations.

I thought to put a GFCI in the workbench but since the primary use is at the apartments I work at, the electrical panels they have are literally FULL of AFCI breakers, and they nuisance trip constantly. It’s bordering on an epidemic. I wasn’t sure just how this might work out together. Every 120 volt branch circuit in these boxes was wired on an AFCI (arc fault) breaker (even the refrigerator!) and I get called out constantly for “no power” and cannot seem to make anyone understand how to reset a tripped breaker. If it were up to me I’d ditch them all and go back to standard breakers with a GFCI outlet where required. But that’s getting off track here.

I love the circular saw idea, but it physically won’t fit between the steel sections of the stand. The router will, and doesn’t even require removal to collapse it. I could have used either the DW611 or the DW618 but the 611 has a dust collection attachment, is plenty strong enough to do what I would need at work, and weighs slightly less so it worked out better. But I did experiment and either one would have fit.

An anvil would also be a good idea but this bench isn’t heavy and stout enough for any kind of pounding beyond light to medium tapping. Nothing serious.

The extensions are removable or I can slide them out a good 8 feet apart so I can lay an entire sheet of plywood on top of it if I need to. The roller sections are also removable and I think I’m going to make new ones that are flush with the surface but still can be raised to a miter saw deck level.

I do plan to add another section for tool storage, a small box off of one end where some conveniently predrilled holes already exist in the stand. Also figured out a router fence/storage cubby for the top. More pics will follow. I haven’t had time this week to do anymore work on it, but today I’m picking up the mount screws for the router. Need some metric screws about 3/4 inch long to mount the base in place.

Someone asked about the apartments and if I own them. No, I just work there. Also I’m nowhere close to retirement age, I’ll only be 44 come April 22. They are owned by Wallick Communities, a fairly large property management company in Ohio and across about 9-10 states.

Any comments I missed replying to, thank you all for looking and the kind words!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Made some more progress on my mobile work bench. I got the top constructed and bolted to the stand tonight. I also ended up removing all of the wiring and rewiring it with the same cord wire I used for the pigtail. Also moved the pigtail to the opposite end so it doesn’t drag on the wheel when folded up.

The router is not bolted on yet but you can see how it will fit, how much clearance it has when the stand is collapsed, and how close to the surface the collet is able to get to. It is about 1/8” recessed. Not bad really. I don’t want to recess it anymore (see the pics) because this plywood is fairly soft and I fear it might pull through. I’d have selected a different plywood if I’d known it was as soft as it is, but live and learn.

I also modified the extensions to drop below the work surface so I don’t have to make new ones right now. They still raise plenty high enough to work with any miter saw.

I went a bit crazy on screws for the top. One every 2”. It looks a bit busy so I might add a hardboard top to it to smooth all that out.

The top did not come out dead flat, but it’s only about 1/16 off, with it high in the center around the router mount. The stand I was working with isn’t dead straight and I compensated as much as possible. I’d say it developed a slight hump when I bolted it down in the corners. The center support is in contact with the stands framing. I’m not concerned with it.
 

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Just an excellent tool to have for what you do! Can't wait to see how it evolves.........

If you think its worth the effort, a small DeWalt battery powered circular saw may fit nicely into that router space. Gotta admit, had one years ago and was very
disappointed with its performance in terms of battery life and torque. Worked well on trim and 1/4" and thinner sheet goods. They may have improved upon their design or even another brand might work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, crazy idea just hit me. I could make another top to overlay this one, and have it extend off of one end and use th built in extension to support it where it overhangs. Then use a regular circular saw and use the foot like a router baseplate (cut a recession in the top) and not lose any blade depth at all. I’d end up with a makeshift tablesaw with a long outfeed support. This would need more thought obviously, particularly on whether it’s worth it. But at least it’s possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Router mounted, pics below. For anyone thinking of using a DeWalt DW611 in a table, or just making new accessories to attach where the baseplate fits, the screw size is M4-.70 metric. With my drilled hole depth I used M4-.70x16 (16mm long) screws to hold the base to the underside of the bench top. I drilled the mount holes in the bench top using a Kreg jig stepped drill bit. It leaves a 3/8” hole at the top and about 1/8” through bore. I used a #6 washer under the heads of the screws. The washer fits snuggly into the bottom of the holes (had to be pushed in with a screwdriver) and the metric mount screws went through with ease. I feel the washers will help keep the screws from pulling through.

I mounted the base below but ended up inserting the motor into the base backwards considering what I normally think of as the front of the motor and base. The cord worked better with the crossmembers of the frame of the stand that way. Makes no difference whatsoever in operation but folding the stand works better this way. You can see two different pics showing it both ways.

Some pics show a straight bit in the collet. This bit is inserted as deep as I’d ever put one in and the cutters are shown compared to a steel ruler for reference to the surface. There is zero loss of use so I get max cutting ability. I expected a slight loss or else having to extend the bit just a little up out of the collet, but this one shows that’s not necessary.

Another pic shows the bit compared to a square. It’s dead on 90 degrees. I checked it all around and it was flawless. It could not have turned out better and I’m tickled pink with the outcome. I plugged it up to try the switch, just playing around, and I can’t wait to get a fence built and begin using this regularly.

Also shown is a Shop-vac accessory for making the standard 1-1/4” hose work with the odd sized vac port on the DNP615 dust guard (accessory sold separately for the DW611 router). It’s rubber and must be cut to fit. Sections 2 and 3 on the tapered end are used. Don’t toss out the big end. It works with the full sized hoses, and two of them bolted back to back worked well on my miter saw. Since I mentioned the DNP615 dust guard, I’ll also mention that it covers two of the four mount holes in the base. Since I wasn’t sure what length screws I’d have to have I went ahead and drilled out the section of plastic that covered the holes so any extra long screws would fit. I haven’t looked to see if this was even necessary but I’m just letting you know it can be done.

More pics to come. Still have to build a fence. Any special jigs I make for this bench I’ll try to post here as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Spent this afternoon making the fence for the workbench/router table. $20 worth of nice wood and some pocket hole screws I already had. I didn’t fully finish the fence because I am pretty tired and accidentally painstakingly marked and drilled 12 holes in the last piece, only to find they were all in the wrong place. Then I quit. So the small strip on the back is just laying in position for the sake of the photos and I’ll have to rebuy that board because I’m not living with that.

Photos show the fence in position to use with the router, then another shows it reversed and pushed to the back for use as storage on the workbench for basic projects. Clamps hold it on. Also the swing arm light is shown and can be used with either the router table or the bench. The top of the fence is drilled to hold a Shop Vac hose for router use. I have already ordered two new adjustable rubber leveling feet for the stand (currently resting on boards in the pics). I think all the screws look a bit busy but I wanted to make sure nothing would come apart with as much traveling as this bench will see.

I included a photo of the new workbench and the new miter saw station together. It just took one sheet of plywood and swapping the saw to a new Kreg bench frame to free up the old saw stand and I got both of these new tools out of it, with each one far more usable than the saw on the stand ever was. The light will work on either one. The new workbench is completely collapsible and mobile to take with me to work. The new miter saw station moves in, out, and around my shop with complete ease.
 

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your skill level has sure escalated in leaps and bounds...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you. I have plenty plenty plenty of room to improve though.

One thing I don’t really understand in terms of skill level is that I try for painstaking accuracy and spend lots of time stressing over and marking out 1/32 inch tolerances and sometimes even 1/64, and still end up off at times. Like a board will rip through the saw and come out a shade too wide or two narrow in spite of my best efforts to micromeasure the distance from the blade to the fence. Or maybe square two boards up, or maybe make sure two boards are flush in the corners before screwing together and one will still be proud of the other one enough I can feel it and see it. Then I think about all I did to avoid that and it still happened. I don’t know what to do different. There has got to be an easier way to do certain things.

I am happy that this fence turned out square though. I really worked hard to ensure that.
 
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