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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The old adage that there is more than one way to skin a cat applies here.

What is the best sequence for cutting/routing the opening into the table top for a mounting plate. Seems most DYI articles say the first step is to route the outer lip or shelf to the plate depth. Then worry about removing the large center access opening. That seems backwards to me. I would think cutting the access opening with a saber saw or even using a router cutting this opening on a clean level fully supported surface would be a better first step. This opening is not critical in appearance or dimensions. So then after drilling a blade or bit clearance hole make this opening. Then routing the shelf seems like a better second step. Am I wrong?
 

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I used a top bearing router bit to cut the rabbet to the thickness of the router plate, then came back with the saber saw and cut out the center leaving the rabbet to support the plate. I had no stability issues. My table top is 1-1/2" thick so it didn't wobble or sag until the cut was finished.
 

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set your final opening guide/template...
use a top bearing mortise bit and cut your rabbet/shelf for the plate...
using your jigsaw hog out the center to the inside edge of rabbet/shelf cut..
install a really large dia bearing in place of the existing bearing on your mortising bit...
clean the rabbet's inside edge...
no large dia bearing... use a large dia guide bushing instead...

click on the images to enlarge them...

.
 

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Didn't we just go through this in another post? I'm of the school of lay the plate down, mark the permiter, then draw a line half an inch inside that outline. Saber saw out the smaller opening, then lay the plate down again, then wrap four half inch thick boards around the plate, allowing a little wiggle room by using some light cardboard between the plate and four pieces. That gives you a template, then use a top mounted router bit to cut a rabbet just a little deeper than the plate is thick all the way around. Either drill some holes for leveling screws, or use Kreg's excellent height adjusters in the corners so you can level the plate. Double sided tape holds the template pieces down.

If you use a bushing, to me, you're just complicating what should be a simple process. You introduce possibilities for error from a variety of sources, starting from, is your router base perfectly centered?

Use the right tool for the job.
 

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I would cut the opening out first. As pointed out, it's not critical. Having it cut out makes routing the rabbet a little easier.
 

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I'm pretty sure I didn't do any of the above. My table does have a half inch lip. But the top is in three pieces, no clue where I got that idea, in fact I still don't know for sure how I made the table. The router plate fits very nicely, no movement at all. Used the original plate to make a master and now have about five cloned plates. I THINK what I did was make the top, apparently with the cutout for the plate done before. Then I think I glued strips around the bottom of the opening from below. The router drops in with probably no more than one eighth inch clearance. The top is one half inch plywood, supported by a spiderweb of 2X4 chunks, so no danger of sag. The plates are half inch plywood also, no sag there either. Couple of pictures to maybe clarify what I said.

Oh yeah, the corner taken off the plate in the bottom picture is so when I clone a plate it be screwed to the router correctly, if both sides of the plate opening are not 100% dead on. That will save unscrewing it, flipping the plate, and screwing it on again. Don't ask me how I come up with this stuff, I don't know, let alone how I made the cuts that accurate.

This was one of those things, I need this, how to make it, I dunno, and start cutting. I just go into Zen mode, and when finished, usually can't tell how I did it. But the table works just great for me, and if I ever need another table, will try to duplicate this one.
 

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