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My first "REAL" router table...

5616 Views 18 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mike
..A lot of time and thinking has gone into my first real router table, (not just a piece of plywood with a hole in it on top of a workmate) a page is up on my website about it....

Stu's Dungeon Router Table <-it is a link, click it! ;)

No need to re-write everything here, but I'll post a pic or two is that is all right.

It is nearing completion here, just a few more things to do. The first project I'm going to do is to build the drawers for the cabinet, need a place to store router related stuff :D

I just thought I'd share with you guys, as I've looked at a lot of other tables that others have made, and I've tried to incorporate the best things I could see from each, that being said, I'm sure if I were to build another router table tomorrow, I would not do it exactly the same ;)

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Very nice job really like the high fence it will be great for extra support.
Real nice Stusan, does the table flip up, so you can make changes to the router or do you take out the insert? I see you have it on wheels also. Nice job.

the "Doctor"
As they say, a pic is worth a thousand words...

I've since done work on the table, andthe chunk of wood holding up the top has been upgraded :D

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I can make out details from a couple different plans I have seen. Nice combination! I am curious about how well the dust collection works? Are you supplying any make up air or just through the bit opening? I see you used my favorite mounting plate. I have installed 3 of them so far, gotta love them. Good job Stu!
I've run out of 6" flex hose and have to buy some more, so I don't know how the DC works, I think I will have to let it breath a bit more, but we shall see.

There is a hose on the top of the fence as well.

Today the 1/2" collet chuck came from Canada (they don't have any in Japan, they said it would take 3 to 6 months to get it!) and I ran a piece of plywood through a straight bit, just to cut a groove, with only the top small hose working it sucked up about 70% of the dust, so I have high hopes with the under suction as well it will get most of the dust.

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Real nice job. Like it a lot.

One thing bothering me is the location of the on/off switch. Looks like it can be accidently bumped into or is it a switch that interlocks.
Thanks for your concern!

The switch on the front is the switch for the router speed controler, the main switch for the whole deal is lurking behind the stop board.

To turn the router on you have to push the Start button through the hole, to turn it off, you just have to bump the stop board :D you can use your knee, hip, hand whatever. In the above pic I'm holding the stop board out so you can see the switch.

This is how it usually looks.

I hope that makes sense!

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Stu I've just finished going thru most of your site showing your shop and tools. Nothing short of amazing what you've been able to do. I'm somewhat new to this woodworking hoby and enjoy looking at the work of other people for ideas. I encourage other members to take a look at your site.............they might just learn something. Please keep posting your projects.
Thanks Donald, I try :D

I was down in the Dungeon last night, I was getting the "T" slots cut in the faces for the fence, and making the "T" bolts (as I cannot find any here in Japan I just made them myself).

"T" slots cut in the white cutting board stuff I'm using for the fence faces.

Hard to see, but there are "T" slots in that picture!

Bar stock with hole, these will become the "T" bolt heads

Cut up

Sitting in the jig ready to weld

Welded, got to love that MIG welder!! :cool:
I ground the heads flat, and now they are ready to use...

"T" bolts, sorry the pic is fuzzy, the focus did not want to work on my camera!

"T" bolts in the "T" slots, now I have to drill the fence to mount the faces!

Thanks for looking!

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Stu, it may not help in your location but standard toilet mounting bolts are nothing but T bolts.
Mike, thanks for that, I'm aware of it, but here in Japan the only ones I can find are stainless, at about $15 a pop :eek: or plastic, and I'm afraid they are not strong enough, (they are also about $4 each).

It was cheaper and faster to just make them myself, I had the steel and the ready rod laying around. My fence is also rather thick, the T bolts are 5 cm long, about 2", most of the toilet bolts I saw were only about 1 1/2".

But like I said, thanks just the same, never assume I know something, because I've still got loads to learn! :eek:

Please keep the helpful hints coming!

An update (if anyone would like to see it)

A slight change of plans...

You know, sometimes staring at the walls can get you somewhere...

Maybe you guys know that I'm having trouble getting any T slot stuff here in Japan, the X stuff I used on top of the router table fence and the TS fence works well, but, I really want to make a table for Big Blue, my large resaw bandsaw, and I would like to put T slots in the router table as well, for the fence. I was fooling around with the router table, and moving the fence and stuff, and I found that the threaded inserts in two or three spots was OK, but it was not great. I really wanted a T slot on both ends, so moving the fence around would not involve clamps and such. Sure the clamp method works, but it seemed like I was selling myself short to do that after all the work I've put into this router table, but I've got no T slots....

I was sitting in the house having dinner with my kids, and my wife asked me to hang one of the kids pictures from school on the wall. Well not ON the wall, but from the picture hanging track we have in our house. You guys may have seen this stuff, it goes right against the wall, in the ceiling, it has a bunch of moveable hooks that are in it, and instead of putting holes in your walls you hang the pics from a wire or string from the track. I put some of this in the Summer Renovation , so I knew I had a bunch of it sitting around. Well as I sat down again I was staring at the ceiling, at this track and I thought "I've got a BUNCH of that stuff, I wonder..."

After dinner I went down and grabbed a shorter piece of it....

This is what it looks like. It is aluminum and very strong.

Sorry for the funny sizes, but that is the closest inch fractions I could come up with.

So I've got to cut off the lip on both sides, and I hate cutting aluminum on the TS.

All I can say is thank goodness for feather boards!!

It cuts fairly easily, but I sure hate doing it, you get them chips EVERYWHERE, and the noise is something else, plus the "man am I going to lose a finger doing this" meter is way up there on the freak out scale.

Looks good, and will be way better than the clamps or inserts, IMHO!

The next morning, I got downstairs early and got it done...

The far end is a single pivot point, but this end still has the arc slot, so this gives me more flexibility when moving it around.

I have seen miter tracks on other router tables, but I do not see the great need for them, I guess they have their place, but I hear a lot of guys saying they NEVER use the miter slot, except for hold-downs or feather boards, any thoughts on that?

The first thing I build is going to be some drawers!!

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Stu, another use for the miter slots is as a guide for a sled. You open up a world of possibilities using sleds: safe routing of small parts, a specialized sled for making box joints that has a high support, a sled for cutting keys into corners... I'm sure you can think of many ideas.
In case you didn't know, Rockler sells a bulk bag of T bolts with knobs and T nuts. They also sell an aluminum track with bolts and knobs in a tube similar to a drafting mailer. One final item to consider is the T slot cutters in two different sizes. Many retailers are using a plywood board with these slots to display merchandise. There are all types of hangers ready made or you can build your own.
OK Mike, but why could I not use the T slot I have for the feather boards for a miter slot?

Maybe we are having a confusion of terms here, I think of a miter slot as an open slot, like on most tablesaws, I would rather have a T slot, than a miter slot, make sense?

I have the T slot cutter, I used it on the fence faces, it worked really well.

Stu, the sled comments were about using miter slots and your T slot would not work well for this. At it's best a sled needs both ends of the miter slot open like on a table saw. This allows for simple sled construction; a 3/4" x 3/8" guide strip attached to the bottom of a flat panel. Gravity keeps the sled in place, and you are not limited to a specific horizontal area for operation like the T track you have installed.
T track is about as good as it gets for quick clamping like locating your fence or a featherboard. Most commercial featherboards come with a piece on the bottom that fits a standard miter slot. Tightening the screws spreads the piece inside the miter slot to keep it in place. Quickly placed and removed this method allows full use of the miter slot, ie a miter fence or sled.
The Rockler tube I mentioned has aluminum T slot track and fasteners. This is what I used on my fence design seen here:
They also offer aluminum miter slot channel. Woodcraft offers a side by side design with open miter slot and T slot in aluminum.
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OK I see what you are getting at Mike.

The feather boards I got from Rockler have the parts for mitre slots, I use them on my TS.

If you use the sled in mitre slot, you would not be using the fence, right? If you tried to use the fence with a sled in the mitre slot, the fence and the mitre slot would have to be exactly parallel, right? But then again, why would you use the fence and a sled in a mitre slot...? Like on a TS, you don't use the fence and the mitre gauge together, one or the other, right?

Still figuring this router table stuff out, sorry for the dumb questions :D

Stu your question is a very important one. In most cases you cant use a normal fence and a miter gauge. The chances of binding on a table saw are great and that would create a very dangerous situation. Keep in mind that a router table is very different from a table saw. With a saw blade any deviation from a straight through pass results in a bind with the side of the blade. That cant happen with a router since the cutter surface is in effect 360 degrees of rotation. There is nothing for it to bind on. It could cause a poor cut, perhaps off axis from your set up. The most likely problem would be the sled wedging and not able to move freely past the bit. The need to use a fence with a sled goes away when you consider you can build a fence right on the sled. You can build a sled with a slot running through the center of it and use it to cut perfect 45 degree corners for picture frames or face frames, same as on a table saw. You can build a sled with a high back fence to safely run wood through verticaly for box joints. A sled with a tapering jig for table legs...the different designs are endless.
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