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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

After an incredibly warm welcome on these forums following my introduction thread, I thought I'd brave asking another newbie question. I'm building a table and my table top will be about 32" long and about 25" wide. In my searching, I'm seeing a range of tables with the router positioned dead centre as well as quite a few with the router positioned further towards the back edge of the table (e.g. the Veritas® Router Table Top from Lee Valley Tools, which looks to position the router about 2/3 of the way back). Given the dimensions of my table top, any advice on the best positioning of the router? Most of my hand router use has been edge work or close to an edge, so I see some merit in positioning the router further back to provide additional board surface area for larger pieces.
 

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Theo
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I see placement as personal choice. Me, I'd position it more toward the back, giving more space in front. I think it would be easier to work that way, so that's what would float my boat.
 
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I put my router in my shop-built 20 X 28 table on the L-R center line 8" from the back, so 3/5 from the front.
 

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I'm w/ you 2/3rds back...
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks gents. So far, it's sounding like 2/3rds back is the consensus. Unless anyone else has a convincing argument against it, I think I'll run with it.
 

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add fold up in and out feed tables for the occasional long material...
 
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I like it as close to one edge as feasible. That means about 1 1/2" for overhang, 3/4" plus for framing underneath, and centered on the plate so probably about 8". That allows to put the fence on the short side for wide pieces and the wide side for narrow pieces. I like having the narrow pieces as close as possible. Leaning over the table for any length of time kills my back. I have a floor standing table at waist height and a bench top model which puts my work at about breast height which is very comfortable for doing small pieces too.
 
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I think the table used on "The Router Workshop" is one of the best, simplest, designs. I built this table based on their plans and the offset of the plate, to the left and rear, makes it very convenient. When I've done rail and stile doors, specifically the rails, I use a push block against the fence and the leftward position of the plate leaves room for the push block, as demonstrated in the videos at Sommerfeld Tools for Woodworking.

As Chuck said, when clamped to a table, it places everything at about breast height, so I'm not having to lean over.
 

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Theo
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Leaning over the table for any length of time kills my back.
That and standing in one place more than 1 or 2 minutes kills mine. Which is why my router table is just right for sitting and working. And, if my back needs a rest, I just lean back.
 
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I go with Vince's table. I have one of the tables of The Router Workship design. Very simple, absolutely NO bells or whistles on it. Plate is set to one side, pretty much centered from front to back. My fence is secured where I need it via 2 c-clamps. Most of your table routing can be accomplished with a small surface for work support. For those times you need a larger work surface, the fence can be placed on the OTHER side of the bit, and you can work from the other end of the table. As Bob Rosendahl always said, "the bit is round.. it will cut from any direction" As long as you pass your work along the fence from the right to the left, it's good.

You can get a look at the Router Workshop table here if you're not familiar with it. oak-park Unfortunately, it's no longer available for purchase, but it's not difficult to fabricate one.

And, if you have an afternoon to kill... check out this: wanted-pictures-your-router-table.html I don't think Harry (Old_Chipper) ever envisioned this thread becoming so big. Lots of ideas here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think the table used on "The Router Workshop" is one of the best, simplest, designs. I built this table based on their plans and the offset of the plate, to the left and rear, makes it very convenient. When I've done rail and stile doors, specifically the rails, I use a push block against the fence and the leftward position of the plate leaves room for the push block, as demonstrated in the videos at Sommerfeld Tools for Woodworking.

As Chuck said, when clamped to a table, it places everything at about breast height, so I'm not having to lean over.
Thanks for the photo, Vince. Always easier to visualise it for me. Would you mind sharing the dimensions of your table and the placement of the router bit on the table? I drew some perspective lines and at a guess, it looks like you're about 2/3rds of the way front to back and slight to the left from left to right. What proportion of the time do you use your fence left to right versus front to back?
 

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Stevan...

take into consideration dust collection and where your hoses may need to be ran.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stevan...

take into consideration dust collection and where your hoses may need to be ran.
Bill, I'm using a Shop Vac and my current thought is hooking it up straight to the router under the table. I'm going to also make provision for it to be above the table from behind the bit and see if it makes any difference. Since the Shop Vac can be moved around, I don't see that as being a constraint on my design.

Your thoughts?
 

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A few of the commercial fences and quite a few of our homemade fences have dust collection built into it and they work fairly well. And it's about the simplest method. I just built a box around the area of the hence where the bit is and drilled a hole with a Forstner bit the same size as my vac hose fitting. Friction holds it in place.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A few of the commercial fences and quite a few of our homemade fences have dust collection built into it and they work fairly well. And it's about the simplest method. I just built a box around the area of the hence where the bit is and drilled a hole with a Forstner bit the same size as my vac hose fitting. Friction holds it in place.
That's along the lines of what I was thinking, Charles. I have no desire to complicate things too much.
 
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