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This is a combo introduction/question. Hope that's OK!

I'm getting back into woodworking after a lengthy absence. Not that I was very advanced before. I like having a workshop and tools so I can fix things and occasionally make something, but I have so many other interests, I don't get enough workshop time to remember the skills! I'm also into photography, video editing, website development, application development, volleyball and gardening! Lucky I'm retired.

I've had a couple of routers for 20 or 30 years, a fixed base and a plunge. I wanted a table mount, and decided it was better/cheaper to buy a Ridgid router with a through the table depth adjustment than to try mounting the plunge router (which was the more powerful) and then add a router lift.

I chose a R29302 with R2911 fixed base and R29202 plunge base. I replaced the plate on the fixed base with a Veritas Base Plate from Lee Valley.

So I'm cutting the hole for the circular router plate and trying to sneak up on the depth, which is frustrating because after each cut, I have to remove the screwed on board which locates the centre point. After three or four incremental depth adjustments, the plate is still above the table by an amount I can't measure, but can feel with a fingernail or metal straightedge. I'm using the depth adjustment knob and increasing the depth by one increment (1/64) at a time, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Eventually, I abandon that approach and use the existing cut: I drop the bit until it hits the existing floor, move back (to a spot where the cut goes right through, and use the micro-adjust to lower the bit until it just catches the edge when I move the router back. Now i do another cut and (of course) it's now too deep. Aargh!!

Questions:

1. When you're dealing with tiny increments, I imagine many things come into play, maybe even the pressure applied when making the cut. Any hints for dealing with these variables?

2. I noticed that when the lock is loosened (which it has to be when making depth adjustments), there is a fair amount of play (1/8" maybe) due to the coarseness of the thread, I think. What techniques should I employ so that the slop doesn't affect the measurement? (I'm thinking this would not be a problem after it's mounted in a table, but it would be good to know anyway.)

3. Any thoughts on raising the plate back to the level of the table? I tried one, then two, layers of masking tape, but it didn't do the job. I'm wondering about applying wood glue and sawdust, then re-routing. Anyone had this problem? My eyesight isn't good enough to measure this (I'll try a dial indicator later!) my feeling is it's about 1/16" or less)

I've never tried to make cuts to this level of accuracy before and it's a whole new world!

Thanks in advance!

David
 

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Welcome to the forum David.
 

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Welcome to the forum David. One method of getting to the right depth is bottom your bit out on a hard surface and then inserting the plate in the gap between your plunge depth turret and the depth plunge stop rod. Then when you plunge it should be exact or really, really close.

One thing you could try is countertop laminate to get back to flush. I can't think of anything but creeping up on the right fit now or you could drill and tap holes in the flange the plate is going to sit on and use set screws to level back to flush. I made a zero clearance plate for my table saw out of mdf and i've never needed to readjust the set screws in 15 years.
 

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Welcome to the forum, David.

I agree with Charles and would go for the set screws to level the plate. I have these on my larger table and they work well.
 

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these work very well with limited fuss interruption...
 

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Hi David, Welcome to the forum :happy:

I don't use my gauges when setting depth, so sorry I won't be of help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Charles, and thanks to the others for their welcome and ideas.

The board I'm working on is already laminated (and besides, I need the hole shallower!) - but maybe I'm misreading your idea.

I dug out a dial indicator I had purchased once and never used, and if I'm doing it right, I need to "put back" .024 of an inch or about 3/128". Is this too small to worry about? At present, I'm thinking of gluing oak veneer (about .030") down on the flange and then taking another pass with the router.

Regarding the "slop" in the adjusting thread, I plan to develop the habit of always adjusting the router when it is vertical (not on its side) and always adjusting the screw so on the final adjustment it's pushing the motor up against gravity, so there is no backlash in the screw.

While I'm not sure I'd use the adjusting screw's gauge to set a specific depth, am I right in thinking it would be fairly accurate in adding or subtracting 1/64"?

Thanks again!
 

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Thanks Charles, and thanks to the others for their welcome and ideas.

The board I'm working on is already laminated (and besides, I need the hole shallower!) - but maybe I'm misreading your idea.

I dug out a dial indicator I had purchased once and never used, and if I'm doing it right, I need to "put back" .024 of an inch or about 3/128". Is this too small to worry about? At present, I'm thinking of gluing oak veneer (about .030") down on the flange and then taking another pass with the router.

Regarding the "slop" in the adjusting thread, I plan to develop the habit of always adjusting the router when it is vertical (not on its side) and always adjusting the screw so on the final adjustment it's pushing the motor up against gravity, so there is no backlash in the screw.

While I'm not sure I'd use the adjusting screw's gauge to set a specific depth, am I right in thinking it would be fairly accurate in adding or subtracting 1/64"?

Thanks again!
David
I just went through about the same issue with my router plate. While I didn't get it too low I did have to make a micro adjustment. I agree with setting the router vertical. But using a screw adjuster is far from macro settings. I have a very accurate gauge I made that can set the table saw and router.

I set the guage to the exact height the router is presently at. Then with the guage in my hand close where I can see the rule. I make the adjustment amount on it and lock it down. Then return to the router base and unlock the base and raise to where it just kisses the guage. When the router looses height in the unlocked position it won't matter.

While it can be frustrating My Porter Cable 690 has a very accurate adjustment ring on it that does infact make adjusting easier. The 690 is the only tool I recomend. Everyone should own at least one.

Al
 

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My thoughts on a router table is the insert needs to be a wee bit higher than the rest of the table, works really well for me. the edges of the insert are beveled so the work doesn't get caught on the start of the cut. I place a 6" square on the insert to set the depth, then make trial cuts, I have never found it necessary to be closer than 1/64 of an inch tolerances....just not too tight for glue though.
 

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My plate has the set screws also. And also have the Ridgid router. And like you said, in the table, gravity will keep the little backlash that you do have down, so I just remember, when I'm starting a new cut, with a new height, always go DOWN further then you need, and come up to your desired height. And you won't have any problems. I built an entire set of kitchen cabinets, and then a whole lot of other things and never had a problem with setting my depth. I live by my Ridgid tools!
 

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I don't know if you're sdoing it but adjust the screw and use the column lock if you are using a plunge router. Also, Walowan is correct that it is okay if the plate is a little high. Lee Valley makes their steel table top slightly convex for the same reason. Low is not good.

The veneer idea should work well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the extra advice

Thanks, everyone, for the new replies. I'm in the middle of configuring a replacement computer so outstanding tasks are getting backed up, and I found a reminder email from this forum in the middle of a dozens of junk emails!

One thing I love about computers is that there's an undo button, or failing that, one can often save a copy of a work in progress before trying something tricky, and go back if it fails. How often I've wished for that in my workshop!

It looks like I'm on the right track regarding router adjustments. The more I thought about veneer, the less I liked it; I could see myself with hundreds of little pieces covered in glue, and/or the router bit tearing them off. I put down two coats of plastic wood filler and I'll see how that goes, as soon as my PC is far enough along. Wish me luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have to use the fixed base for cutting the plate flange, as the process uses a hole in the router plate as pivot to get the precise radius - although I suppose I could mount the Veritas plate on the plunge base temporarily, assuming the screws are in the same places.
 
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