Router Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
ok, I know I'm doing this backwards.
I've built an all singing and dancing fence from internet plans. Now its finished, it dwarfs my table. Its 2ft x 1ft at its smallest adjustments.

I'm already planning a new table as the first is nothing more than a slab of formica covered kitchen worktop, and not very level.

As I'm starting from scratch, and I dont want it transportable, not even with wheels, whats your opinion on a maximum usable size?

Its going to be against 1 wall.
I'm thinking 4ft wide and 3 ft deep, is that unnecessary?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,888 Posts
If you have to room then the larger size can be very helpful, there are many things you may like to run past a cutter that will sit better on a larger surface. N
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I would be interested in seeing a picture of your fence system. I agree with Neville, if you have the room go for it. I am currently setting up supports on each side of my router table for a kitchen project.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,552 Posts
4 feet wide is fine but 3' deep is not necessary. You want to easily be able to feed the wood so you don't want to make it so deep that you have to stretch. Don't forget that you are only cutting the edge of the wood and usually the wood will only be a few inches wide. There are times when the wood will be wider such as when you are routing a panel and you will want some extra support in the front, but that will be the exception. My table is 2' deep with 15" to the bit hole. That gives me plenty of room for a fence in the rear and miter slot in front of the bit. I can't of a time that I have needed more room behind the bit or in front of it. The spacing from right to left of the bit is more important depending on if you will be using an Incra Jig.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
Bob I have to agree that it may be too wide for average routing, especially depending on how tall you are. The 36" top would be fine if you off set the mounting plate and were able to work from either side of the table like I prefer to do. However, you said it will be up against a wall and stationary. Try a mock up situation first that mimics the height and depth of your planned table and see how it feels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
ok, here goes;
I'm 6ft 2" reasonably fit, and only just a little bit overweight (g) so reaching across isnt a problem. I would like free standing but my tiny work area wont allow it.

I built the sliding fence shown here

Router Table Fence

Its much bigger in all directions than I was anticipating, thats not a complaint, just an observation. With the adjustment all the way forwards its almost a 2 foot square footprint.

I was going to build the same guys sliding router table, shown here

Sliding Router Table,

but not the lower drawer unit as I have other plans for that bit. But his table size seems too small for his fence. The whole unit in the video appears to be a portable one.
I dont need portable, hence I'm wondering if I should just go bigger on his dimensions, and adjust the table size to fit the fence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Preview
Bob

I prefer a long but narrow router table. All of the routing I do can be done this way and I find a wider table just brings more problems. Sag for one. I like it to work somewhat like a joiner.

Al
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
sag wont be a problem,I'm planning on 2 layers of 12mm ply, glued and screwed rested on a very solid base with support all the way across.

My gut instinct also says narrow front to back, but having made this adjustable fence, seems a shame to make something so small that 3/4 of the adjustment will never be used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
What about using the table to do dado cuts in the mid sections of broad boards or panels? There would be one time when having a wide table and wide distance between the bit and fence would be needed. I say this with no experience in it though, so any problems this causes I would be unaware of. I can see it in my mind though. I'd want at least 6 inches of adjustment between the bit and fence so I could groove a 12" wide board down the middle. I know such a task can be done with a plunge router and an edge guide though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
My thinking has always been influenced by old drag racers from my teens, whose motto "theres no substitute for cubic inches" I have adhered to most of my life.
I think I would rather make a table bigger than I will ever use, than have a table thats not quite big enough for the most important job I ever do. (g)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,459 Posts
I think adding a very temporary add-on front support/extension for that once in a lifetime project is way easier than putting up with not being comfortable the rest of the time.
Our kitchen ctrtop is 25 1/2" deep and I find reaching to the very back isn't ideal sightline wise...I'm 6'.

If I'm working at a 36" ht. the most comfortable arm position (for me) is with my upper arms almost vertical ie the reach of my forearms is about 2', and looking down on whatever I'm working on. Just personal preference I guess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,950 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I think adding a very temporary add-on front support/extension for that once in a lifetime project is way easier than putting up with not being comfortable the rest of the time.
Our kitchen ctrtop is 25 1/2" deep and I find reaching to the very back isn't ideal sightline wise...I'm 6'.

If I'm working at a 36" ht. the most comfortable arm position (for me) is with my upper arms almost vertical ie the reach of my forearms is about 2', and looking down on whatever I'm working on. Just personal preference I guess.
my current router table is bolted to the rear wall, 37" off the ground. Its 32" wide and 30" deep, but the router is mounted central. so only 15" front or back to the cutter. Its very comfortable for me to change bits as I lean on the table with my elbows (I know, disgraceful manners) while changing tips.
I was happy till I built this fence. Its 12" deep fully closed, so theres almost no movement before the fence is completely covering the cutter.

I am definitely building another table with a flatter surface, so I have a choice of "same again" and never use this fence to its full potential, or "go large on that" ready for any thing in the future.
Decisions decisions.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
Pretty fancy Pat. It seems like a lot of people still think the top is what matters most but it's the frame underneath that will make or break it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Herb Stoops

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
Pretty fancy Pat. It seems like a lot of people still think the top is what matters most but it's the frame underneath that will make or break it.
I agree. The "frame" needs to be sound, square and true. But if your honest about the whole router table usage. You'll find most time is spent in setup and bit changes. Time and frustration are very important to me.

The router table has evolved from some good ideas but some aspects are out dated. I think the higher table height is one of the best changes to come along. The other would be the width. I really like the narrow table now and will expand the concept with hold downs and feather boards.

Al
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
I agree. The "frame" needs to be sound, square and true. But if your honest about the whole router table usage. You'll find most time is spent in setup and bit changes. Time and frustration are very important to me.

The router table has evolved from some good ideas but some aspects are out dated. I think the higher table height is one of the best changes to come along. The other would be the width. I really like the narrow table now and will expand the concept with hold downs and feather boards.

Al
I certainly agree that most routing, at least for the average woodworker, is small pieces and it's nice to have it close to you. That's why I offset my plate and work from either side of my table. I also agree with you about adjustments and bit changes. There are few things with routing more aggravating than fighting with those 2 issues. That's why I like to let my plate and router just sit in the opening so I can lift them out for those jobs. Having the router laying on its side on top of the table makes those jobs simple.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top