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Choosing a Planer/Thicknesser and a Router Table

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merrymeetpete

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Hi Folks,

I am looking at getting both a planer/thicknesser and a router table to assist in the creation of trims to complete the fit out to a narrow boat.

I already have a faily large (2kw) Erbauer router and a Ryobi table saw. I am sure those brands will make it clear that I am working to a tight(ish) budget - I am thinking that the planer thicknesser should come in somewhere around £300 and that the router table should be of the order of £150.

Portability of both items is important as they will regularly need to be moved around and taken on and off the boat.

I have one piece to manufacture which requires the thicknesser to handle 8" width (only 1" thickness). The router table will be used to make trims for window surrounds with some simple moulds for finishing corners.

Having looked about, I think there are offerings from Draper (09543), SIP (01483, 01522) , Charnwood (W588), Seally (SM1311) and Fox (F22-564-250) that would do for the planer thicknesser. Has anyone any ideas which of these are good bad or indifferent?

I am hoping to use my Erbauer router with the router table. Is that likely to be easy to achieve - or would I be better looking at a combined router and table? Are there any makes and models to look out for?

Any suggestions or advice will be greatfully received - I will also post a wanted ad to see if anyone has second hand equipment that might suit my purposes.

Thanks in advance,

Peter.
 

Eric The Viking

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For the ultimate in inexpensive and portable router tables, replace the jaws of a cheap "Workmate" clone with a single piece of faced chipboard or MDF. Before you fix it down, bolt the router to the centre with countersunk screws, fit your favourite bit and plunge it through. Then invert the table and fix it to the legs.

It folds up, it's rigid in use (sufficiently so), it's very inexpensive, and easy to replace if damaged. Obviously if you're using a big moulding cutter, don't plunge the bit. Instead, mount the router centrally, remove it, and make your hole with a holesaw. If you need a fence, use G-clamps.

If you want posh, use a worktop offcut and rout a recess in it: start with a circular groove to depth, with a trammel bar, then cut across like a lawnmower (but not the climb-cut direction!). One advantage of this is that the recess centres the router so it's quick to mount.

Obviously, dust extraction is non-existent, but you get really good work support (with the plunged hole), and you can always hold the vacuum hose on the table with terry clips (I do this with flat jigs). If you're worried about the chipboard going soggy, paint round the edges.

I had that arrangement (faced chipboard piece from Ikea's scrap bin!) for years. When I bought a cheap router table, it wasn't as good. If you spend more than £20, you'll be wasting money somewhere!

HTH, E. (and I'm not being facetious - it really does work well)

PS: Have a search for postings by Niki on the forum. Sadly he's no longer with us, but he was brilliant at sensible, accurate, money saving ideas. He made a workmate-based router table too, more elaborate than mine, with a lift. I can't find the exact thread, but the above one has pictures of it, so you can see what I mean. His workmate was better than mine, in that it had a tilting mechanism.
 

merrymeetpete

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Hi Eric,

Well I have spent an amusing few hours looking at Niki's posts. I did catch a glimpse under his router table in one of the shots to see that there is a frame going round the top of the router (or bottom as its upside down) with a threaded bar passing through the centre which presses onto the router body. I guess the idea is to have the plunge unlocked and then use the winder to crank it up and down against the spring. Great stuff... a very imaginative man. Thanks for your input.

PS Are you suggesting the recess on the worktop offcut should be cut on the underside?

I notice quite a few people have looked at the post but no one has ventured any opinions regarding the planer / thicknessers... I wonder why...

Peter.
 

Eric The Viking

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merrymeetpete":3kn17suf said:
Hi Eric,

Well I have spent an amusing few hours looking at Niki's posts. I did catch a glimpse under his router table in one of the shots to see that there is a frame going round the top of the router (or bottom as its upside down) with a threaded bar passing through the centre which presses onto the router body. I guess the idea is to have the plunge unlocked and then use the winder to crank it up and down against the spring. Great stuff... a very imaginative man.
IIRC, He used a car scissors jack and a foot pedal to do the lifting, depending on the routing task.

Are you suggesting the recess on the worktop offcut should be cut on the underside?
Yes, if you need the cutter height. I started this approach with a 1/4" Bosch router, which has small plunge depth. The chipboard was only around 1/4" thick above the router baseplate. If I did it with my T11, I probably wouldn't bother to do a recess in simple chipboard, but would in a worktop offcut. Because you're supporting the router to full thickness right next to the edge of its baseplate, the top doesn't sag noticeably.

It can chuck sawdust about, depending on what you're doing, but it really does work surprisingly well.

Cheers, E.
 

softtop

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I bought the Dakota basic table from Rutlands for £100 and it's been great. Nothing fancy but does the job and you're up and running straight away. Good and solid.

Henry
 
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