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Homemade router table and fence help

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KeenDIYer

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Hi all,

New to the forum so please forgive what will no doubt seem like daft questions.

I'd like to build some alcove cupboards and bookshelves (two in fact). I am quite excited about the project and after reading a fair few threads on here I've managed to successfully NOT go out and buy loads of power tools. I'm chalking this up as a win already!

I posted on here a day or so ago and have decided to get myself a plunge/track saw and a router. This would do everything I need as well as enabling me to practice and improve my skills whilst not spending the earth in the process.

I have bought a lightly used Triton MOF001 online which I'm picking up tomorrow. I plan on getting a 1/2" collet with a couple of cutters just to get me started. My question is in regards to setting it up on a table with a fence. I'm more than happy to give this a go but only if my current toolset enables me to do it to a good standard. If not then I would look to buy a table (preferably with a fence) to mount the router to (recommendations welcome in any case). I guess my question now is, do I buy a ready made router table and fence or do I make one? Are there any detailed guides to make a table?

I have a modest set of tools including a Hitachi mitre saw with an upgraded crosscut blade, a set of DeWalt drills, a Makita jigsaw and a Makita circular saw.

Thank in advance for any help.
 

MikeJhn

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I have the full kit UJK router table with the lift and dust box, in eleven years it's never caused me any concern and has worked perfectly, my only suggest is to get a MuscleChuck collet extension, this will hopefully lift high enough to prevent the extremely annoying switch interlock on the Triton Router from engaging when changing bits.
 

Steve Maskery

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My RT is based on Norm Abrams' design. Much copied and difficult to beat.

My fence is better than his though :) I made mine as a 2-part fence so it has micro-adjustment on it. With a Router Raizer it means that I have full control over the position of the cutter.

Actually my fence has got a little damaged in storage, it's no longer perfectly planar. It's slight, so most of the time it doesn't matter, but I really should get round to re-making it.

If you are shorter on time and deeper of pocket then go and see Peter Sefton, he sells a range of models, all of them good.
 

Steve Maskery

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The description calls it Compact...
Check that it will be big enough for your needs, that is quite small. Mind you, my first RT was the old Elu MOF96 kit. It cost £120 40 years ago and was less than a square foot, as I recall!
Also check that your router will fit it. But if does suit your needs, you can be sure of the quality. Peter doesn't sell tat.

The Norm Abram plans are available in the UK from any BriMarc dealer.
 

KeenDIYer

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For the time being I'd like to get some cabinet doors done so the size will be fine for those I expect.

Still considering making a custom one though. YouTube is awful :)

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MikeG.

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These things are always over designed. You need a surface of some description, a movable fence, a hole through the table, and not much else. You fix the base of the router to the table with any old bit of something that holds it securely. Here's mine:



Ignore the lift mechanism for a moment, and look at the method of attaching the router base to the underside of the old drawing board:



Six scraps of off cut screwed into the board hold the base tight. The base of the router is let into the underside of the board, and that's a good first job for your new tool, with a straight cutter. Anything more than that is a bonus, and that includes the lift mechanism. My other one has a wooden frame and a bit of threaded rod for height adjustment. This one has a steel frame. Scrap stuff which works every bit as well as any bought router table, for pennies. Don't waste your wood money on tools.
 

KeenDIYer

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Thanks MikeG,

I think you're right. I am over complicating things. I need to start basic and then move up from there slowly.

I'm happy with making the top, it's the positioning of the fence that slightly confuses me. Or should I do away with tracks altogether and just measure and clamp the fence as and when?

Thanks the for the pics, especially the one of the underside of the table.

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Hornbeam

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For my first router table my fence was simply held with clamps. Pivoting the fence at one end means that assuming your router bit is mid point on the fence, you only get half the movement at the cutting point as you do at the end so it makes it easier to make small adjustments.
A fence doesnt have to be fancy just a straight softwood batten will do
 

KeenDIYer

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Hornbeam":14h9jdfs said:
For my first router table my fence was simply held with clamps. Pivoting the fence at one end means that assuming your router bit is mid point on the fence, you only get half the movement at the cutting point as you do at the end so it makes it easier to make small adjustments.
A fence doesnt have to be fancy just a straight softwood batten will do
Thanks. I was thinking about routing in some grooves into the top for some metal rulers. More practice with the router that way too.

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KeenDIYer

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MikeJhn":3sfg3zsd said:
And then there is this: https://www.rutlands.co.uk/sp+power-too ... naEALw_wcB motor included with lift, variable speed and No volt release, fence is pretty useless, but the addition of the Axminster compact router table fence compensates for that, I did exactly that as a second string table and it works fine, could be a good starting point.
Certainly something to think about. I fancy getting my hands dirty though and making tonnes of mistakes along the way. It's the only way I'll learn!

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MikeJhn

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The problem with just starting out is you don't know if the tools are to blame for the mistakes/misalignment if you can eliminate one of those variables it's worth the effort.
 

Trainee neophyte

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I'm going to knock up something like this in the next few days: as MikeG says, don't overthink it. You need the router bit sticking up through the table, and you need to introduce the workpiece to the bit, so the fence never needs to move very far from the bit - hardly any travel at all required. Make the fence tall if you need work on the ends of long pieces (tenons, for e.g.), otherwise don't bother.You can raise and lower the router manually, until you get sick of it and build the MK2 version with hydraulic lift and tea-making facilities.

Having played with this sort of thing already, I can recommend that you make the the table easy to flip over to change bits, unless you like grovelling on the floor working upside down. I'm thinking to make the router easily detachable, for exactly that purpose (as well as using it handheld, because I only have the one router)

[youtube]lYrevm64sjc[/youtube]
 

MikeG.

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KeenDIYer":1uo249e5 said:
........ it's the positioning of the fence that slightly confuses me. Or should I do away with tracks altogether and just measure and clamp the fence as and when?......
As others have said, stick a bolt through one end and all you have to do is clamp down the other end. My other table works like that, but I have a wing nut to tighten the the free end rather than a clamp.

If you don't want a permanently located router table, make one which fits in a Workmate, or in your bench vice.
 

KeenDIYer

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Cheers guys. Will give this a go over the next weekend or so.

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MikeK

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KeenDIYer":vigi1yw4 said:
Thanks for the reply.

My main concern if I were to attempt to build this myself is getting the fence accurate enough. I either buy the table top with fence or something like this which could fold away quite nicely:

https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-f ... kit-717613
If you ever find yourself near Frankfurt, Germany, I can make you an absolute silly deal on a complete Triton Workcentre setup that includes the saw insert, router table insert, and lots of extras. The router table insert should work well with your Triton router. The setup is gathering dust in my garage and I will likely never use it again.
 

KeenDIYer

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Thank you for the kind offer MikeK. Appreciate that.

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