My first proper router table

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southendwoodworker

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Hello all,

I thought I would share a router table I just made. I had previously made a countertop router table out of 6 and 12mm MDF, using a lidl router. It was not good and didn't last long.

I already had a bench that I use for some other equipment, it is a simple bench using cheap timber, so I was able to extend out a couple arms which the router table will then sit upon.

00_my_router_table.jpg


My setup:
  • Triton MOF001
  • Rockler Drill Press Fence
  • Rockler Pro Aluminium Plate
  • Charnwood W026 NVR
  • 2 x 200mm Banggood t-tracks
At the black friday sale I was able to pickup the fence and the plate from yandles for £20 each which is why I am using them.

I used these three router bits:
router_bits_used.jpg


The ply I used was some cheap and nasty stuff sourced from B&Q which was left over from another project, I glued two layers together then cut on the table saw to 600x400mm

Using cad software I designed the layout of the cutout I needed to make, I wanted to have a hole for the router but I also needed a step going around the inside to support the plate and provide room for the plate levellers. From the cad designed I used that to make a template out of 3mm mdf. This allowed me to check the size the hole, placement of levelling fixings and check that the whole was big enough to get my router through.

The template is shown below has a few things I want to point out
  • the whole template butted up to the right hand side of the table and the ensured the plate would be cut square to the edges of the table, and also space it so that it is perfectly center
  • The inner template is removable, allowing me to cut out using a jigsaw then using a flush trim bit against the template to make nice
  • The outer template will be used to define the step that I am needing
  • It has marking for where the levelling fixings will go (the ten circles)
  • I cut out the template on a laser cutter in to 3mm mdf
01_template_and_inlay_cutting.jpg


Below I have used multiple passes of the template cutter to cut through cleanly. I also made small pilot holes where the levelling fixings will ultimately be so.

03_drilled_hole_for_plate_levellers.jpg



Levelling fixings, these are M8 size. I had originally planned to have 10 of these to level the plate, but after putting in ones for each corner I found they were enough.
04_plate_leveller_fixings.jpg


Below you can see that I routed out the step that supports the plate. The left side and the top are fine, the right and the bottom are pretty ugly, but thats hidden and the levelling fixings happily accommodate that mistake. I first tried routing the step using the template cutter, but it was too deep of a bit and I couldnt accurately get the template high enough. In the end I just ended up buying a cheap yonico stubby template router bit which was easier to work with. Luckily when I purchased it I found one that was the perfect width for my t-track. Two routing problems solved!
05_route_out_step.jpg



I then routed out two slots for the t-tracks that will be used to move the fence.
06_route_t-track_slots.jpg


07_put_in_t-track.jpg



I wanted to make a new sacrificial fence, the rockler drill press kit come with a couple already, but I know that I am going to destroy them pretty quick because I am still learning. To route the slot that is used to attach these to the aluminium fence I used another cheap yonico bit from amazon.
08_make_new_fence.jpg


I then attached the router to the plate, adjusted the levelling screws, and put together.

09_put_in_router_plate.jpg
 
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DBT85

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I need to sort something out.

Can I ask though why you didn't make the top of the router table level with the bench it's next to?
 

southendwoodworker

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I need to sort something out.

Can I ask though why you didn't make the top of the router table level with the bench it's next to?

Good spotting - you got a keen eye. I thought long and hard about that, but decided to do it this way because I will need to store stuff on top of the router table and need a way to easily remove the fence. It allows me to slide the bolts out the back and put them in easily. If it was flat that would be a little harder.

I'm also new to wood working, so am still discovering my needs and what things work well :D
 

Spectric

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I do admire the people who make stuff like this and do not just buy everything of the shelf, by the way how is southend these days, been a long time since I visited the Kursaal amusment park!
 

mikej460

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That's a good, solid table and well done for building it so cheaply. Are you intending to use feather boards as that will necessitate a track across the table and one in the fence. Just needs a varnish and machine wax to help your work along.
 

southendwoodworker

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I do admire the people who make stuff like this and do not just buy everything of the shelf, by the way how is southend these days, been a long time since I visited the Kursaal amusment park!

It's tempting to buy stuff off the shelf, after making a couple work benches from my own design (on the cheap) I felt great satisfaction and thats got me hooked on doing this type of stuff going forward.

Southends great, I moved out here a couple years back from central london and love it. People nice, friendly and easily approachable, more space for the toddler, cheaper, commute to london isn't too bad. Timber yards are a bit bare for choice though - oak, merakti and pine. Overall happy out here. Theres some rough parts, I live in one, but still feel safe. The sunshine and beach are pretty nice, which has made the lockdowns far easier and happy for us. Would recommend.
 

southendwoodworker

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That's a good, solid table and well done for building it so cheaply. Are you intending to use feather boards as that will necessitate a track across the table and one in the fence. Just needs a varnish and machine wax to help your work along.

I have got a length of t-track to put across the table and some cheap chinese feather boards (which I got for my compact table saw), and I'm going to see how it goes before putting it on. Yup, I plan to varnish it this week off the back of some advice I got from here too
 

Spectric

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Take a look at Microjig, I came across them when looking into 20mm holes in benches and was impressed by the system. You simply route a dovetail slot and they have clamps that will slide in and other accessories. I have used them for various jigs and a taller fence for the mitre saw as well as on some benches between the 20mm holes. MATCHFIT Woodworking Jig and Fixture System | #1 Best-Seller in Jigs and Fixtures and with your approach to making rather than just buying I dare say you will find many other uses as well.
 

BenB

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I’m sorry if this sounds stupid. How do your leveling fixings work, and where did you get them please? I installed my Kreg plate into a chunk of kitchen worksurface and (as instructed) “shimmed” it with masking tape. Your solution is so much more elegant!
 

southendwoodworker

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I’m sorry if this sounds stupid. How do your leveling fixings work, and where did you get them please? I installed my Kreg plate into a chunk of kitchen worksurface and (as instructed) “shimmed” it with masking tape. Your solution is so much more elegant!

Take a look at this picture:

The thing on the left is called Hex socket screw insert, I used M8 sized ones from this set: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B087N5TM3Y/ you can buy cheaper at other places

I could have used some of these as well: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UL90GJK

The thing on the right are these grub screws M8 ( 8mm ) A2 STAINLESS STEEL CONE POINT GRUB SCREWS HEX SOCKET SET SCREW DIN914 | eBay M8 size 30mm length

You can get pointy ended ones and flat ones. I went with pointy and long because I wasnt sure what I needed and could just grind excess away

They work like this:
  1. you drill a 10mm whole where you want the levellers to sit, making sure there is enough depth in the wood to hold the m8 socket screw insert
  2. you then screw in the M8 socket screw insert
  3. you then screw in the M8 grub screw, and adjust to get the right height for the plate

Hope that helps!
 

BenB

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Cool, thanks! More questions!
Did you drill all the way through and then adjust height from below, or just keep lifting the plate up and adjust from above?
Did you threadlock the grubs or did they stay where you put them anyway?
Did you screw the plate down or did you let it float on the grub screws
 

southendwoodworker

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Cool, thanks! More questions!
Did you drill all the way through and then adjust height from below, or just keep lifting the plate up and adjust from above?
Did you threadlock the grubs or did they stay where you put them anyway?
Did you screw the plate down or did you let it float on the grub screws

I drilled fully through, but I currently adjust the height from the top. You are quite right I could turn the grub screw around and adjust from the bottom. If I did this, the pointy end of my particular grub screws might need rounding off a little to stop it digging in to the plate

threadlock: not yet, but I might need to. the grub screws are a little loose in the socket screw insert but the pressure from the plate downwards stops it being loose. I may need to add it in time, im going to see how it goes

Screw the plate down: no, just floating. My plate came with two holes precut, top left and bottom right, I didnt feel that i needed them with the 4 levelling points I used.
 

DBT85

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Have you considered a hole in the surface for extraction when doing non through cuts? Helps keep the head clear and cool.

Got 2 weeks off at the start of March. I'll make sure to get something made up in that time.
 

southendwoodworker

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Have you considered a hole in the surface for extraction when doing non through cuts? Helps keep the head clear and cool.

Got 2 weeks off at the start of March. I'll make sure to get something made up in that time.

No, I hadn't thought of that.

Are you meaning dust that falls down the hole of the router bit?

My router has a dust extraction plastic shield thing, that when not table mounted and attached to a vacuum will suck the dust away. If I attached the vacuum to that when doing non through cuts, would that work?
 

DBT85

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No, I hadn't thought of that.

Are you meaning dust that falls down the hole of the router bit?

My router has a dust extraction plastic shield thing, that when not table mounted and attached to a vacuum will suck the dust away. If I attached the vacuum to that when doing non through cuts, would that work?
Might work. I've had it not work even when using it handheld.

Essentiallytthe idea in the table is to put a hole a few inches downwind of the bit parallel to the fence. So if for example you were routing a slot in the face of a board, what will often happen is that because the fence extraction can't get at the bit, the slot fills with the shavings which can lead to extra heat, less of a neat cut etc. If that extra hole in the table is sucking out the waste from the slot, that problem should go away.

Not many have it but the few I saw made a difference.
 

southendwoodworker

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Might work. I've had it not work even when using it handheld.

Essentiallytthe idea in the table is to put a hole a few inches downwind of the bit parallel to the fence. So if for example you were routing a slot in the face of a board, what will often happen is that because the fence extraction can't get at the bit, the slot fills with the shavings which can lead to extra heat, less of a neat cut etc. If that extra hole in the table is sucking out the waste from the slot, that problem should go away.

Not many have it but the few I saw made a difference.

I understand now. Ahh yes I have noticed that with the very limited routing I have done. And it is a good idea, I will certainly consider it as I get more familiar with routing and using this table. Thank you
 
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