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Router + table, complete beginner for ease of use.

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jnorris235

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I’m not a dedicated woodworker but would be very grateful for guidance on this one project, please.
I need to shape half a dozen pieces of 9mm plywood, 600mm x 60mm, after rough cutting the shapes with a jigsaw.
Then roundover with a 3mm bit. And do this over the year ten or twenty times. So you can guess my budget is low.

I have a FERM router table, cost £60.
I have a very old B&Q 1/4” router, probably cost £30.
My problem is that changing the router bit with spanners that can only move 45º at a time to the right depth of bit with 0.5mm accuracy is taking forever. It doesnt have a microadjuster.
Plus the plunge router doesnt really plunge enough so the bit is only into the collett about 15mm.

What router allows me to change the bit above the table and is easily then adjustable?
Or have I bought the wrong table?
Is a collett extension the answer?
It would be worth getting this right...
 

MikeJhn

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None of the cheap end routers allow you to change bits above the table and are micro adjustable, you will need something like a Trend router for the above table adjustment and a muscle chuck extension to allow easy bit changes.
 

marcros

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Do you need a table? I would try a bearing guided template bit and a bearing guided roundover. Both could use the router you already have. Clamp to a bench and away you go.
 

sunnybob

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update the router to a 1/2" you can get adaptors so you can still use your 1/4" bits.
make permanent accurate templates for each piece, then after rough cutting with the jigsaw you can use a bearing guided trim bit to make the new shapes perfect. Then the roundover bit.

Theres not much you can do with that table to give you accurate small adjustments to height though.
But i would suggest making two or even three years worth of items at one go, saving you a huge amount of time and effort.
 

Marineboy

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jnorris235":3nol5so1 said:
I’m not a dedicated woodworker but would be very grateful for guidance on this one project, please.
I need to shape half a dozen pieces of 9mm plywood, 600mm x 60mm, after rough cutting the shapes with a jigsaw.
Then roundover with a 3mm bit. And do this over the year ten or twenty times. So you can guess my budget is low.

I have a FERM router table, cost £60.
I have a very old B&Q 1/4” router, probably cost £30.
My problem is that changing the router bit with spanners that can only move 45º at a time to the right depth of bit with 0.5mm accuracy is taking forever. It doesnt have a microadjuster.
Plus the plunge router doesnt really plunge enough so the bit is only into the collett about 15mm.o

What router allows me to change the bit above the table and is easily then adjustable?
Or have I bought the wrong table?
Is a collett extension the answer?
It would be worth getting this right...
A word of advice. Don’t use the router with only 15mm of shank in the collet. It may end badly and possibly painfully.
 

Stanleymonkey

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marcros":8b4d1t4d said:
Do you need a table? I would try a bearing guided template bit and a bearing guided roundover. Both could use the router you already have. Clamp to a bench and away you go.
+1 for this. A friedn showed me the method years ago - great technique.

You will probably need a new router bit. But much cheaper than a table etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsn9-A_uQ-Y
 

Stanleymonkey

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My problem is that changing the router bit with spanners that can only move 45º at a time to the right depth of bit with 0.5mm accuracy is taking forever. It doesnt have a microadjuster.

I'm tired and not understanding much this morning!! I'm not sure why you need half millimetre accuracy for the cut depth. What are you working on?
 

MikeJhn

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The easiest way to get the accuracy required is to do a test piece first.

I would add that rounding over 9mm plywood will inevitably involve some break out at the end of the piece, unless you are using Birch ply, but still do the ends first and very slowly do the long side's at the end next.

As my second table, I have one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lumberjack-RT1 ... th=1&psc=1 the fence isn't up to much, but it has a built in height adjustment and motor and lots of accessories that you would need anyway, finger boards come to mind.
 

marcros

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For the roundover, I would suggest using a little trim router. I got one of the little katsu ones, and whilst I don't have many other 1/4" bits at all, I can see a little roundover living in it. Nice and lightweight, and so easy to use. I got a wealdon cutter which wasn't the cheapest but so far so good. Great for knocking the sharp edges off things, whilst keeping the appearance of a square edge. It was smaller than a 3mm roundover. 2mm maybe. Other sizes available.
 

jnorris235

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marcros":1sux5ja4 said:
Do you need a table? I would try a bearing guided template bit and a bearing guided roundover. Both could use the router you already have. Clamp to a bench and away you go.
Oh. Ok. I’ll find out what a template bit is and give it a go. Thanks.
 

jnorris235

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sunnybob":1bcu6skt said:
update the router to a 1/2" you can get adaptors so you can still use your 1/4" bits.
make permanent accurate templates for each piece, then after rough cutting with the jigsaw you can use a bearing guided trim bit to make the new shapes perfect. Then the roundover bit.

Theres not much you can do with that table to give you accurate small adjustments to height though.
But i would suggest making two or even three years worth of items at one go, saving you a huge amount of time and effort.
You’re probably right, get a load done at once at least if the main parts
 

jnorris235

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Stanleymonkey":1ahbrxpw said:
marcros":1ahbrxpw said:
Do you need a table? I would try a bearing guided template bit and a bearing guided roundover. Both could use the router you already have. Clamp to a bench and away you go.
+1 for this. A friedn showed me the method years ago - great technique.

You will probably need a new router bit. But much cheaper than a table etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsn9-A_uQ-Y
Great video. Hadn’t seen that one
 

jnorris235

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Stanleymonkey":1y5dsll6 said:
My problem is that changing the router bit with spanners that can only move 45º at a time to the right depth of bit with 0.5mm accuracy is taking forever. It doesnt have a microadjuster.

I'm tired and not understanding much this morning!! I'm not sure why you need half millimetre accuracy for the cut depth. What are you working on?
These sticks of plywood have sharp edges. So I want them all smooth. Sandpaper took far too long. The round over bit made the edges safer for small hands. Half a millimetre out and it cut a step in the wood so seems to need to be accurate?
 

jnorris235

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Some fantastic advice here. Very grateful for your time. I’d figured a table would make it easier to see what I was doing but more especially save a lot of clamping unclamping turning clamping etc. Though a template was new to me.
And that table and router kit in one looks worth investigating if over a year I’ll have (hopefully) a hundred of these little pieces to deal with.
 

jnorris235

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It is. Like an easel with broader legs etc (dimensions above). About 750cm of cutting and rounding per gadget. Hopefully many gadgets!
 

jnorris235

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Each bit of advice here has been dutifully followed. Templates, etc. And just got a Triton JOF001 - 1010W Compact Precision Plunge Router 230V which apparently can be changed/adjusted from above the table.
Just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to deal with a complete beginner!
 

MikeJhn

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My Triton drove me mad, having to grope under the table to lock it before use was one thing, but the switch interlock when you raise the router to change bits drove me up the wall it was the most awkward thing in the whole workshop, if you have not used it yet send it back and get the Trend, which does not have the interlock, you will still have to grope under the table for the lock, but at least its only once.
 

sunnybob

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I have the makita rp1800. it comes with a long screw that can be used from above the table to adjust the height. It just needs a stepped hole drilled in the router plate to recess the head. I got fed up with using the phillips screwdriver, so made a long bolt with a 10 mm nut on the end, then I used a 1/4" speed brace to adjust the height.
you can easily change the bit above the table with the makita, although I have just bought the musclechuck extension.
 
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