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TREND T5 Competition router table - final report (long..)

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Neil

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Well, here is the 99% complete table:

Since the WIP report I've added the drawer, tidied up the fixing for the Incra, and built the supplementary fence. I've also added a mitre slot - I wasn't going to at this stage, but the T-track was reduced to £10 in the Rutlands sale so I thought I may as well get it. Very useful for attaching horizontal featherboards as well. It was a tiny bit stressful routing the groove for it in the pristine table top though :shock:

The drawer

The big drawer is made from plywood - 18mm WBP is about the only semi-decent ply I can get locally, otherwise I might have used something a little thinner. I asked the yard to pull out a good board for me, and to be fair they did - this was the best piece of ply I've had from them in 6 years. The drawer is a little unusual, as it has to have the corner knocked off to allow room for the flaps used to lock the wheels down. The drawer bottom sits in a housing as normal, but on the side of the drawer with the cutout, the housing must be angled at 45 degrees:

This was a pretty simple task with the Festool plunge saw - set it to the correct angle & depth, then make several cuts across the width of the housing, moving the guide rail by the thickness of the kerf each time. The bottom was cleaned up with a chisel, used bevel-down.


I decided to biscuit-joint the drawer together - I would have preferred to use less biscuits and add a few pocket screws, but unfortunately I don't have a pocket hole jig yet.


After a good sanding, the draw components are ready for assembly


Plenty of clamps required...


The drawer was mounted on some fairly heavy-duty full extension drawer runners, 550mm in length (thanks, CYC :) ) Here you can see the flaps for the wheel mechanism still have plenty of room.


Finished drawer with the white-painted MDF panel added. I haven't lost much storage having the cutout, but I probably need a subdiving panel in there to make the sloped area more useful - things don't tend to stay put over that side of the drawer at the moment!

Supplementary fence
The fence that comes with the Incra is of limited usefulness for most router table operations - the opening is too small and the fence too narrow for use with large diameter bits. Incra sell an add-on fence (the Wonderfence) that gets around this problem, but to save money I decided to make one myself. At the end of the WIP report I showed the aluminium box section I obtained to use as the basis of the fence:


Well, here is the completed fence:

It is pretty straightforward - there are moveable MDF fences, the outfeed one can be shimmed out for jointing etc. The mounting bolts for these fasten into threaded inserts set into the box section. I had an offcut of T-track which I've attached above the opening in the fence, for mounting featherboards & guard. The two threaded inserts in the top of the aluminium section are for mounting a high fence for support of tall workpieces - I haven't made this bit yet. The fences are mitred at 30 degrees - I can trap a zero-clearance insert in between them.


The extraction tube runs diagonally through the outfeed side of the box section - this was the only way to leave room for the fixing points to attach to the Incra. I notched the little oak end caps at the bottom so that I can use the clamps from my Festool guide rails as extra clamping - not really necessary most of the time, as the Incra seems pretty rigid, but if I'm doing heavy work it will prevent straining on the Incra. The oak endcaps are finished with Danish oil, just for Newbie_Neil :p


The fixing to the Incra is straightforward - it fits in place of the existing fence, bolted into more threaded inserts.
To give all these inserts something to screw into, I had to fill a fair amount of the box section with wood. Getting the extraction tube in was a real struggle due to the constraints of the fixing points for the Incra. Here is the rather messy result:



Yet more threaded inserts are used to attach the Incra mount to the table top so I don't lose the use of some of my clamps. All the bolts used throughout are the same size socket head, so I can use the same Allen key to adjust everything.


The inserts lie flush with the tabletop, so they don't get in the way when the table is used without the Incra.

Well, that's it as far as the competition goes - I have a few bits to add, the most glaring omission is obviously the under-table dust extraction. I keep changing my mind as to what to do here - I think rather than just having a hole in the back of the router compartment, I'm going to make a shroud around the business end of the router, hinged so it can be swung out of the way when changing bits. Other things still to do are to put some finish on the pine bits of the frame and table top trim (anyone got any suggestions?) and to make some additional featherboards & acrylic guards. Then I just need to get working on Version 2... :roll:
 

Alf

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Brilliant job, Neil! I really like the drawer making as much use of the space as possible, but still allowing the room for the wheel flap. Some nice subtle gloats there too. But after all that it almost looks to good to use... :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Noel

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Neil, well done, very well finished.
Just a wee point - I'm no big Incra fan, never used one, never even seen, but, am I right in assuming that the function of the Incra is 2 fold: keep the fence nice and steady and provide a means of accurate micro adjustment whilst keeping the fence parallel?
Always wondered as I quite happily get along with 2 F Clamps and a bit of tap-tap-tapping.

Noel
 

Neil

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Alf":oemr241i said:
Some nice subtle gloats there too
Gloat? Moi? Oh, you must mean the photo of the Ferm BJ! :lol:

Noely, the biggest advantage to me is repeatability. Lets say you want to make several 18mm rebates, 12mm deep. Your biggest straight bit smaller than 18mm is a 12mm, and you don't really want to go full depth in one pass to avoid putting undue strain on the cutter. You can run all your pieces through, move the fence 6mm (easy in mm increments, as this is the unit on the positioning racks), run the through again. Then you raise the bit to the height for the full 12mm cut, and it is a completely trivial matter to pop the fence back to its first setting. Now this is particularly important to me because setting depth is a bit of a pain as I don't have a router raizer or suchlike - if I did, I guess I would have repeatability of depth setting making it less important to have the same feature on the fence. Still, though, it is much quicker to adjust an Incra than it is to wind a router raizer up & down!

Other advantages are the speed of adjustment, particularly if you work in the increments of your racks (1mm or 1/32" depending on which racks you have installed) - say if you want two rebates 200mm apart, moving the fence precisely between the two positions takes a couple of seconds. The boxjoint & dovetail capability was also appealing to me, as I don't have a dovetailing jig/Woodrat etc.

But I'm a relative Incra newbie, I'm sure Chris and Philly would have more to add...

Cheers,

Neil
 
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Love it Neil, and as you know, I think the addition to the Incra fence is superb!! I need to find a supplier of box section ali to make one for mine asap.

The drawer ios rather clever too :)


Well done mate.
 

dedee

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Neil, very nice & thanks. I have filed away this & your previous post for future reference.
I too am rather taken with the Incra but I am in two minds whether to build a complete table like yours or adapt a gate-leg table that I have lying around. The idea behind to mount the Incra on one of the table flaps with the router in the fixed middle piece. It will be awhile before the tuit comes around though so plenty of time to think about it.

Andy
 

Vormulac

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Neil, fantastic job! Well done! I bet that's going to be terrific in use (assuming you can bear to get it dirty, of course).

V.
 
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Andy

I like the gate-leg table idea - should keep the space requirement down :)
 

Neil

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Thanks, everyone :D

Andy, it is a bit of an aircraft-carrier - I can get away with it as I don't have any machinery :cry:, but the gate leg idea sounds great. I wonder if Chris would post a pic or two of the bracket he made to attach his Incra? It might provide more ideas for you.

Neil
 

Chris Knight

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Neil,
Andy has actually seen it in the flesh so to speak but I will take a pic tomorrow in case it may be of use to anyone else.
 

Neil

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Thanks, Chris - I'm sure a lot of people would find it useful.

Neil
 

Philly

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Neil
Looks great Mate! Gonna have to make an add-on fence like yours, too!
The Incra is a clever piece of kit that needs to be used before the penny fully drops-then you start thinking up ways to use it on everything! :lol:
Cheers
Philly :D
 

CYC

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:D VOTE NEIL TO WIN T5 COMPETITION :D

:D VOTE NEIL TO WIN T5 COMPETITION :D


Well done, I have seen this table in the flesh without the drawer and it's a real pro tool, I can tell you. I'd love one.
I would say that a lift will be on the horizon soon making this table the ultimate routing machine :wink:






Okay, neil so as agreed you pay me with one of those table right?
 

Neil

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:lol: - a little Irish bias creeping in there, CYC?

Cheers,

Neil

PS I'll get started on it this weekend :lol:
 

Noel

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No Irish bias whatsoever.
Neil, enjoy the T5.

Noel
 
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