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Using a plunge router on a router table

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Anonymous

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Hi all,

I want to make a router table using my 1/4" plunge router.
Here's how I plan to go about it, I think it sounds about right:
1, Remove existing baseplate from the router and mount an new, larger rectangular plate of MDF thick enough to prevent sag. Make a hole in this plate to allow cutters to pass through it.
2, Make a hole in the table top to receive the plate, of the same depth as the thickness of the MDF (so the plate lies flush with the table top) with a smaller "ledge" to support the plate.
3, Mount and fasten the plate in this hole with the router suspended under the table top.
The result I hope for is a smooth table surface with a hole to admit the cutter.

Two questions - firstly, this method seems to agree with most of the info I've found on the subject of making a router table. Does anybody have any more comments or advice?
Secondly, my router is switched on and off by a standard spring-loaded switch on the router body (on when depressed, off when released). How then can I operate it when it's mounted in the router table? Surely I can't keep one hand under the table holding the switch down, and holding it down with tape or a clamp doesn't sound too clever either! :?

Grateful for your advice :D
 

Learner Les

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I have used the same idea to make my router table with what sounds like the same design of router. The switch is held by a aluminium and plastic G type clamp (actually a pub optics clamp) and works fine. You will need a socket mounted on the table to plug in the router and turn it on and off.
The only problem that I have is that to reduce the possibility of sag I made the table baseplate only slightly bigger than the router baseplate, hence the hole in the table will not allow my router to drop in unless I remove the side handles !
 

sawdustalley

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Yep, you can use an elastic band, cable ties, electrical tape - anything really, its fairly straight forward.

I would reccommend that you wire up a safety (NVR - NO Volt Release) switch. This will allow you to easily turn the router on and off immediately, fix it under the table.

If you want to see my go at a router table, have a look here:
http://sawdustalley.co.uk/How-to/router-table/index.php

Also try searching on google, and indeed these forums. As people shouldnt need to repeat what they have already said on other threads :)
 

Alf

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Steve,

Definitely go with an NVR switch, especially if you need to keep the router switch permanently on, but even if you don't. A search of the archives should throw out a couple of suppliers.

As regards the actual mounting plate itself, in order to minimise the loss of plunge depth you want one as thin as possible. Not sure how thin you can get away with using MDF, its lateral strength being a bit poor, so you might want to look into a phenolic or metal plate instead. FWIW. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

Noel

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Steve,

In theory your proposal sounds ok BUT using a lump of MDF for the plate will result in a considerable amount of lost capacity. Even 12mm MDF is too thick. I'd suggest using a phenolic insert (Axminster, Trend etc, all manufactured by Rosseau) which is less than 10mm and with the added benefit of concentric insert rings.
With the phenolic insert plate you can then concentrate on building a substantial top for your table.
With the safety switch most people use jubilee clips or cable ties but I prefer a velco ribbon.
As James has suggested an NVR switch that suits your router is a good option.

Rgds

Noel
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks, all. That's a big help - answers all my questions!

The method used make the table top and the rectangular hole to drop in the router and baseplate is exactly what I had in mind - except I'm going straight into an existing table top, an old office desk which I hope will convert into a nice router table.

Thanks again!
 
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