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Router Table Upgrade

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Blog entry by Matt Snyder posted 02-04-2019 11:54 AM 1030 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I built my workbench I made a folding table, hinged to my workbench wall, that I envisioned holding my fancy Bosch router table.

In practice it felt awkward with the table so high and it also blocked the cabinet behind it.

Time for a new plan. I took the mounting plate off the commercial table and traced it out on the center of the table. An inch in from the line I used a jigsaw to cut out a hole for the router and base to hang through. I then used a router guide to rout out the depth of the plate plus a little bit extra for balancing.

I drilled out holes for the four hold down bolts and the six balancing, cap head bolts. I mortised out the bottom side of the table with a forstner bit and inset t-nuts. By this time I’ve only got about 1/4” of MDF holding up the router. As well, while the four hold down bolts are applying a squeezing force, the six balancing bolts are trying to push the t-nuts out.

To reinforce it I built a 2” frame out of 3/4” plywood. This covered the routed 1” of MDF for the mounting plate and an extra inch of solid table. I glued it in place and installed the router and plate. It feels very solid and leveling it was a breeze.

With the router mounted it was time to install t-track for the fence and feather boards. I used some ShopFox t-track from the local Woodcrafters store and routed out 3/4” channels in the appropriate locations. I glued the tracks in place with Gorilla Glue instead of screws because the MDF wouldn’t have held screws well. As well I routed to the depth listed on the packaging instructions instead of checking for myself and ended up a little deeper than it should have been. I hoped the expanding Gorilla Glue would fill the gaps.

This is a mistake I haven’t made on later projects. Set the router bit depth by setting you plunge router on the t-track and lowering the bit to the table.

The ends of the fence t-tracks where the bolt heads drop in looked a little tacky compared to the rest with the slightly burnt MDF showing.

I felt the need to cover these tight curves with the same Formica laminate as the rest of the table. While the laminate is very brittle, when heated it becomes much more pliable. I made a jig out of some cedar scrap. I used the same 3/4” router bit to carve out a mold. I then heated a small strip of laminate with a heat gun and kept it in the heat until it came close to bending to size. I then used the push stick to force it into the mold and let it cool.

Once cool it kept its curve and was easy to sand to size and glue in place.

The fence works flawlessly and with the dust collection hooked up there is virtually no dust. When I close the gates on the front of the fence it seals up like a blast gate reasonably well.

I had a small piece of t-track left over which I cut in half and installed in the 2×4 stud at the end of the bench. This holds the fence out of the way when I’m on a project that doesn’t need it.

One of my projects makes all the dust shoot out the bottom onto the floor. Today I built a box around it that the dust collector can hook up to. It is held on with pocket hole screws and should be easy to remove if I need to fold the table down.

It’s been a fun project and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. The router is easily one of my favorite tools and a good router table will enable you to craft some amazing things.

Thanks for reading!

ps – anyone need a fancy Bosch rourer table?

-- - I learn more from my failures than my successes.



3 comments so far

View jamsomito's profile

jamsomito

415 posts in 697 days


#1 posted 02-05-2019 05:40 PM

I would feel bad using that router table. It’s too nice!

View Matt Snyder's profile

Matt Snyder

16 posts in 24 days


#2 posted 02-07-2019 03:53 AM



I would feel bad using that router table. It s too nice!

- jamsomito


Thanks. That $15 cracked sheet of wood grain Formica from the Bargain Barn looks really good. It makes me smile every time I use it.

-- - I learn more from my failures than my successes.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1120 posts in 3884 days


#3 posted 02-08-2019 10:30 AM

What I find particularly clever is your idea to hang the fence out of the way when it isn’t needed.

I think I will steal that idea to make a similar hanger on the side (or back) of my stand-alone router table to store the fence when it is not in use.

Thanks!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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