Router Carving Machine Mobile Base Flips Up for Storage

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Project by Kelly posted 05-25-2016 04:24 PM 2644 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I bought this router carver, a/k/a router duplicator used. It was mounted on a maple butcher block counter top, which weighed in at around one hundred pounds or so. Add the carver equipment and accessories and a base and the entire thing weighed in around a couple hundred pounds, or better. Obviously, it wasn’t very portable.

I wanted the unit to be portable, and to not take up a huge amount of space, when not in use. To that end, I made a box similar to what some would call a torsion box [then donated the butcher block to projects]. Once that was done, my plan was to make the table pivot using some swing set pipe I salvaged from a friends swing set (they were probably going to throw it out anyway).

The box works well. I made it large enough to allow me to install a sliding carriage and to install wider support rods.

Today, I took time to build the portable base portion. The unit can only tip in one direction. When in the horizontal position, the working end rests on top of two of the 2x’s that join the two sides of the base.

When moving it between the storage and use positions, it feels very stable. With about twenty more pounds on the working end (the top, when in the upright position), it should be fairly counterbalanced. As it is, my wife can tip it up or down with little effort.

I won’t do anything to adjust the balance yet, since I still have a couple removable carriages to play with. One will slide forward and back for the foot controlled rotating system for carving gun stocks and things. The other will both slide forward and back and move from side to side, to allow more versatility for sign making.

In the upright position, it only takes up about 30” by about 51” of floor space. In the horizontal position it takes up an area of about 50” by 72”.

I had planned on adding telescoping legs at each corner, but, in use, it feels very stable and solid just relying on the two knobs that fit through the base sides into the table, to lock it in the horizontal position (only one for the vertical position). Still, a leg on the working end might be a good idea in anticipation of that material may be left on the machine – better safe than sorry and all that.

The unit rolls and guides very well. I was concerned, during construction of the two sides. With swiveling wheels on them, moving them was like herding feral cats in a room full of dogs. However, with the two base sides joined and the weight of the bed on them, they move forward and back and turn with ease.

If I desire to improve on the design in the future, under the working end is a four foot wide area about fifteen inches deep that could accommodate drawers for styluses, bits, letter templates and so on.

Only time and use will tell if I could cut corners. For example:

1) It may be I only needed the thickness I built the bed at the area of the two inch pivot pipe. Say, a foot or so in front of and in back of where the pipe installed. If so, it might be I could trim three inches off the thickness of the bed in all the remaining areas, thus reducing over allweight.

2) I might have been able to get away with a table nearly two feet shorter. If so, the entire unit would be twelve inches lower in the horizontal position. As it is, the working surface is about 52” off the ground. This change would, also, reduce overall weight.

The last picture, which shows the red caps and lock knobs, is the final product, after the pipe was capped.

5 comments so far

View oldnovice's profile


7498 posts in 3848 days

#1 posted 05-26-2016 02:37 AM

I don’t understand how this is used as a “carver tabe”!
Please explain.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Kelly's profile


2413 posts in 3424 days

#2 posted 05-26-2016 03:20 AM

Correct me, if I’m wrong, but I am assuming you meant carver table.

The carver is the simple little beast on which the router is mounted and visible in the photos. This is not a table you carve on. The router does the carving, from a copy.

A quick search on line will reveal every router carver you find is set up in a permanent arrangement. They are not portable and, certainly, do not flip up, out of the way, to avoid eating a four by six space in the shop.

I could have just mounted the carver on a piece of plywood, but it would have been to flimsy to insure minute details in carved copies. As such, I built the table mounted on the base. The unique nature of this arrangement is the mobility and storage ability.

Did that answer the question, or do I need another run at it?

If it helps, here is the Radar Carver web site for the carving machine:

View oldnovice's profile


7498 posts in 3848 days

#3 posted 05-26-2016 05:38 PM

Right, carver table, didn’t catch my spelling error before I posted!
I have always considered these as router duplicators but carver table works just as well now that I understand how it is used.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Kelly's profile


2413 posts in 3424 days

#4 posted 05-26-2016 06:06 PM

Router duplicator may work better. If I didn’t, I should have put the word router in front of the carving table. Anyway, it looks like we cleared that up.

I went back and added language, up front, to cover both bases.


View jciccare's profile


30 posts in 1747 days

#5 posted 02-02-2017 08:41 PM

Nice design! I’m thinking of building something like this so my old 6-inch Craftsman jointer can be stored vertically and rolled out of the way. Thanks for the detailed description and good photos.

-- Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts. (Tao Te Ching / Lao Tzu)

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