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Project Information

I recently upgraded my router table by adding a router lift. So I had a router plate without a home, which became the inspiration for this project.

Construction

Most of the parts are constructed with MDF. The table top is a piece of Phenolic that I found at my old job. It was exactly 1/2" thick so it was perfect for use with the t-track. I cut it into thirds, sandwiched the t-track between the pieces, and mounted it back on to a piece of MDF.

The raising/lowering mechanism for the router is a simple twist-screw mechanism made out of all-thread, a bracket mounted to the router plate and a store-bought knob.

I imbedded two rare-earth magnets next two the router plate and stuck a steel ruler to them (third photo). The ruler can be flipped from the fractions side to the other side with 10ths and 100ths of an inch depending on which system I'm using. It can also be "zeroed" just by sliding it up or down.

An Incra "T-track Plus" extends out either side of the X-Y table for attaching adjustable stops along the X-axis (see 5th and 6th photos)

The X-Y table slides on four modified ball-bearing keyboard slides.

The Slides:

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Each slide had one set of ball-bearing gliders between the upper and lower section. But the slides were not accurate enough as-is because when the weight shifted from one side to the other it would rock on the glider. I also had to modify the slides so they would move in both directions from center.

The single ball-bearing glider in the slide:

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To modify the slides I started by removing the stops that keep the slides from moving past the neutral position.

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This allowed me to remove the lower section to reveal the ball-bearing glide:

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Then I carefully transferred the glide from one slide to another to avoid losing ball bearings:

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Now there are two glides in each slide. Yes, this does mean that I had to buy TWICE as many slides as I needed and waste half of them, but they are much stiffer and they don't rock, which increases overall accuracy. It also means that they can slide in both directions but not as far as the original slides. Luckily I was able to get an awesome deal on the slides. They were an old style on clearance for 40% off (only $7 bucks per pair).

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One set of two finished slides:

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Because the stops were removed from the slides, I had to add my own stops between the X-Y table so it doesn't slide beyond the point where the bearings were exposed and tiny steel balls start dropping to the floor. You can see the stops made from scraps of Padouk in the second photos.

The Test Cut

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The first mortise came out flawlessly!

Gallery

Comments

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19,716 Posts
Very nice Blake much nice then one I made some time ago.
 

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92 Posts
Very cool, I wonder if computer rack mounted slides would work?
 

· In Loving Memory
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2,704 Posts
VERY COOL JOB BLAKE. NICE IDEA.
 

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This is a great job. Very inspirational! Thanks for posting Blake
 

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Is there a patent in the future? I would think there would be a market for it.
 

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Really cool and simple thinking, how is the precission on those rollers?
This is the first I see, where I say: got to make one like that!
Thank you for sharing,
best thoughts,
Mads
 

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This is great Blake, thanks for posting the the build info too. This is in my to build list so adding it to my favorites.
 

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Blake,
that is a very neat set up.
The final result makes it all worth while.
Jamie
 

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2,185 Posts
Very nice Blake. Good for you.
Are you going to add some levers for operating it?
But maybe just grabbing the work piece and pressing it into the bit is really easier. (?)

I like it,
Steve
 

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333 Posts
Awesome work. I'm in the process of making dozen or more mortises and sure could use this.
What's a largest/longest piece it can support?
THX.
 

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2,577 Posts
Great design. How far does your sliding table move? The plunge router on the back really ties it together. Very nice…
 

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Good Job, nice use of re-purposed parts and materials!
 

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Yeah this is a very interesting project

Nicely done and thanks for the explications
 

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Blake
I think I have everytihing to make one of these laying around the shop A simple but effective design wsh I would have thought of this before I bought my mortise machine.
 

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Hey Brian (GarageWoodworks)... Thanks for the link. I saw it somewhere on the web but couldn't remember where.
 

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Blake,

Very clever indeed. Looks like it works perfectly. I get it all but with the exception of how the all-thread attaches to the nut on the bracket. Can you add another picture with a bottom of the bracket shot? Is the nut fixed in place or does it spin?
 

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Cool !! I like the straight forward design.
This shall be my future project.
Thank you for sharing the guide design in detail.
 
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