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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
 

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Registered
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2,616 Posts
Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
Great article, Double-B. Any possibility of pictures to accompany your journey?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
Yes, I will have pictures. I'm looking forward to posting them.
 

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35,383 Posts
Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
I hope your casters are all swivel. I curse every tool that has non swivel casters on them. I get them convertout as fast as I can.
 

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2,616 Posts
Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
Karson, great suggestion. I'll fix mine today as I have a router table without casters - and I have casters, so no excuse here.
 

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Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
Looking forward to see how it comes out. I went the pre-fab route. Given my current work schedule, time is precious.
 

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Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
This is wonderful. I love all the tips on things to think about when deciding on what works best for you.
Very insightful for someone like myself.
I too am looking forward to the upcoming blogs.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us-and you deserve to splurge!! :)
 

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Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
Hey neighbor, Good post.
 

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Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
Good info, BB. I'm going to take this research into consideration for a table. I have a Rockler setup but it's just a stop gap I think.

I can't remember if it is Bench Dog or Woodpecker that has a table system that replaces the left wing on you table saw. Did you come across such a thing in your research?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Research

This project series is going to journal the development of my new router table. In this post I will begin the series by describing the components that I purchased for this project and why, and in later installments, I will describe the construction process as I go. It probably isn't necessary to explain the benefits of having a router table; however, with all of the various options available in the marketplace, it might be helpful to understand why I chose the components that I did.

I've built router tables before; however, they were quickly cobbed together in order to meet a temporary need. Now I have the ability to have a permanent yet mobile fixture in my shop that I desire to be highly accurate. I would have preferred to purchase a complete pre-manufactured system to save myself time; however, I tend to be frugal and decided to meet cheap and efficient somewhere in between. I also discovered, through my research, that complete systems aren't always complete and no particular router table system met all of my desires. Thus, I decided to "piece-mail" the system together.

Cabinets

The Bench Dog tables were my favorite tables by far. They are not made of metal, they have nice thick tops, and they come pre-fitted for their router plate insert. I also liked their fence and custom t-track. Many other "complete" systems on the market are built with metal legs requiring me to build a cabinet within/around the system. I didn't feel it necessary to purchase a $400 system that required me to spend another $120 for material to achieve my desired result.

Although I liked the Bench Dog tables, I didn't like the price. Their top Baltic birch cabinet costs around $550 but drawers and doors cost extra. Plus, their phenolic router plates do not provide different sized rings for different sized bits. This means that I would have to purchase about two additional plates so that I can fit my raised panel bit or other sized bits into it. These are even more reasons why I decided to build my own cabinet.

Router Fences

I thought about building a custom fence, but the fences that exist today have so many features and are so accurate that I decided it would be a waste of time to replicate them. I scoured over many options, but the router fences that really caught my eye were JessEm's, Bench Dog's, Rockler's, Woodpecker's and Rousseau's.

Rousseau has a nice fence but only being able to see it on the web, it appeared that some of the adjustment knobs were in tight places. They were priced competitively though. I liked the Rockler and Bench Dog fences but compared to JessEm's and Woodpecker's fences, they were pretty basic.

I almost decided to go with the JessEm fence because I really liked its measuring track that sits to the to the left and right side of the table where the fence tightens into. However, I changed my mind when I found out that the front movable fence faces are tightened in the front rather than the back. It would become annoying getting my allen wrench every time I wanted to adjust the faces.

The Woodpecker router fence is just what I need. It uses aluminum angle "iron" that the face plates attach to which will keep it sturdy. Also, the aluminum angle has tapped holes drilled for leveling screws to keep the fence at a 90 degree angle. Like the others, the fence plates have t-tracks in them and most importantly, a dust collector attachment on the back.

The only complaint that I have about the fence would be the fact that Woodpecker company has decided to allow Woodcraft to sell their fences and in the license agreement, Woodpecker is no longer allowed to sell their fence online at their site. This was frustrating because I had to purchase my Woodpecker fence and router plate from separate companies.

Router Plate Inserts

I decided to go with an aluminum plate for this project. My Bosch 1619EVS is heavy and there were some concerns on internet posts that phenolic plates may warp a little with varying temperatures. These claims may be unfounded but why take the chance. Besides, this is going to be my special router table project.

To defend phenolic plates, I already have one which is manufactured by Rousseau. The removable rings make it nice for different sized plates. Likewise, the phenolic material is easy to drill through for different router bases. The only reason I didn't go with this plate for my new table is because the plastic rings are not precisely flush with the phenolic plate. As stated before I want a large degree of accuracy for this table and aluminum plates seem a better choice for this reason.

I chose Woodpecker's aluminum Plungelift router table insert over all other aluminum products for the main reason that the ring inserts are the easiest to remove. Rockler's and other competitors' aluminum plates would require me to remove screws to change the ring inserts. Woodpecker has innovatively allowed users to remove rings with a tool by twisting the ring and pulling it out.

Construction Material

For the router table top and cabinet I am using Baltic Birch plywood. It is a clean, sturdy, and professional looking material when finished. However, it is expensive but I have never used it before and it will last a long time. I chose this over 5-play and MDF because my shop's climate changes frequently and admittedly I'm splurging a little.

I also decided to apply a Formica veneer to the top and bottom of the router table top. This will insulate the substrate from humidity and also provide a slick surface to move wood across while routing.

Miscellaneous

I purchased a combo t-track/miter t-track from MLCSWoodworking. Rockler has one but it is double the price and MLCSWoodworking provided free shipping.

I also purchased two 3" locking casters and two 3" standard casters for mobility.

Finally (or just the beginning)

Hopefully this weekend I can begin cutting the Baltic Birch for the top and get the Formica attached to it. My next post will describe the top making process.
Caliper,

Thanks for the comment. Both the Bench Dog and the Woodpecker companies have a table system that replaces a wing on the desktop. Peach Tree Woodworking Supply also has them. Bench Dog and Peach Tree offer both metal and MDF while WoodPecker offers MDF. I don't have a preference whether it is steel or MDF except MDF is obviously much cheaper and lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Making the Substrate

Last weekend I began making the substrate for the router table top. The substrate was created by gluing together two pieces of 3/4" thick Baltic Birch plywood measuring 28" x 32".

I started cutting one of the two pieces from one sheet of 4' x 8' Baltic Birch. Since I do not have an assistant to help cut the plywood on my table saw, I laid the sheet on two saw horses and made the initial cuts of the first piece using a circular saw guided along a straight edged clamp. I made the initial cuts a little larger than necessary because I later squared them up with the table saw.

Like the first piece of the substrate, I cut the second piece a little larger than necessary but this time I didn't square it off with the table saw. I would do this later using the router after the two pieces were laminated together. I chose to square it up in this manner because glue's slippery nature makes it difficult trying to align two identical pieces together.

I then sandwiched a layer of glue between the two pieces making sure that the larger piece was properly placed so that I could trim off its edges with a flush trim router bit after the glue dried. I put clamps on the two pieces where I could and then laid Olympic weights on top of the rest of the wood. I did this all on my table saw because it is flat and sturdy.



After the glue had set up, I put the substrate back on the saw horses with the larger half of the substrate on top. I ran the flush trim router bit along the sides to make everything equal.



This weekend I will round off the corners with my oscillating spindle/belt sander and apply the counter top laminate on both sides. Hopefully, I can also install the t-track and miter slot hardware and have the top completed. I have pictures but need to get them off of my camera, and I need to find an online place to store the photos. I'll also try to get that done this weekend as well.
 

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Making the Substrate

Last weekend I began making the substrate for the router table top. The substrate was created by gluing together two pieces of 3/4" thick Baltic Birch plywood measuring 28" x 32".

I started cutting one of the two pieces from one sheet of 4' x 8' Baltic Birch. Since I do not have an assistant to help cut the plywood on my table saw, I laid the sheet on two saw horses and made the initial cuts of the first piece using a circular saw guided along a straight edged clamp. I made the initial cuts a little larger than necessary because I later squared them up with the table saw.

Like the first piece of the substrate, I cut the second piece a little larger than necessary but this time I didn't square it off with the table saw. I would do this later using the router after the two pieces were laminated together. I chose to square it up in this manner because glue's slippery nature makes it difficult trying to align two identical pieces together.

I then sandwiched a layer of glue between the two pieces making sure that the larger piece was properly placed so that I could trim off its edges with a flush trim router bit after the glue dried. I put clamps on the two pieces where I could and then laid Olympic weights on top of the rest of the wood. I did this all on my table saw because it is flat and sturdy.



After the glue had set up, I put the substrate back on the saw horses with the larger half of the substrate on top. I ran the flush trim router bit along the sides to make everything equal.



This weekend I will round off the corners with my oscillating spindle/belt sander and apply the counter top laminate on both sides. Hopefully, I can also install the t-track and miter slot hardware and have the top completed. I have pictures but need to get them off of my camera, and I need to find an online place to store the photos. I'll also try to get that done this weekend as well.
BB did you use screws to sandwich them together or just Glue.

I used Glue and screws and I don't know where the screws are so I'm unable to cut a slot without possibility running into a screw.

I also made braces 3 layers of Baltic Birch and screwed it to the table so it wouldn't sag in the middle after hanging the router on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Making the Substrate

Last weekend I began making the substrate for the router table top. The substrate was created by gluing together two pieces of 3/4" thick Baltic Birch plywood measuring 28" x 32".

I started cutting one of the two pieces from one sheet of 4' x 8' Baltic Birch. Since I do not have an assistant to help cut the plywood on my table saw, I laid the sheet on two saw horses and made the initial cuts of the first piece using a circular saw guided along a straight edged clamp. I made the initial cuts a little larger than necessary because I later squared them up with the table saw.

Like the first piece of the substrate, I cut the second piece a little larger than necessary but this time I didn't square it off with the table saw. I would do this later using the router after the two pieces were laminated together. I chose to square it up in this manner because glue's slippery nature makes it difficult trying to align two identical pieces together.

I then sandwiched a layer of glue between the two pieces making sure that the larger piece was properly placed so that I could trim off its edges with a flush trim router bit after the glue dried. I put clamps on the two pieces where I could and then laid Olympic weights on top of the rest of the wood. I did this all on my table saw because it is flat and sturdy.



After the glue had set up, I put the substrate back on the saw horses with the larger half of the substrate on top. I ran the flush trim router bit along the sides to make everything equal.



This weekend I will round off the corners with my oscillating spindle/belt sander and apply the counter top laminate on both sides. Hopefully, I can also install the t-track and miter slot hardware and have the top completed. I have pictures but need to get them off of my camera, and I need to find an online place to store the photos. I'll also try to get that done this weekend as well.
Karson,

I did not use screws to laminate the pieces together. Braces will be one of the last things I do because I don't have the cabinet designed yet. The top is going to hinge off of the cabinet for accessibility and I'm not sure where the cabinet partitions will lye until I'm done.

Do you think a metal detector will help you find the screw locations accurately enough?
 

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Making the Substrate

Last weekend I began making the substrate for the router table top. The substrate was created by gluing together two pieces of 3/4" thick Baltic Birch plywood measuring 28" x 32".

I started cutting one of the two pieces from one sheet of 4' x 8' Baltic Birch. Since I do not have an assistant to help cut the plywood on my table saw, I laid the sheet on two saw horses and made the initial cuts of the first piece using a circular saw guided along a straight edged clamp. I made the initial cuts a little larger than necessary because I later squared them up with the table saw.

Like the first piece of the substrate, I cut the second piece a little larger than necessary but this time I didn't square it off with the table saw. I would do this later using the router after the two pieces were laminated together. I chose to square it up in this manner because glue's slippery nature makes it difficult trying to align two identical pieces together.

I then sandwiched a layer of glue between the two pieces making sure that the larger piece was properly placed so that I could trim off its edges with a flush trim router bit after the glue dried. I put clamps on the two pieces where I could and then laid Olympic weights on top of the rest of the wood. I did this all on my table saw because it is flat and sturdy.



After the glue had set up, I put the substrate back on the saw horses with the larger half of the substrate on top. I ran the flush trim router bit along the sides to make everything equal.



This weekend I will round off the corners with my oscillating spindle/belt sander and apply the counter top laminate on both sides. Hopefully, I can also install the t-track and miter slot hardware and have the top completed. I have pictures but need to get them off of my camera, and I need to find an online place to store the photos. I'll also try to get that done this weekend as well.
Yes it might. I've got an Incra fence on the router, so I've not noticed a real need for using a slot. But, if I had one I'd probably use it.

I haven't tried the metal detector route. I've used it on one board that a friend gave to me to plane. (right after hitting a broken off screw. Only chipped two teeth on my planer. (Carbide inserts)
 

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Making the Substrate

Last weekend I began making the substrate for the router table top. The substrate was created by gluing together two pieces of 3/4" thick Baltic Birch plywood measuring 28" x 32".

I started cutting one of the two pieces from one sheet of 4' x 8' Baltic Birch. Since I do not have an assistant to help cut the plywood on my table saw, I laid the sheet on two saw horses and made the initial cuts of the first piece using a circular saw guided along a straight edged clamp. I made the initial cuts a little larger than necessary because I later squared them up with the table saw.

Like the first piece of the substrate, I cut the second piece a little larger than necessary but this time I didn't square it off with the table saw. I would do this later using the router after the two pieces were laminated together. I chose to square it up in this manner because glue's slippery nature makes it difficult trying to align two identical pieces together.

I then sandwiched a layer of glue between the two pieces making sure that the larger piece was properly placed so that I could trim off its edges with a flush trim router bit after the glue dried. I put clamps on the two pieces where I could and then laid Olympic weights on top of the rest of the wood. I did this all on my table saw because it is flat and sturdy.



After the glue had set up, I put the substrate back on the saw horses with the larger half of the substrate on top. I ran the flush trim router bit along the sides to make everything equal.



This weekend I will round off the corners with my oscillating spindle/belt sander and apply the counter top laminate on both sides. Hopefully, I can also install the t-track and miter slot hardware and have the top completed. I have pictures but need to get them off of my camera, and I need to find an online place to store the photos. I'll also try to get that done this weekend as well.
Hi Bass,

A great freebie sight for storing photos online so everyone can get a look at your progress is www.flickr.com . Myself and I do believe a few others here on LJ use it. I just had a listener to my podcast ask about making a router table and I'm sure your project would be a great example of "how to".
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Applying Formica Laminate to Substrate

After completing the substrate, it was time to adhere the formica veneer to the substrate. The method used to apply formica to the substrate can also be used for applying formica to particle board to make kitchen counter tops. The only difference is that kitchen counter tops will typically have edging applied to them which I am not going to discuss here.

Contact cement stinks - Ventilate!

Before I cemented the two surfaces together, I cut the formica to a size larger than the substrate. This is very important because after the two surfaces marry with contact cement, it is virtually impossible to separate them if the contact cement has dried properly. I was going to use a router with a trim bit to remove the excess material later anyway.

Wear safety glasses when cutting formica as the material will chip and the shards are very sharp.

Formica can be cut using heavy duty scissors, a carbide tipped blade, or a a fine toothed plywood blade. Using scissors is the least desirable method for cutting this material because the scissor handles may pinch the material and crack it (this happened in my test). I would've preferred to use my table saw but formica is very flimsy which would've made it difficult to do solo. I used a circular saw instead. I've also read that scoring the formica with a utility knife and then breaking it at the score is possible; however, I've never tried that method myself.

I used contact cement to adhere the formica to the substrate. I applied the contact cement to both surfaces but did not let them touch each other until the contact cement dried for about 20-30 minutes. This seems counter intuitive at first because we're normally used to putting two pieces of wood together before glue dries. Contact cement should be applied to both surfaces using a synthetic brush or roller. I used a roller because it's faster.



After the contact cement "sets" it is very sticky and this is when the spacers are put onto the substrate. As stated earlier, when the two surfaces come into contact it is virtually impossible to separate them. This is why the spacers are used. After I applied the spacers, I put the formica on top of the spacers. I was careful to position the formica so that when I removed the spacers one by one, the formica would overlay all edges of the substrate.

Take note that the contact cement can be too dry or too wet. It might be useful to practice the procedure with some scraps before attempting to do this on your router table top.



I probably used too many spacers but after I removed each spacer, I applied pressure to that area with my formica laminate roller. I made sure to apply even and firm pressure to the formica-rolling the roller back and forth as to remove any air bubbles that may have become trapped between the two materials. I kept removing spacers as I went until the two surfaces were one.

I allowed the two materials to dry a little more before trimming it with the trim router because the contact cement would gum up in my bit.



My next post in this series will describe the installation of the t-tracks and router table insert.
 

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Applying Formica Laminate to Substrate

After completing the substrate, it was time to adhere the formica veneer to the substrate. The method used to apply formica to the substrate can also be used for applying formica to particle board to make kitchen counter tops. The only difference is that kitchen counter tops will typically have edging applied to them which I am not going to discuss here.

Contact cement stinks - Ventilate!

Before I cemented the two surfaces together, I cut the formica to a size larger than the substrate. This is very important because after the two surfaces marry with contact cement, it is virtually impossible to separate them if the contact cement has dried properly. I was going to use a router with a trim bit to remove the excess material later anyway.

Wear safety glasses when cutting formica as the material will chip and the shards are very sharp.

Formica can be cut using heavy duty scissors, a carbide tipped blade, or a a fine toothed plywood blade. Using scissors is the least desirable method for cutting this material because the scissor handles may pinch the material and crack it (this happened in my test). I would've preferred to use my table saw but formica is very flimsy which would've made it difficult to do solo. I used a circular saw instead. I've also read that scoring the formica with a utility knife and then breaking it at the score is possible; however, I've never tried that method myself.

I used contact cement to adhere the formica to the substrate. I applied the contact cement to both surfaces but did not let them touch each other until the contact cement dried for about 20-30 minutes. This seems counter intuitive at first because we're normally used to putting two pieces of wood together before glue dries. Contact cement should be applied to both surfaces using a synthetic brush or roller. I used a roller because it's faster.



After the contact cement "sets" it is very sticky and this is when the spacers are put onto the substrate. As stated earlier, when the two surfaces come into contact it is virtually impossible to separate them. This is why the spacers are used. After I applied the spacers, I put the formica on top of the spacers. I was careful to position the formica so that when I removed the spacers one by one, the formica would overlay all edges of the substrate.

Take note that the contact cement can be too dry or too wet. It might be useful to practice the procedure with some scraps before attempting to do this on your router table top.



I probably used too many spacers but after I removed each spacer, I applied pressure to that area with my formica laminate roller. I made sure to apply even and firm pressure to the formica-rolling the roller back and forth as to remove any air bubbles that may have become trapped between the two materials. I kept removing spacers as I went until the two surfaces were one.

I allowed the two materials to dry a little more before trimming it with the trim router because the contact cement would gum up in my bit.



My next post in this series will describe the installation of the t-tracks and router table insert.
thanks bb

so why don't your spacers stick?
 

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Applying Formica Laminate to Substrate

After completing the substrate, it was time to adhere the formica veneer to the substrate. The method used to apply formica to the substrate can also be used for applying formica to particle board to make kitchen counter tops. The only difference is that kitchen counter tops will typically have edging applied to them which I am not going to discuss here.

Contact cement stinks - Ventilate!

Before I cemented the two surfaces together, I cut the formica to a size larger than the substrate. This is very important because after the two surfaces marry with contact cement, it is virtually impossible to separate them if the contact cement has dried properly. I was going to use a router with a trim bit to remove the excess material later anyway.

Wear safety glasses when cutting formica as the material will chip and the shards are very sharp.

Formica can be cut using heavy duty scissors, a carbide tipped blade, or a a fine toothed plywood blade. Using scissors is the least desirable method for cutting this material because the scissor handles may pinch the material and crack it (this happened in my test). I would've preferred to use my table saw but formica is very flimsy which would've made it difficult to do solo. I used a circular saw instead. I've also read that scoring the formica with a utility knife and then breaking it at the score is possible; however, I've never tried that method myself.

I used contact cement to adhere the formica to the substrate. I applied the contact cement to both surfaces but did not let them touch each other until the contact cement dried for about 20-30 minutes. This seems counter intuitive at first because we're normally used to putting two pieces of wood together before glue dries. Contact cement should be applied to both surfaces using a synthetic brush or roller. I used a roller because it's faster.



After the contact cement "sets" it is very sticky and this is when the spacers are put onto the substrate. As stated earlier, when the two surfaces come into contact it is virtually impossible to separate them. This is why the spacers are used. After I applied the spacers, I put the formica on top of the spacers. I was careful to position the formica so that when I removed the spacers one by one, the formica would overlay all edges of the substrate.

Take note that the contact cement can be too dry or too wet. It might be useful to practice the procedure with some scraps before attempting to do this on your router table top.



I probably used too many spacers but after I removed each spacer, I applied pressure to that area with my formica laminate roller. I made sure to apply even and firm pressure to the formica-rolling the roller back and forth as to remove any air bubbles that may have become trapped between the two materials. I kept removing spacers as I went until the two surfaces were one.

I allowed the two materials to dry a little more before trimming it with the trim router because the contact cement would gum up in my bit.



My next post in this series will describe the installation of the t-tracks and router table insert.
Great info!
 

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Applying Formica Laminate to Substrate

After completing the substrate, it was time to adhere the formica veneer to the substrate. The method used to apply formica to the substrate can also be used for applying formica to particle board to make kitchen counter tops. The only difference is that kitchen counter tops will typically have edging applied to them which I am not going to discuss here.

Contact cement stinks - Ventilate!

Before I cemented the two surfaces together, I cut the formica to a size larger than the substrate. This is very important because after the two surfaces marry with contact cement, it is virtually impossible to separate them if the contact cement has dried properly. I was going to use a router with a trim bit to remove the excess material later anyway.

Wear safety glasses when cutting formica as the material will chip and the shards are very sharp.

Formica can be cut using heavy duty scissors, a carbide tipped blade, or a a fine toothed plywood blade. Using scissors is the least desirable method for cutting this material because the scissor handles may pinch the material and crack it (this happened in my test). I would've preferred to use my table saw but formica is very flimsy which would've made it difficult to do solo. I used a circular saw instead. I've also read that scoring the formica with a utility knife and then breaking it at the score is possible; however, I've never tried that method myself.

I used contact cement to adhere the formica to the substrate. I applied the contact cement to both surfaces but did not let them touch each other until the contact cement dried for about 20-30 minutes. This seems counter intuitive at first because we're normally used to putting two pieces of wood together before glue dries. Contact cement should be applied to both surfaces using a synthetic brush or roller. I used a roller because it's faster.



After the contact cement "sets" it is very sticky and this is when the spacers are put onto the substrate. As stated earlier, when the two surfaces come into contact it is virtually impossible to separate them. This is why the spacers are used. After I applied the spacers, I put the formica on top of the spacers. I was careful to position the formica so that when I removed the spacers one by one, the formica would overlay all edges of the substrate.

Take note that the contact cement can be too dry or too wet. It might be useful to practice the procedure with some scraps before attempting to do this on your router table top.



I probably used too many spacers but after I removed each spacer, I applied pressure to that area with my formica laminate roller. I made sure to apply even and firm pressure to the formica-rolling the roller back and forth as to remove any air bubbles that may have become trapped between the two materials. I kept removing spacers as I went until the two surfaces were one.

I allowed the two materials to dry a little more before trimming it with the trim router because the contact cement would gum up in my bit.



My next post in this series will describe the installation of the t-tracks and router table insert.
If you use a skill saw to cut laminate. Turn the blade backwards. So the teeth are pointing the wrong way. You don't get as much chipping and cracking.

Note: do this only on Formica products that haven't been glued to anything.

This technique is also done on cutting vinyl siding and thin metals, fiberglass roofing etc.

Good show and tell BB
 

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Applying Formica Laminate to Substrate

After completing the substrate, it was time to adhere the formica veneer to the substrate. The method used to apply formica to the substrate can also be used for applying formica to particle board to make kitchen counter tops. The only difference is that kitchen counter tops will typically have edging applied to them which I am not going to discuss here.

Contact cement stinks - Ventilate!

Before I cemented the two surfaces together, I cut the formica to a size larger than the substrate. This is very important because after the two surfaces marry with contact cement, it is virtually impossible to separate them if the contact cement has dried properly. I was going to use a router with a trim bit to remove the excess material later anyway.

Wear safety glasses when cutting formica as the material will chip and the shards are very sharp.

Formica can be cut using heavy duty scissors, a carbide tipped blade, or a a fine toothed plywood blade. Using scissors is the least desirable method for cutting this material because the scissor handles may pinch the material and crack it (this happened in my test). I would've preferred to use my table saw but formica is very flimsy which would've made it difficult to do solo. I used a circular saw instead. I've also read that scoring the formica with a utility knife and then breaking it at the score is possible; however, I've never tried that method myself.

I used contact cement to adhere the formica to the substrate. I applied the contact cement to both surfaces but did not let them touch each other until the contact cement dried for about 20-30 minutes. This seems counter intuitive at first because we're normally used to putting two pieces of wood together before glue dries. Contact cement should be applied to both surfaces using a synthetic brush or roller. I used a roller because it's faster.



After the contact cement "sets" it is very sticky and this is when the spacers are put onto the substrate. As stated earlier, when the two surfaces come into contact it is virtually impossible to separate them. This is why the spacers are used. After I applied the spacers, I put the formica on top of the spacers. I was careful to position the formica so that when I removed the spacers one by one, the formica would overlay all edges of the substrate.

Take note that the contact cement can be too dry or too wet. It might be useful to practice the procedure with some scraps before attempting to do this on your router table top.



I probably used too many spacers but after I removed each spacer, I applied pressure to that area with my formica laminate roller. I made sure to apply even and firm pressure to the formica-rolling the roller back and forth as to remove any air bubbles that may have become trapped between the two materials. I kept removing spacers as I went until the two surfaces were one.

I allowed the two materials to dry a little more before trimming it with the trim router because the contact cement would gum up in my bit.



My next post in this series will describe the installation of the t-tracks and router table insert.
Note to Deb…I let the surfaces dry before placing stickers just to keep them from sticking.
 
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