New Router Table
Comments 11

My New Router Table is Finished

The end is in sight. With the completion of the router table top and the fence, I am down to the final items before I can call this project finished. My punch list contains these items…

  • Complete the back
  • Mount the router
  • Install the power switch
  • Enclose the router area

Individually, these are minor steps in the project, but collectively, this is a lot to do. Lets get started.

Complete the Back
This step involves adding a clamp which will latch to the right wing of my table saw. I also need to plug the screw holes and paint the back. The illustration below shows the clamp setup…

The design for the router back clamp.

The design for the router back clamp.

The clamp will have a spacer strip which is slightly thinner than the edge on the right wing of the table saw. The clamp board will be tightened against the inner edge of the right wing with some wing nuts as shown (click the images to enlarge)…

With the top being adjustable (see this blog post for more on the top) I need something to reduce airflow at the gap caused by the leveling process. The spacer strip fills this gap.

I plugged the screw holes which attach the back to the case, planed them flush with my block plane and added some paint. Item #1 on my punch list completed.

Mount the Router
There are times when a woodworker makes things more difficult than need be. I made mounting the router to the router plate too difficult. My Bosch router comes with two bases; one for non-router table use and one which is intended for mounting in a router table. The base for the router table is attached to the router table plate with three screws. These screw locations are very difficult to locate. I actually ordered a kit to help with this which I did not use. I simply decided to use the four screw locations set for the non-router table base.

In the photos above, I drill the four screw locations and one hole for the router lift mechanism. With the plate in the router table, mounting the router is complete.

Install the Power Switch
This is an item on my punch list which I put a ton of thought into. I repeatedly searched the internet for router table power switches. Throughout this build, I remained confident I would find the perfect on/off switch. That didn’t happen. After looking at all the options, I zeroed in on two: buying the Kreg power switch from my local Woodcraft for about $35.00, or create my own by visiting the electrical department at the Home Depot. Two things played heavily in my final decision: a surprise gift certificate from Woodcraft (about $10) and the unexpected cost of making my own switch.

The first item I sourced at the Home Depot was an appliance replacement power cord. I would need two such cords for my shop made power switch and at $10 each, I was already wondering if making my own switch was an economical solution. After considering my options, I went to Woodcraft and bought the ready-to-go Kreg switch using the gift certificate.

As I reported in my last blog post, the Kreg power switch is very capable, but not something that is easily mounted to my router table. To make the Kreg switch work, I would have to create a mounting bracket…

I’ll be the first to admit that this switch mount is highly irregular, but it works. The placement on the right side, below the table saw fence rail puts the switch in a good position, easy to find and activate. I can now mark this off the punch list.

Enclose the Router Area
I want to close off the router area of the cabinet so the dust collection can be as effective as possible. The first step in this process was to fabricate the plastic sheet as shown in the original illustration. I call this stuff plexiglass, but the material was not labelled as such.

I Googled “how to cut plexiglass” and picked up some tips and expectations for cutting the plastic. I had already purchased the fine tooth saw blade intended for melamine and plastic, so using that blade made everything turn out well. When drilling the holes for controlled air flow, the heat generated from cutting melted the plastic to a more noticeable degree, but it wasn’t anything difficult to deal with.

The plexiglass prior to fabrication and the opening it will enclose.

The plexiglass prior to fabrication and the opening it will enclose.

I added some strapping to the opening, attached the plexiglass with velcro and added some paint to complete this task. Note the dedicated power cord (with the yellow outlet) which feeds through the side and into the Kreg power switch. I don’t want any awkward reaching into the router area while connecting the router to power.

The router table completed 3/4 view.

The router table completed 3/4 view.

The completed router table minus dust collection.

The completed router table minus dust collection.

All of the accomplishments in the post have been a lot of work, but all of it fun with very few complications.

I’ll have one more post before I wrap this project up – one final item on my punch list are the connections to my dust collector, which is a core reason for upgrading to a new router table (that post is now up on my blog – see it here). I have a few adjustments to make to the fence and then it will be time to move on to my next project.

NEW WOODWORKING PLAN: How to make a large painted bookcase – this plan covers the construction of a bookcase I built for a co-worker and was designed to be simple to build, yet stylish. See the free plan by clicking here.

Previous posts in this series
New Router Table: Getting Started
New Router Table: Making Progress and Making Mistakes
New Router Table: Drawer Construction
New Router Table: Adding the Base
New Router Table: To Lift or Not to Lift – That is the Question
New Router Table: Creating the Top
New Router Table: Building the Fence

Advertisements

11 Comments

  1. Jason says

    Looks great Jeff. So much work and detail. Well done as always. You always keep me on my toes. 🙂

  2. Jeff, table looks really nice. I see you went with the Kreg lift. I’ll be curious to your hear your review of it. Keep up the good work.
    Dave

    • There is no router lift, but I can understand your thinking from the photo. I bought a Kreg router plate and added a Bosch router which has some lift capabilities. Regardless, I’ll be glad to include my thoughts after some good use. 🙂

  3. Superb, Jeff!

    I’m thinking about making a new top for my table as it’s only standard MDF and it’s swelling up all over the place (even with lipped edges). I look forward to seeing how you get on with the melamine.

    • I know that moisture is a potential problem and even though I could replace the top if that happens, it would take some work. We will see. 😮

  4. Great job! I am in the process of building this lift myself and am about 95 percent finished. I’m just wondering if you decided to use the same method of raising and lowering the router that Steve Ramsey used by grinding away the top of the threaded rid to fit a socket onto it.

  5. This is one project I have been needing to do for awhile. I built a real simple one with a homemade plexiglass insert that sags. Not really a good box for doing some nice routing. I guess thats why it has collected a wonderful dust layer now!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s