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Customize Your Router for Centered Mortises
Hinge Mortises on the Tablesaw
Drawbore Your Mortise-and-Tenon Joinery
Biscuit Joiner Tips and Tricks
Capture More Dust from Your Router Table
The Coolest Cutting Board Ever?
Mounting Knife Hinges in Curved Doors
How to Sharpen Hollow Chisel Mortising Bits
Smoothing Plane Tips and Techniques
Simple Tape Trick for Tight Fitting Through-Mortises
The Essential Tool Chest
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Workbench Tool Storage Solutions
Big Router Table on a Budgetcomments (7) November 12th, 2012 in blogs
For years I'd been using a benchtop router table at home. It worked, but it was always a hassle to pull out and then store. Plus it was small, so large workpieces were a challenge.
No more. I finally built a bigger one. But a bigger router table didn't mean bulky or expensive. I saved money by making it out of leftover construction lumber and a few castoff parts from friends, and put money where it counted most: a router lift.
The base and undercarriage for the tabletop were made from a couple 2x4s left over from a home project, all connected with screws and glue. The front and back aprons are pine scraps, and the shelf is a 1/2 in. thick scrap of CDX plywood, also left over from a home project.
I picked up the locking casters from a colleague who no longer needed them, and the dust shroud was salvaged from an old Freud fence, also from a colleague.
The top and fence were made from 3/4 in. thick MDF, and yes, it too was left over. The top is 35 in. wide and 23 in. deep, plenty big for most of the stuff I'll be building. I offset the router lift insert a bit toward the infeed side and toward the back, thinking it would be good to have a little extra room to handle large workpieces. I haven't used the table in real life yet, so I'll have to let you know whether the idea was successful or whether I just outsmarted myself.
The fence is 4 3/8 in. tall and rides in a couple T-tracks. I designed the fence so there's a zero-clearance insert over the bit opening. The insert dovetails into the opening from up top. The design, which I picked up from John White's "Ultimate Router Table" (FWW #153), allows me to replace the insert easily when it gets worn out. But that's not the only benefit. I can install fresh faces to use with various profiling bits, which helps reduce tearout and prevents the work from diving into a too large opening.
I used the dust port from the Freud fence, and I beveled the edges of the MDF inside the opening to create a ramp that helps direct dust up to the port.
I coated the top and fence with shellac and waxed both surfaces to give a smooth ride for the work.
Overall, I'm very happy with the results, and I can't wait to put it to work. But first I have to get some push blocks...
posted in: blogs, workshop, router table
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