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3 September 2016

Have Router Table will Bevel

I'm terrified of routers... I mean really terrified!

My last one died on me and I couldn't have been happier to throw it away. It might surprise you to learn then, that I have bought another. I've had it for a month or so and it's never been out of the box. In fact, I really never had any intention of ever taking it out of its box.

That is until I got this crazy idea to make some picture frames. Perhaps, if I made a router table, things would be a lot easier? Perhaps I could tame the router? First things first... I needed to make a router table...

Before I go any further I want to show you this video of +Daniel Hulbert at the Utah Ukulele Festival. If you've ever watched any of Daniel's videos then you'll recognise the wonderful little tune he's playing; it forms a soundtrack to a number of his videos. What you have here though is a version that incorporates some words that I wrote. Yes... I did a rendition of Daniel's song (you can read all about that project and hear my version on this blog post) and now Daniel has done a rendition of my rendition. Wow!

Personally, I am in awe... What a beautiful version. Well done! 

Okay... all great router tables begin with a plan. Here's is what I scribbled down this morning over a cup of tea.

The general idea is to make a table-top router table; i.e. one that can sit on top of my workbench when I need it.

The only things I was paying special attention to at this stage was that I wanted the top to be nice and flat and the legs to be nice and firm. I pretty much made what I drew. Let me explain...

The wood I'm using is just what I happened to have laying around. See here that I made some super-chunky legs. The leg on the right is stood up as it will be fitted to the table.

I created a flat base under each leg to allow me to easily clamp the table to my workbench. Actually, the router table is so heavy that I don't think that I'll ever need to clamp it.

The odd block you can see screwed to the upright and the base was the result of paranoia; I didn't want the table to fold sideways. I figured a bit of extra reinforcement was required. It certainly made the joint solid, but actually the biggest benefit of these two blocks is that they act as wonderful handles for lifting the table and turning it over.  An accidental design feature that is actually really handy! :-) 

You can maybe see a little easier here what I mean by the handles.

I've screwed a 6mm MDF top over the legs, reinforcing the front and back with some broken picture frame.

Even at this stage I was still worried about the whole thing collapsing sideways, but this is plenty strong enough. 

Here you can see that I've fitted the router so that it pokes through the router table top. I had to drill a hole for the bit using a 3.5cm forstner bit and 4 holes to hold the router itself.

I took a bit of a gamble with the height of the table, trying to get it as low as possible. I was pretty close... the router just fits inside with perhaps a couple of cm to play with.

One thing that I was disappointed with was that I really wanted to fit the router vacuum dust collector part, but hooking the router up this way just made that impossible. Unfortunately it isn't possible to plunge the router far enough with the dust collector attached. Damn.

Here's a quick peek from the top. See how I had to counter-sink the screws about a mile to keep the top flat. I hope this doesn't come back to bite me at some point in the future. 

Finally, all I had left to do was to make a fence. I took a straight edge and started to scratch my head for a way to take out a small semi-circle for the router bit to fit inside.

After a while I figured that I'd use the router to cut it! Ha ha... using the router table to make the router table! I like it!

I even used the router bush as a guide! 

I tell you, cutting this little indent was a cinch. I don't know if this is because I want it to be so, but the router seemed a lot more stable and less manic. I felt like I was in control. It really does help, not having to hold such a heavy piece of equipment so I can just focus on the blade and keeping all of my fingers.

This is how I left it. The fence is held in place by my home-made c-clamps just for show.

I haven't tried to use it yet. I wonder if it will work? Of course it will! :-) 

Before I sign off I want to show you a little ukulele teaching book that +Melvyn Randall was kind enough to send me. I love it! If you remember back, this was the booklet that Mel found in his Skylark Uke box. Mel owns the oldest Skylark ukulele listed in my Skylark Shrine... or at least, that's what I'm telling everyone. Thank for sending me this Mel... it is very much appreciated! I may tell you more about this book some time in the future.

You thought I'd get all the way to the end of a post without mentioning Lino-cutting didn't you?

NO WAY! Ha ha 

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