Bobino's Router Table

A work currently in progress. Here are some notes and photos.
Click any of the images to load a larger copy.

Bobino's Router Table Bobino's Router Table

 

  • It's modeled after the JoinTech cabinet but with several improvements. It's about 4" taller because of an added drawer, taller router compartment and double thick table top. There a few other other differences worth noting.
  • The router insert plate is by WoodHaven. I'm also using their "Stay-thru Levelers" to hold the insert plate.
  • The fence is Incra Jig Ultra 16 is clamped to the top. Eventually it will be attached with carriage bolts and plastic knobs to allow it move right and left. It will be easy to remove too.
  • The top is two 3/4" MDF 24"x48" trimmed with 3/4" oak, covered on top with plastic laminate and on the bottom with brown "backer" material.

See this link for more info:  Making a Router Table Surface

 

Bobino's Router Table, drawers, bit view Bobino's Router Table, drawers, bit view Bobino's Router Table, drawers, bit view
 


  • On the right half of the cabinet, the top drawer is a writing surface trimmed to hold a 1/8" plexiglass sheet. The second and third drawers are 1" deep for tools, etc. The next two are 3" deep router bit drawers. All of these drawers have dovetail corners maded with the Incra Jig. Yet to be made is the single 8" deep drawer.

    The bit holders are all drilled for 1/2" shank bits. I use oak dowel inserts drilled to hold 1/4" shank bits. There's a dovetail slot in the front of each holder for identifying tags.

     


    Which Bits?

    As you can tell in the photograph, I have bought several brands of router bits. They are color coded from the manufacturers, listed in order of greatest quantity: Oldham Viper, Freud, unpainted Eagle America, Jesada, Lee-Valley, and CMT.

     


    I've had one bad bit experience.


    Bobino's Router Table, router compartment
  • On the left is the router compartment. Under construction is a single 4" deep drawer and a wide 5" deep drawer across the entire bottom.

    In this photo you can see the electrical box with the pig tail hanging out to power the router. I chose the push-in style plastic box because non-metal boxes don't have to be grounded. Also, since I'll be sticking my hands and arms into the compartment for router adjustments, this type has soft corners and edges.

     


    Bobino's Router Table, lifted table, front view Bobino's Router Table, lifted table, left view Bobino's Router Table, lifted table, left view
  • The table lifts for access to the router. This is an idea from Bill Hylton's book Router Magic.

     


    Bobino's Router Table, open router compartment, back view Bobino's Router Table, open router compartment, front view
  • The router compartment has a false back with a 1 1/2" venturi at the bottom to sweep the floor of this compartment clean. There's a ~1/2" slot under the width of the door causing air to move across the bottom of this compartment. Air also enters this compartment by way of a ~1/4" slot above the door and around the router bit. This compartment is otherwise sealed with stick-on foam insulation.

    Collecting Dust Around the Table

    This dust collection system was created following suggestions from the book Router Magic by Bill Hylton. It does an amazing job of collecting almost all chips and dust that fall into the compartment from that hole around the router bit. I tested chip collection both with and without the venturi and, without doubt, it works better with it. The compartment is kept nearly spotless and the door is strongly held shut.

    When cutting dados or dovetail grooves and depending on my feed rate and the depth of cut, there are very few chips left on top. Shallow cuts cause very little air flow through the dado and thus leave the chips in the dado or throw them horizontally away from the bit, parallel with the fence.

    Cutting rabbets with the standard Incra fence leaves a lot of chips on top, mostly to the right of the fence (the cut is taking place on the left). Placing a scrap board (~ 3/4x1x6") on the right side of the fence keeps most of the chips near the opening and they are cleared away by the air flow into the hole. A dust collecting fence should help with this.

     

  • There is a switch on the left side to control the router power and the upper 110V receptacle. The lower one is always hot. The power comes through an 12-3 extension cord. I cut it to feed through a very tight opening in the back and then to the switch/receptacle box inside the router compartment. The female end of the extension cord comes out of the box and is the pigtail where the router is plugged.

    Bobino's Router Table, rear view
  • It's sitting on a Delta Mobile Base with oak stretchers.
  • The entire box, drawers and edge trim will be finished with shallac.

    Bobino's Router Table, rear view
  • There's a 4" dust collector port on the back. Eventually a 2 1/2" DC port will be added to the back, above the existing port, to be used with a dust collecting fence.


What I Have Done Different from The Plan

  • I made the table taller by two modifications from the plan.
    1. I added a shallow drawer on the right and made the router compartment deeper. I should have added another router bit drawer instead.
    2. The top is two 3/4" layers of MDF. The plan suggests using a pre-made table. Making my own is pretty simple. I used my old WoodHaven table and insert for a template.
  • I put mine on a Delta Mobile Base instead of casters. This mobile base is very solid when locked.
  • I added the venturi to the back of the router compartment.
  • My table lifts to allow access to the router. This was also very useful when fitting the drawers.
  • I painted the cabinet carcass before adding trim. The plan and video suggest painting when it is completely assembled. Before painting, I sealed the entire carcass, inside and out, with shellac.
  • I put oak trim around all the corners and edges for aesthetics.
  • My shallow drawers are all dovetailed. The plan calls for what I think are overly complicated assemblies requiring "perfectly square" clamps (i.e. very expensive Bessey K-bodies). Since I don't own any of these clamps, I think dovetailed drawers are the way to go. It was tricky to cut the rabbets for the runners on the two shallow drawer, but not hard with the Incra Fence. I had to move two runners for the deeper bit drawers.

 


What I Would Do Different if I Built Another

  • I wish I had followed instructions, both written in the plan and on the video, to cut the holes for dust collection and the electrical box before carcass construction...
  • I would closely follow the carcass assembly steps shown on the video. The instructor on the video was able to assemble it with much greater ease than I.
  • I would carefully cut the dados for the drawer runners to match the runner inserts (make them first) and then glue them in place so that are exactly parallel with each other. They should be ~1" from the rear panels and front edge (notice the notches in my drawer fronts in the photos above because the runners are too close to the front).
  • I would hinge the router compartment door to open downward so that it is completely out of the way when working in that compartment. I still might do this.
  • I would make the table deeper, probably 30"x48" for more of a clamping edge on the front and rear. It is very tight near the table top hinges.
  • I would make the cabinet wider by increasing the width of the right side drawers.
  • I would power the table with 220V and have a switched 220V receptacle for my dust collector. I would split this 220V to power the router and the two 110 sockets. I would still have one socket hot and one switched. Uh, maybe not...

 



My Bad Bit Experience

I bought a set of bits for my Incra fence from Woodpeckers, the retailer for the Incra Jig and I am disappointed. They are Oldham Viper bits and all of them have surface rust on the shank and, after some use, the yellow paint has begun to peal off.

One of the dovetail bits broke when cutting a dovetail dado (although I hesitate to blame the bit since I had not cut a groove with a straight bit before using the dovetail bit).

The Oldham Viper bits purchased from a local Home Base store are clean and have performed flawlessly. Everything else I have bought from Woodpeckers has been top quality.

 


 


 

My woodworking web page: http://www.bobino.me/bobinos-woodworking-webpage

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