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My New Router Table #1: First Go at Sketchup, what a cool program!

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Blog entry by Blake posted 2458 days ago 10512 reads 28 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My New Router Table series Part 2: ...A Pile of Potential »

I have always liked CAD programs but have used them very little. I was an engineering major for a short time in college and took a few technical drawing classes, which I loved. I always thought it would be neat to own some sort of CAD program but never bought one. I think it is great that Google now offers one for free! I had never heard of Sketchup before I found LumberJocks.

Anyway, I am building a new router table for my Incra fence+positioner, so I thought I would give it a go. The program was amazingly easy to use and navigate. I am still learning some of the advanced features but I am already getting pretty fast at building models.

I am glad I was able to use Sketchup for this project. I built and rebuilt the virtual model several times to find out what worked and didn’t work before I came up with a final design. Normally my design would have just been sketched on a notepad. If I had done that I would have had some serious problems. Anyway, when I worked all the bugs out, the final design turned out to be almost identical to the one that “mski” posted on my Incra blog, as well as the link he referred to. (Thanks, mski.)

I guess I learned my lesson of trying to re-invent the wheel.

So here is my first Sketchup Drawing of the Router Table I plan to build:

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com



13 comments so far

View cckeele's profile

cckeele

76 posts in 2474 days


#1 posted 2458 days ago

First time i’ve seen that set up. Pretty cool. It sure doesnt seem like enough table surface going that direction in the drawing. Most of the material I run on my router table is atleast 8ft in length. Are you thinking of running an extra dado track so you can run a traditional fence horizontally for long stock or will this setup be suffient? The one pictured in the Incra Blog looks perfect.. I would follow suit for sure..Sure is a sweet fence

-- All donations should be made out to me and in the form of wood or tools ~Chris

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2487 days


#2 posted 2458 days ago

Great work please keep us up to date.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8717 posts in 2701 days


#3 posted 2458 days ago

Nice work in the Sketchup. I am really jealous of your skill. I think you will have a nice router table when finished.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2564 days


#4 posted 2457 days ago

Good Job

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12851 posts in 2584 days


#5 posted 2457 days ago

sketchup really is a nice tool. can’t beat the price either. 15 years ago, software of that caliper would have been 20 grand.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Brad_Nailor's profile

Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2559 days


#6 posted 2457 days ago

Nice job for a new user! That looks like a good design. Whos the dude standing there? lol I always delete that guy before I start a new drawing ;@)

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

View Karson's profile

Karson

34858 posts in 3002 days


#7 posted 2457 days ago

Blake good job. You started yet?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14363 posts in 2667 days


#8 posted 2457 days ago

Blake, I’m impressed with your work on SketchUp. I’ve been trying to figure it out for a few weeks and am not much closer than when I started.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View Don's profile

Don

2599 posts in 2778 days


#9 posted 2457 days ago

Well done, Blake, this is one skill I’m lagging behind on – not the only one, though. LOL

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://dpb-photography.me/

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2691 days


#10 posted 2453 days ago

Now that I am looking at the design and where you placed the t-track….Question: are you planning on standing on the end of the table when working? You might get greater stability on your work pieces by using the long side of the table.

Although now that I think of it , the table is large enough for most pieces since you will be holding the work piece on the way out of the bit.

Just rambling.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Blake's profile

Blake

3436 posts in 2476 days


#11 posted 2453 days ago

Gizmodyne,

I really don’t mean to sound preachy about Incra, but it really has been the most significant addition to my shop and woodworking experience in general. Incra has re-invented the router table. It seems that you are not familiar with their products, and you might want to check out there site... especially the video demos of their products (mostly the router table fences and positioners).

Check out my blog on Incra as well. The Incra system is very pricey and for years I stuck my nose up at it until I discovered what the fuss was really all about.

To answer your question, with an Incra style router table you generally stand in front of it (on the long side, where the drawers and cabinets are) and use it more like you would use a table saw. The fence goes from front to back instead of side to side and so does the miter track.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1763 posts in 2691 days


#12 posted 2452 days ago

Blake,

Thanks. I checked it out. Very interesting. Makes sense now. You are providing support for the fixture.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View MJCD's profile

MJCD

452 posts in 973 days


#13 posted 870 days ago

Blake:

I concur with your support for the Incra system – I had the TS (Table Saw) with Router Table system for 10 years – it is precise, and more user-friendly now than when I bought it – now moving to a stand alone LS17 solution. The router table shown here is excellent, and will most likely form the basis for the LS17 application.

Mike

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

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