I’d like to introduce the router/table combination that I use for all my projects.
Its about 600 mm square x 1000 mm high. It also doubles up as an extension for my workbench (left in the picture). The top is MDF (oiled). It has front and rear slots for sliding fences and a mitre fence. Underneath the the top is this
An ancient Hitachi M12, 1/2” router that I was given, many moons ago, propped up on a Leyland Mini car jack (height adjuster). My bit collection, adjustment spanners and various fence and hold downs.
The top has a 240 mm x 6 mm clear acrylic insert onto which the router is mounted.
I chose this material as it allowed me to fix a scale under it which I use for rough setting of fences. There are mounting holes for two other routers that have been used in this table. I don’t tend to bother with height adjustment screws for the insert, preferring to shim the insert up, where necessary to get it flush with the top. Like me it is showing signs of wear and tear, particularly around the mounting holes (I’m a devil for over-tightening things) and is due to be replaced soon, with similar. I will also be addressing the issue of the rather large clearance hole (for the router bit) by use of inserts with various size holes in them. Ideally this hole should be kept to as small as possible (whilst allowing the bit to pass through) for safety.
This is the main fence
Which was based on one by Patrick Spielman in one of his excellent routing books (sadly since lost). It has grown organically over the years and currently sports a polyurethane front, nice and slippery. Like the table its covered in holes containing 8 mm threaded bushes for attachments
and hold downs.
The whole set-up can’t have cost me more that about £70 over the years (router bits excluded). I hope it serves to show that you don’t need expensive kit to make things with. For designs for things like these you could do worse than consult the books and blogs that are out there. My suggestions would include (but are by no means limited to)
The New Router Handbook and
Router jigs and Techniques both by Patrick Spielman
Jig Making for the Router by Roy Sutton
and there are many, many more out there.
If you’re new to woodworking and don’t have much money, don’t be put off. You have other things like time and skill (which you will acquire, believe me) which will help substitute for this.
The next part of this blog will be about accuracy and how it can be achieved for next to nothing.
Be seeing you
-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com