Today I received a call from Dale at ACME Tools in Cedar Rapids.
A couple of weeks ago I asked if they had any router plates. Dale said that they were out but there were some that were supposed to be arriving any day. He checked the computer, and the order was a couple of days past due. I find the people at ACME tools to be helpful and they are very patient with my lack of knowledge. The next two times I walked in, Dale saw me and said that the Rosseau plate wasn’t in yet. I didn’t even have to ask, he just remembered.
Yesterday my Rousseau router plate arrived from Amazon. I had finally decided on Monday that I couldn’t wait any longer. I wanted to give ACME the sale, but I was ready to get going on my table. So when Dale called today, I had to tell him that I had just received one. Not only was he nice about it, he proceeded to give me all sorts of tips about how to install it. After a few minutes, when it became apparent that I wasn’t following everything, he said, “I won’t be here tomorrow, but tell you what; I will draw a diagram and put it under my register.” About 15 minutes later he called back and told me that he was ok at drawing but his written explanation wasn’t quite so clear, so he set up a little display behind the counter to show me how.
I thanked him profusely and hung up the phone. I love ACME tools and this is just one of the examples of how great they are to their customers. And today I wasn’t even a customer; I had bought it from Amazon! If you have an ACME tools nearby or perhaps one day you will pass one, please take a moment and drop in, I am sure that they will be as friendly as the Cedar Rapids ACME Tools.
My Rousseau Model 3509 router plate is quite cool. I am eager to get to the point where I get to install it. Today was not the day however. Today I needed to route dados for the 3/8th inch threaded rod. As part of my extensive collection of three router bits, there is a Freud 75-106 3/8th Up Spiral Bit, which has yet to taste wood. I love my Freud circular saw blade and was excited to see how this bit handled the task at hand. When I cut the dados in my workbench, the Amana bit cut wonderfully, but being a down spiral, I could tell it wasn’t the right bit for the job. It pleases me to report that the Freud bit is magical in its cutting prowess. The first pass was approximately 1/8th an inch, as a test. The Freud cut like a hot samurai sword through a pile of Jell-O with tiny bits of fruit in it. The up spiral created lovely shavings and pulled them out of the way.
To cut the dados on the edges of the eleven inch 2×4s I rigged up a setup using the stretchers and part of the dado jig. The first step was to take one of the guides off the jig and clamp it to the stretchers. The first two boards went fine. The third didn’t go so well. I wasn’t quite careful enough with the clamping and the board got pulled away from the guide. I have included a picture to show what happened. Another cut was made, and though it doesn’t look pretty, it will work just fine.
The longer stretchers require the dado be on the face of the board, so I carefully marked each stretcher. The stretchers were clamped to the twins, Teri and Tracy, who are my saw horses, if you are new to the blog. This setup worked really well and the cuts went without incident. So now the next step is to cut and sand the 4×4s. I don’t know how the router table will look or work when I am done, but I can say the stretchers are much better than the ones I did for the workbench. So I am happy. Ok, I am off to watch the rest of the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics.
-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com