The flattening of the router table top took slightly less time than it did for China to put up a wall to keep out the neighbors’ goats. I estimate that I spent around seven or eight hours flattening my laminated table top. I would imagine that, if I had run the boards through a planer, and then did some sanding; it would have taken less than 30 minutes. That is ok though, as I enjoyed myself and it is done now.
I really like the breadboard look. My friend Ryan made a really cool coffee table with a breadboard top and welded iron rods together, to create the legs. It is a brilliant use of materials which, when combined, created a stunning look. One day I may try my hand at welding and make my own version of his coffee table.
The next step in my router table is to figure out a good plan for routing out the edges, so that the base plate will fit in nicely. I have just cut the middle section in half. I decided to take a break after the cut and the stress testing. Stress testing you say? Why yes I did. I decided that to be thorough, I should let one of the halves drop to the floor while I focused on the circular saw. I like to be very careful with my power tools. The stress test indicated that one of the glue joints should probably be redone.
Ok, that isn’t actually how it went down. But as it has been suggested, one of the keys to mastering woodworking is to be creative in how one looks upon unforeseen issues. I cut the pieces in half, one half was clamped to my workbench, the other half was in my right hand and I reached down to drop it, so I could bring my right hand up to my saw. When I did this, the one piece became two. So I called it a stress test and felt much better. Those two pieces have been glued back together and the glue is setting up at this very moment. There haven’t been too many mistakes thus far, so I didn’t feel to terrible, and I would rather have it happen now, than later on.
Right now, while I wait for the glue to dry, I am going to open up my Rousseau router base plate. There are lots of parts, which seem to be crying out to be lost. So I have a small bucket next to me, and I will carefully count them and toss them in the bucket. That way, I will know which ones I have lost, when I drop the bucket and the tiny parts shoot out in all directions. Now that I look at the packaging, it appears designed to explode the tiny bits everywhere, upon opening. It is obvious that I should open this in a space that will make it easier to track down the stuff, but alas, I am not going to follow gut on this one, and open it while I sit at my computer chair. Here it goes.
(1) Silver thingy that seems to be used by sticking it into the router plate for free hand routing of curved surfaces.
(6) Little brass things that one puts into wood, so that one can then screw tiny screws into them. I am guessing they have a name. Hopefully someone will be able to tell me what they are actually called.
(6) Plastic screws that fit into the brass things. I matched each one up with one of the brass things, so that I will lose them in pairs. That thought comforts me.
(1) Router base plate and instructions. I am very pleased to see the directions. I feared they would assume I knew what I was doing.
(4) Black plastic things with oval openings. Perhaps the directions will call these parts by their names? That would be lovely.
(4) Steel screws. Ok I don’t really know what they are made of, but it is definitely metal and not plastic.
(4) Nuts with little spiky things on them. It is painfully apparent that my woodworking vocabulary is woefully inadequate. I paired the screws and nuts too.
Ok, now I am going to read the instructions.
Ok, page one has the word WARNING with exclamation points in triangles, all over it. I haven’t read the warnings yet, but I am sure their inclusion, is a good indication, that it is likely thousands of people have been maimed or killed during the installation. Ok, the warnings were for general router use. Always wear eye protection, which I do, and don’t wear loose clothing, which I don’t. The word death did appear twice though.
The black plastic things are Corner Snuggers, which is a trademarked term, so don’t go throwing it around all willie nillie.
The directions have instilled a sense of dread. My confidence is hovering around 12 %. Of course, I was equally terrified when I started to flatten the table top, and that turned out ok. I think I will stare at my shinny Rousseau plate for a bit, and perhaps become one with it. I am sure that is what a sharpening monk would do.
-- Brian Meeks, http://extremelyaverage.com