Well, the rain today halted construction of my storage shed so I had time in the shop to make the top for the router table.
It couldn’t be much simpler: two thicknesses of 1/2” plywood. They were cut larger than the cabinet base so that I have room to clamp around the edge. I rough cut a rectangular hole in one piece. Then I pinned 4 pieces of scrap to the top around the hole to make a pattern, then used a handheld router with a guide bushing finish cut the rectangle. After gluing and pinning the two plywood sheets together it was simple to rough cut the rectangle in the bottom piece about 3/8” in from the upper piece. Then it was finished using a larger guide bushing which left about a 1/4’ lip so that I can make replaceable 4×5” throat plates. The corners were just rounded off on my shop built disc sander.
I mounted 4 t-nuts in the rear of the top to allow the fence to be mounted in two locations.
The top was then mounted on hinges at the back to allow access to the router when ever that’s necessary.
Surprisingly, a 6” long piece of straight drill rod mounted in the router proved that it was properly aligned with the top. What a pleasant surprise considering how cobbled together this thing is.
The Harbor Freight router seems to be fine – it certainly worked satisfactorily today. I’m not thrilled with the 1/4” and 3/8” adapters that come with it instead of collets, but most of the bits I use are 1/2” anyway.
All that’e left is to make a couple of stop blocks and feather boards. The t-slot in the fence is too high to use my old ones.
I made some test slots in plywood this afternoon and am very pleased with the results of this whole project. The fence works great. The router lift is fantastic (thanks John Heisz). And the top is more than adequate for me. Changing the bit from the top of the table is awesome!
Here are some pics:
Not bad considering it was all made from scraps.
Now to decide on my next project.
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