Usual caveats – you’re unlikely to learn anything here.
Additional caveat – this is likely to turn into some rambly sort of thing – I’ve found that editorialising my thoughts helps me focus – my computer has “thinks” documents dating back to my very first software programme – windoWatch it was called, which I wrote on Christmas Day 1989. Of course a year later we got sued over the name by Microsoft – and settled out of court :-)
Anyone can feel free to chip in with any thoughts at any time.
I do almost everything on my router table.
Sometimes I kick myself for waiting so long to take the plunge – somewhere long the line I’d got it into my head that they were hard things to make. I saw many router table builds pass by on LJ. I read the discussions about router lifts. I digested the discussions about fences. I even read a few things about dust extraction. All this stuff made me think they had to be hi-tech, ultra-accurate beasties that a newbee amateur such as myself couldn’t make.
Ah – foolish me.
And then one day, about a year ago, I grabbed a bit of 12mm plywood and drilled a fat hole in it, followed by 3 more holes to attach the router, followed by one more hole in the table and one in a bit of pine. It took about an hour.
And that was, and still is, the KnickKnack Router Table version 1.0.
And jolly fine it’s been too.
I’ve since replaced the fence with a bit of pine that’s actually straight.
I’ve grown the hole a couple of times.
But that’s all.
It sits on a vintage B&D WorkMate that my wife got me for my birthday, oooo, a long long time ago, possibly even before the invention of electricity…
All that lift discussion. All those $$$s – my lift is a piece of pine – I adjust the dial stick, put my chin on the table (since it’s only attached at one side), and lever it up…
It’s a hand held router, so you can see the big plastic peg I use to keep the power always “on”, so I need a switch…
I’d much rather have a foot switch, but I can’t find one here rated over 120W.
The fence is just the bit of pine, attached so it can rotate at one end, and clamped at the other…
A friend got me the 2 bench-woofers for Christmas from the UK a year or so back. The bit of scrap ash you see on the left stops all the dust and shavings going onto the bench behind – they collect and go down the hole onto the floor, which is useful seeing as how the floor gets wet when it rains. If there’s a lot, which there often is, I scoop it up and put it into a big dog food bag, once the dog food has been eaten, of course. I’m on my 5th bag now – it’s amazing how much wood expands when you make it into shavings.
I hear you ask.
If all is so well and dandy with version 1.0, why do you need a version 2?
And, in fact, I may not build a new one at all – only if what I somehow manage to come up with is going to be significantly better than what I’ve got. If not, there’s obviously no point.
My woodworking has improved significantly over the last year.
Well, i think so.
In those early days I was much more interested in the design of my pieces, and the actual making of them was secondary. Now I’m looking at my work and trying to make them a good build, as well as a good design. I’m looking for more accuracy. More solidity (although 1.0 is pretty solid in use). In an ideal world I’d like to “dial in” a one mm movement to the fence.
There are things I’m not going to do.
I’ve seen some lovely tables here – with drawers, and cupboards, and tilts, and secret compartments, and coffee-making built in. Not my style. Function of the routing process is all I’m interested in – I really really don’t care what it looks like.
Even if i could, I’m not going to buy an insert. Perhaps version 3, but not for version 2.
Even if I could, I’m not going to buy a fence. Again, perhaps in version 3.
Probably foolish decisions, but there you have it – until I change my mind, those are the decisions.
And, even as I’m typing, I’m wondering if I’m not shooting myself in the foot about that. I’ve studied (in pictures only, can’t get them here) those Incra fences – they look the business for small, solid movements.
Ummm, maybe I ought to rethink that…............
-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence."