Had some shop time today with 42 degrees outside, it was quite a lovely day. my compressor came back to life also – I guess when it goes below 40 the air is too thin for the compressor to be able to raise the pressure in the tank.
I also got the radiant heater from Lee Valley. Last time around, by the time I decided to order it- they were out of stock, and just received new stock this week. it works well, not as well as I was hoping for, but decent. To turn it on/off you have to yank on a fabric string – I would have preferred a more standard switch. we’ll see how it’ll be in the long run.
So,Today I had planned to finish up the drawers for the cabinet, but what I really wanted to start with was to setup the router in the table properly – shim the plate, drill the plate for the height crank handle, and get the table to be operational.
I noticed that the opening for the plate I had made was a tad bit too tight. I didn’t want to have to push the plate in – just to drop it in easily. I ended up opening it up a tad bit with a chisel. If I ever install another plate, I’ll make sure it goes into the template easily. too tight in this case wasn’t the best idea.
the second thing I noticed was that the Incra plate has a high spot in the middle lengthwise. If I put a straight edge on it, it’ll rock left to right. this was a little disheartening, but I’ll contact Incra and see if there’s anything that can be done about it as this can make some operations quite unbearable.
At that point I cut the (remaining) drawers parts on the TS. and decided to route the slot for the bottom using the router in the table. the bit that I have for undersize 1/4” plywood is 1/4” shaft which means that for the Triton router I have to use a collet reducer (from 1/2” to 1/4”). I don’t know if it’s my bit, my collet, my reducer, or just my inexperience with this type of work – but I had a really hard time keeping the bit in the router. it kept on sliding up and out – it actually caused the bit to poke thorough the 1/2” plywood drawer side – completely through it! when all it was supposed to do was route a groove 1/4” deep. at last I tried to overtighten it, and I believe it did the trick as the bit did no longer slide out – however when I took it out of the router, I had a hard time taking the bit out of the reducer – as if the reducer got crimped. does anyone with experience with reducers had this happening before? is this normal?
luckily – this is shop furniture, so I did not care much about the messed up drawer side.
after this. things started to get better. the router is very nice to work with in the table. the height crank handle is GREAT! bit change above table is AWESOME! and the Incra MagnaLock rings are very convenient. the only thing with them is that the magnet picks up every metal to it – such as the router wrench, and other metal debris which can interfere with the ring sitting flush. not a biggy, just different I guess.
the drawers construction went without a hitch. and I was able to fit them all in on the first try. most of them already have dedicated purposes, while the rest will get their share later:
the slides are a mismatch from slides I used in the past that no longer are in use. 2 are under mount, 2 are side mount, and 1 is full extension which I will use for the bits drawer as that one requires the deepest reach.
Router Bit Arrangement
I like to see the profile of my router bits when I’m searching for a particular cut, and that is why I’m not a bit fan of the horizontal bit holders that some use. I have been playing around with an angled rack concept which allows me to see the shape of each bit quickly, and also allows me to keep my bits drawer shallower, leaving more depth for other drawers:
I got the idea for the angled rack from a router-bit-storage-cabinet plan I got from Freud (when I got their Avanti 13 router bit set). Using Sketchup I decided on the best angles, and size of each rack for my needs, and came up with a 15 degree back cut which gives me enough space behind/underneath the bits to grab them, and also keeps the bits from protruding above the drawer height:
I actually stack 2 different width racks to more storage, and I’ll repeat this dualrack configuration 2 more times into the drawer, for more 1/2” bits and 1/4” bits storage.
So Far So Good. nothing perfect. but certainly getting functional and convenient. I was finally able to group everything router related into a single area.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.