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Router Table by Julie #1: deciding what I want and don't want on the new table

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Blog entry by ~Julie~ posted 02-10-2011 08:57 PM 1713 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Router Table by Julie series Part 2: making the top »

I need a new router table. I had made my first one but realized it was not the strongest design and needed a lot of improvements and additions.

It was a basic four legged table with aprons and a small crosspiece between the legs near the bottom. I don’t have a photo because I’ve already taken it apart.

The old table had aprons that fit with tenons into the four legs’ mortises. Because of the amount of stress the table received from being dragged around the shop (no casters on the legs), it really started to pull on the joints, so the tenons started to pull away from the legs.

I have an Oak-Park purchased top that I like, which a large router baseplate sits in. I want a larger top with a place to put things down, like small pieces of wood waiting to be routered, or clamps that are being moved around to hold the fence, etc. I want some overhang so that I can clamp fences and featherboards to it.

Also, I want my new router table to match the cupboards in my shop, I blogged about them HERE
Here’s a couple of photos from that blog post:

They were designed using a magazine article which also has a router table plan that looks like this:

The main thing I like about that table plan is that it uses a large plywood box to keep it strong plus I like the framed sides and doors. BUT… I won’t have two routers in my table, and I will have it filled in all around to capture dust and shavings.

I will have good quality locking and swiveling casters so that I can move it around easily. Plus I will have a good on/off switch on the outside. I will make my own fences for my needs.

I’ll have a place underneath to store my smaller trim router plus a few drawers for router bits.

So, I will design the new table to meet these needs and hope you will follow along.

... to be continued…

-- ~Julie~ followyourheartwoodworking.blogspot.ca



9 comments so far

View Pop's profile

Pop

427 posts in 3411 days


#1 posted 02-10-2011 09:39 PM

Hi Julie, Here’s what I came up with. I first bought the JessEm top, router lift, fence & miter. I then got in a hurry and bought the leg unit. I was intending to build my cabinet, but when I bought the leg unit I decided to build my cabinet inside the JessEm leg unit. Here’s the photos.


This is the leg unit before cabinet


The finished cabinet


The cabinet open. The 2 drawers on the right & bottom are utility drawers. The left is a bit storage drawer & the upper center is an access to the router & lift. The router is a PC 3-1/4 Hp.


The bit storage drawer. Note: It’s full. It’s too small and I will have to find storage outside the cabinet. Nice idea – “no Cigar”!


The rear of the cabinet. Notice the 2 dust collection connections. I did a lot of research on this. It seems that if I take dust from the fence collection port & feed it into a “T” on the 4 inch main hose the vacuum will only pull from the 4 in. and ignore the fence feed. My solution was to feed dust from the fence into the router chamber & take everything from the router chamber.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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Pop

427 posts in 3411 days


#2 posted 02-10-2011 09:58 PM

Julie, Here’s another to look at. A LJ named “Irob” made it. It’s under “projects” – “jigs”

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

View MayflowerDescendant's profile

MayflowerDescendant

414 posts in 2251 days


#3 posted 02-10-2011 11:19 PM

Hi Julie,

I look forward to following along …

Pop’s … Nice job on the JessEm setup. Thanks for sharing. I was just pondering how to close my unit in (I have the full JessEm setup as well, dropped into a Delta mobile base). Contemplating doing something very similar, including adding another drawer between the mobile base and stand cross-member / shelf. Can never have enough storage space in a shop!

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View rsladdwoodworks's profile

rsladdwoodworks

311 posts in 2634 days


#4 posted 02-11-2011 12:34 AM

love the router tableit look like you can get alot of work out of it

-- Robert Laddusaw and no I am not smarter then a fifth grader ( and no I canot spell so if it is a problem don't read it ))

View ~Julie~'s profile

~Julie~

600 posts in 2499 days


#5 posted 02-11-2011 04:12 AM

Hi Pop
Thanks for the pictures. There are a lot of router tables at LJ that are similar to the “Norm” one, as yours appears to be.

I am surprised by the comment where you said …”It seems that if I take dust from the fence collection port & feed it into a “T” on the 4 inch main hose the vacuum will only pull from the 4 in. and ignore the fence feed. My solution was to feed dust from the fence into the router chamber & take everything from the router chamber.”

I have seen quite a few router tables with the T or Y taking the dust from both the fence and the chamber. That was what I was going to do. I wonder if anyone else can comment on that… that the fence feed will not draw with the other feed.

-- ~Julie~ followyourheartwoodworking.blogspot.ca

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NoLongerHere

893 posts in 2140 days


#6 posted 02-11-2011 05:10 AM

I’ll bet I’ve made 4 or 5 router fences over the years but I didn’t realize what I was missing until I finally coughed up the bucks for the Jessum, with a sliding rail guide that’s in the picture above. Only mine is blue.

It has a t slot for vertical feather guides and an adjustable fence opening, and it came with shims for the out feed fence if needed.

Add the router lift with a 3 1/4 HP PC router and you have the best set up.

I wonder if the frame and panel construction would flex more than 3/4 plywood?
You could skin the outside with the door panel to get the look your going for.

Also, don’t casters move even when they are locked? I can think of several other ways to move the cabinet without wheels. Maybe you could at least get wheels that don’t swivel. Nothing worse than a shaky router table.

Just a thought. one of many.
It’s kinda like living with a 3 year old in my head. Why? Why? Why?

View Pop's profile

Pop

427 posts in 3411 days


#7 posted 02-11-2011 07:39 AM

Julie, my cabinet isn’t really a “Norm” cabinet. I don’t think I’ve seen his design. I sorta made mine uo as I went along. The dust collection design was the result of talking with several dust collection mfg. They said that the vacuum would favor the larger pipe because of ease of pull and ignore the smaller pipe due to resistance.

reewwood, note that my casters are pointed front to back not side to side. Only the front casters swivel. The back are set front to back. Since most feeds are across the router table from side to side the stationary rear and the front locked don’t move that I can tell. I really like JessEm products. I looked at everybodys since I was working at a woodworking store at the time and came down on JessEm.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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NoLongerHere

893 posts in 2140 days


#8 posted 02-12-2011 08:44 PM

Hey Pop,
I noticed you have a roller stand which is a great choice.
Almost all of my floor machines are on HTC roller stands. That’s what I would recommend. I saw in a catalog some wheels that lock to keep it from swiveling. That would help.
The pull out router drawer is killer. Nice cabinet.

Another idea I like is mounting a bracket with 2 HD wheels on one side, sitting on the floor.
When you want to move it, just tip it diagonally on to the wheels and pull it in to place.

This won’t work if you store everything router related and the kitchen sink inside. But, If your looking for mobility, weight is something to consider.

Plus 2 wheels are cheaper than 4, and you will have the widest stance possible. Wheels mounted underneath can make a tool a little top heavy. So many options and they’re all good. What to do.

Julie, be sure to let us know what you come up with. Thanks

View Pop's profile

Pop

427 posts in 3411 days


#9 posted 02-12-2011 10:06 PM

Mark, I really hate HTC mobile bases. I have a few but I don’t buy them anymore. When I was working in the woodworking store I put dozens of the darn things together. If you have one you know how they come, a pile of angle iron & a handful of bolts. When I found the Jet mobile bases it was the answer to payer. No bolts, just slip the angles in and secure them with a spring loaded plunger.

The mobile base in the router table is arranged so that the rear wheels are non-swivel and the front wheels are swivel. The rear wheels are set to roll front to back of the table. My thinking is that most of the feeding on a router table that would push the table is from side to side. With the wheels set as they are I’m not getting any movement.

Pop

-- One who works with his hands is a laborer, his hands & head A craftsman, his hands, head & heart a artist

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