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my router table sucks

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Blog entry by jacob34 posted 03-15-2012 10:38 AM 896 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have not been working in wood long in fact while i have worked with machines in one from or another for 10 years I have only started woodworking last year and with having a busy year I am on project #4 out of my shop. My first was a foot stool that ended up to narrow for my little girls who like to stand on the edge of it til it tips ( which I have redesigned and worked back into my project to do list). my second was a couple of battleships just playing around in fact most of it was done by eye and with just scrap wood. My third was my 3 year olds bed which went better than expected but still look like a amateur did it. The project I am on now is a bookshelf for my new niece which my sister requested. I am trying a couple things out that are basic but new to me. The first thing I decided to try was rabbit joints for the sides and back of the bookshelf. This went well for the sides and half the back until as I have a cheap router table you know the kind you buy when you get it because you want it but really don’t have enough money to buy the one you want. Anyway the fence moved on me resulting in tear out on a significant level. I am less than pleased I hope that putting clamps behind the fence to secure it from sliding will fix this problem but I am prepared to build a new one or just swallow my pride and buy a new table. Either way mine sucks at this point.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log



10 comments so far

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1561 days


#1 posted 03-15-2012 12:00 PM

Look around here or other publications. There are a lot of “How To” builds on router tables, relatively cheap.

-- Life is good.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3352 posts in 1832 days


#2 posted 03-15-2012 02:28 PM

Having a good router table is a “must” in any woodshop. Without it, you’ll have problems with things such as you mentioned, like tearout and misallignment. I would suggest building your own…that way you learn as you go….buying one won’t teach you anything. As Howie said, there are all kinds of plans here on LJs to give you an idea of what you might want….A lot of the folks here build the “Norrm router table” (NYW version). You can still order the plans and DVD (I believe). I built one about 4 years ago, and it is stellar…..and, building your own is a lot more fun.. It takes a long time to get your shop built like you want it, so don’t get frustrated..it’ll come….more router tables can be found here on LJs by clicking on the “search” button at the top right hand side….you’ll get all the ideas you want right here….just look at some shops here..look at mine, and go to Woodshop Pics #2, and you’ll see my version of the NYW r.t….....good luck, and carry on….

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View jacob34's profile

jacob34

454 posts in 902 days


#3 posted 03-15-2012 03:58 PM

I don’t know why I did not think about building one myself probably because I am new at this. I like that idea thanks guys. I have a couple projects that I need to do first but that just gives me time to research and plan so I am ready when I have the time for it. Thanks again.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View ChuckC's profile

ChuckC

684 posts in 1573 days


#4 posted 03-15-2012 05:49 PM

Having a router table in the shop is definitely not a “must” but it can be handy. I’ve almost always had one and I honestly hardly use it.
Building one is a great idea though and it’s common for those that want one. If your shop is tight one space consider putting it on wheels too so you can move it around.

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1812 days


#5 posted 03-15-2012 05:53 PM

I’m with Rick: if I were building my own … I’d at least start with the NYW plan. Might change a few things, here and there, but … either way: it seems like a great design !

Good luck !

-- -- Neil

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3352 posts in 1832 days


#6 posted 03-15-2012 06:11 PM

ChuckC:

Maybe I over-stated the fact that a router table is a “must have tool”....but in my shop I can’t do w/o one….Most people who builds furniture, like I do, and any shop furniture, will see the value of having one. There are certain things, as you know, that you can’t do with a hand-held router.. They msut be popular…sure are a lot of folks on here that have one….:)

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3352 posts in 1832 days


#7 posted 03-15-2012 06:14 PM

Hey Neil:

I thought you built your router table….I had it in my head that you did….At least we agree on the fact that a shop-built r.t. is a good learning project…..and the NYW router is a good starting place design…...

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1812 days


#8 posted 03-15-2012 06:21 PM

Nah. I bought a Kreg, and built a “skirt,” to help with the dust collection.

Works, and works fine. The downside of that is … makes it hard to push a shop-built RT toward the top of the list ;-)

Yeah. Always loved Norm’s design. I know that’s where I would start !

-- -- Neil

View jacob34's profile

jacob34

454 posts in 902 days


#9 posted 03-15-2012 06:22 PM

Rick I haft to agree with you my last project was my daughters bed and my current one is a bookshelf and while neither had to have a router table I am finding that having one even the less than amazing one I have is making my project look better and making me happy or at least until my fence moved on me. I probably need to realize it is a cheap tool and not expect it to work like a higher quality and just recheck periodically to make sure it is tight and true.

I am definitely building a router table though in the near future.

-- so a bear and a rabbit are sitting on a log

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15661 posts in 1504 days


#10 posted 03-15-2012 06:57 PM

Jacob, when you’re just starting out there are so many things that you will run across that you’ll need or that will certainly enhance your woodworking experience. However, a decent router table is something that you can build and thereby save up some money for those things that you’ll need that are difficult to build. There are numerous plans for router tables all over the internet and in the various magazines. A basic router table is all you need to get started with and you will enjoy the experience. It’s important that the top be flat but it’s still a relatively simple project.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com/

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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