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Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day #4: Question 1: Warped plywood, what to do? Question 2: Best plunge router for table use.

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 01-05-2010 08:43 PM 1246 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Have a day off, we'll start some stuff in the shop. Part 4 of Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day series Part 5: Maui - Day 1 »

Question 1:
I have cut out a 48×31 inch section of 3/4 inch ply. As far as I can tell, it has a warp side to side, with the high point in the midddle of the 48 inch dimension, 3/16 inch at the middle in back, 1/8 inch in front.

One out of the other three 4’x4’ sections has only a 1/16” warp prior to cutting, pretty negligable I would think. I really don’t have access to any better grade of plywood that I know of in this area.

I think I should cut the base board out of the best piece, and just use the previous piece I already cut out for my computer cart which will involve much smaller pieces. All my plywood warps, but the best one has acceptable warp, I would think. Does it seem reasonable to use the piece with 1/16” warp, I think that will mostly disappear with the fence and the cut down the middle.

Question 2:
I want to buy a router that will end up in my main router table eventually, probably part of the TS cabinet. What is the current thoughts on this issue. I would like to use it for this project, probably free hand against a clamped on fence, and would probably order it while I am in Hawaii to arrive after I get home. This is not a new question, I know, but as time passes, there are new products. Saw a video of a new Hitachi, but I am not sure it is available yet. I would like it to use either 1/4 or 1/2 inch bits. I would think this should be a professional grade router. My old Skil router still works well but of course is not a plunge router.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska



24 comments so far

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1754 days


#1 posted 01-05-2010 08:51 PM

I use a Triton. See my project on a router table mounted into a tablesaw.
I’m very happy with it.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1469 posts in 2220 days


#2 posted 01-05-2010 08:52 PM

Jim, a couple a quick thoughts.

When you attach the front and rear rails to the plywood (providing they span the bowed section) it should flatten, I would think. Can you laminate two thinner pieces of ply (3/8+3/8=3/4) with the bow facing each other thus cancelling out the bow.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View botanist's profile

botanist

150 posts in 2194 days


#3 posted 01-05-2010 09:21 PM

I’d second the Triton. The 2 1/4 horsepower version comes with a winding know for above the table height adjustment and it allows for one handed bit changes. It’s very well rated overall. I can’t wait to build a table for the Triton I got for Christmas!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3662 posts in 1820 days


#4 posted 01-05-2010 09:34 PM

Jim Ceriale
Jim thanks for the suggestion. I have good things about the Triton, but there was some concern about the company and its financial stability. Apparently someone bought, was the last thing I heard. And what about the 1/4 inch bit capability, how does that work out. That MCLS might be the ticket to getting this set up before I get a full fledged table for the TS.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3662 posts in 1820 days


#5 posted 01-05-2010 09:39 PM

Timbo
I think the 3/8 idea is a good one, but I think that one piece of 3/4 is close enough that it will not be a problem. Haven’t seen much 3/8 around here lately, although I used to use it a fair amount. The main fence will span the bow. The back fence is shorter, but since that will be split, as long as I split it before I put on the back fence. I’ve got it, I will just put a couple of screws into the short back fence to one side of the split, cut the split, then glue it and screw it down permanently on both sides. I want to allow the split to help me get rid of the minimal warp, and that wouldn’t happen if I had the back fence glued in before the cut. Does that make sense?

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3662 posts in 1820 days


#6 posted 01-05-2010 09:40 PM

Botanist
Same question for you as Jim. Is the company now considered stabilized, and what about 1/4 inch bit considerations?

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2955 days


#7 posted 01-05-2010 10:04 PM

I have the 3HP Triton, & like it a lot, But I think the 2 1/4HP is the way to go, because of the above

the table adjustment feature. My Triton is a very well built piece of equipment.

You can use these 1/4”bit adaptors from MLCS.

The Triton comes with one of these adaptors.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1469 posts in 2220 days


#8 posted 01-05-2010 11:04 PM

Jim, are you planning to cut through the rear fence?

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11473 posts in 1761 days


#9 posted 01-05-2010 11:58 PM

3/16 seems like way too much warp for a router table top. I think if you buy a good quality sanded plywood that is 7 ply or greater, you should see a much flatter surface. Some other Suggestions : build a frame under it with clearance for you router and lift and you could clamp and glue the frame to the plywood to hold it flat. Or, look at MDF board in 1” thickness. I find it to be very flat. If you have a furniture manufacturer near you, you might find a laminate cover table top of the proper size.

As for router, I use a Milwaukee with a Woodpecker quick-lift and I love it. I think a number of routers will work. It is worth taking a look at. I surveyed all the lifts when I made my router table and this one was the one I felt I needed. I can lift it all the way up (with one long handle turned in the body) to change bits in a hurry and it has a micrometer lift screw with an hex key for fine adj.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View George E. Cole's profile

George E. Cole

2 posts in 1789 days


#10 posted 01-05-2010 11:59 PM

Jim,

I’m new here but I will tackle your router question…I use a Freud VEC1700 in my router table..Been there over 2 years…Good machine..The Triton is great and now a stable company..Looking at dollar for dollar My choice would be with something with the above table adjustment..And of course cost..You may want to go to the router forums and pick there brains..There are some Alaska peeps there as well..Could get you in touch with a wood source
Just a thought..
George Cole
“Regulae Stultis Sunt”

View George E. Cole's profile

George E. Cole

2 posts in 1789 days


#11 posted 01-06-2010 12:13 AM

Jim, as a after thought why do you want a plunger router in a table? If your going to build a router table as a table saw extension I would use 3/4 mdf glued to a 1/2 mdf for the table…Your table must be very flat..

George Cole
“Regulae Stultis Sunt”

View jim C's profile

jim C

1452 posts in 1754 days


#12 posted 01-06-2010 12:32 AM

George,
If you want an above the table adjustment crank, and don’t want the high cost of a router lift, the Triton and possibly some others are an all-in-one answer, as they provide the cranking feature. Handle included.

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5102 posts in 1964 days


#13 posted 01-06-2010 12:34 AM

If there are any caninet shops in your area they will likely have quality plywood, usually birch. I went to a local cabinet shop and asked if they would sell me a sheet or two of baltic birch ply. They were glad to help and said to let them know if I need other lumber as they would be glad to order it and sell to me. Convenient and about 10 minutes from my house. It is the best quality ply…far superior to the junk you buy at the big box stores.
I have 2 router tables and use a PC7518 in one and a Bosch 1617 in the other. Both work great with the above table adjusting router plates.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2955 days


#14 posted 01-06-2010 01:00 AM

Some stores have sink cut outs with formica, real cheap.

Buy two of them & laminate them for a good sturdy router table top.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3662 posts in 1820 days


#15 posted 01-06-2010 02:41 AM

All
The plywood question refers to the base for a large TS sled. I rewrote this after I lost it and didn’t make that clear.

Thanks also for the router table suggestions, because I am looking at that in the near future. I agree that 3/16 is too much warp. But I do have the one piece that is only 1/16, and I think that will disappear with the main fence and the cut. Yes I will be cutting through the back fence. At work now, I will try to make specific replies to all later. Thanks everyone for the responses.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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