Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day #13: Tool stuff, jointer and router...............

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 02-06-2010 03:47 AM 3542 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 12: Working on the may be an interesting weekend Part 13 of Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day series Part 14: Plunge Routing the Sled T-Track Slots......OCD in ACTION! »

Act 1
Today was productive in the shop. I was going to get the baby jointer up and running so I could fix my sled fence glue up, which, really was fairly close the second time. After running some errands, I assembled the Delta Bench Top jointer. You know, the one I bought for about $200 on closeout in September, I think. Got it out of the box for the first time yesterday and removed the glunk. Today I assembled the fence and the guard, fast, no brainer.

Decided I wanted to clamp it to my bench or a project table, so I cut out a piece of 3/4” ply, rounded the edges with the router, sanded it, put in recessed holes for 5/16” bolts with Forstner bits, and then gave it a double coat of clear Watco. Watco, always Watco. Then attached it to the jointer. Of course, I had to measure those holes precisely, etc., so that little deal was not instant project. But, it will last the life of the machine.

Clamped the jointer to one of my three project tables. This sled fence is not not short, it is 48” long, so I need 4’ on either end of the jointer. There was not enough room to clamp the jointer on my bench, mostly due to the dratted freezer. However, I have climbed on top of those flimsy looking project tables. I calculate they will hold about 400 pounds or more.

Checked the angle on the jointer fence. Mind you, I didn’t even adjust it, just screwed it together. Dead on with my Groz engineers square. I was amazed. You know, these things, meaning my bench top jointer, as well as my benchtop planer ( still in the box, unopened ) do not have the best reputations. Taped a copy of the speed selection chart to the side of the jointer, taped it good, meaning completly covered with tape. It will be there for the next 5 years, I know how those things go.

So I took a hose from the nearest DC outlet, I have DC hose piped all over the place, and put the end near the dust chute ( going to make an adapter to the jointer later ), and turned it on. First did a practice run on my first sled fence, the one I plan to discard. It would need a lot more than the 1/32” I set it at. That is the first time I ever used a jointer. Fine.

Now to the real sled fence. Checked it again on the RAS table, which is very flat. Yup, it was a little rocky. So to the jointer. Did the bottom and the top.

Just 1/32” They turned out absolutely flat. Wow was that easy.

Now I know why you have to have a jointer! I knew I bought that thing for a reason. Although I wasn’t certain at the time…....(-:

Act 2
OK, not today, probably tomorrow when my mind has had time to get in the groove, leave the stresses of the job behind, gonna rout the grooves on the sled base for the T-track. I ain’t gonna take no chances. I am going to hem that router in with clamped on guides.

So at least I can pull the router out of my little cheapo table, and put it in the plunge base.

...............hmmmm. The legs are not long enough, and that router is not gonna come out easy. Had to take the base off, not easy….......well dummy….......the same way I put it in.


My cheapo table was designed for small cheapo routers. Mind you it is only the cheap short stamped steel legs that are at fault. Nothing wrong with the fence and the table top, remember, it was even perfectly predrilled for my above the table height adjustment.

Not going to abandon the top. I am going to make a plywood box underneath it with door to remove the router, DC port and connection to the table side DC. I looked at Lowes today, the Bosch table for $170 would still need modification for DC. Not that much better otherwise. Better, but not $170 worth.

For those of you not following earlier, I have above table bit change and height adjustment with the Bosch router I recently bought, much to my amazement. Also know I plan to put a router section in my table saw cabinet. But that is a least 6 months or more down the road. I need a router table to make the stuff for my new shop arrangement. So another project…........

In summary, great results with the jointer, stuff to do with the router. Don’t know whether the sled or the router table will take precedence, probably the sled.

...another interesting, and very fun, day in the shop…you all have a good day too!

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

10 comments so far

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3780 days

#1 posted 02-06-2010 04:05 AM

I know what you mean about salvaging the router table top. When I got my Porter Cable router, it came with a table and fence. Well the legs were too flimsy and the fence just wasn’t what I wanted. Remounted the metal router table in my table saw and reworked the fence using the original hardware. Works great now but still needs some sort of dust collection.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3133 days

#2 posted 02-06-2010 04:32 AM

I hate to admit it, but I haven’t changed much, in some ways, since I was 8. The week before Christmas would always be such a bear for me. I would pass the time by organizing my toy box, making room for the new stuff, pulling out the old GI Joes and setting up the scenarios for their future adventures with the new gear that was due to arrive by the red suited delivery guy with much anticipation.

And now, 30+ years later, I take my new toys down to the shop, figure out what old toys this will replace and how the new gear will work with the old gear and organize the giant toy box for that next milestone of shop time. I, also, am looking for another router table. I bought a craftsman, complete with router, over two years ago. I recently picked up a Ridgid that, also, allows over the table router changes. Had to drill new holes for the T handle, new holes for the proper baseplate fit, and I have to lift the table to get the motor out because the motor is taller and won’t just slide under the table to go into the fixed base. So, now, I am leafing through a Wood magazine with Norm Abram on the cover and getting the material list together to build a new router station. Total for wood and hardware should be under a hundred bucks with a future purchase in mind for an after market fence for another hundred bucks.

So I feel your pain and elation Jim. We spend alot of time building things for others. Shop projects are things we build for ourselves. And those moments are fun, because we customize, anticipate the need, sometimes go crazy with features in our designs, but it is our “greedy” little moment, our Christmas day :)

Happy Holidays ;)


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View dbhost's profile


5725 posts in 3257 days

#3 posted 02-06-2010 06:09 AM


You got pics of the assembled jointer? I looked at the Delta before I bought my Sunhill, and I do not recall the fence on the Delta being even 24” let alone 48”. What model did you get?

Your router table story is hilarious! Reminds me of my old Wolfcraft. I got stupid to say the least… Oh well… In some ways, I miss that table, in many ways, I am glad I shop built the one I have now…

Hope you have a good weekend in the shop!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#4 posted 02-06-2010 06:35 AM


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3359 days

#5 posted 02-06-2010 11:48 AM

I’m sure Jim was referring to the fence on the sled, not the one on the planer. After using your router for awhile, you will probably want to build your own router cabinet. I built mine out of very inexpensive materials with frame and panel construction. Pine frame with….something panels, mdf or chipboard. Then painted it. I like it because it has 6 storage drawers and a cabinet under for other routers and fences and stuff. Very handy and very convenient. Plus it was a lot of fun to build with 54 mortises and tenons all hand cut, and hand cut dovetailed drawers. A great way to improve hand or machine skills, whichever you prefer.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3590 days

#6 posted 02-06-2010 12:38 PM

Sounds like good day in the shop Jim, hope you get another one! I did something similar to Lew but hung my router table on an available wall, with a french cleat.

Click for details

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#7 posted 02-06-2010 07:57 PM


I plan to put the router in the TS cabinet under the right extension also. But I am not in love with the fence on the router table, so when I build it, I will probably discard the little table, or keep it with another router in it. I suspect it will get chucked, because I won’t want to store it considering what little need I will have for it.

David Craig
That’s it exactly. I have the same feeling of anticipation and play with the shop stuff. I remember putting lights in the shop about 25 years ago, and putting up the old kitchen cabinets and counter top, which gave me all kinds of storage room and work space. And I really remember putting in the sink. Boy did that save a lot goofing around, going in and out of the house, etc. I couldn’t put in that sink until I got access to a drain, but with an addition over the garage in 1991, that became possible. I remember running out to buy the TS, got it home and it didn’t have a motor. Ran back, they gave me a motor, and I was in business. Then I finally had some safe and wide rip capabilities. The RAS was all I had for 20 years.

And your router table story sounds exactly like mine. Except my flimsy legs are bolted with 8 bolts through a large base with cleats that fits over my old portable stand I built from an aquarium stand. So is a major ordeal to remove the router. Hence I will build new legs in the form of a quick and dirty enclosed structure. It will only take an afternoon at most to do it. Nothing fancy, but it will have better dust control.

I apologize for my atrocious sentence structure. As soon as I saw your post I edited it so that the references are clear. You are right, my jointer is truly a baby, with a 20 inch aluminum fence, and a 30 inch table, including both infeed and outfeed. I was not planning on buying a planer or a jointer until I redid the shop completely. But at the closeout prices of those things, I thought they would be useful for building cabinets, jigs, etc. Then they could be given away or sold.

The 48” fence is for the sled, and it was too long to use the jointer on the bench, due primarily to the freezer being in the way. I was happy the jointer fence was 90 deg out of the box. Apparently there was problems with that fence, apparently with older versions of this product, however. Didn’t see any recent complaints when I did some quick research at home before buying them. They went out of stock very fast after the sale started here in Anchorage. That fence will probably be the weak point on this machine, but so far so good. The machine has good fit and finish, and is quite heavy. The infeed and outfeed tables are very smooth and very heavy cast iron. It was easy to run and adjust. I have not inspected the height of the infeed and outfeed tables relative to the knife, but it worked well to true up the bottom and top of the sled fence.

Thanks for viewing, I am sure you got a laugh over my antics…....(-:

I plan to spend some time on the TS and router cabinet combination. But that will be months from now I suspect, although I am not sure of my time table. I want to make a dedicated outfeed table that will hold the sled, cover the motor and belt of the TS to enable good dust collection, and hold saw blades etc. It will have a precision attachment system to align it with the main TS cabinet, with clearance extensions of the miter slots. Then the router will fit in the right hand TS extension, although that will have to be considered carefully because of my shop space, and the central pillar. I suspect the RAS will be moved, and possibly the TS will have a new orientation as well. I am going to have to play doll house with my Sketchup drawing, as per dbHost’s suggestion, and figure that all out. I would love to make some hand done dovetails and motise-tenons. But I suspect I will not have time for too much of that with my work schedule. I will have to get the blood and guts of the shop rebuild done in a fairly efficient manner.

By the way, I found the idea for my outfeed table in the FWW DVD archive I purchased. Also found the method for making an adjustable fence for my sled (meaning it will be possible to square the fence without glueing it) I will try to write a review of the FWW DVD unless somebody beats me to it. It is a very good resource.

My router table top that I build for my TS extension will look pretty much like yours. I don’t have any wall space, at least not until I reorg the shop. If I find the TS extension will not allow me to get good access to the router (because of my central pillar and other structures in the shop) I may hang it off the wall once I get rid of some of the old cabinets, and the bench that was built in when I moved here in 1985. I plan to install cabinet height and counter height french cleat over all wall spaces. I will make a partial wall between the garage and the shop. Because that will be a ways off, and the router will get a lot of use building the shop, I am going to make a quick and dirty enclosed temporary base for its present table top.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#8 posted 02-06-2010 09:26 PM

hej Jim
you realy had a great day in your shop with building ,thinking ,get confused ,re-thinking ,confused a little more
found the solutions congrat´s with it and I hope you get many more of them it always great to make something to yourself and the hobby we have (what ever it is)
BUT NO PICTURES you had forced me to read all those words what was you thinking of !!! :-)

I´M looking forward to see your rebuild shop on the grandtour


View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3189 days

#9 posted 02-06-2010 09:31 PM

Promise some pictures tomorrow, if not late today. Right now…...confusion reigns. Actually I am finding room for the smaller fixed power tools as we speak. Just came to the office to make some labels. So my scroll saw, jointer, and planer are all going on shelves. Later I will make a picture book for you (-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#10 posted 02-06-2010 09:33 PM

you make me laugh Jim thank´s


Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics