Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day #22: Done with the Router Table Mod...Dirty, but NOT QUICK. LJ's is to blame.....SHAME!.....

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 03-15-2010 03:10 AM 1846 reads 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: Quick and Dirty Mod for my Cheapo Router Table.........but not quick and dirty enuf...... Part 22 of Alaska Jim's Comments of the Day series Part 23: Sandpaper.........better than the good old days........... »

So I put the hunk of junk together…..warped plywood…....trying to get rid of it…..using an old not so great, but OK table top from my Vermont American Router Table, maybe 15 years old, not used much but serviceable. How did I get here, I don’t think it is my fault. Much too much time expended, dirty but not quick. I excelled at QUICK and DIRTY for years…....well that is another blog entry…..serious stuff…....

So to the table, the basics I covered yesterday… new emergency purchase Bosch 1617 EVSPK kit does not fit because the legs are too short, and I needed better dust control, so built a new frame for the old Vermont American table top. I have above table bit change, and above table height control, pretty fabulous, considering I didn’t know that’s what I was buying, and that the old Vermont American came predrilled for the above table height control. Kinda a space and time warp…....old table, with a router not advertised for the features, fitting perfectly together.

Now this was a QUICK AND DIRTY, I think I am going to put a router table in my TS extension. 3 to 18 months down the pike…...wasn’t that precise…....(-:

So this blog entry is just about the completed table, total overkill for a Q&D, and for that I apologize….)-:

.......first the process, it is always about the process…..that’s what I enjoy….......

Here is old Tommy Tote, upteen years old, designed with an electrical bent, doing that, smiling, singing, doing what he likes to do…..............

Notice the soldering iron in the right upper corner of the table, instructions for the switch-outlet combo I was using, all the tools from Tommy scattered about. Everything I needed was in Tommy, wire nuts, screws, soldering stuff, etc. Tommy seemed comfortable, you know Spring is coming, he was really upbeat.

Well, I finished the table mod….........

Here it is from the front…..

.....and from the back….note the dust port at the side leading to the DC, and the one at the back going up to the fence collector interface…...

With the door open, the door has a brass bullet catch on it, and there is some stuff in there….......

And here you can see the permanent worklight, LED so it is cool, illuminating the space, doesn’t every router table have a permanent worklight in it?

On the other side a tube to store the excess cord from the router….......

.......the tube came from a Rockler T-track package, both ends are open for dust relief, just stuff the cord in for control….ain’t that sweet…....Doesn’t every router table have a cord storage tube?.........(-: the dust control is great, but a few flakes of sawdust escape when doing a dado, otherwise a neat deal.

The cord is 10 feet long, no extension cord needed, goes out the back, 14 AWG. Have a safety ON-OFF switch on the door from the original Vermont American table, very well designed. The door latches with a brass bullet catch. Just firm enough.

So now you should proceed to the controversy, why can I not do a true Quick and Dirty anymore, someone is to blame….....

Here is the link….....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

17 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#1 posted 03-15-2010 12:19 PM

Jim, that is a pretty cool modification of the router table. And I love the way you have “accessorized” your cabinet. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3362 days

#2 posted 03-15-2010 12:40 PM

Jim, for a quick fix you certainly loaded it with a lot of nice accessories and thoughtful features. You might have ruined your motivation to make a new table though. That table looks very practical and functional.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3193 days

#3 posted 03-15-2010 04:37 PM

No one thing took an extraordinary amount of time, just doing everything took all weekend. I got carried away with the electrical, I thought, but it was foolish not to do it right. The whole thing seems to work well and is quite convenient.

You hit the nail on the head, that may push back or nullify my thoughts on a TS extension router table. But I’ll see how it works. It is deficient in real good clamping opportunities for jigs etc, But I may fix that with some minor mods.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View PG_Zac's profile


368 posts in 3417 days

#4 posted 03-15-2010 09:29 PM

Jim I think the cable tube is the best idea I’ve seen today.
Very cool.

-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3193 days

#5 posted 03-15-2010 10:02 PM

That is an original, as of yesterday, was trying to figure out a good rack for the cord, which will need to be unraveled when free routing, and suddenly thought of the tube. I think I would have put in a piece of PVC if I had a piece big enough at home, but didn’t. Then saw the tube from Rockler, and it is reasonably strong, so it may last. Attached it with two pan head wood screws with washers.

The size of the tube probably varies with the amount of cord, thickness of the cord etc. I don’t remember ever seeing anything like this, but it really is fast and easy to stuff in the cord. Maybe I saw it somewhere else in the distant past, but I don’t remember anything like it. So it may be truly original.

In any case, I think I will use this idea elsewhere in the shop…..........
Thanks for viewing…........

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3260 days

#6 posted 03-18-2010 10:38 PM


Not sure how I missed that. Some interesting ideas. Not sure what the LED light is for though… Can you clue me in?

Love the cord storage tube idea! Definately a winner…

NOW I need to figure out how to integrate something like that, into the extension wing of my TS where my router table is…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3783 days

#7 posted 03-18-2010 10:57 PM

Jim, I really like the light idea, especially the LED. Never have to replace it!


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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3193 days

#8 posted 03-19-2010 04:15 PM

David and Lew
The light is for sticking a wrench on the shaft when changing bits, removing the motor to use the rotor free hand, etc. It is pretty dark in there since the door is not a whole side. Some of that stuff I can do by feel, but the light just makes it a lot easier.

......and considering the duty cycle, I will bet the bulb outlasts me, Lew…......(-:

Just like the permanent work lights under my computer center. I would have one less scar on my arm if I had LED lamps or even fluorescents under my computer desk. The LED lamp is fairly compact, and seems to have little heat production. Couldn’t resist it when I saw it on the shelf at Lowe’s, since it fits in a standard socket.

Besides, the light is nice when I just want to look inside to admire my handiwork on the table…..........(-:

The stuff tube for the cord seems so obvious, I wonder if I have actually seen that in use somewhere else, but I don’t remember seeing it.

The cord stuff tube is really slick, you just fold the cord up and push it in…........and it cost a couple pennies worth of wood screws….........

..........and there is no reason it couldn’t be mounter horizontally, or on the back of cabinet, etc.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3202 days

#9 posted 03-19-2010 04:56 PM

Well, this IS a first for me: router table meets doll house!!! If I were an Alaskan rodent (and … who’s to say I’m not?) ... I would be living in there … pronto. Cool lighting. Warm motor. Chewable nesting material, a storm door, fresh air/exercise tunnels …. very posh!

Love the light!

You may have just goaded me into … at least … a battery-operated LED puck light for mine.

Not that I need lighting. I simply shred the backs of my hands every time I reach in to adjust the collet! In truth, I think you should have a pressure-actuated, momentary contact switch for the light … like the kind for your automobile dome light.

On only when the door is open….

There. Just TRY to ignore THAT idea ;-) LOL

The organization bits … are superb. I genuinely DO get a little miffed, when I have to work around the router cord AND the external switch cord. I usually just curse them, but … finding them a home works, too :-)

And … the dust collection configuration is, indeed, impressive. I still get chips at the bottom of mine, but I live with it … for now.

Mission creep: it’s the LumberJocks’ credo ;-)

-- -- Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3193 days

#10 posted 03-19-2010 06:23 PM

Yah, that’s all it needs, is an automatic light switch….....(-:

And you hit the nail on the head….......should have a sign in my shop, something like…......Beware of Mission Creep, or should it be Caution…......Stealthy Creep with a Mission............or….......Caution Creepy Mission Ahead..........or Beware of Creeping know…......

There is one of those in Sherie’s hobby room. The old furnace room became a yarn storage room. It has a sliding door and when you open it the light turns on.

When she sold her yarn shop, I don’t think she went out of business, she just transferred the inventory to her hobby room and sells to herself at wholesale! Gadzooks does she have a pile of yarn and quilting fabric. If it sticks in my brain and I have time, I will email you those pictures of her hobby area soon.

Yes, even with this arrangement there is some dust gathering in the cabinet, but that is not a bad place for it.

.........I knew you could find something entertaining in this post…..........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3143 days

#11 posted 03-19-2010 11:55 PM

Hej Jim
Niice little temp. routertable when did you said you will shift it with a better one
30-40 years or what ? :—))
there is too may toughts in it and some clever idea´s
thank´s for sharing your (sometimes od) but not so dum idea´s with us Jim

sorry havn´t been around lately
just had a visit around first my DR. and a very fast transport to the local hosp.
before a further fast trip to ER on the other side becourse my body
said too much so you most pay the prize now but what there is wrong they
still don´t know yet
sure they had some beuetyful lovely nurses and a brand new hotel with
the most excenlent roomservice you can imageing and if it has been a privat
hotel out in the real life I would have give it 6 stars asap but unfortunely
I can`t recoment to check in there if it´s not realy nessesarary the prize is
way too high :-)
even thow there is a chance to try all the fancy stoof in the tool collection
now matter what they say the prize is too high

have a plesent wekend with Sherie and say hello from Ærø


View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3193 days

#12 posted 03-20-2010 01:56 AM

Hope it was nothing too serious Dennis, take care of yourself. Time and life catches up to us occasionally.

Had kind of a busy week, surgeries early in the week, and then yesterday had a minor surgery on one patient, and then a major on another, after a busy day in the office. Interesting, the surgeries were on prisoners, you know, criminals in jail. I have taken care of the jailed women for 26 years in this town… contract, they send them, I take care of them. Something different in my life. I understand the issues… well for the inmates (prisoners), works well for the police officers, and they pay OK. Someone needs to do it, guess it is one of the things I do for society. Keeps work interesting. We physicians don’t judge, or at least we shouldn’t, we just take care of people.

Please, you don’t need to test the hospital system in Aero, just admire it from the outside. No need to be a test subject…........(-:

To your health Dennis, and be sure to help your health along the way…............


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3143 days

#13 posted 03-20-2010 02:28 AM

I normely don´t test the hospital on aeroe
normely I bring people to there and back again
and most of the time it´s only a medecin thing´s they
take care of and a little amb/surgeri where people
come with a appointment thow there is a modern xreay
they still send most major things over qeit often by helicop.
it´s a nice little village hospital but I had never dream that
I shuold test it on the other side in Svendborg
I most not drive at least for the next ten days then I
have to go there again for some of the result one specielist
have to look at the picture´s from the MR scanner
and there shuold bee some result of a test they toke
in my back with a nasty needle woouuh that heurts alot
at least I´m home with Mona and Silke for now
relaxing (try to, very hard) and looking a round here on L J
with a lovely cold beer in my hand enjoying cathsing up
on what I have missed for the last copple of days


View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3316 days

#14 posted 03-20-2010 02:32 AM

dam, that’s a new router table not mods. LOL ;) very nice work!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3193 days

#15 posted 03-20-2010 02:40 AM

Yup, felt like building a new router table…....thanks for viewing friend….......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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