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Router table and cabinet for Incra LS positioner and fence #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by jdcook72 posted 08-14-2013 04:49 AM 1722 reads 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Router table and cabinet for Incra LS positioner and fence series Part 2: The Top »

This is my first blog entry for my first project that I’m sharing here (or anywhere for that matter). I’m very new with this hobby but I’m enjoying it so far. Most of the few things I’ve worked on so far has been shop projects but I have other projects in mind that the shop stuff will (hopefully) help me get built.

I don’t know how helpful this will be to anyone as I’m just starting out but hopefully there will be little bits and pieces of info that people can take away from this. I know the website has been very helpful to me as I’m trying to learn about all of this so maybe I can make a small contribution as well. I have already posted a question in the forums related to this project and I suspect I’ll be asking more so I figure a blog is the way people organize this type of project.

Enough intro.

My project is a router table using the Incra LS positioner. In the process of preparing for this project, I’ve done many hours of research reviewing different designs, watching YouTube videos, etc. I’ve watched both episodes of NYWS covering the topic and see that many designs are based on or similar to this; it does seem like a good design. My project isn’t much different than many of the others in regards to basic construction methods, materials and design points. However, mine is tailored to suit the Incra system and as such the proportions are different than most and therefore stuff is moved around a bit as well. I’ve also decided to try a less common approach for dust collection to simplify the design.

Key points:
  • The table is deeper and narrower than most to work with the Incra LS
  • It is using an Incra Mast-R-Lift II to mount the router
  • The router is a Porter Cable 7518 (this seemed to be one of the standards from my research)
  • The Router/Lift housing section is open and dust collection will be aided with the Keen Products Dust Router. I have no previous experience with this product but it received some good reviews and I thought I’d give it a try. The cabinet design and dust port location are such that if the Dust router doesn’t work out, I can add a door, some baffles and use an approach similar to many other tables. Otherwise, construction should be simplified by not needing to enclose that section.
  • This does not have the traditional twin stacks of small router bit drawers, the narrower design didn’t seem to suit them. But there is ample storage in drawers and cabinet sections for router bits and other router related tools. The shallow drawer at the top on the side I was intending to use for the books and templates that come with the fence positioner.
  • The cabinet is casters to be repositionable in the garage and get it out of the way when not in use. I have two fixed for the back and two swivel for the front. Only one of the swivels is locking (double) and I’m hoping this will be enough to stabilize the table for use. Thoughts on this?

My shop time is limited but I will continue to post updates as I progress. This will be my first for basically every aspect of project: cabinet construction, drawer construction, laminate surfacing, etc. so I hope to get some feedback along the way as well and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of questions.






4 comments so far

View ZacD's profile

ZacD

34 posts in 415 days


#1 posted 08-14-2013 05:04 AM

I would highly suggest using two locking casters on the front edge. Consider the scenario where you happen to lightly lean into the cabinet with the bit spinning, loose casters give a little and you loose your balance and to catch yourself, you place your hand on the table. Not worth the risk. Maybe someone else can chime in that has done this and knows there is no risk? As for the rest of the cabinet, it looks like a great design.

View jdcook72's profile

jdcook72

10 posts in 566 days


#2 posted 08-14-2013 05:22 AM

My thoughts were that with the two rear wheels not being swivels one locking corner would be enough to stabilize the table since it locks the wheel spin and the swivel. With your comment, I wonder if I should put locking casters on all four corners? Obviously that would be better than just the one but there may be no functional gain. Maybe 2 + 2 would be the good compromise. As I type this I’m also thinking about the scenario where the floor may not be level and if there were only one locking caster it may end up on the corner that was low so it wouldn’t be able to make good contact. Hmm…

View ZacD's profile

ZacD

34 posts in 415 days


#3 posted 08-14-2013 01:31 PM

I put all my tools on cabinets and all but a few have 2 free swivel and 2 locking. Still not the best situation for some of the tools but I do think 2 frozen and 2 locking would work well. In my case, that wasn’t going to work for rotating tools in my small shop. I also typically build a solid wood frame on the bottom of rolling cabinets because tearout is less likely with the screws.

View jdcook72's profile

jdcook72

10 posts in 566 days


#4 posted 08-14-2013 01:45 PM

Good point on the solid wood frame. That offers a good explination as to why many designs I’ve seen (and therefore mine) have blocks where the casters are mounted. Initially I was thinking it was for spacing and to provide some purchase for mounting the casters. I hadn’t thought about the issue of tearout and had considered possibly making my blocks from scrap whatever but now I’ll be sure to use solid wood for the added streangth.

Thank you for the input.

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