Router table #1: Fence and top completion

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Blog entry by mitchota posted 10-21-2012 11:08 AM 4128 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Router table series Part 2: My Router Table - a work in progress »

My router table is coming along and I pretty much finished up the top and fence. I learned a couple of things that were rather important. The first is that I need to be more careful when cutting laminate. I had this thought that I should tape my cut lines to minimize chipping. Turns out that when I have thoughts like that, I should listen to myself. The laminate by the miter slot chipped out pretty bad, but I figured it wasn’t critical because it didn’t seem to affect the performance of the top. It just looked really bad.

The second thing I learned is that I need to be better at controlling my router. I have a couple of spots where my router slipped in the template or strayed from the guide I was using and so I have a couple of small cutting errors. It seems to happen on every project I’ve used my router on, so I guess it’s just a matter of learning how to use it. When things like that happen I have to remind myself I haven’t been doing this for that long, and mistakes happen. It’s just REALLY irritating to look at these small errors. Thankfully they don’t affect the performance of the table at all.

I cut out the fence pieces and realized that I definitely must have been inspired by Norm and the NYW design:

I tested out all my pieces, cut the T-slots and checked it using a couple of t-bolts that I had for my t-track kit I used for my workbench. Everything looked to be in order, so I decided to give the fence a coat of paint for some protection. It’s really humid here in Hawaii, and MDF holds up decently, but I wanted my fence to last a while. I’m hoping the paint will help keep it a little more stable over time. I went with green to attempt to match the laminate, and also to make it sort of match with the router I’m using in the table—a Hitachi KM12VC.

This pretty much completes the “hard” part. I have to mill up some drawer fronts, but I should be able to fit those fairly quickly since I’ve made drawer fronts before. I also have to install the switch and run the electrical for the table, but the end is very close for this build and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Since the top is finished and functional, I even used it to cut the T-slots for the sliding parts of my split fence. Just from that few minutes of cutting, it makes me wonder why I didn’t build this project sooner. I thought a router table would be something I’d build/buy way later in the game, but I’m really seeing that this may turn into one of my favorite tools to use.

I got some cherry stain and I already stained and polyurethaned the pine parts of the top, and I like the look. I’m going to finish the carcase in a similar fashion, and it should keep it protected for a while. It will also give me an excuse to practice my finishing skills, which I will definitely need when I start making that furniture for my room.

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