|Project by dmisita||posted 05-19-2014 09:28 PM||2451 views||16 times favorited||10 comments|
I’m a beginning woodworker and I have a small shop (16×15 with some odd angles thrown in). Needless to say, space is at a premium for me. The projects I have in mind call for a router table, but I didn’t have much space to sacrifice.
One of my first purchases was a Ridgid R4512 table saw. It’s a good value at around $500, and it has a cast iron top. I’ve already rewired it to 220, and perhaps its placebo effect, but I’ve noticed a difference.
One quirk of this saw, all of the aftermarket router table inserts that I’ve found online are poor fits for this saw. It’s a left tilt saw, and though people have managed to persuade inserts onto the left side of the table, it wasn’t easy.
After doing my research online, I saw that many people built their own inserts for the right side of the table where there is a opening in the fence rails. I combined the best of all the projects I saw online, and created my own router table.
To start, I laminated together 3/4 melamine covered chipboard to 3/4 MDF. Because the melamine was on both sides of the sheet, I did this using contact cement. Next I cut this down to the insert size recommended in the owner’s manual, but I undersized it by 1.5 inches in both length and width.
I then edge banded the whole thing in 1×2 oak that I picked up at the same big orange store that I got the sheet goods. I used Titebond 2, and 18g 1.25 in brad nails to secure it in place. I also put a reinforcing strip on the bottom of the long sides (the same oak turned flat). (This makes it easier to install into the rails.)
A quick finish with some dark walnut Danish Oil, and I installed it into place using 2.5 inch bronzed decking screws. These screws have a really coarse thread, are self-tapping, and were what I had on hand . . .
I will spare you the details of why I had to build this insert 2 more times, but needless to say, I suck with a router and I learned some valuable lessons regarding following the plan carefully when using a jigsaw …
Eventually, I managed to rout a recess for a Rockler Router plate and installed their leveling hardware. (I did this with a 3/4×1/2 inch top bearing pattern bit and an MDF pattern that I fashioned from 1/4 MDF cut into strips.) I routed the recess about 1/8 in too large, but since the plate locks, I’ve decided to not lose any sleep over it.
Next I set out to build the fence. I used 3/4 in plywood to make a simple fence. I had intended to pocket hole it together, but the angles proved too difficult to get the drill in there. So, I pocket holed part of the fence, and glued and nailed the rest together. It consists of a front fence and rear fence attached to a base. I’ve installed some spacers in between to keep the fences rigid. These will allow both the creation of a dust collection port and some on-fence storage.
Next I cut some of the leftover melamine shelving into an adjustable opening fence. I made a split fence for the bottom and a single piece which I routed for some Incra T-Track. For the split bottom of the fence, I put two recessed bolt holes through which I attached Incra build-it knobs and bolts with washers. I routed a slot in the sub-fence to accommodate these bolts and allow the fence halves to slide freely. I did this by using the table saw’s existing fence as a straight edge, and a straight bit. It came out a bit ugly, but that’s how you learn (or so I’m starting to believe).
From here, I attached the back of the sub-fence to my table saw’s fence using one of the existing T-Track slots on the fence. (It’s one of the nicest features of the R4512.) I used the same Incra knobs (they come in a pack of eight).
All that is left to do is: attach a piece of plywood over the router fence and cut a hole for my shop vac to allow some dust collection. I’ll do this with a hole saw on a drill. Next I plan to rout a dado for a miter track. My plan is to do this using the fence and riding the router up against it to keep it straight. I also will install a on-off switch.
Anyway, that’s my project. It ain’t perfect, but it’s mine!