|Project by henricus||posted 03-29-2015 10:59 PM||1141 views||0 times favorited||1 comment|
The Table Base
I wanted an inexpensive router table so I decided to make one. This was my first mortise and tenon attempt, so I made a few rookie mistakes, but not anything that couldn’t be fixed. The table went together very easily and glued up nice and square. I used construction pine and coated it with Watco Danish Oil. The wheels are simple utility wheels (3”) with two fixed and two swivel with locks. My next step is to make the top and then the fence.
Well I finally bought the material to make the top and the fence. After much agonizing I spent $120.00 on two sheets of 3/4” double sided phenolic plywood. Each board measures 23.750” x 47.750”, which is more than enough for this table top and fence. I should have enough left over for jigs and stuff. There is much debate on what material to use and I really don’t wish to rehash this ongoing discussion here. Suffice it to say, this was the best solution for the semi-tropical conditions where I live. The problem is that this stuff can only be had at Woodcrafter. It simply isn’t handled by the abundant lumber companies here and so the cost reflects its scarcity.
I had an old piece of MDF and tried to cut it to use as a template for the plate opening. MEGA FAIL! I’m not ashamed to admit it. I just don’t have much experience using a power jig saw. It got away from me and there wasn’t enough sanding to fix both tries. Instead of buying another MDF board, I bought the pre-cut Woodpecker template for $14.00 and called it a day. I should do better staying far away from the edge and then using my router to finish the opening. Just to be safe, I’m practicing on a piece of scrap plywood. I plan on trying to make my cuts this week, with the fence to follow.
Well I installed the plate from Kreg and used the Woodpecker template to cut the opening for it. Everything went well, but I continue to have problems with my use of the router. Nothing serious, I just must do better holding square and making sure I go in the correct direction. Another thing I am learning is that the depth of the bit matters. Not just for cutting the correct depth, but having extra bit hanging out is counter-productive. I think it is better to just use the right amount of blade for the surface to be cut. I learned this quick when I used my 1-5/8” straight edge bit to even off the trim I installed it too proud on my router, thinking it didn’t matter on the edge of my table. It did!
I did not proceed with the fence. Instead, I bought a Woodpecker Superfence. One of the reasons for the change of mind is the ability to easily change the fence depth for the outfeed fence. Something I had not thought about and really like on the Superfence. I had the phenolic sheet for the fence, so I decided to redo my table-top and call my first effort a mulligan. My second effort with the router went great. I took my time and made sure the depth of the bit was perfect. I also made sure to go clockwise for the inside plate opening and I made my initial rough cut cleaner and tighter than my first effort. The result was a nice easy cut with the router. I cut two 12” slots for the Superfence t-slots using my Rigid trim router. I really like this router. It is really powerful with adjustable speed, it has some thought put into the design and comes with an edge guide, wrench a square and round base and a nice soft case to boot!
I painted the routed edges black and installed my t-slots and router base plate easily. I ripped 1/4” x 1” red oak for the edges and attached them to the edge of the table to get a clean look. I attached the top to the leg/base with L-shaped anchors.