|Project by bko||posted 03-03-2010 04:37 AM||3598 views||3 times favorited||8 comments|
For many years I used a Woodhaven plexiglass router table plate, but then I tried to use a large diameter panel raising bit and ran into trouble. The small hole in the plate made it impossible to use such a large diameter bit, so time for an upgrade!
My router is an old Hitachi TR-12 that runs great and still has a lot of life in it, so after briefly considering upgrading both the router and plate, I settled for a new lift plate from Woodpeckers that is designed for plunge routers like mine. My old plate was a funny size compared to today’s plates so I need to route out a larger recess.
My method was to pocket screw together some scraps (pre-finished plywood that I had around) in a four-way “star” configuration, and then use a flush cutting bit to route the recess. As seen in the second photo, I added some 3×5 cards to add clearance around the plate and clamped the scraps to the plate before shooting in the pocket screws. This worked great! I then clamped the “star” to the router table as shown in photo three.
I used a forstner bit to drill in the corners to get the cut started, and then used a trim router with a flush cutting bit to follow the edges of the “star” around. I had to do this in two passes, one with a short hinge mortising bit, and then another pass with a longer bearing-on-top flush trimming bit.
I like the new plate, it works great! The only problems I have are when I forget to unlock the plunge lock on the router and try to use the crank to adjust the height. I did have to drill holes in the plate since my old Hitachi does not have the same hole pattern as the current models. My only real complaint, and this minor, is after I ordered the plate and some insert rings for it, Woodpeckers changed the insert rings to be plastic rather than aluminum, so now I have a mix. I like the aluminum slightly better, but both work fine!
You can also see a bit of the router table fence I rebuilt last year with sliding MDF faces on T-track and an aluminum right-angle base. It is very sturdy now, and I like being able to close down the fence for small bits. The fence has dust collection and is backed by a first generation Incra Jig which I don’t use much but is occasionally handy to have.