|Project by Blake||posted 1231 days ago||6525 views||75 times favorited||24 comments|
I recently upgraded my router table by adding a router lift. So I had a router plate without a home, which became the inspiration for this project.
Most of the parts are constructed with MDF. The table top is a piece of Phenolic that I found at my old job. It was exactly 1/2” thick so it was perfect for use with the t-track. I cut it into thirds, sandwiched the t-track between the pieces, and mounted it back on to a piece of MDF.
The raising/lowering mechanism for the router is a simple twist-screw mechanism made out of all-thread, a bracket mounted to the router plate and a store-bought knob.
I imbedded two rare-earth magnets next two the router plate and stuck a steel ruler to them (third photo). The ruler can be flipped from the fractions side to the other side with 10ths and 100ths of an inch depending on which system I’m using. It can also be “zeroed” just by sliding it up or down.
An Incra “T-track Plus” extends out either side of the X-Y table for attaching adjustable stops along the X-axis (see 5th and 6th photos)
The X-Y table slides on four modified ball-bearing keyboard slides.
Each slide had one set of ball-bearing gliders between the upper and lower section. But the slides were not accurate enough as-is because when the weight shifted from one side to the other it would rock on the glider. I also had to modify the slides so they would move in both directions from center.
The single ball-bearing glider in the slide:
To modify the slides I started by removing the stops that keep the slides from moving past the neutral position.
This allowed me to remove the lower section to reveal the ball-bearing glide:
Then I carefully transferred the glide from one slide to another to avoid losing ball bearings:
Now there are two glides in each slide. Yes, this does mean that I had to buy TWICE as many slides as I needed and waste half of them, but they are much stiffer and they don’t rock, which increases overall accuracy. It also means that they can slide in both directions but not as far as the original slides. Luckily I was able to get an awesome deal on the slides. They were an old style on clearance for 40% off (only $7 bucks per pair).
One set of two finished slides:
Because the stops were removed from the slides, I had to add my own stops between the X-Y table so it doesn’t slide beyond the point where the bearings were exposed and tiny steel balls start dropping to the floor. You can see the stops made from scraps of Padouk in the second photos.
The Test Cut
The first mortise came out flawlessly!
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