|Project by Lenny||posted 03-13-2011 10:43 PM||3907 views||24 times favorited||31 comments|
I posted four blogs covering my build of this router station. This is to post it as a finished project and also to follow up on what I opted to do for dust collection. See my blogs section if interested in the series of posts. I fashioned the basic cabinet after one built by Blake. He did a wonderful job designing and executing his cabinet build. I added some personal touches, most particularly the accent stripe on the doors and drawers and the drawer pulls. The primary wood is maple and prefinished maple plywood. The accent woods are purpleheart and yellowheart. I had some fun fashioning the draw pulls, opting to craft them into the names of my family. I used a scroll saw for most of this work and a Dremel tool for details and areas I couldn’t saw all the way through but needed to “cut”. An example would be, between the two “N”s in my name. Again, my blogs will provide the specifics on joinery, etc. but I used mostly pocket holes and biscuits. The finish is three coats of Minwax wipe on poly with #000 steel wool sanding in between.
The cabinet is built under a Porter-Cable 7518 router (3 ¼ hp) attached to a Pinnacle v2 router lift and sits in a Woodpecker offset table outfitted with an Incra LS Positioner fence system. The Woodpecker table measures 43” by 27” and I made the cabinet dimensions 41-1/2” by 25-1/2”. The finished height is 36-1/2” including the casters and tabletop. Originally, the cabinet incorporated a lower chamber that housed a small shop-vac for dedicated dust collection both above and below the router. The Kreg switch would simultaneously turn on the router and vac. When I tried it out, I found the 2.5 hp vac to be grossly insufficient. One might say it “sucked”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I used a wye adaptor to capture dust both below and above the router table. With two sources from which to draw, the suction was severely reduced. Here are a couple of “before” photos to show the set up and DC plumbing.
To fix the DC issue I opted to employ a combination of suggestions offered by LJs. I scrapped the idea of dedicated dust collection. I resolved that any vac I could fit in the lower chamber would not have sufficient horsepower to be effective. I covered the hole in the shelf between the two chambers as well as the one at the back of the lower chamber, where the DC hose exited. I cut a 4” hole at the back of the router chamber and installed a 4” chute. Four inch hose goes from the chute up to a 4” blast gate, followed by a 4”X4”X2-1/2” wye adaptor. The 4” side of the adaptor continues up to more 4” hose connected to the blast gate at the central DC drop. The 2-1/2” side of the system is as follows. A 2-1/2” hose connects to the port on the router table fence. The other end of the hose is attached to a 2-1/2” blast gate which in turn is attached to the 2-1/2” side of the wye adaptor where it meets up with the 4” side of the system. See photos above.
While routing, I will close the 4” blast gate and only have collection at the fence. When I finish, I close the 2-1/2” blast gate, open the 4” side and vacuum out the router chamber. The vent (floor register) in the door of the router chamber provides take up air for that process. I tested the system last night and it works like a charm. I opened the door while the DC was on and I heard and felt the loss of suction. As I closed the door, the suction actually pulled it closed. I think I am in business. The only two issues are: 1. I have a 2.5 hp shop vac that I have no use for and 2. I have cabinet space (lower chamber) that I didn’t expect. The latter is not a bad thing!
Thanks to Blake for answering all my questions, to all who followed my progress on this build and to those stopping by now. Special thanks to the following LJs for their input and/or suggestions regarding the dust collection issue: Rick Dennington, HokieMojo, SPalm, Dusty56 and John Gray. I hope I got everyone.
-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI