|Project by Rex B||posted 04-24-2012 07:44 PM||17844 views||62 times favorited||17 comments|
This router table extension has been a work-in-progress for quite some time. I built the table extension first.
It is made of 3/4” Baltic Birch plywood, joined with glue and pocket hole screws. It is attached to the table saw by 1/4-20 bolts through holes I drilled in the end of the extension wing and the rear rail. The front of the tabletop slightly overhangs the front rail for support. For more info on how I mounted the extension go here and scroll down to my comment. I used an aluminum insert plate and leveling hardware from Rockler and hogged out a recess for the plate with my router. I was a bit concerned about weakening the tabletop by cutting this recess, so I first laminated a large scrap of 3/8 Baltic Birch to the underside. The leveling hardware brings the plate up even with the tabletop. I also installed a switch from Grizzly and wired it to a dual plug so I can connect my router and shop-vac.
I used the table without a fence for a few months, mostly with a bearing-guided roundover bit. I knew I eventually wanted to build a split fence for the router table, but what really pushed me to do it was the realization that it could be used as a jointer for small boards (until I get a real jointer). I came up with a simple design with sliding faces that clamps to the tablesaw fence to lock it down. The fence is also 3/4” Baltic Birch, with the face covered with formica left over from when my parents built their house (hence the nice pink color). The sliding faces can open up to 3”, and are clamped by threaded studs going into T-nuts that are concealed by the formica. For edge jointing, I use a shim that I cut from the same formica (.06” thick) behind the outfeed face of the fence. Then I set the fence so that the outfeed face is even with the cutting edge of a straight bit.
I tested this yesterday with a piece of pine, and the results were beautiful. I haven’t tested it with hardwood yet, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t perform just as well. Obviously it wouldn’t work well for very long pieces, but it will be enough to tide me over until I can afford a real jointer. Finally, I added a small angled box with a hole for my shop-vac hose. The angled plate with the hole in it is attached only by screws so I can change it out if I get something with a different size hose. Both the table extension and fence are finished with 3 coats of Varathane Floor Varnish.
In all, I am very happy with this project. Having the router in the saw wing works perfectly for my small shop, and it increases the size of the saw table for use as an assembly/finishing surface. The fence works great as a jointer, and the dust collection is really good when the fence is close to the bit. Below is the solid model I created showing joinery and dimensions.