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Incra/Jessem/Milwaukee Router Table

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Project by toddbeaulieu posted 12-31-2013 09:17 PM 3031 views 26 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After talking about building a good router table for a year now, I finally got around to it. I looked at countless base designs. Almost going with the Abrams design I changed my mind at the last minute and ordered the Incra base. I really wanted to get up and running in a reasonable time and figured it would be good enough.

I went nuts with Incra on this project and I can’t speak highly enough about their products! I decided to just go all out on this project. And boy did it add up! I did get $100 for my old table. ;)

o Milwaukee/Jessem 5626 3.5 HP router with the detached speed controller
o Jessem/Incra Mast-R-Lift II
o Incra CleanSweep dust box surrounding the router
o Incra CleanSweep rings WOW DO THEY WORK WELL
o Incra Base
o Incra 43” top
o Incra LS 25 Positioner
o Foot control
o Foam router bit storage trays

So the cabinet is just birch with locking joints. The drawers are oak with maple and walnut fronts. The handles are walnut. Believe it or not, I made all the over extension slides from maple! I got the plan from FWW. I really like them, but I’d tweak a couple of things the next time. The drawers actually lift off them when pulled all the way out. Believe it or not this was my first attempt at being creative on a project. I sandwiched the walnut on the drawer fronts, thinking it would be different. The handles were obviously a custom pattern, as well. I think they’re OK. Nothing great, but it was a learning process, for sure.

The frosting on this project was the Incra template drawer. I stole the primary idea, but added own touches. It’s PVC (Azek) milled with the LS (heaven!) sandwiched and encased in oak with dados. I really wanted this assembly mounted at the top of the drawer so I’d have room under it for the Incra books. But that left me stumped as to how to lift it (no clearance for a handle) and how to lock into place. Being a tech guy I always try to over engineer things. I bought some springs and was thinking of somehow having it spring loaded. In the end I came up with this walnut knob/handle on the side. It was a PITA to make, but assuming it holds up to use should work great. By simply lifting the template tray up the leg swings down and you can just set the tray down. Perfect!

I really like the separate speed controller! I added a two stage foot switch (on/off) and LOVE that in my process. I feel safer. It makes me think about firing it up, almost like a checklist. Power switch? On. Everything ready? Yup. Step on the switch. And it’s so much easier to turn off, as well. So for repeating work I just use the foot switch but as soon as I’m done a batch I throw the main switch. The only problem I have is now is that when I go to the table saw I keep trying to turn it on with a non existent foot switch! Too funny.

The little tool caddie on the end is for the most common tools that I need all the time at the router. A tool to lift the magnetic plates, a pocket to hold the set of plates, a pocket for the wrenches and holes for the fence tool and the lift handle.

I ordered high density foam trays for bit storage, but don’t have them yet. I’m not entirely enthusiastic about separating my bits from their individual boxes and sets, which have information about them. I’d like some way to label them. Some of my nicer bits are in wooden boxes, which I don’t really want to discard, either.

I’ve used the table quite a bit this vacation, including to build itself (I love that!). Let me tell you … it’s a dream! The LS is so cool and the dust collection through the CleanSweep rings is amazing! To me, the LS is what I always thought routing should be like. I never felt like a standard fence made any sense. Making small adjustments manually is a PITA, but with the LS I can tweak it 1/32” in 10 seconds. The over-sized micro adjust wheel has positive, strong clicks for 1/1000” adjustments. And that is super helpful! The router itself … wow. What can I say? Plenty of power and the speed control is beautiful – perfectly linear. When the router’s cranked up in the lift it looks like a jet engine in the table, which is a nice “feature”. ;)

Finally the Incra is not just a tool, but a system. I’m just beginning my learning, but I made my drawers (half blind) and they are PERFECT. The book comes with 50 templates for box joints and dovetails. I bought their project book, as well. I sold my buddy my old table and Jessem lift. While he was up we made some dovetails and I showed him around the LS.

So I asked him how he liked the lift yesterday and he cracked me up. Said it’s good, but to be honest after seeing the LS it’s hard to be excited about anything else. Too late, the deal is done. ;)

This last photo is my drawer fronts and hinges before they met their final fate …





12 comments so far

View NormG's profile

NormG

4208 posts in 1671 days


#1 posted 12-31-2013 10:05 PM

Great tool

-- Norman

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

300 posts in 807 days


#2 posted 12-31-2013 11:32 PM

Awesome. That’s my dream table right there. I’m paying attention to tables and Incra fences right now because I got rid of my old saw with a router table in the wing, so for now I’m without a RT until I can get one built. I know yo spent a pretty penny on this project but I think you’ll really enjoy it.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View hoss12992's profile

hoss12992

2787 posts in 560 days


#3 posted 01-01-2014 02:31 AM

Awesome table. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

View cbehnke's profile

cbehnke

83 posts in 1283 days


#4 posted 01-01-2014 03:44 AM

fantastic use of that new incra dust shroud. i’ve been waiting to see someone bling a router table with that. also, i LOVE your organizer for the template inserts that go in the positioner. i have mine in a plastic bag and it’s a hassle, love your solution…may have to steal it from you.

thanks for posting it.

View danoaz's profile

danoaz

169 posts in 837 days


#5 posted 01-01-2014 02:21 PM

Holy router Batman!! I am almost speechless. Wow.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View Maveric777's profile

Maveric777

2691 posts in 1743 days


#6 posted 01-01-2014 03:22 PM

Nice!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View PittsburghTim's profile

PittsburghTim

213 posts in 989 days


#7 posted 01-01-2014 05:02 PM

Beautiful stand! I am interested in any feedback on the Incra LS positioner itself as I was a good boy this year and received the LS25 and table top for Christmas. I hope to build a stand myself this weekend as I am off until Monday.

Once again, great stand and good luck in the new year to you and all of the Lumberjocks,

Tim

-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3164 posts in 2490 days


#8 posted 01-01-2014 06:00 PM

Great looking work station , really like the template draws enjoy this altar neat route ring station…BC

View misterbig's profile

misterbig

8 posts in 344 days


#9 posted 01-14-2014 12:21 AM

I totally love that template holder. Would you be willing to share more on how you constructed that. I just purchased that the LS 25’ Positioner table combo #3 and was planning on doing something like that as well.

M

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

390 posts in 1671 days


#10 posted 01-14-2014 12:22 AM

You bet. Glad to help however I can. I’ll start collecting thoughts on it. Don’t let me forget.

View toddbeaulieu's profile

toddbeaulieu

390 posts in 1671 days


#11 posted 02-03-2014 07:43 PM

M, to get the conversation started here’s where I got the idea for the template channels. Half way down the page is a link to a “CAD file”, which is a PDF of the channel layouts using the positioner for the milling.

I made mine from PVC, instead of wood. If I had to do it again, I’d love to try cutting board (HDF) stock. I had a hard time finding the size I wanted for the price I wanted, so I ended up picking up PVC at home depot. Part of the problem was that I didn’t want each layer to be too thick. It just seemed like a waste to use 3/4” thick sheets. I didn’t realize that I’d end up planing the material down, which worked well.

The biggest problem I had was tear out. I think HDF would help a lot with that, as PVC is very lightweight porous. I made my channels very shallow (I think I did a 64th or a 32 at most). You simply don’t need them to be deep. Also, if you use a larger router bit you can bump it much easier. I think I used 1/2 bit and had to bump it 1/32 to widen each track. That’s MUCH easier to keep straight in your head than the odd changes required when using a smaller bit. I encourage you to practice first to see how the tear out is. You may need to feed the material backwards for the second pass when widening it by a 32” to eliminate tear out. When you’re milling the same channel in multiple sheets at once, you can messing up multiple pieces at once!

Another change in the plan, as evident in my project photos was that my assembly pivots open, wherein DJ’s has a curved front end that makes the templates bend upwards to access. Your choice.

I’ve been using my Incra quite a bit since I built this and I absolutely love it, as I also love the template storage. It’s so easy to find the right template in seconds!

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

http://www.delorie.com/wood/projects/router/

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

658 posts in 91 days


#12 posted 07-25-2014 03:39 AM

Great looking table with some serious hardware to go with it.
Nice job on the drawers and slides and I really like your template drawer.

Thanks for sharing your work with us.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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