|Project by Delain||posted 02-24-2014 08:43 PM||6976 views||38 times favorited||13 comments|
Here we have sweetness, all day long!
Not bragging on my craftsmanship at all; just elated with the results and with now having the ability to use a router table.
Here is my first offering of a project to LJ.
I’ve taken a bit more time to annotate this project since it took quite a lot of time to make happen and it also includes a product (Keen Dust Collector) that has been reviewed on this site. I thought it would be helpful to show how I implemented it into this build.
Main Parts List
Table Saw: SawStop PCS 36” T-glide system
Router: Triton TRA 001
Keen Dust Collector (herein aka ”the blue cup”)
Rockler brand router table insert
Originally, I wanted to build a full-size router cabinet style “table” such as from Hylton’s “Woodworking with the Router” book, but, I became overwhelmed with all of the versions that others have built and which ideas to implement. And, since I haven’t learned how to do case work (cabinets), I was hesitant with where to start.
I’m also a reader of magazines and books and an information junkie, so I’ve bought several of the special edition books (magazine style) that FWW, PWW, AWW, and the others publish. Within one of these from FWW, I came across one of John White’s projects and fell in love with the idea. The fact that it involved the exact same router and almost the same SawStop that I have was all the confidence builder I needed to try to make a router table a reality. This will serve me while I build my skills and perhaps build a stand alone cabinet version later.
This table top replaces the stock extension table section that came with my Sawstop cabinet table saw. I did have to modify White’s dimensions a bit since he has the larger saw model. I didn’t mount the table exactly as he did, in that, I didn’t mount metal angles to the stock angle supports. I just couldn’t bring myself to drill into my already perfect and still somewhat new table saw. So, I utilized the existing mounting holes and the extension leg supports to be the support for the router section. So far, it seems more than adequate to support the table with the beast (Triton TRA 001) mounted.
The idea of the original design, from the magazine, is to create two vacuum flows – - one at the stock router dust shroud and the other through a “dust box” within the fence.
An opening in the table top leads to an enclosed area directly underneath it where a vacuum hose connects to a dust port.
The fence also has an enclosure that covers the table opening creating the overall “dust box”. Air flow starts at the fence directly at the bit, then down through the table opening, and out the dust port at the box bottom.
If the fence is moved away from the bit for pattern routing or such, I disconnect the dust box bottom hose connection and block the hose with a round piece of foam. This acts as a “gate” to create a stronger suction directly at the bit by way of the blue cup.
Changing bits above the table is working just fine due to the design of the Triton. The only thing I have to be careful of is not raising it too high to engage the collet lock. The round plastic insert that is part of the overall metal table insert plate will bend slightly because of the blue cup being squished up from the under side.
The Blue Cup
So, how many of us have used a router on a 3/4” piece of MDF and said, “Holy cow! Did a nuclear dust bomb just go off in my garage/shop or what? “Dadgummit, I knew better. I just wanted to get the cut done so I can move on.” I’m still cleaning dust off of stuff in the furthest away parts of my shop from where I made the cut.
Well, I didn’t want that to happen with the router table. And, the standard shroud around the Triton is woeful at best, at collecting(?) or directing the dust to the port of the stock shroud. And I’ve yet to see but maybe one other user find a workable solution to connect to that size port. I’ve read many of the comments from guys who say they are making the Triton dust shroud work, but that shroud is a pretty poor design. The harshness of this criticism is born from having seen the Keen Dust Collector in action.
The blue cup is as perfect of a solution for router dust collection that I think we’re going to get. And for the Triton, it is also probably a life saver since the air flow vents are located precisely in the path of downward flowing dust when mounted upside down in a table. The blue cup all but eliminates that issue.
Can you relate?
To help you understand my reaction when I first connected the vacuum up to the blue cup and routed a stick of wood on my new table, and just how happy I was, this should speak to you. How many times when you’re making a jig or some shop helper and you call your wife down to see it in action?
Well this is one of those times!
Addendum to the yet-to-be-posted project
Since I first completed the router extension table build, setting up the photos and making notes for this write-up, I’ve yet to do any major routing projects, but the use the router table and vacuum system has received continues to prove up the blue cup installation and the utility of a router table.
Overall, this was a good confidence builder. Not too many gotchas during the build, but enough to keep me humble for sure.
Thanks for reading,