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Digital meter for big Triton Router - for reference

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Forum topic by Bertha posted 12-22-2011 05:50 PM 1313 views 1 time favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bertha

12951 posts in 1379 days


12-22-2011 05:50 PM

This isn’t a terribly exciting project but I figured I’d share it in the hopes that someone down the line will benefit from it. I’ve got the big 3+hp Triton loaded into a BenchDog extension. I’ve removed the plunge spring and drilled a hole in my router plate for over-the-table height adjustment. I wanted to add a digital height meter to save me some headache. I purchased this one for very little money:

It’s on Amazon for $27.50
http://www.amazon.com/iGaging-DigiMAG-Magnetic-Digital-Readout/dp/B003JU46J4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324568051&sr=8-2

For less than $30, I expected some major fitting and probably some bracketry manufacture. After many hours of trying to figure a way not to tap/thread anything (and to keep everything away from the controls), I managed to find a way. It’ll require drilling a few included brackets and bending one. You’ll need a washer or two. Note that this will make it very difficult to remove the router, but most seem to dedicate this cheapish (but powerful) router to table duties.

Here’s the upper bracket:

I definitely didn’t want to drill the table, so I used an existing mounting screw after increasing the hole diameter on the supplied bracket.

Here’s the lower bracket:

I had to increase the diameter on the bracket mounting hole and bend it in the vise until it registered well with the knob screw. If you remove the outer half of the knob, there are a series of screws you could use, but this seemed easiest.

So does it work? Yes. It’s a very easy device to use. Simply zero the bit, choose metric or inches, and you’re ready to go.

Here’s a shot with the bit advanced. This bit just happened to be in there, sorry, lol.

My fiance beat me up about the units being “negative”. I guess it depends upon whether you’re the board or the user;) You can flip the post or there’s probably a way to reverse it if it bothers you.

The readout has magnets on the back. Put it where you want it.

Like I said, nothing groundbreaking, but I hope it helps someone some day.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog


19 replies so far

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1760 days


#1 posted 12-22-2011 06:05 PM

Thank you for the excellent post with some very good information.

In some applications, I like digital measurements. They can really be helpful with repeatability. This is true with the height adjustment on my thickness planer.

I’m not very enthused about digital height measurements on routers. The problem for me is that you only have repeatability until you change bit. I don’t know of an accurate and reliable way to make certain you have reinstalled the bit to the same depth as it was before.

I’ll look forward to someone telling me I am wrong.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2039 posts in 1519 days


#2 posted 12-22-2011 06:08 PM

Whoa, nifty! I will definately want somethink like that once I finish establishing my tools at the parents’ place!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1600 days


#3 posted 12-22-2011 06:09 PM

I was looking at these, but figured I would still end up running test pieces over the router anyways and thus defeat the purpose. I am sure they do a great job at what they do but I wonder about how practical they are in actually saving time, material, etc. I don’t know, but they sure look neat and high tech…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1379 days


#4 posted 12-22-2011 06:16 PM

^very true, Mike. I rebated a piece to what the meter said was 1/4” and it actually was. I think I’ll primarily use it for ballpark stuff like drawer dados, etc. I’m a handtool guy but I give my powertools some occasional love. I’m hoping this will help if I ever need an incremental depth increase. Anyway, it was a fun project for $30 lol. I got the Wixey planer one (dW735) too; I’m yet to fool with it.
.
I forgot to mention that the fractionals are on the right side of the screen. I mean, 1/128 on a router table with a cheap router, with a plastic insert, with some slop, etc.; it’s kind of laughable, but still pretty fun.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4844 posts in 2568 days


#5 posted 12-22-2011 06:19 PM

That’s pretty cool for the money. Thanks for the heads up.

Maybe make a depth zero indicator. A light bulb, a battery, a couple of test leads, and a metal straight edge laying on the top would do. Raise the bit until the bulb just lights up, and then zero the indicator. Or something like that.

Neat,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1379 days


#6 posted 12-22-2011 06:24 PM

I like the way Steve thinks, lol. Find a reason to make something light up. Actually, that’s pretty clever; you know there’s a huge margin of error when you register something against a bar. You could even make a slider for the leads, to accommodate the bit width.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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SPalm

4844 posts in 2568 days


#7 posted 12-22-2011 06:27 PM

Ha.
Or make it have its own ring-tone.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1379 days


#8 posted 12-22-2011 06:34 PM

I was thinking more Bluetooth, lol.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1600 days


#9 posted 12-22-2011 06:46 PM

And what about router bit creep? I have had 1/4in shank bit creep on me in the table if I overheat them during use.

Yeah, I know I should only use 1/2in shank bits, but the lady of the house bought me that Sears Starter Kit of 1/4in router bits back when I was just starting to use a router… I have been buying 1/2in shank bits going forward, but sometimes find it hard/impossible to find them in say a 1/4in UpCut. Just sayin’ ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1379 days


#10 posted 12-22-2011 07:13 PM

Before we were both woodworking studs, Mike, I assembled an entourage of 1/4” bits too, lol. Similarly, I only buy 1/2 inch now. Obviously, this thing won’t do crap for creep. I use the router table like a waste eliminator, then police up with hand tools. I’m pretty sure you have this router, so the 1/4” collet is definitely suspect. I’m more likely to forget to cinch the fence, forget to lock the plunge, forget to install a bit, lol. That must be why I like planes. They ruin my project more slowly;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Dave's profile

Dave

11184 posts in 1526 days


#11 posted 12-22-2011 10:26 PM

Great price on such technology. Thanks for the heads up Bertha. And a week ago I had a 1/4 shaft bit d#$% near walk its way out of mine. I had turned around and I heard the pitch of the bit change. I turned off the table then went back in the house to check my shorts. I don’t need 1/4 inch shrapnel flying around the shop.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View brtech's profile

brtech

681 posts in 1608 days


#12 posted 12-22-2011 10:43 PM

i think you are wrong richgreer. The key phrase in the above is “zero the bit”. When you change bits, you adjust until the bit is level with the plate, and press zero on the readout. Then it reads height above the plate, no matter where the bit is in the collet. If you want a .250” depth of cut, you get it, every time, even if you take the bit out of the router and replace it.

An idea from cnczone you could use with this setup. Get something straight and conductive. A brass bar might be great, but steel works. Hook up a battery, a resistor and an LED, or tear apart a cheap flashlight, to make an indicating light. Connect one side to the bar, the other to an alligator clip you put on the bit. Put the bar over the bit on the plate, and raise the router until the bit hits the bar and the light lights. Zero!

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6948 posts in 1600 days


#13 posted 12-23-2011 12:14 AM

Bert,
My Big Triton will LOCK the collet when it is cranked to its Highest “under-the-table position.” This is how we change bit on this router. That being said, when using a 1/4in shank (and some 1/2in shanks), I cannot get the switch lock to disengage and allow the router to run. It ALL depends on what depth of cut I am doing/finishing. The bit(s) do not seem long enough when “bottomed out on the router collet. I have raise the bit in the collet by ~1/4in so that I can get the depth of cut I want AND to get the router to unlock and run. In that case the zeroing mark loses its meaning.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View brtech's profile

brtech

681 posts in 1608 days


#14 posted 12-23-2011 12:53 AM

Possibly I’m the one that is confused, ISTM that the zero position is when the part of the bit farthest from the collet is flush with the top of the plate. Anything passed over the bit wouldn’t cut. If you raise it up by .125” from there, them the wood gets cut 1/4”.

Given that, it doesn’t matter how the bit sits in the collet. You raise it until the top of the bit is flush with the plate, and that’s zero. You raise it from there to set depth of cut.

View ETwoodworks's profile

ETwoodworks

92 posts in 1379 days


#15 posted 12-23-2011 01:07 AM

I could see this being more usefull as a frame of refrence. Say you already know you have your dado hight at 1/4” and you need to be at 1/2”. Simply hit the zero and move the bit up till it says 1/4”. Used this way it could really save me some back and forth in trying to adjust the bit.

-- Building quality in a throw away world.

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