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Horizontal Router Table/Slot Mortiser Ideas???

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Forum topic by Kenny posted 02-15-2012 05:49 AM 8488 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kenny

260 posts in 1909 days


02-15-2012 05:49 AM

First, I’m sorry if this is the incorrect section for this, I couldn’t make up my mind between this and power-tools, and since this isn’t really a power tool, but is a fixture used with a power tool, I put it here.

Anyway, I’m looking for ideas for a shop-built horizontal router table from others who have built them. I’d really like to see pictures of pieces that other LJ’s members have built so I can get some new ideas.

I have a model that I built, but I’m not thrilled with it really. I would like to find a better way to build the X-Y axis for the slot-mortising function, but not anything too complicated. Just free sliding, minimal play and good stops. Bearing drawer slide are my first thought, though I’m wondering if there are other options.
I’ve even considered an Enco Phase 2 cross-slide table, but I’m not sure if that’s quite what I’m looking for, though it would give me the accuracy I desire. (growing up with a machinist for a father, you tend to get accuracy driven well into your mindset)

Also, I would like to see how others have attached their routers and control the up/down adjustment of the router.

Mine simply has a block that clamps around the body of a router that runs in two vertical tracks with a piece of all-thread through a cross-brace at the top of the tracks to lift and lower the router. I also have 2 locking knobs on the sides of the router block to lock it in place.

I will put up pictures tomorrow detailing my set-up. If anyone has suggestions for it, I’m all ears.

I’m really considering a new unit entirely that uses a router plate rather than a clamping block around the motor, and also use sliding dovetails rather than a simple wooden track.

My other thought is to simply use 80/20’s aluminum extrusions and build the entire unit from those.

It’s all up in the air right now, I just need some fresh ideas so I can start designing again. Though I have learned what I DON’T want!

Thanks!

-- Kenny


6 replies so far

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eccentrictinkerer

38 posts in 2489 days


#1 posted 02-15-2012 05:59 AM

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2698 days


#2 posted 02-15-2012 12:20 PM

One of the projects on my big list is also a Horizontal Router Table and I’ve been looking at them for some time now. There are a lot of horizontal router tables here, but the woodworkers who built them, didn’t put in keywords to find them. A quick google search turns up a lot of them. Here’s the search terms to search a specific site.

site:lumberjocks.com “Horizontal Router” And do another search without the quotes to find pages with both words where they are not connected. You can also click on the images instead of web search. You’ll see lots of horizontal router tables and you can view the ones with features you like.

Here’s a couple of good plans to build a table.

http://garagewoodworks.com/HMortiser.php
http://woodgears.ca/slot_mortiser/index.html

After looking at all the information I’ve found. I’m going to build my own based on this design.

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/horizontal_router_table.html

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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HorizontalMike

7143 posts in 2375 days


#3 posted 02-15-2012 12:24 PM

Here is mine and this link shows details. Originally a Greg Paolini version, but modified for added dust collection and a lifting mechanism.

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

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Kenny

260 posts in 1909 days


#4 posted 02-15-2012 01:27 PM

HalDougherty,

Mine is very similar to the MLCS design. The only real difference is the way the router is held in place and the location of the locking screws.

I do like the garagewoodworks model, which is similar to that made by Matthias Wandel, but I’m not sure I want both the X-Y axis and the Z axis all to be at the router.

I designed mine so that I could stand in front of it, hence not needing a ton of room to stand beside it. I almost feel as though I would rather the table move for the X-Y axis, but I wonder if there may be some advantage I’m unaware of in having all the movement at the router?

I do like the steel rods and bushings over drawer slides 10 to 1, no question in my mind it’s a better, more reliable system (bearings are going to start sucking fast once they get gummed up with dust and debris).

Horizontal Mike’s system also has merits, though I would like to sway from the T-track sliders, which is what my mortising table slides on.

I’m really thinking a table that uses steel rods with bushings for the X-Y axis and then using a router lift similar to that on the Garagewoodworks model would be ideal.

We’ll see.

Thanks

-- Kenny

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HorizontalMike

7143 posts in 2375 days


#5 posted 02-15-2012 01:43 PM

Kenny,
One thing that I accidentally found as an advantage for having the MDF slots slide on the T-tracks was that I could and DID (out of necessity) was to adjust the angle of the MDF slot so that I got perfect parallel action in the R-L axis. I basically took my 1in chisel and scraped the MDF slot to lower one end of the axis table until I got near perfect parallelism while doing 16in. mortise/dado (the max single slide ability on my machine). I think I ended up with less than 5 thousandths error over a single 16in. piece end to end. I found user error (me) to create greater error when applying unequal pressure from one end to the other when cutting a dado.

FWIW, I am not sure how one could micro-adjust rods and bearing to such an extent, though I may be missing something here.

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

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HalDougherty

1820 posts in 2698 days


#6 posted 02-15-2012 01:56 PM

Kenny,

I’ve bought several sets of linear bearings and hardened shafts on ebay and I’m going to use some of them for the table slides. I was going to use them for the router lift too, but it will be easy to use the router plate from my router table and make vertical slots to hold the router plate. It’s going to be a while before I build one. I’ve got a lot to build first.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

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