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Need advice for improving Bosch RA1181 router tabletop

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 10-29-2014 07:34 PM 1174 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ADHDan

800 posts in 1575 days


10-29-2014 07:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router table

I have this Bosch router table with an aluminum tabletop – http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-RA1181-Benchtop-Router-Table/dp/B000H12DQ6/ – and, in general, I don’t have any major issues with it. But the tabletop miter channel doesn’t have a t-track (it’s just a straight groove), which makes it a bit of a hassle to use horizontal featherboards. I’d like to improve it in one of two ways – the first would be easiest, but the second would be the most versatile.

Option 1: Install a t-track into the existing miter slot. The miter slot is 3/4” wide by 3/8” deep, so I think I could fit a commercial t-track into it snugly (and hopefully without jutting up past the tabletop). The miter slot has holes spaced every few inches (ostensibly for positioning horizontal featherboards), so I think I could use small machine screws to hold the t-track in the slot without using a permanent adhesive. I’d lose the miter slot, which I really like for sleds and jigs, but I suppose if I could remove the t-track when I need to use the slot that wouldn’t be too bad.

Option 2: Cover the entire table with a thin sheet of metal. I have a bunch of magnetic featherboards for my table saw, and if I could somehow lay a flat and even surface of (e.g.) stamped steel over the aluminum I’d be ready to rock. This is especially attractive because I’m hoping to take the router tabletop off the base and install it into the wing of my table saw, where it would be incredibly convenient to be able to use my MagSwitch featherboards. The problem is, I don’t really know (a) what kind of material to use, or (b) how to affix it so that it lays perfectly flat on the aluminum tabletop. I’d also need to make it removable or have a “breakaway” section over the mounting plate, in case I ever need to pull the plate out.

Is there any realistic way to fasten a magnetic sheet over the aluminum tabletop, or is that a pipe dream? I’m also toying with the idea of rigging up some way of positioning heavy-duty rare earth magnets UNDER the table, so that they would pull on the MagSwitch magnets through the aluminum, but I’m not sure the pull would be strong enough going through the aluminum.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.


5 replies so far

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ChrisK

1809 posts in 2548 days


#1 posted 10-29-2014 07:50 PM

Look at K&J magnet site.

http://www.kjmagnetics.com/

They have online calculators for magnetic forces. A thin metal sheet might not be enough to hold the feather boards correctly. Magnets need enough material to allow the full force of the magnet to be used. Option does not sound to bad. If the T-Slot is aluminum it will not take to much work with a belt sander to ‘machine’ it to the right height.

-- Chris K

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Craftsman70

243 posts in 1591 days


#2 posted 10-30-2014 06:22 PM

I’ve had good luck just using these cheap featherboards that spread out in the slot and hold down well when the adjustment knob is tightened.
http://www.harborfreight.com/feather-board-with-angle-finder-36697.html

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1575 days


#3 posted 10-30-2014 06:28 PM

Hot damn, for $15 a pair that seems like the optimal solution (short of actually buying a cast iron table with a miter slot).

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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ChrisK

1809 posts in 2548 days


#4 posted 10-30-2014 06:44 PM

I have a set of these from Peachtree Woodworking. No slots on my router top at all, use them on my table saw. They work well.

-- Chris K

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1575 days


#5 posted 10-30-2014 07:00 PM

Do you know if there’s a place I can just buy that locking hardware, without the featherboard? Really, the hardware is all I need – I already have two extra featherboards. Thanks!

Edit: it looks like plenty of places sell that hardware, but it’s more than the entire featherboard from Harbor Freight – so I’ll probably just go that route.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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