Workbench upgrades

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Blog entry by woodworkerguyca posted 05-21-2016 12:25 AM 843 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So here’s the dilemma for the router, how to hold it in… I found the standard base way more friendly than the plunge base, but the plunge base is spring loaded, so I’m not sticking that in upside down. This means the base has gotta come out real easy. Sloppy drilled holes with aluminum pins act as hinges for the plywood support arms. The theory checks out and holds it solid while clamped like this, but it needs a little something more to keep it up.

Here is the way to hold the router in: lag bolt through the edge of the table with a hardwood (oak?) block. One corner is sanded down a little in order to make it easier to latch if the support arms are not fully in place.

Next up: The all important fence. Ideally this would be a single sided mount. This first attempt is not remotely stiff enough to justify only latching on one side. However the aluminum extrusion is quite handy as I can attach what I need to on the router side while still having a clear space for the table saw/miter saw side. One thing I’ll say about working with extrusions is that it takes a lot of bolts, and hex head bolts get stripped easy making a need for even more.
Anyone know where to buy 5mm .8 thread machine screws, various lengths, but specifically 8mm long with low-profile torx/star head?
So far all I have found is round head.

The current, but short-lived iteration of the fence, the rollers are nice, not sure I’ll stick with them for two reasons: one, hard to clamp down. Currently attached to the track with two elbow brackets, two because my tap stinks. And second, the only ways to get the fence off is disassemble or sliding it past the router. So far I haven’t needed to get it off. To get extra stiffness I clamp the far end down to the table. I’m happy with it so far, and considering I spent about $70 on the fence so far, I think I can stand scratching my head for a while longer until I find what works best for me. Probably going to involve milling an UHMW HDPE slider, mostly because scraps are dirt cheap at Tap, also because it is fun to work with. Who knows, I may even find an excuse to plastic weld. (wanting to get better at milling and joinery with plastic and aluminum is what got me into this whole woodworking nonsense to start with, so it would make sense that there is going to be some custom aluminum and plastic stuff going on)

Lastly, although not chronologically last, I have avoided glue on the whole bench in case I need to change anything, but it turns out when I got a little sloppy with the assembly. There was a gap in the table surface and the banding/edge support around the side. After some denial, because after all I had been measuring so carefully, I took out just enough screws to access the one cross support that need to be trimmed. It made a big difference in matching up the extrusion the fence sits on.

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