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Thread: Where are all the dual vertical/horizontal router tables?...

  1. #1

    Where are all the dual vertical/horizontal router tables?...

    Hello Everyone,

    So its time for a new table. As I have mentioned in a previous thread I am the proud dweller of a micro sized shop, so multi function tools are of prime interest to me. Hence in my quest to find a new router table I am looking at one that is extremely versatile. I recently purchased the back issue of FWW (April 2004) with the great "Versatile Router Table" design.

    This is a great design with a lot of thought put into (although it seems to have one major design flaw no real fence attachment capability-for those familiar with this design help me out if I'm missing something.) I have considered the Lee Valley fence that has the ability to clamp to the edges of its own steel table but I suspect can be modified to fit onto a thicker melamine table as well. I suspect t-tracks would not function as they would get in the way of the work piece when using the table in "horizontal mode."

    Regardless the main reason I purchased the back issue was because this table offered the ability to mount a router horizontally OR vertically. It just seems like such a logical and easy way to get more out of a router (m/t, easier panel manipulation etc.) I wonder why it's not more widely implemented?...

    I have been able to only locate information on two products that offer this capability the RouterShop by Hawk (considering it) and another lesser known brand.

    Are there others I'm missing?...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Rochester, NY
    MLCS offers one that might be worth a peek.
    Last edited by scott spencer; 10-14-2005 at 7:50 AM.
    Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

  3. #3

    Not quite but nice nonetheless...

    Thanks Scott.

    Yes I've seen this unit. It is quite nice but it only does horizontal not both... I'm talking about a commercial version of the design in FWW (April 2004.) Or something similar to the Hawk Routershop...

    Anyone use the Routershop here?... There is very little information on the website about the unit, which seems rather odd for a device retailing for $600us. I have reviewed the woodshopdemos site but I'm looking for specs on the unit and there nowhere to be found.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Anywhere it snows....

    With all due respect, the reason you dont see lots of this "concept" floating about is that its not that useful.

    True, by placing the bit at this angle, you can do some cool things like cutting tenons. But for it to be truely useful, you will need to have table control and tilt control. That means your going to need a multi-router. The bottom line, is that by placing the router axis in the horizontal, you make it easy to cut tenons and some mortises. This is useful but there are lots of alternate solutions about. Also, cutting mortises with this system freehand can be wild and wooly! I would want my item secured so it does not get ripped out of my hands and thrown about. Again, were back to multi-router territory.

    Panel raising with the router in the horizontal requires you to use special unique panel raising bits. Not the standard panel raisers and definitely not shaper cutters. So, this approach is trying to mimick a tenoner without the fancy slliding tables and hold down restraints. So I do awknowledge the trickness and coolness of such a system but, in the final analysis, I find this approach a bit lacking and potentially dangerous.
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  5. #5
    I have used the RouterterShop many times since its inception in 93. Actually, the panel raising use is quite good. It allows you to use vertical panel raising bits and run the panels through at the best angle...flat on the table. I dont have it now. I find a stright router table much more convenient.
    There are dozens of pages here:
    John Lucas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev Emch
    With all due respect, the reason you dont see lots of this "concept" floating about is that its not that useful.
    With equal respect, most of the router books include designs for horizontal router setups and some include the adjustability. "Usefullness" is a pretty personal thing...there have been a number of times that I would have found this kind of setup convenient; so much so that I almost built one of the setups that hangs on the end of a table saw wing to provide horizontal routing capablity. Yea, MultiRouter is more "instantaniously adjustable", but it also costs a whole lot of premo cherry to buy it!

    I've seen the Hawk table in one SMC member's shop in my travels. It's a very nice setup.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Anywhere it snows....
    Jim, I agree with you on this one. But I still think you need some kind of support vis a vis a sliding table. Now, again, my memory fails me, but I recall someone actually building a horizontal multi router clone and ducumenting it in the fine woodworking magazine. His setup was made from ply, mdf and T-Track. He had both an X axis and a Y axis. It was done well enough that it caught my attention! Of course, the router height adjustment gave you the Z axis.

    My biggest complaint about FWW is finding things. After a few years, you wind up with stacks and stacks of FWW mags and short of using some kind of online oracle data base search engine, how the heck do you find that one article in that one magazine. The problem is that you read the article and find it interesting but not of immediate use. Then, late at night, some SMC guys posts a post and now you need to remember, edition, magazine and page number. Any quick ideas on finding this particular article?

    Also, cutting wood is often akin to milling raw stock. In the metalworking world, this is often done using a milling machine and after several hundred years and a few CNC generations, we have this idea pretty much down pat. But the woodworking world has its own issues. For example, its not uncommon to mill an edge on a 20 foot stick of wood. You use a shaper or moulder for that. Then there are the times you need to mill ends onto sticks such as tenons or cope ends on tenons. We can use tenoners for that. Then there are times we need to cut dovetails into two matching boards. This is actually very hard to do on a bridgeport milling machine but easy with the D4 dovetailing jig. So my point is this. We have come up with many different solutions to the milling of wood which fits the problems associated with milling wood. There is not one particular type of machine but rather many specialized machines. And many of these machines have overlap meaning that two different machines can actually do the same job. This concept has been addressed by many tool vendors lately in the creation of router centric solutions. Today, there are all sorts of jigs that use your router to solve a particular problem. The D4, the woodrat, the router table, etc. etc. But very little attention has been focused on running routers on the horizontal. And I think some of that has to do with the fact that you need some kind of moving support stucture to guide you.

    Now the multi-router has this and its an awsome machine. It morfs the horizontal milling machine with the router jig to produce a useful woodworking tool. But in so doing, it uses a pile of very expensive bearings. I once priced out these bearings and recall the cost or value of the bearings alone to be about $700 dollars for all axis' involved. That is a lot of money for just full figured support! So this leaves the horiztontal router in a tough position. You will have to find ways to support your work piece as you rout your cut or risk having it ripped out of your hands. Ironically, a similar argument can be made about standalone pin routers. A pin router, such as an onsrud 244 or an inverted pin router such as the CR Onsrud routers all need to have some kind of guide jig to guide the machine. You will not get far without this guide jig!

    Now many folks will agree that the best thing about placing a router in the horizontal is its ability to cut tenons. It can also rout out mortises if correctly set up. But your tenon depth is limited to the depth of the largest straight cutters on the market. Pushing anything over 2 inches becomes an issue. Also, your going to need to make two precision cuts. Not only do you need to adjust the router for its depth of cut but you also need to adjust for the thickness of the tennon. In other words, I am concerned about both the thickness of the tenon and its location within the overall thickness of the item being cut. This can lead to frustration. I actually have more control using a table saw mounted tenon jig. The trickest way to do this is to use two rebate cutters and a spacer on the shaper. The precision spacer sets my tenon thickness instantly and the spindle height adjustment makes placment of the tenon in the overall thickness easy. Then, all I need to use is a panel shaping jig, the mitre gage and fence or a sliding table if the shaper is so equiped.

    Many shapers can actually accept sliding tables such as the DeWalt or Jet sliding tables currently being installed on table saws. This is esp. true if your using a Delta HD shaper.

    So the decision to use a multi router and/or to build a router table with a horizontally mounted router can boil down to whether you have or plan to get an actual wood shaper. Personally, I find the industrail shaper including the jets, grizzlies and delta HDs all the way through the euro shapers to be one of the most useful machines in the shop. To some degree, more useful than a tablesaw. So in the presence of one of these shapers, I cannot justify the presence of these other tools such as a horiztonal router or even a multi router. But shapers have gotten a bad rap from many folks including the mags. They are considered expensive, dangerous and difficult to master. But as many used shapers show up in home shops and as many of the import companies actually begin to push their own shapers, this problem is slowly being reversed. Something to think about.

    So if your using a router and need to rig it for horizontal use and dont yet have access to a shaper, go for it. You can do some very cool things with it. But remember to be safe while doing it. If you have access to a shaper, then consider working up a solution to use it instead. Just my 2 cents worth.
    Had the dog not stopped to go to the bathroom, he would have caught the rabbit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    a short distance from my body

    The Ultimate Router Table, FWW, Tools and Shops 2001

    a build your own version
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Boxford, MA

    FWW and AWW indexes

    Hey guys, Charles Stroom has created indexes to FWW which is fairly complete and a partial index to AWW. I have found these to be very helpful.
    FWW and AWW Index

  10. #10

    I'm wondering why you find a straight table to be much more convenient?
    Doesn't the Routershop operate as either a regular table or a horizontal table?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Ft. Thomas, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by Dev Emch
    My biggest complaint about FWW is finding things. After a few years, you wind up with stacks and stacks of FWW mags and short of using some kind of online oracle data base search engine, how the heck do you find that one article in that one magazine.

    If you go to the archive section of FWW mag's website, you can search for articles by title, subject and author. I find it quite useful. I have a pretty extensive collection of FWW, so I have the issue referenced in the search about 90% of the time, but if you don't have the issue you need, FWW will sell you the article for a small amount.

    Here's the link:

  12. #12
    A little off subject but I am very much in the need for some info with regards to the use of a router table and the lockmiter bit. As I understand it, the only safe way to make a verticle cut is to use a tenon jig. Can anyone tell me where such a jig is available if there is one or if anyone knows of a better way to accomplish the task. I have never use the lockmiter method but would like to give it a try.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Ray! Welcome to the Creek!
    I got a good laugh too--I'm reading your thread and thinking, "Dev Emch? I haven't seen HIM around here for a LONG time, it's great to have him back!", but then I noticed the last post in this thread was 2005! So I'm thinking, "WHO would dig up a 5 year old thread--they must really be into this horizontal router mounting!", and I'm going to mention a guy is selling one in classified today...

    So when I reached the end (it was an interesting thread), I see it's someone making their very first post here at SMC on a 5-year old thread, and off-topic too! ROFL...

    Well, I certainly remember being you and not too long ago either! So, here's my answer: I have a lock miter bit, made by Amana, which I actually like for banging out quick shop drawers. And you DON'T need anything special to make a "vertical" cut with it. In fact, that's why them make and sell this bit! You adjust it once, then you run one board laying flat on the router table, and the second board you run held vertically against the fence. Nothing to it.

    I DO like how you're thinking though--SAFETY! And ASKING about cuts or operations that you think sound potentially dangerous!! THAT is going to keep you safe, and is just super important that you keep that attitude! A cut that one man does often and is used to MAY be dangerous for someone else to try without full knowledge. GREAT on you for asking, keep it up.

    However, in this case I don't think it is particularly dangerous to run a board against a router fence while held in the vertical. The router fence should be sufficiently tall to keep you fingers up high and safe, say 6-9 inches. I would always keep some fingers hooked over the fence edge so they can't fall down into the blade, and never let my fingers be directly above the blade--only in front and behind safely 3 " or more away. ALSO, I'd probably clamp a guide board or rail along the router table to keep the vertical work piece from slipping sideways away from the bit, that is make a chanel to run it in. I'd make that rail higher than the router bit, and I'd use a rubber backed push block against the face of the board to hold it flush with the fence, and ride the block along the channel rail.

    Hrmmm... as you can see, there IS MORE to it than just free-handing a board across vertically (although you can certainly do this also safely, depending on the board size and the bit and exposed cutterhead).

    Just you-tube up some router videos, you'll come across a ton where folks run a board across bit vertically, and I know Norm does it a lot on New Yankee Workshop.

    So, hope that helps you out! My last advice is: don't resurrect old threads unless it's PERFECT and pertinent for your question and will help folks answer it; and don't post off-topic in someone else's thread to ask your own question Forum etiquette, but in this case this thread is so old, I'm helping you hijack it Again, thanks for the good laugh, and WELCOME to the Creek, glad to have you on board!
    Thread on "How do I pickup/move XXX Saw?"

    Compilation of "Which Band Saw to buy?" threads

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Oahu, Hawaii

    Think again

    I am building an assembly/router/powerbench. Think; Kreg, EZ, and Bill Hylton meet at a party...Anyway, I was going to make a horz. router on one end but after reading these post,I have decided aginst it. Gotta love the creek.
    The idea is to have a nice flat table with some rails arouind it for stop blocks, assy widgets and clamps and do some rail guide work kinda SRK style. Also, I have a high quality fence on one end.
    I built my own SRK and it seems like it is going to get some use on this table
    What I am getting at is that I think a rail guided router woud be more usful than the horiizontal setup to me as long as you have some way to capture your stock.

    Thanks,, Colin
    Last edited by Colin Wollerman; 05-29-2010 at 1:53 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Richmond, VA

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