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Thread: What do you use your router table for?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,216
    Occasionally I make a special purpose face pad for my router. This one it replaced the table for most of my work. It mounts in the vice in a few seconds. For panel work it functions hand held.

    Router 3.jpgRouter7.jpg

    When a fence is needed I just clamp on a piece of wood. The surface is peel and stick vinyl flooring. For a mostly hand tool shop this is enough.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #17
    I have access to a router table with a lift at my group shop. I use it a lot and love the results and the acuuracy. I had a home made router table without a lift and found it to be time consuming and frustrating for making joints.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
    Posts
    1,368
    Thanks all for the good replies, keep them coming Here's my current set up-now fenceless after selling the table saw. While perfectly workable, could use some improvement

    router.jpg

    Derek, thanks for the link, I had missed that one.

    Glenn, I really like the table that rolls up to the left side of the table saw. I had the table above as an insert to the left of the blade on my old table saw but can't do that with my SS PCS and I don't have room on the right side.

    I'm likely to take an approach similar to Derek's. I have a PC 690 as well, so may buy a lift, fab a fence and then upgrade the motor down the line. Unfortunately, the PC routers aren't available anymore, the Milwaukee 3 HP routers are pushing $400 and there don't seem to be many other reasonable long term options that I've found.

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  4. #19
    My router table is home made. The layout is like Norm, on new yankee workshop, used. The motor is in the middle, "drawers" (more like sliding trays) for bits on either side and a large drawer on the bottom. Dust collection from the router compartment and from the fence. The router compartment suction point is up near the collet so the DC does not fight the fan of the router motor. I incorporated a lift based upon plans in an old American Woodworker. It has 2 1 inch diameter machined steel bars attached to the 3/4 plywood back of the router table. The carriage for the router motor has oilite bearings that slide on the steel bars. It moves up and down using a piece of 5/16 all thread so 1 revolution is 1/16 inch. I like that but you could put in a metric all thread if you prefer. I initially had an old 13.3 amp R-500 Ryobi plunge router motor. After more than 10 years use it melted down the bearing area and I put in a PC 7518. It's a much nicer motor with lots of power. With my home made lift switching motors was just a matter of making a new clamping block for the motor to attach to the carriage.

    I used to use a different setup in the side table of my table saw sometimes with a PC 690 motor on it. I have 4 bases so I just left one on the table and moved a motor to it when I wanted to use the router table. It worked fine and I made cope and stick doors with it but I had to take 3 or 4 passes to do the raised panels. Cope and stick was one cut, however. If you are willing to make an additional cut or two when you are removing a lot of material, I think a mid-sized router works fine.

    I use the router table when the piece I need to route is relatively small. Big stuff I do with a hand held (I even have a fixed base for the 7518 but I've never used it). Recently it's been mostly making up loose tenon stock for my domino. I need to get busy and make a buffet, however, and if it includes raised panel doors those will be done on the router table. If I have only drawers, they will probably have a bevel around the front of the face but those I normally do on the table saw where I have more choice of angle.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    North Dana, Masachusetts
    Posts
    366
    I have a router set up under plywood on tiny cabinet. It's a light duty Porter Cable router. I am still able to bend my knees, so adjustment is no problem.
    I use it for small curved moldings, using custom made router bits. The bits match the corrugated back cutters on the shaper. It gets awkward running a 5" long piece by a 4" diameter molding head on a shaper. The router is perfect. I put a baby stock feeder on it, and tilt the feeder so that one wheel feeds the work.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Location
    Redmond, OR
    Posts
    320
    My father built this fence many years ago for his router table. It is a very simple but effective design.

    DSC06848-1 (1).jpg
    The toggle clamps go under the table top and clamp the fence very securely but are also very quick to reposition.

    DSC06852-1.jpg

    DSC06855-1 (1).jpg


    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....ighlight=fence
    Last edited by Michael Schuch; 01-24-2022 at 1:46 PM.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
    Posts
    1,368
    Michael,

    That's a good looking fence and plan to make something similar.
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    1,091
    P3280010 (1).jpegP3280009 (1).jpegP3280008 (1).jpegP3280007 (1).jpegI had one of those tabletop Craftsman router tables that are marginally better than nothing, but I had to clamp it down to use it or it would walk off the workbench. A couple of years ago or so I made a folding router table that mounts to the end of the rolling workbench. It is held horizontal by a swing-away support, or I can swing it down below the table when not in use, or I can swing it up above the table to adjust bit height, change bits, etc. Online Metals is still selling off more of these 18-1/4" square by 3/8" thick 6061 aluminum sheets at a very good price. I'll attach some pictures.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    2,401
    Many years ago built a good router table, with a lift, and a big router. Good fence. I have used it EXTENSIVELY over the years (especially when do it a ton of work when we were building our house). Many times I had a feeder mounted on it to do the repeated work. I do have a shaper too but don't use it as often....

    e46.jpgdoors12.jpgdoors6.jpgdoors16.jpg

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,096
    I have a 5hp shaper, and mostly use the router table for tight radius template routing, or when workpieces are very small. You really dont want to manually feed a 10-12" workpiece through the shaper--atleast, i have no desire to do that. This is pretty safe and controlled on the router table using pushblocks, but would force me to make a specialty workholding jig for the shaper. In the past, i used the router table for mortises on smaller workpieces, edge treatments, and rail/stile stick and cope cuts for cabinets. Im definitely in the group that under utilizes the router table, even though ive had two separate Jessem setups that were very nice. I prefer dados and rebates on the table saw--tooling last longer, feedrate isnt comparable--and i also prefer to use my OF2200 router with an edge guide whenever possible for mortises. Personally, i wouldnt spend $1-1,500 on a tricked out router table setup.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,138
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    I put my coffee on it when I had one. Top was laminate and it didnt leave a ring like cast iron.

    there will always be things routers can do that shapers cant, like work into small radius things where a shaper cutter head cant go. I like using routers and trimmers hand held so I can climb cut. Table is good as it helps stop you from tilting at times when there is not lots of part for router support.

    The only thing i can remember using a router table for (vs handheld or shaper) is glass rebates on doors if I don't have a head that cuts them when sticking.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Corcoran, MN
    Posts
    282
    I never got a proper dust collector so between the noise and the mess I’ve used the homemade table for only inset lids on small boxes. It trims the overhang/inset faster and perhaps more precisely than my shoulder plane. With the small lids I used a foam push block or two. I’ve found this upside down routing to be the most threatening of my machine woodworking.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    N. Idaho
    Posts
    1,368
    Mreza, that's a pretty flash set up-is that laminate or veneer? Thanks for posting because I will plan for a way to add a feeder. I wouldn't buy one solely for routing but have been eyeing for the bandsaw for cutting veneers.

    I also considered a shaper but most do smaller scale work like boxes. Very handy for rabbeting the back of through-dovetailed boxes to accept the bottoms/backs on a router table. A bit exciting when small, as Bruce notes, but better than when hand held in my experience.

    I have a lift on order and will stick to my PC router until I need to swing a big bit (and have an excuse to drop the $$$ for a 3 hp motor).

    Please keep 'em coming for inspiration!

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    2,401
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Charles View Post
    Mreza, that's a pretty flash set up-is that laminate or veneer? Thanks for posting because I will plan for a way to add a feeder. I wouldn't buy one solely for routing but have been eyeing for the bandsaw for cutting veneers.

    I also considered a shaper but most do smaller scale work like boxes. Very handy for rabbeting the back of through-dovetailed boxes to accept the bottoms/backs on a router table. A bit exciting when small, as Bruce notes, but better than when hand held in my experience.

    I have a lift on order and will stick to my PC router until I need to swing a big bit (and have an excuse to drop the $$$ for a 3 hp motor).

    Please keep 'em coming for inspiration!

    Best,
    Chris
    Router table top is laminate. Those pictures are when I was making our interior doors (31) for our house and all the mouldins:

    doors13.jpgdoors34.jpg

    I have used this (Steff) feeder on shaper, router table, bandsaw, jointer when I had a ton of work to do. I made a mount that can transfer from machine to machine.

    f1.jpgf4.jpgr4.jpgr5.jpg

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Gatineau, Québec
    Posts
    225
    Quote Originally Posted by mreza Salav View Post
    Router table top is laminate. Those pictures are when I was making our interior doors (31) for our house and all the mouldins:

    Very nice design and ingenious adaptation for the feeder.

    OP:

    I have used the router table for tasks such as edge profile, rabbets, dadoes, sliding dovetails, cope and stick. Went from a shop-made panel to a Veritas steel table to a Jessem Mast-R-Lift. I love the precision and ease of use already mentioned above.

    In the process of learning how to use shaper/feeder approaches. I have difficulty imagining how to safely process smaller pieces on the shaper, so the router table is still called upon.

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