Bench Top Router Table

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For the small shop, for Ihc remote job site, or as an extra in a busy shop, this little bench-top router table is just the ticket. It has a bunch of practical features, but easily the best is the simple router-mounting system.

I know a lot of hobby woodworkers have only one router, and they don't want to mount it in a table because it stents to be tying it up. The approach presented here doesn't tic up your router, because flicking two toggle damps frees the muter from the table, totally ready to use for hand-held work.

Just insert the router (with the baseplate still installed) in the recess for it beneath the tabletop, and snap two toggle clamps closed. It's mounted, easy as that! Need the router for a hand-held procedure? Pop open the toggles and the router is free of the table and ready to go. No fiddling iit| mounting screws to remove a mounting plate and reinstall the baseplate, because the baseplate has been in place the whole time.

Making this little operation even easier to perform is a fift-top feature (which this router table shares with the togcr Floor-Standing Router Table presented on page 212). Ik ubletop is hinged, and it tilts up in front, just about binding you the router. Because it is so easy to do, you'll f& remove the router to change bits.

Equally impressive is how easy bit-extension adjustments become with this tilt-top feature. With the tabletop lifted, you can sight across the table surface to the bit without bending or stooping.The fence doesn't need to be moved to tilt the tabletop. Thus you can make a test cut, measure the cut itself, and lift the tabletop to adjust the bit without losing your fence setup. You can use both hands to adjust the router, because a commercial lid stay keeps the tabletop in the tilted-up position until you are ready to close it.

With a bcnchtop unit, the working surface is elevated closer to you than with a fl(x>r-standing unit. This is especially helpful. 1 think, when dealing with small workpieces. I lend to hunch over to keep a close eye on the operation, which in a protracted session is quite literally a pain in the neck. So for such sessions, it's often worthwhile to pull out this little table, set it on the workbench (or on a Shopmate). and clamp it dow-n.

The unit's footprint is small, just 16 X 28 inches. The bottom extends well beyond the housing on the sides and at the back, so it is stable and well suited to clamping to a workbench. The base is a plywood box with buttresses. It is painted.

Almost as an afterthought, I routed a handgrip opening

Your router won't be tied up in this router table. Removing it is as easy as popping a couple of toggle clamps.

No, your router is not possessed, not by this router table. To reclaim the router for a hand-held procedure (or simply to change a bit), just lift the tabletop until the lid stay locks (top). Grasp the router with one hand, and pop open the two toggle clamps with the other (center). The router virtually falls out of its mounting recess. Note that its stock baseplate is still in place (bottom).

through the bottom on each side of the housing and behind it as well. The handgrips make it easy to carry the unit around, and one or another invariably doubles as a hanging hole. I hang it over a (big) nail to store it.

The tabletop is two layers of '/'¿-inch plywood with oak edge-banding. It is covered on top with plastic laminate; on the bottom, with backer. The hinge leaves arc oak. with hex-head lag screws used as hinge pins. Although the tabletop doesn't seem to jump or jiggle during use, I installed a couple of toggle latches to lock it down.That way the tabletop stays closed when it's being moved about.

A corollary of the toggle-clamp mounting approach is that there's no mounting plate. This is worthy of note because the bit opening is a hole in the tabletop, and that does have a drawback. It is that once you bore out the opening with a big bit, it will always be opened way up. As a consequence, you may want to limit yourself to using relatively small bits—say, under 1 inch in diameter—in this router table. It isn't suited to panel raising anyway.

I scaled the bench-top router table for a small, fixed-base router. I use a Porter-Cable 690 in it. but I think a Dewalt DW610. the Bosch 1606, and even Sears models would work. Plunge routers will be too tall, so if that's what you've got, be aware that you'll need to resize the base unit to accommodate your machine.

The plans that follow show a very basic fence. It is a simple straightedge with integral clamps. But from lime to time, you may find it beneficial to have a more elaborate fence to use. one with vertical facings and even a dust pickup. For this, you should be able to adapt the Split Fence shown on page 237 to fit this router table.

This is a dandy little unit, even if I do say so myself. If you have all the hardware hi hand, you can build it in a productive weekend, apply the finish over the next few evenings, and put it to work the following weekend.

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