Building and Installing the Ballast

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If you intend to incorporate the lift-top feature into your router table, you need to confront the tip-over syndrome.

The fact is. this router table, like all other router tables, is top-heavy. Most of the weight is in the tabletop and the router, not the stand, lilt the tabletop. and the weight Is raised and thrown toward the back. In this attitude, it takes a very modest push to topple the router table. Bad news.


Cutting List


Qty. Dimensions



2 X 4" X 26V$m



2 X 4" X 193/s"



1 I93/«"X 2S5/eB


2014" 19H"



Vz'f Vi" plywood bottom

Groove for bottom routed in sides, front, and back.

Vz'f Vi" plywood bottom

On the Bench-Top Router Table, the .syndrome is countered by the base design.The pivot point is forward of the back edge of the base. But you want to be able to address the Floor-Standing Router Table from the back occasionally. That's the point of offsetting the mounting-plate location. If you cant the back posts, or scab on elongated feet, you'll be tripping over them at the most unpropitious moments.

My solution is a ballast box. It's nothing more than a fixed drawer suspended from the lower rails. You have access to this box only when the storage drawer is removed. What you do is fill it with ballast: scrap iron, a bag of concrete, sand bags, whatever you can come up with that's cheap and heavy. You need about 30 to 50 pounds.

1. Cut the box parts. Hie box is made of hardwood sides, front, and back, and a '/2-inch plywood bottom. Because it is to be painted, you should use a wood that is relatively inexpensive and that takes paint well.

Cut the parts to the dimensions specified by the Cutting last.

2. Rout the dovetails. The front and back are joined to the sides with router-cut half-blind dovetails. Set up the dovetail jig and the router, and make all the test cuts necessary to get well-fitted dovetails. Then rout the dovetails on the workpieces.

3. Rout the groove for the bottom. As shown in the drawing Ballast Box Construction, the bottom is housed in a '/2-inch-widc X -^-inch-deep groovc.Thc groove is w inch from the bottom edges of the sides, front, and hack. 1 made the groove in the front and back a stopped groove so it wouldn't show in the assembled box. The truth ».however, that the router table's legs conceal the joints in the ballast box, so you don't need to be too particular about the grooves from an appearance standpoint. I plowed the grooves on the router table. One setup docs all four parts.

Clamp the ballast box to the stand while you drill pilot holes for the mounting screws, then drive the screws. It fits between the legs, up against the cleats attached to the lowest side rails. Assuming you have more sense than I do, you'll do the job at a comfortable working height by setting the stand on your workbench.

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