Make sure you have reasonably beefy screws holding the router to the mounting plate. Many older routers had only three 8-32 screws holding the baseplate on. That was fine for the use intended, but when you hang the router from the plate, you're better off either drilling out and tapping those holes to a bigger size or drilling and tapping entirely new holes. The Porter-Cable behemoth used in the Rodale Design Shop's router table has four ^5-inch screws holding it to the plate.
By all means, use flathead screws and countersink them so that they are just barely recessed. (Recessing too much not only weakens the plate, it creates a collection point for chips that will invariably catch your work and ruin your cut, if not your fingers.) Flatheads give the best load-spreading grip and are least likely to crack the plate and pull through. Don't use roundhead screws; they require a flat-bottomed counterbore that can seriously compromise the strength of the plate. The counterbores collect a lot of chips, too.
The situation most likely to test the strength of the plate and mountings is when you make a mistake in feed direction. A 3-horsepower router sucking a %-lnch piece of oak into a '/^-inch space between the cutter and the fence can create an amazing amount of pressure. If your router is securely mounted, the fence should give enough to allow the stock to be plucked from your fingers and thrown across the shop. If the router mounts give first, you could end up with an angry router coming out from under the table after vou.
A duplicate of the mounting-plate template is produced in a single circuit with a router and flush-trimming bit. Bond mounting-plate material to the template with carpet tape. With the bit's pilot riding on the template, zip around the sandwich, trimming the mounting plate flush with the template, as shown.
Finally, using a pattern bit or flush-trimming bit in your router, trim the mounting plate to size. Pry the template and the mounting plate apart; this is when the masking paper comes off the mounting plate. Attach the plate to the router.
8. Make the starting pin. As noted previously, the most common manifestation of the starting pin is a wooden peg or a metal or plastic pin. For this plate, I used a 1 '/t-inch-length of /»-inch hardwood dowel.
Cut the pin to length. With a utility knife, score the pin deeply -/'« inch from one end. Whittle the pin from the end to the score, reducing the diameter and forming a shank. Periodically test the lit of the shank in the starting-pin hole-in the template.
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