Dust Collection

Routers make dirt. Most router cuts create handfuls of chips and lungfuls of fine dust. When you mount the router in a table, you change the distribution of the dirt, but you can't diminish it. For some reason, though, we get the idea we can trap or capture the dirt when the router is table-mounted.

Well, it ain't entirely so.

When Fred built the cabinet router table, he made a couple of dust pickups (see the chapter "Router Table Accessories"), one a stand-alone, the other an add-on for the fence. Both served as pickups for a typical shop vac (long on loud, shrill noise, short on actual suction). Use of them since has demonstrated several things: • Most of the dirt goes straight to the floor (or into the router compartment). This is inescapable, a function of bit design. Bits are designed first to cut, then to excavate the waste from the cut. This means that when chuckcd in a table-mounted router, the bit pulls the waste out of the cut and blows it down over the router. A pickup mounted on the table surface isn't going to capture this din.

Even with a shop vac sucking through a fence-mounted dust pickup, a lot of dust and chips gets tossed onto your trousers and shoes.

• An open-legged design—a router table that's really a table, in other words—doesn't provide a means for capturing any of the din blown beknv the table. (When you're done, you capture it with a broom.) A compartment in which the router hangs will capture this dirt. An open compan-meni will hold the chips until they spill onto the floor. An enclosed one will hold the chips until they smother the router.

• A surface-mounted pickup works most effectively if it is on the surface. A pickup on top of a fence—even if on

Even with a shop vac sucking through a fence-mounted dust pickup, a lot of dust and chips gets tossed onto your trousers and shoes.

ly an inch up from the table surface— will miss dirt blowing across the table.

The upshot is that to capture a router table's dirt production, you've got to have a two-level system. The bulk of the chips you collect from beneath the table, ideally via a -^inch duct from a real dust collector (as opposed to a shop vac). A spacious companment around the router will serve as a pickup for the system, and if the suction is there, it will be effective even if the companment is open to the front. The system's secondary level is a pickup on the table surface.

ROUTER TABLE DESIGN 63

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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