Horizontal Router Table

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Brought to life as a mortising machine, this router table does a whole lot more than mortising. The router is mounted horizontally, so the bit's axis is parallel to the table surface. It's perfect for any operation that, performed on an ordinary route r table, would require you to balance the workpiece on edge, including:

• Cutting dovetail pins for sliding dovetails

• Grooving the edges of straight, flat boards

• Raising panels with a vertical bit

• Cutting wide rabbets

• Routing architectural molding with tall face-molding bits

I've seen plans for a number of these tables, all of which seem to share the same basic layout, and all of which seem to work. But all have some drawbacks that I perceived and wanted to sidestep.

One design, for example, has the router on a plate, and the plate bolted in turn to the mounting board. The bit has to extend through about an inch of mounting material before it can do any productive cutting. Another design has the mounting board extending like a skin, below the base. The way you have to orient and clamp it—with that skin off the workbench edge—limits your access to the worktable. And none of the designs I saw had any fine-adjustment capability. Just the opposite, in fact.

Loosen the set-bolts, and the weight of the router drops the mounting board onto its stops. The setting you had is gone, just like that.

The plan Fred and 1 came up with does share the basic layout of other designs, though the base unit is a bit taller. The mounting board does not extend below the base, so we can easily clamp the unit at the edge of the workbench and stand directly opposite the router bit. if that's what the operation requires. We covered both the tabletop and the mounting board with plastic laminate to keep them flat and to provide smooth sliding for the work-pieces. At the same time, we eliminated the miter-gauge groove that most woodworkers unnecessarily inflict on such constructions.

We imported the mounting plate system from the router tables in our shop. The horizontal table uses the same Vs-inch acrylic mounting plate as our regular router tables, but we bolted it into the horizontal table. This means we can pop a router out of the router table and pretty quickly bolt it into the horizontal table. (If you decide it's easier to make two plates, and unscrew and rescrew the router's baseplate mounting screws to switch your router from table to table, do it.) The plate has to be bolted to the mounting board, obviously, so that the router is held securely in the required, gravity-defying, horizontal position.

Perhaps the biggest single design improvement is the fine-adjustment system. Loosen the set-knobs. Don't worry! You won't lose the setting you have. Turn cither adjustment knob—they're on the threaded rods projecting from the mounting board's top edge—and the board pivots in a controlled, progressive fashion. Slick!

Homemade Horizontal Router Table
The horizontal router table can he clamped right at the edge of your regular router table or at the end of a workbench. That way you can work easily from the front or either side. And the tallish base puts the work surface at a comfortable height, too.
Horizontal Router Table

W-20xl2 THREADED ROO

PLASTIC LAMINATE APPLIED TO FACES ; BACKER APPLIEO TO BACKS.

T-MUT INSERT,

PLYWOOD (TWO LAYERS), tabletop

PLASTIC KNOB

Hi' flat. washer

BACK

i acrylic plastic mounting plate

W-ZOftltfe* FLATHEAD STOVE BOLT

vb'xzvc carriage bolt

BASE

HORIZONTAL ROUTER T^BLE THE ROUTER DEFIES GRAVITY SO YOUR WORKPIECE DOESN'T

\h"-20xV FLATHEAD STOVE BOLT.

T-NUT INSERT

Sl&E

FROWT

PLASTIC KNOB JAM NUT ACAINST KNOB.-

Horizontal RouterRoo Stove Knob

The mechanical side of the table is visible here. The large plastic knobs below the router cinch the mounting bttard tight to the table. Loosen them and tum one or Ixtth height adjusters to alter the distance between the hit and the tabletop. The plunge router we use has an add-on micro-adjusting knob to simplify hit extension changes.

Catch a sled against the front edge of the tabletop, and you have a miter gauge to guide and back up the workpiece. You don't need a slot, which would just catch dust and chips and compromise the tabletop's flatness.

CUTTING LIST

Piece

Number

Thickness

Width

Length

Material

Base

1

y<"

11"

25"

Plywood

Back

1

w

7Y"

20"

Plywood

Front

1

y*"

7"

12"

Plywood

Side picces

4

Yi"

7"

10 W'

Plywood

Tabletop picces

2

Yi"

11"

19"

Plywood

Mounting board

2

Yi"

13"

19"

Plywood

pieces

Edge banding*

I

1V6"

144"

Hardwood

T-nut inserts

6

Y" dia.

2"

2 pes. plastic laminate, each approximately 24" x 16"

2 pes. plastic laminate backer board, each approximately 24" X 16"

Ipc. V x W x lOW clear acrylic

2 pes. YV-20 hex nuts

2 pes. W'-20 X 12" threaded rods

4 pes. W-20 X 3" flat head stove bolts

4 pes. W'-20 X W flathcad stove bolts

2 pes. Ys" l.D. split washers

2 pes. 1Y" dia. plastic knobs, with lA"-20 blind insert. Available from Reid Tool Supply Co.. 2265 Black Creek Road. Muskegon, Ml 49444 (800-253-0421). Part #DK-59 2 pes. 2Yi" dia. plastic knobs, with 16 blind insert. Available from

Reid Tool Supply Co. Pan #DK-530 •Cut as required to edge-band tablctop and mounting board.

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