Mounting The Router

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The plate from which the router hangs in the router table is a critical component. A decade ago, as 1 mentioned. the router was often attached directly to the tabletop. Now the conventional practice is to attach the router to a separate, easily removed mounting plate. It's essentially a custom baseplate.

A hole is cut in the tabletop, then rabbeted. A precisely fitted plastic plate drops into the hole, resting on the rabbet. If done correctly, the plate is flush with the tabletop. The weight of the router keeps the plate in position. A proper fit means there's no sideplay, so the plate doesn't

Bit Storage

In, on, or near your router table is a logical place to store your bits, accessories, and other routers. If you build a permanent router table, be sure to include the storage space you'll need. Avoid the common tendency to throw your bits into a box or drawer. Not only arc they hard to keep track of that way but they're also hard to keep clean, sharp, and undamaged. Even carbide edges will quickly be destroyed if they knock together.

Make a drawer, a box, or just a block of wood and drill ^v-inch (for '/»-inch shanks) and/or 'i^-inch (for Vi-inch shanks) holes about Y* inch deep. Insen the bit shanks. The bits will be held both securely (so their cutting edges don't bang together) and openly (so you can easily see what you have).

A more elaborate bit storage case is presented in the chapter "Bits."

By leaving the plate (relatively) loose and easy to remove, woodworkers who prefer to can lift the router up out of the table and set it on its side to change bits. Ideally , the throat is tight around the bit, so you can't hook a finger in there and tug on the plate to lift it. Thus,you've usually got to push the router up out of its berth. (Keep it accessible!) Even if you leave the router in place when you change hits, it's nice to he able to remove it easily (especially if it is alsoyour machine for hand-held operations).

By leaving the plate (relatively) loose and easy to remove, woodworkers who prefer to can lift the router up out of the table and set it on its side to change bits. Ideally , the throat is tight around the bit, so you can't hook a finger in there and tug on the plate to lift it. Thus,you've usually got to push the router up out of its berth. (Keep it accessible!) Even if you leave the router in place when you change hits, it's nice to he able to remove it easily (especially if it is alsoyour machine for hand-held operations).

shimmy around in the hole. Obviously. that would be a dangerous dance.

Are you a worrier? Has your plate come loose? Drill and countersink a couple of holes through it into the rabbet and drive flathead screws in place to secure it.

Now you can buy a mounting plate. Or you can make your own. Once a favorite, aluminum is seldom used anymore because it sometimes discolors wood that's pushed across it. Why risk that when other materials are readily available. Today, the usual materials are plastic: acrylic, polycarbonate, and phenolic. In three nutshells:

• Polycarbonate is easy to work with woodworking tools and is readily available at plastics stores and through mail-order woodworking suppliers. Virtually unbreakable, it is a tad flexible—it gives rather than shatters—and may sag under the weight of a behemoth router. 7 bird choice.

• Acrylic also is easy to work with woodworking tools and is readily available at plastics stores and through mail-order woodworking suppliers. It isn't as unbreakable as polycarbonate, but it is more rigid. A Ve-inch-thick picce will support a scrcaming 18-poundcr without sagging. Second choice.

• Phenolic is easy to work with woodworking tools, but it is difficult to find; a few mail-order woodworking suppliers carry pieces. It is very strong, vcty rigid. A '/«-inch-thick piece of the right grade will support that 18-poundcr. First choicc.

Commercial mounting plates have one of two configurations. The first is the so-called universal plate: it has a bit throat that's sized—and rabbeted—for standard template guides, and either a welter of mounting screw holes or a pattern of slots for the mounting screws. The second configuration is the blank plate, which has a bit throat, again sized

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