Drilling all the holes in the drawer bottoms is a tedious job. Since you're drilling the holes completely through the Vi-inch plywood bottoms. you can save a lot of time by stacking three or four pieces together and then drilling them. Though there are two patterns of holes used in the drawers, you should have to drill each pattern only once to complete all the drawers.
piecc of %-inch plywood as a stop.
Finally, cut out the drawer fronts, round-over the face edges, rabbet their back sides to form a lipped edge (see Front Drawer Detail), and fasten them to the bottoms.
Install the knobs. You can modify one or more drawers by installing sides so the drawers can hold router accessories.
You should have one drawer front left. This is the mounting front for the on-off switch. After rounding-ovcr the edges and rabbeting the top and sides, cut an opening for a standard steel receptacle box. Then glue and nail the front in place.
Before moving on to the router table-top. finish the cabinet. Fred varnished the oak face frame and the wooden drawer and door knobs. He painted the remaining surfaces with a latex primer, then applied a finish coat of semi-gloss acrylic latex enamel, black on the plinth, beige elsewhere.
After the paint dries, install the T-fitting (or the dust collector. The end of the fitting that butts against the compartment back can be deformed ir.to an oval shape. Butt the fitting in place, its side against the left divider panel. At the very back, drill a pilot hole through the fittings side into the left divider panel. One panhead screw will hold it.
Make a reducer for the T-fitting's top inlet from a scrap of wood. Cut a hole in the center for a shop-vac hose. Install it in the appropriate opening. Attach the 4-inch flexible hose from the dust collector to the fitting with an adjustable hose clamp.
Finally, make an adjustable gate, as shown in the Dust Collector Detail, and attach it to the router compartment back.
8. Make the tabletop. To make the top, cut two pieces of Winch plywood to size and glue them together to make the required 1 '/2-inch thickness.
While the glue dries, plane, joint. and cut the Winch by 1 '/¡-inch oak required for the edge banding. After the clamps arc off the core, fit the edge banding to the core one piece at a time. Miter the ends, then glue on the edge banding.
To prevent painful goring, round off the comers of the tabletop. Layout the 1 Winch radii and cut off each comer with a saber saw. Sand away the saw marks.
The top should be laminated on both sides with the same-density material to keep it flat and stable. Use contact cement to bond the plastic laminate to the core. Don't worry too much about squaring up the laminate; just make sure it overhangs the top on all sides. To trim the laminate flush with the edge banding, use a carbide-tipped flush-trimming bit. Set the depth of cut to about '/« inch. Starting at an edge, run the bit into the laminate until the pilot contacts the edge banding. The pilot then will guide your cut around the perimeter of the tabletop.
Attach the top to the cabinct with four 2-inch drywall screws. Be sure to drill pilot holes first.
9. Make the router mounting plate. Unless you arc using a purchased mounting plate, which is what Fred did. now is the time to make your mounting plate. The dimensions of the plate arc of minor significance—provided it will fit the router and support it. You'll be us ing the plate itself as a guide in cutting the hole for it in the tabletop.
The plate Fred purchased from Woodhaven is ^-inch-thick clcar acrylic. Measuring IV* inches by 10'/» inchcs. it is barely large enough to accommodate the big router hanging from it. To get everything to fit. Fred oriented the router with its wo big D-handles diagonally on the plate.
See the chapters "Router Tabic Design" and "Custom Baseplates" for more details on materials choices, design considerations, and fabrication techniques.
10. Cut out the tabletop for the mounting plate. The router is hung in the muter table more than mounted. It is attached to the mounting plate, which drops into a rabbeted opening cut in the tabletop. The weight of the router keeps it in place. The real trick is to cut an opening that is just the right size. The details of how to do this arc found in the chapter "Router Table Design."
In brief, you use the mounting plate to lay out a framelike template. After the template has been cut and tested, you clamp it to the tabletop. Then cut a groove that's as deep as the plate is thick, guiding the router against the template. This groove forms the rabbet when the waste is cut away with a saber saw. Cut along the inside edge of the groove and remove the waste, and the opening is ready for the mounting plate.
11. Install the router. Before you drill holes in the mounting plate for the router's mounting screws, check the fit of the router and its orientation in the router compartment. Even with the router oriented diagonally on the mounting plate, Fred had to notch into the rabbet in the tabletop opening to provide clearance for its handles. Having assured yourself the router will fit the plate and the opening, make sure the router's clamping mechanism will be easy to reach.
Having checked these points, use the router's original baseplate as a pattern to mark the mounting-screw hole locations. Drill and countersink the mounting holes, and mount the router on the baseplate.
12. Wire the router table. Fred provided an auxiliary on/off switch for the router by mounting an electrical outlet box (available at any hardware store) in the top-right (false) drawer front. You should already have cut an opening in the drawer front, so mount the rcccptacle box in it. Mount a second box in the router compartment. A 20-amp household electrical switch goes in the first box. a 20-amp duplex receptacle in the second. Run a power cord with a plug to the switch, then to the outlet. The switch controls the power to the outlet. You plug the router into the outlet, and leave it switched on. Thus the switch, just below the front edge of the tabletop. turns the router on and off. This scheme and an alternative are detailed in the wiring diagrams in the chapter "Router Table Design."
If you plug your shop vac or dust collector into the outlet, it too will go on when you switch on the router.
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