Centering router on table base

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I am having a little trouble centering my router on a table insert.
I picked up a Skil 1825, and a Freud Universal Router Table Base (the black phenolic one with the red and grey inserts). The problem is that in order to mount the router, I have to use the router baseplate as a drill template, and centering it on the table base after removing it from the router is pretty much a hit and miss operation.
What I did so far was: 1. unscrewed the router base 2. put a Freud guide bushing (3/8" ID) into the table base insert 3. mounted a 1/4" pilot bit in the router collet 4. put the router and base on the table insert, with the pilot bit centred in the guide bushing as best I could 5. Taped the router base edges to the table base 6. Clamped the router base to the table base 6. drilled and countersunk holes (with drill press) using the router base mounting holes as guides.
I think I may have let something slip a bit, and perhaps did so even after I drilled the first two or three holes. I can just get the router attached to the table base. It's difficult because one or two of the holes are visibly offset after I line up two of them.
The end result is that when I put in the 3/8" ID guide bushing and the 1/4" pilot bit, the bit is in contact with one side of the ID of the guide bushing. So, it's close, but I want it closer.
I am considering messing with one or two of the holes I drilled, perhaps enlarging the appropriate holes to try to swing the centre into alignment, or perhaps drilling another set of holes after rotating the router a bit.
I am also considering through-drilling the threaded mounting holes and tapping them for 10-32 (8-32 in there now). This way, I could centre everything up. then drop a bit down through the drilled out holes and starting a hole in the table base by finger twisting the bit..
I might even be better off turning a hunk of aluminum with a 1/4" or 1/2" 'shaft' and a shoulder the right size to fit the opening in the Skil base.
Anyway, I have seen some great answers here, and wonder if anyone might have a suggestion as to the best way to proceed.
Thanks, Larry
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Pretty much standard installation to have oversize holes and pan-head screws to allow centering in the counterbores. I wouldn't be ashamed of such an installation.
Unless you're working with machine tools of some sort, the kind of accuracy that will allow the taper of a screw head to draw the thing centered seems a trial and accidental success adventure.
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The George entity posted thusly:

That sound you hear is the slapping of my palm against my forehead!
Dang! The router base is held on with flat-head screws, and both the router base and table base have countersunk holes. The instructions that came with the table base specify countersunk holes.
I offer this in a feeble attempt to excuse my tunnel vision, which caused me to just go with the countersinking, and not even considering pan-head screws, oversized holes, and counterbores.

You're absolutely right, of course!
Thanks a bunch, George.
--
I want to die peacefully, in my sleep, like
my grandfather, not screaming in terror,
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Mon, Jan 9, 2006, 10:35am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@spamslam.com (OlegLego) doth now admit: That sound you hear is the slapping of my palm against my forehead! <snip>
I wondered why in Hell you were trying to make rocket science out of it.
JOAT You'll never get anywhere if you believe what you "hear". What do you "know"? - Granny Weatherwax
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The George entity posted thusly:

Got it, George, thanks!
I ended up rotating the router a bit and drilling new (counterbored) holes, then used pan-head screws. Chucked up a pilot bit, mounted a guide bushing, and tightened everything up. Worked like a charm, and I even have a few extra holes in the table baseplate to remind me about tunnel vision. :-)
--
I want to die peacefully, in my sleep, like
my grandfather, not screaming in terror,
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If it experiences drift with vibration, don't hesitate to use star washers.
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Here's what I did, and it seemed to work pretty well...
I've got a Dewalt 618PK, which has a 1/4" pilot bit and a 'cone thingy' on it. the idea is to put the plate on, then the 'cone thingy', pointed toward the router, and push the cone down the pilot bit until it centers the plate or base. So, I:
1. Removed the base from the router and placed double-stick tape on the bottom of the router.
2. Chuck the pilot bit.
3. Lay the plate down gently on the router (no pressure).
4. Put the cone on the pilot bit and slide it down until the plate is centered.
5. Remove the cone.
6. Put doublestick tape on the router base, and lower it gently onto the plate.
7. Put the cone back on and slide down the pilot bit until base is centered, then press down on the base to secure it to the plate.
8. Drill the holes.
I believe the 'cone thingy' may be available seperately from Dewalt, but I'm not positive. I saw something similar at
http://www.davehylands.com/Wood-Working/Router-Base-Centering-Jig /
and another option at
http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/routacc1.html
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Oleg Lego wrote:

Either is satisfactory. Main thing is to get the router fastened to the table insert...router need not be dead center on it.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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The dadiOH entity posted thusly:

Hmmm... I was thinking that it did need to be dead centre, because the guide bushing (which gets mounted on the table insert) would have a variable distance from the bit depending on where the cut is being guided around the circle.
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Oleg Lego wrote:

All true. I put my inserts on the router.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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dadiOH wrote:

If your table insert is designed to accept threaded guide bushings, and the router is not centered on the insert, then the bits will not be centered with respect to the guide bushing.
If your insert doesn't take bushings, then this is not an issue.
Chris
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Larry,
Transfer punches work like magic to reproduce hole pattterns from one thing to another precisely.
Grizzly makes a great 28 piece set perfect for mouting your router to aftermarket plates, buiding your own templates, jigs etc etc. Grizzly part number is below along with an Amazon link were you can pick up a set for about 11 bucks.
Grizzly G5651 28 pc. Transfer Punch Set - 3/32" - 1/2"
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
Paul
am having a little trouble centering my router on a table insert.<BR><BR>I picked up a Skil 1825, and a Freud Universal Router Table Base (the<BR>black phenolic one with the red and grey inserts). The problem is that<BR>in order to mount the router, I have to use the router baseplate as a<BR>drill template, and centering it on the table base after removing it<BR>from the router is pretty much a hit and miss operation.<BR><BR>What I did so far was:<BR>1. unscrewed the router base<BR>2.&nbsp; put a Freud guide bushing (3/8" ID)&nbsp; into the table base insert<BR>3. mounted a 1/4" pilot bit in the router collet<BR>4. put the router and base on the table insert, with the pilot bit<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; centred in the guide bushing as best I could<BR>5. Taped the router base edges to the table base<BR>6. Clamped the router base to the table base<BR>6. drilled and countersunk holes (with drill press) using the router<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; base mounting holes as guides.<BR><BR>I think I may have let something slip a bit, and perhaps did so even<BR>after I drilled the first two or three holes. I can just get the<BR>router attached to the table base. It's difficult because one or two<BR>of the holes are visibly offset after I line up two of them.<BR><BR>The end result is that when I put in the 3/8" ID guide bushing and the<BR>1/4" pilot bit, the bit is in contact with one side of the ID of the<BR>guide bushing. So, it's close, but I want it closer.<BR><BR>I am considering messing with one or two of the holes I drilled,<BR>perhaps enlarging&nbsp; the appropriate holes to try to swing the centre<BR>into alignment, or perhaps drilling another set of holes after<BR>rotating the router a bit.<BR><BR>I am also considering through-drilling the threaded mounting holes and<BR>tapping them for 10-32 (8-32 in there now). This way, I could centre<BR>everything up. then drop a bit down through the drilled out holes and<BR>starting a hole in the table base by finger twisting the bit..<BR><BR>I might even be better off turning a hunk of aluminum with a 1/4" or<BR>1/2" 'shaft' and a shoulder the right size to fit the opening in the<BR>Skil base.<BR><BR>Anyway, I have seen some great answers here, and wonder if anyone<BR>might have a suggestion as to the best way to proceed.<BR><BR>Thanks,<BR>&nbsp; Larry<BR></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
------=
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Tue, Jan 10, 2006, 12:42am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (RangerPaul) who doth say: Transfer punches work like magic to reproduce hole pattternsfrom one thing to another precisely.<snip>
And a penil doesn't?
JOAT You'll never get anywhere if you believe what you "hear". What do you "know"? - Granny Weatherwax
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The J T entity posted thusly:

Hmm.. _MY_ penil won't fit in that hole.
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Tue, Jan 10, 2006, 2:53pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@spamslam.com (OlegLego) doth admit: Hmm.. _MY_ penil won't fit in that hole.
Ah, you obviously don't have lead in your pencil.
JOAT You'll never get anywhere if you believe what you "hear". What do you "know"? - Granny Weatherwax
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The Ranger Paul entity posted thusly:

I didn't (and still don't) see how I could use a transfer punch. The problem was that the router base had a proprietary sized hole in it, so I couldn't use the base itself as a template, because there was no way to accurately centre it.
This left using the router itself, complete with a pilot bit, to centre it using the Freud guide bushing mounted in the table base. But with the router in place, I could not see the holes, as they are tapped, blind holes in the router, and as such, I did not have a place to put the transfer punches.
Thanks for the link, though. I don't have any transfer punches.
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I make my own bases from polycarbonate scraps I get from the local glass dealer. First mount the base to the router with careful layout of the holes. Then install router bits of the right size to accomodate whatever guide system you use and plunge the router through the base. Makes a perfectly centered hole and is a Hell of a lot cheaper. I also make custom bases for many different applications. Bugs
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The Bugs entity posted thusly:

It's the 'careful layout of the holes' that's giving me problems. I guess I could do it by using the existing router base as a template, because it would be before cutting the central hole.
Tell me more about the polycarbonate (is that Lexan?) scraps. What sort of thickness are they? Would they be suitable for a table base (strong enough to not sag)?

Good idea, but how do I go about making the little ledge? My Freud guide bushings go into a hole that is stepped, so that the face of the bushing rides flush with the base.
Thanks, Larry
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<Good idea, but how do I go about making the little ledge? My Freud guide bushings go into a hole that is stepped, so that the face of the bushing rides flush with the base.>
The step diameters on my bushing set happenen to match the dia's. of my router bit set. Need to set the plunge depth carefully or you will ruin the whole job. It's just a matter of being careful. Bugs
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Hi Larry.
One easy way to transfer correctly centered drill hole locations from your router to the table insert would be to use an intermediate base made of a flat, rigid and cheap material such as 1/4-inch hardboard.
Using your original baseplate, mark screw hole locations in a piece of hardboard or other suitable material. Drill holes the exact size of the screw used (no need to countersink / counterbore here) then mount the new base on your router. If the base holes wont align with the ones on the router casting, youll have to redo the marking / drilling with suitable corrections (this has to be precise). Mark the outside surface of the board as TOP and an arrow to show the orientation you want for the router once installed (remember that your router will be mounted upside down on the table). Put a bit in the router collet of the same size as the external dimension of the guide bushing you will put in the plastic insert (you may have a 3/8, 1/2 or 5/8 inch bushing and a correspondingly-sized bit).
Now plunge the bit through the hardboard plate. With a fixed-base router, you may have to take special precautions to avoid motor wobble and consequent precision loss. For this, you may have to partially tighten whatever locking mechanism you have on the router and carefully lower the bit into the base.
Its almost finished. Insert your bushing in the plastic insert on the table, lay the hardboard base over it (with the TOP marking showing) and mark the screw hole locations on the tables mounting plate. Double, even triple check everything, be careful, and everything should be all right. Then, take a deep breath and drill the insert plate.
Hope this help!
Andre from Montreal
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