I have been lurking here for some time and just bought a router and I
now need some help. So, here goes my first post. I have decided to
take a stab at making my own router table. The top is 24" by 34". 24"
being the back to front measurement and 34" being the left to right
measurement. I was just curious as to where I would put the insert for
the router. Do I put it smack dab in the middle , toward the back,
toward the front , to the left or to the right? I have looked on the
web and have seen all different styles? Is it personal preference? Is
one location more advantageous than another. I am right handed if that
makes any difference!! Thanks for any and all suggestions
On the Go To Hell Router Table (bastard son of An Ultimate
Router Table) I have the insert centered 10" off the back
edge of the table. On the An Ultimate Router Table (Tom
Watson Model) I am centering it 8" off the back edge. This
leaves enough room to mount almost any fence (1) and leaves
room in front where you need it the most.
The table on the Go To Hell Router Table is 24"ish by
34"ish. The table on An Ultimate Router Table (Tom Watson
Model) will be 27" by 36" as God and Herbert Tautz had
always intended it to be.
(1) If you are looking to put one of those goofy Incra
fences on you'll have to have a driveway long portion behind
the bit. They really screw with the aesthetics of 'chinery
UA100, who really should be getting back to working on An
Ultimate Router Table (Tom Watson Model) but took a break
today to buy a Powermatic Model 141 band saw, check his
messages and check his eBay auctions...
For some reason I'm flashing on the haggling scene in "Monty Python's
Life of Brian"...
"50 Drachmas you must be mad!"
I take a similar approach. "Would you consider..." works better and
leaves everyone feeling better than "I'll give you..."
The last great deal I got (Lee Valley push mower for $10) I asked the
seller if she knew the value of the tool, told her the new price, and
then asked if she still wanted to sell it for the $10 marked on it.
My soul felt good when I loaded it into the trunk.
ROFL...now rubbin salt in eh? *G*
i have had only one score like that, and i ALMOST, felt bad enough
that i wanted to turn my back as i handed the man the money. . .but
alas that feeling of guilt fades faster the further from the scene of
the "crime" you drive with that special new whozawhatzitz
i'll second that.
i have had two of the Action Jackson plates...and they are pretty good
for what you are paying. little on the small side so far as an opening
is concerned if you have a large panel raiser.
If up against a wall, I suppose it'd make more difference, but for me,
realizing I seldom work in the same place twice with my routerbox on a
Workmate, that's not important.
No matter how much support you give it on the infeed side (remember to feed
into rotation), eventually the piece exits, and becomes just as unmanageable
as it would have been had you less infeed distance. Use roller supports as
If you have, as others mention, one of those super-duper fences, you'll have
to allow for mounting and full directional travel. For me, like the router
guys, a chunk of something straight with a clamp on each end, adjusted with
a few taps of the Polish persuader suffices.
In short, you'll find a job or place where it'll be mounted wrong for the
task at hand, so go with the easy spot.
I'd say it's a matter of preference. I went with placing the router
1/3 up from one edge. But my table is on top of a roll around cabinet
and I use simple wood fences that I clamp on --- this means that the
router is either 1/3 the way across or 2/3 the way across depending on
where you stand. For example, long linear pieces are generally
handled from the shallow side. Large flat things (like door panels)
are handled from the deep side so the work piece is well supported.
In retrospect 1/3:2/3 is ok but the golden ratio (about 38%/62%) would
probably have worked about as well and made any mathematician who
wanders into your shop smile.
I put mine centered front-back but to the left some, but that's
because I was putting an Incra fence on the right and wanted to make
sure I could use the whole range of the fence. I think this
photo shows it best:
But in general you put it where it makes the most sense for the type
of fence you're using. With an Incra, you need room for the beam.
For a Pat Warner type fence, you don't.
FYI here's the rest of the project:
My table top is 24x36. I put the router 8" from the front, centered
left-to-right, and this has worked out well. About 90% of the time I
work from the front, and the 8" depth is deep enough to support the
workpiece but not so deep that it feels like I'm reaching.
The other 10% of the time when I'm working on something large (like
panel-raising a door) I work from the back of the table and I have a
16" support surface.
I have on/off switches on both the back and the front of the table for
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While personal preference should rule, consider what at least one pro outfit
Benchdog put the insert about 1/3 from the front. Their reasoning is that
most work is done on narrower stock and you don't want to have to reach back
any more than necessary. OTOH, when you do have a very wide piece to work
with, just turn the table around and now you have a very wide front to rest
the work on.
This has been working well for me.
When I built my latest table, I moved the plate back, to the center of
My old table worked well with two exceptions, raised panels and end
grain routing with stile and rail bits. These two annoyances were
enough to make me construct a new table.
Here's some photos that may help:
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