First, there is no standard size (even within brands, e.g. Jessam).
Second, routing the cutout is easy with a router, a top-bearing mortise bit
the same radius as the corners of your insert plate, a drill, a jig saw, and
4 scraps of straight 1x2 at least 2" longer than the longest side of the
For sake of explanation, I'll label the sides of the insert plate A, B, C,
and D in a clockwise direction. Place the insert on the table at its
intended location. Lay the first 1x up against side A with one end flush
with side D. The other end will extend beyond side B. Clamp in place.
Place the next 1x along side B with the end butted up against the 1x on side
A. Clamp in place. Repeat for side C and D. Now you've built a box around
your insert plate the exact size of the plate. Remove the plate.
Use the plate to set the dept of the router bit i.e. place the plate on the
table, place the router on the plate, and lower the bit until it touches the
table. You may want to go a little deeper to accommodate leveling screws
which most plates come equipped with.
With the top bearing riding your 'template', rout the dado which will soon
become a rabbet. Drill an access hole at the inner edge of the dado and cut
out the center waste with a jig saw leaving the full dado to support the
plate. This doesn't have to be pretty as no
one will ever see it.
A couple final thoughts. Depending on the weight of your router, you may
want to install a couple of cross-members under the table for support.
Second, if you're having trouble figuring out how to clamp the 1x's to the
table consider double-sided tape (that's what I used). It has more sheer
(sideways force) holding power than most people give it credit for. Just
make sure the table is clean before applying the tape.
As for the T-slots for the fence, doesn't that depend more on the design of
the fence and how it wants to be mounted? I'd suggest mounting the fence
parallel to the saw fence so that if what you're routing exceeds the reach
of your router fence (length of T-slots) you simply remove the router fence
and use the saw fence. Most router fences don't adjust more than about 6"
.----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 11:31 AM
Subject: Router table top Questions
I went with the Veritas router plate. It's circular. Once you've drilled the
thing to adapt to your router's base, you use a supplied trammel and centering
widget and drill two guide holes in the base. Then all you need is to do is
drill a hole in the table, put in the centering widget and route two circles,
one on either side of the table. No bearing bits, no jigsaw and no aligning
bits of scrap to cut a rectangle. Even a fool like me could do it!
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