What is the perfect router/shaper table?

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Let me post this question to all the very experienced woodworkers out here. First a little background information.
I am a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker/Machinist/Certified Welder that has done carpentry work for a lot of my 47 years, but I never had the space for a workshop to do the cabinet making, woodworking type of work.
About a year ago I moved and now have a place for a small woodshop in my basement. I have been looking at router tables and even a shaper to outfit my collection of tools, but quite frankly, they are all junk in my opinion, especially the protractor heads that I have seen. Their version of precision and mine are two different things. My precision deals with .001 of an inch or less. Their's seems like .032 or more!
So......I got to thinking that I can make the same thing that is a LOT better than what I can buy. My question to everyone is if you could design your dream router stand/ shaper, what features would it have, especially things that no one has seen offered on it before? I have not been doing this nearly as long as lot of people out there have, so I am looking for some guide lines as to what would really be a nice feature to have.
I am an experienced 3D drafter also, so I am planning on building this in the computer and then generate the drawings for the parts, so if I can come up with something workable, I will have the plans available for others if they are interested.
Thanks for everyone's input.
Ron
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On 24 Nov 2003, Ron S. spake unto rec.woodworking:

    .001 is overkill for even the finest woodwoorking. Given the nature of the material, where a change in humidity can make a measurable change in the dimensions of a piece you cut yesterday, it is wasted effort to work to machinist's tolerance in the cabinetmaker's shop.

    You'll get as many different answers as there are woodworkers. A piece of plywood with a hole in it, with the router screwed into it and a straight piece of scrap clamped to it for a fence, will do as good a job, in skilled hands, as the latest laser-guided micrometer-adjustable table- flat-to-within-one-wavelength job designed primarily to lighten your wallet.

    Search google for "ultimate router table" and report back when you've exhausted the possibilities ;^)
Scott
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This seems like reasonable advice, but there is another thing to consider. Every step in the production of any widget introduces errors in dimensions and fit. If the errors add up (in general they add and subtract, so _some_ cancel out) then the net dimensions are not what was designed. If you eliminate or reduce the introduction of errors, the end result comes closer to what was designed. So it seems that making it as accurately as possible is desirable, even if the accuracy is small compared to the material characteristics.
Back in the days of slide rules, engineers didn't do calculations to better than three significant digits. When computers came into their world, many said things like "Don't use double precision, since the data is only good to three digits and we never did that with slide rules." Sounds good, but they were doing things they never did with slide rules. I once demonstrated that single precision finite element analysis could reduce the accuracy of three digit input to two digit output! Hence, don't introduce errors in the process. By using double precision, the output is as accurate as the input.
Hence, I'd like the most accuracy possible. It might not make it better, but it won't make it worse.
Mike
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the equipment you use. So much of the equipment I have seen has such slop in the adjustments that you never end up with the same thing twice, and if you do it is only after you go through 3 test cuts to get it correct. You should see how nice something comes out when I stick a piece of wood in my metalworking equipment.
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If your looking for 0.001 try this link to the Incra LS positioner http://tinyurl.com/wf1y
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Ron S. wrote:>What is the perfect router/shaper table?

collection, and ease of height adjustment (also microadjustable). I doubt there's much that hasn't been attempted, but let's see what others here think. Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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These are the things I was wondering about. Would an angular adjustment on the fence be of value. The adjustment I was wondering about would be in the same plane as the cutter axis, eg instead of being fixed at 90 degrees, you could tilt it back, sort of like the fence on a jointer.
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What advantage would this have over a tilting arbor shaper?
Art

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How about the ability to go vertical and horizontal. Also to be able to tilt the router as well. Next a split fence that stays aligned with each half and can use zero insert blocks.

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On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 23:21:23 GMT, "Ron S."

There are commercial router tables available that allow the cutter to tilt in relation to the table and fence. I think one is sold by Woodhaven.
Barry
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I believe it is the only one and a peice of Crap at that I think It is made from all phenolic, I wrote and asked them they have not responded. If it is metal with a phenolic plate i am interested If all phenolic it will not hold up.
in message wrote:

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For What reason ????

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Tom wrote:

Don't forget to put a Huge Ass Router into it, or it isn't much good.
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
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Silvan wrote:>Don't forget to put a Huge Ass Router into it, or it isn't much good.
With a stiff plate. I also like the idea of vertical and horizontal mountability. Izzat a word, "mountability"? Tom Someday, it'll all be over....
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I was thinking of that also, a horizontal mount to the rear with fine vertical adjustment. Sort of had the idea of the router being mounted on a quick change adapter so you could go from horizontal to vertical without having to unbolt and rebolt the thing each time.
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Ron,
Take a look at Pat Warner's site www.patwarner.com and look at the router fence he builds (and sells). This is an improved version but two years ago, this was a featured article in FWW. I built (several) and have modified it slightly for my personal preferences but all the design features that make it so accurate are all Pat's. It was a fun project and will test your abilities if you decide to build one.
Combine that with a good router lift (I have the Jessem, Rout-R-Lift) and I can dial in .001 settings and make them repeatable if needed. Pat also has some excellent books you may be interested in plus a lot of info on his site about routers in general along with what makes a good table etc.
My father was a tool and die maker so I know something about machine tolerances - and then I learned, wood moves!
Bob S.

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When you get down to it, EVERYTHING moves, including steel. Knowing how it is going to move is half of the battle when you are machining and designing something. Yes, I got frustrated many years ago when I would try to fit wood to the same tolerances and fits as I do with steel. Thanks for the link, I will check it out.
Ron
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Have you looked at the Veritas table top and fence over at Lee Valley's web site here http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?pageC885&category=1&SID=&ccurrency=1
Might be a little closer to what you have in mind.
HTH,
nuk
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http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct3.cgi?0301 I built a modified version of the above and love it. Lots better then my old crapsman.
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Mike S.
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Can mill to a mil or 2 on this one:
http://www.patwarner.com/images/bdpwf.jpg
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