I have a couple of Craftsman routers and I intend to make a smaller router table for
the one in the worse shape..it was in a
fire so the handles and top cover are somewhat melted..uncomforatble to use by hand.
I was thinking of making an 18" x 18"
top with the router set off center about 6" so that I could end up with about an
18" x 12" work area. The table would be
about 12" tall and be able to be clamped to roll-arould workbench.
Based on notes I have, I plan to use Formica to cover the 3/4" MDF top and use a 12"
inside square, 1" x 1" x 1/8" angle
frame, welded and blanchard ground, both to strengthen the top and to provide a
mounting flange for the side MDF plates. The
bottom of the side plate would also be attached to the same sort of frame.
Anybody have a suggestions how to improve on this home workshop project?
Yes, buy a new router.
Seems like a lot of work for a router you say is already in poor shape. No
matter how good the table, you will not get the accuracy, repeatability and
smoothness with a junk machine.
The new issue of Wood magazine shows the internal workings of a Skil and a
Bosch router. There are differences for the money you pay..
I didn't say it was in poor shape..just that the plastic on it is melted. As far as
buying a new router..I already own this
spare one which works well, I have the 3/4" MDF for the sides, the angle iron for the
frames and I have a sink cutout to make
the top from. Ignoring your problem with my router, the issues are:
1) How to build a fence...
2) Is this approach going to provide a workable router stand?
3) Is the steel frame strong enough to prevent warpage?
4) What's the best way to mount the router..screwed or clamped to the top?
5) Should I laminate a steel plate to the underside of the top to provide strength.
flatness and a mounting surface for the
I used a scrap of mdf that extends from the router bit to the back of the
table, cut a couple slots and used a couple wing bolts to clamp it down
using a T-nut on the underside of the table top that the wing bolts thread
I made mine from MDF and its working fine, depending on the size the angle
iron probably isn't needed, mine is small, 24" wide by 18" deep and the
3/4" mdf has proven to be plenty strong
One of the reasons I choose MDF is because it doesn't warp (unless you get
it wet) so I think the angle is un-needed unless your panels are really
big. But if your going big make some dividers ans those will increase the
My old craftsman had some holes in the base. They seemed to be an odd size
because I couldn't find any screws I had that fit so I took it to an ACE
hardware and tried different screws until I found the ones that fit. I
drilled holes in a board and bolted it in.
My current PC router has enough depth adjustment that I just bolted it to
the 3/4" mdf top and chucked my biggest bit and raised it to cut the center
Now you didn't like it when someone else suggested buy a new router, but I'm
going to strongly suggest the same. I used a Craftsman for years and
thought any of the problems I ran into were my doing or learning experience
until I bought a good router. If you do decide to use the craftsman be
sure to not trust its depth adjustment/lock, make your own because the
craftsman will adjust itsself right as you are on the last cut on a big
project on the most expensive piece of wood :) Also Don't use any large
bits in that router as it will throw them at you when you least expect it,
the collet just doesn't hold as tight as it should. Don't try to use a
spiral up cut in it as it will come out of the collet no matter how tight
you get it. I learned my lesson the expensive way, I spent the money on a
craftsman, then spent more money on workarounds for its many problems then
had to buy a real router anyway. Been mad at myself ever since wishing I
hadn't wasted my time on the craftsman as I could have spent that time
actually woodworking instead of learning workarounds. I'm not a tool snob
my any means, have my $88 Delta miter saw and $99 drill press for example
but I have learned to not waste the $ on a craftsman power tool. I don't
hate sears either, still buy hand tools all the time, just bought a lawn
mower and weed eater from them to replace the ones that someone stole from
my shed, I just have realized that their power tools are intended to be
sold to a homeowner that will use them once to build a birdhouse one time
for their kids school project and not someone who wants to build multiple
projects and furniture and such who needs and expects repeatable cuts and
I also made my own router table (UK here) some while back. The main
challenge I found was ease of raising the router, as it only had one sided
adjustment - which worked fine when 'right side up', but not so good when it
was upside down, trying to drag itself upwards.
However, I then mounted what in the UK we call a sissor (car) jack,
undernearth. It presses upwards into the top (bottom when upside down) of
the router, and therefore compresses it against its spring (which I left in
place). That made it much easier to raise.
Used it for years now.
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