Hey all! I've been working on a project and "tweaking" the router table as
part of the process. I posted pics "over there" but as usual, *I* can't see
them.... If'n any of you are interested in the router table featured in FWW
a few months ago, I went ahead and built it. My only real complaint is that
FWW doesn't give a complete set of dimensions for a project, and so you have
to deduce more than you might otherwise.... That explains some of the
additional "cooling holes" in this project (don't worry, the magic smoke
won't go through them for some reason) Now that I have this one built, I can
already see some mods to make it v 2.0.
I haven't had a real router table before, 'ceptin' for a cheap HF benchtop
unit - I think my panel raiser bit weighed more than the sheet metal in that
Let me know what y'all think!
John, thanks for publishing your work. I've dog-eared that issue of FWW
looking at the router table. It reminded me of a combination of great ideas
and a few foo-foo ideas -- needing to create enough material to fill out the
word-count for an article. The part of this router table that really
intrigues me is the horizontally mounted router. I *think* this is a great
idea, but I've not actually used one. I'd hate to go to all that effort
only to find out it was just fodder for a magazine article. It appears
you've built the table in complete form, but have not actually committed it
to use all the features (as evidenced by the "permanent" roundover bit in
the horizontal position). I'd be very intererested in hearing your actually
use experience with it. It seems the horizontal mounting would be useful for
making mortises quickly. Also, how well does the melamine board workout for
I think that the table is worth building, with some caveats and
improvements - like I said, 2.0 is on the horizon...
The horizontal setup is useful, as a mortiser, but it also is an attachment
for several of the other dongles on the table. As for your remark about is a
horizontal router "really useful" - I haven't changed the bit in the router
because it is a *real* PITA, - the router, not the table, and, I use that
profile of bit quite often. I have a mortiser, so the attraction for me is
to be able to construct a setup for doing sliding dovetails and tapered
A couple of the mods that I made going it, were that I made the top and back
apron out of a layer of plywood covered by another layer of Melamine MDF, so
it's 1 1/2" thick. That change obviated several others in the process, but
I didn't think that a single layer of MDF would have the durability and
rigidity that I wanted.
As for the back panel, no.... I should have used something stronger there,
or a double thickness. Its' okay for now, but with the DeWalt setup (Router
held in the normal "hand held" position, but above the table, there is some
flex. It stays put and the jointery, so far, is true, but I am thinking
either of using two thicknesses of plywood, building a stronger framed
panel, or getting some thick aluminum or something to make it stronger.
Keep my email addy handy on this if you're going to build one yourself.
Many of the measurements in FWW are erronious, arbitrary, or missing
altogether - I was kind of surprized that such a good idea, on paper, was
made much more difficult to construct only because of several editorial
lapses. I expect that in Wood Magazine, but not FWW. You could also modify
the setup so that one router would work in all three positions - but it
would be much easier if you had multiple routers that you could dedicate to
the table. It all depends on your priorities.
In using the table as a standard router table, it works like a dream. With
the fence and the DC hooked up I had ZERO chips - usually I would have
shavings scattered from hell to breakfast - and the quality of the cut was
much better. I used it for doing lock miter joints and it worked great.
In using the table as an "overhead" router, boy oh boy! - I used that set
up for making some lap joints, and won't be going back to the dado stack for
I robbed a keylock power switch from my jointer when I rewired it for 220,
and have that plugged into a power strip for all three routers. I just turn
the switch on for the router I want to use and I am all set. I may end up
mounting a gooseneck lamp on the back of the table for better visability. I
am already thinking that I could use the overhead router for doing raised
panels - it would make things much easier to see, and still have all the
benefits of using a traditional router table.
I made the table a little bit higher and a little bit larger than the plan
and will shorten the table to bring it in line with the to-be-installed
countertop down the road.
I can provide you with very specific measurements for things down the road,
if'n you'd like...
You are probably correct but I am looking at an article in Fine
Woodworking Tools & Shops Issue #153 entitles "The Ultimate Router
Table" by John White.
Was it published twice? Is the later one that you refer to an updated
Ok John - I got it. The article "The Ultimate Router" by John White was
published, as I said, in the Fine Woodworking Tools & Shops Issue #153
Winter 2001/2002. The article you cited is entitled "A Versatile Router
Table" and is authored by Kevin McLaughlin. It is, as you said, in
Fine Woodworking Issue #169, April 2004.
Now I've just been reading both of them and to be honest, the "Ultimate
Router Table" seems a much better design to me. In fact, I beeleive
that combining some of the ideas from "The Ultimate Router Table" with
Norm Abram's router table desing woudl produce the "Ultimate Ultimate"
But that's just me. To each his own.
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