An Australian Energy Co and the Bushfires

Great to find out that *An Australian Energy Company* is so supportive of the recent (& ongoing) disasterous bushfires, that their reps are using them as justification why households should sign up for their Green Energy.

Having one of their representatives at my front door telling me in broken English that I should consider windmills and solar power to prevent the ozone hole that caused the bushfires is as on the nose for a large organisation as the woman trying to get $15000 from the bushfire appeal by pretending that one of the deceased was her father.

I’d love to name and shame them, but I don’t know about the legal aspects of doing so, and I bet their lawyers earn more than I do. The curse of a litigious society I guess.

Stu’s Shed & Incra.com

Just because it is cool: an excerpt of my recent review of the Incra V120 has been picked up and can be found at Incra.com

V120 Review

V120 Review

The Ultimate Router Table Takes Shape

Guess the heading says it all.

There are still some developments in…uh…development, but I have now started making actual progress on the new “ultimate” router table.

The Ultimate

The Ultimate

As I’ve talked about (and shown the concept of) in the past, this is the router table top actually bolted together, and the original laminated top has been retired.

The top – 5 tablesaw wings bolted together with high tensile bolts.  The 5th wing is known as a router wing, as it has the hole and mounting points for a router.  The inserts for the hole are not shown (I didn’t have them in time for the photo).

The top weighs around 100kg, and is 1250 x 680mm in size. On top of that is, of course, the Incra LS 17″ Positioner, held down with 2 MagJigs.  There is also a MagSwitch featherboard in the foreground. The tablesaw wings and router table wing were all sourced from Carbatec.

So what is to come? The router currently shown is actually in the secondary router position, which is going to be for template copying bits, and for when I’m using the Gifkins Dovetail Jig (which requires you to swap between a straight cutter and a dovetail cutter – might as well have both set up ready to go, as is suggested by Roger Gifkins – if you have the luxury of having 2 outers that is!)  What I want to do is replace the second panel with one that has a cavity that can take a full router lift, such as the Woodpecker router lift with Wixey Digital Height readout.  We are talking about “The Ultimate” router table after all!

Woodpeckers UniLift

Woodpeckers UniLift

The base is also extremely temporary – it will get retired as soon as possible.  However, it will have to do until the top is properly finished, so I know its final dimensions. That top sure looks good for a router table doesn’t it!

The router mounted extremely easily to the router wing shown above

Triton Router Mounted

Triton Router Mounted

There are T slots on the underside of the router wing, and all I had to do was partially grind down the two coach bolts on the Triton router that are there for quick mount & release in the Triton router table.  (They are under the black knob seen here on the base of the router).  It means the router is still almost as easy to remove and replace as it was in the Triton router – you just need to slide it along the T slots!

As you can also see here, this Triton router doesn’t have any of the plastic dust extraction shrouding on it.  That is because I use a 4″ dust extractor on the router table, rather than 1″ pipe going directly to the Triton base.  These are routers designed for permanent table mounting after all, so optimising the setup for that seems sensible.

Update:

I now have the inserts for the table, so here’s photographic proof. Also, the benefit of a good cast iron table makes for easy storage of the MagSwitch featherboard! Storing it like this will degrade the magnetic strength over time – something in the region of 5% loss in strength after 100 years apparently.

Surround & MagSwitch Storage

Surround & MagSwitch Storage

The inserts are not as flush with the table as I’d like – it’s a shame that I can’t retrofit the inserts from Woodpeckers.  Hmm – that just gave me an idea.  It is a long shot, but maybe I can (with a bit of filing / grinding).  That would be excellent if I could.  I’m thinking of something like this set here:

Woodpeckers Router Table Insert

Woodpeckers Router Table Inserts

For those wondering why the Triton router, the answer can be as simple as 4 words: Above-Table-Bit-Changing. There are plenty of other reasons, but that one is hard to walk past! And it only needs a single spanner.

Above Table Bit Changing

Above Table Bit Changing

Now, in answer to David’s question, here are some further details of fitting the Triton router to the CI router wing.

T Slots

T Slots

The underside of the router wing has these T slots cut, which are perfect for the router’s quick release bolts. They are not wide enough for the full width coach bolts, so I removed the two bolts from the router base and ground them down a bit on a grinder.

Ground down coach bolt

Ground down coach bolt

At the end of the day, it is only a coach bolt – if you stuff it up, just buy another for 20c!  You can’t grind the wing completely flush with the bolt – you still need a lip, as that is what is holding the router in place after all.  At some stage I might consider replacing the bolt altogether with a high tensile one, but given how well this solution works, that may never happen!

Quick-mount mechanism

Quick-mount mechanism

This is all there is to the quick mounting mechanism of the Triton router.  One coach bolt, a spring, and a knob with a captive nut.  One of these on each side of the router is sufficient to retain it in the table.  It may not seem a lot, but I’ve never heard of the mechanisms not holding a Triton router sufficiently to the table.  You could always add some extra support for the router using the same T slots in the table if you felt you needed to.

After and Before

After and Before

The router on the right is the original Triton setup.  The router on the left is the one ready to be mounted under the CI router wing.  You can see the ground down head of the coach bolt, and also that I have removed the plastic base.  The base is only there for handheld work, so why waste the extra 3mm or so in potential router bit height for a base that is not needed given the router will live under the table?

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