Router Table End Game

Went ahead with the plan to re-establish a separate router table, and using the Incra Router Table stand as the base.

Step one was putting the base together.  It comes in a pretty compact form.  Lots of screws!  I also decided to get the optional wheel kit.

Typical of Incra, the basis for the router stand is a complicated, well designed anodised aluminium extrusion.  In this case, it is based around a corner, with two tracks for the fixtures, and two for the 12mm sides.

The wheel kit has one pivot wheel which can be raised and lowered, and two fixed wheels.

The frame together, ready to be wheeled to the shed.  I could have done this down there, but hey, what else are back rooms for?!

The frame at this point was pretty flimsy, and I was just starting to wonder if it was going to be able to withstand the weight of my router table. Being a cast iron top, and not a small one at that, it weighs in excess of 80kg.  But I was still expecting the MDF sides and base would add quite a degree of stability.

The stand was relocated to the shed, and placed in around about its ‘final’ home.

To make room for it, there was again quite a bit of shuffling, and this time the lathe got relocated to the other end of the workshop.

At the same time, I took the opportunity to do a few other jobs I’d been planning, including getting rid of the drawer unit under the drill press table.  The Pro Drill Press table will again be mounted directly to the drill press platform.  I have not liked the old way to raise and lower the drill press, so I’ve added a large cast iron wheel on an extension bar . This will then get secured underneath to the drill press table top.

The extension bar is an old socket set extension bar, and the wheel is from some old thicknesser or similar.  With a bit of adaption, some grinding, then a tapped hole for a bolt to secure the wheel to the bar at the back. This’ll stop me having to reach behind the table to raise and lower the table!  It will look a lot better when the pro top is reattached.

Next, I started adding the MDF sides, base and shelf.  Into the shelf I used an oscillating cutter (a Fein in this case) to cut a square hole.  An oscillating cutter is the modern version of a jigsaw.  Pretty much incapable of hurting the operator (unless you really try!), it cuts a very fine kerf line.  No where near as fast as a jigsaw, but also significantly neater.  An no need to drill starting holes, or tip toe around corners to produce a square corner.

This hole was cut to fit a dust extraction hood in that will sit directly below the router.

This was screwed down, and the 4″ pipe will come out from the lower layer of the unit, rather than trying to direct the sawdust down to a low point and out the side of the base.

Both the upper and lower areas will get boxed off to control dust movements around the base.  From this angle you can also see the shelf supports I’ve added.

I’ve decided to fully box in the router in the first instance, then address what access I do need afterwards.  I’d like to not have to access the router at all, which would be possible if I was willing to use a router bit extender permanently, but I’m still not comfortable with that.

In any case, it was time to add the top, and that involved what was effectively a dead-lift to get the top in place.  Cast iron is heavy!  What I’d do to have a gantry crane in the shed!

With the sides and bases added, the stand became a lot more rigid.  With the weight of the top, it all became quite functional, and once I add a few screws etc, everything will lock together nicely.

Still plenty to do to finish the table, but I got it to the point I wanted for the weekend – it really looks the part.

Some outstanding jobs: Add the starter box, attach the Wixey digital height gauge, cut the access point to the router, connect the table to the 4″ extraction system.  Down track I’ll be adding some drawers to store the various LS positioner rules, some in-table router bit storage and who knows where else the ideas will lead.  Happy with how it is looking so far!

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