Router table upgrade

Martin Roper

Martin
Senior User
I bought a used Rockler router table with lift last summer that was a huge upgrade over my previous set-up which was the exact same Rockler top and fence that I simply laid over saw horses in the driveway when I needed to do some routing. There was no lift, no dust collection (hence the driveway), and it wasn't especially convenient. My "new" table looked like this when I bought it. The on/off switch was just held on with a coat hanger.
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I added some casters and a DustRight box I found used on CL. It has a 4" fitting that draws through the router opening and a 2.5" fitting that draws through the fence. What an improvement! The only problem was that there is a lot of wasted space and no storage.
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On the left is the drill press stand I built 20 years ago and never really finished with drawers as intended. I recently added the Bora mobile base kit and while I was making the router table drawer I decided to add some drawers to that as well.

I bought a sheet of 1/2" x 5' x 5' Baltic Birch for the drawers and had some 19mm Valchromat left over from my workbench project. The Rockler plans called for rabbets all the way around, but I thought that was unnecessarily fussy and just went with butt joints and glue. After some measuring, I also discovered that my Rockler table and the one in the article had completely different dimensions, so the article served mostly as inspiration.

The design is modular so you don't have to take the table apart, but I still had to loosen a few bolts to squeeze the side uprights in between the posts because my tolerances were a bit too tight. I skipped the bit racks because I didn't want to bend over to peruse my bit collection. I already have a nice router bit case on the wall at eye height. Instead I found 16" x 20" metal pegboards on Amazon that just happened to fit the side uprights perfectly.

Here is the general plan:

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Here is the final product.
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I ordered some hooks and bins to store accessories. By happy coincidence, the slots on the featherboards are exactly 6" on center, so I can hang them on hooks when not in use.

One mistake I made was that I didn't allow for the kerf on one cut and ended up making the center box 1/8th" too narrow. It wouldn't have been a problem except I had already made the drawer. I didn't have another panel to replace the one I miscut, so I just went ahead and finished the box and cut a 1/16th" rabbet on each side of the drawer to accommodate the drawer slide.

Aside from the added storage, this adds a lot of mass to the table. It feels much more substantial now.
 
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Hmerkle

Board of Directors, Development Director
Hank
Corporate Member
Since it was an @Martin Roper post, I simply assumed we would see a cheap router table...
But, this was interesting, and best of all it cost me nothing! - thanks for posting
 

NOTW

Notw
Senior User
That's a really nice setup, a router table upgrade is definitely on my need list
 

tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Nice. I started with the same top. I just use a plate and a Tridon router, so I have to get my big fat hands under it for speed and the spindle lock. Just the lower Tridon pickup and fence port do not do quite as well as I think they should. I picked up a set of cheap drawers off the WEB as it was cheaper than buying 5 sets of guides.

My table ( not iron) is part of my outfeed, but putting a port under a trap door for the fence hose is on my list. I also need to make some sport of funnel for the depth crank as it is hit or miss to teh Tridon post.
 

charlessenf

Charles
Senior User
Nice. I started with the same top. I just use a plate and a Tridon router, so I have to get my big fat hands under it for speed and the spindle lock. Just the lower Tridon pickup and fence port do not do quite as well as I think they should. I picked up a set of cheap drawers off the WEB as it was cheaper than buying 5 sets of guides.

My table ( not iron) is part of my outfeed, but putting a port under a trap door for the fence hose is on my list. I also need to make some sport of funnel for the depth crank as it is hit or miss to teh Tridon post.
Tell me more about your triton router - been eyeing them for years (is it tridon or triton - maybe eye don't looka so good). Serously the good bad and ugly If any) would be nice to read.
 

charlessenf

Charles
Senior User
I bought a used Rockler router table with lift last summer . . . . Aside from the added storage, this adds a lot of mass to the table. It feels much more substantial now.
NICELY DONE.

Questions on the "Bora mobile base kit" and the 'flip wheel'(?) on your bandsaw base. I bought a set (of flip wheels) for my metal cutting Horizontal band saw some time ago and returned them - too flimsy IMHO. But the BORA kit appears substantial and, as you've two 'flip wheel' approaches in use, I thought to ask or your assessment/comments comparing the two before spending $59 on the Amazon BORA kit only to have to drive to Hickory to return it!
 

Martin Roper

Martin
Senior User
Tell me more about your triton router - been eyeing them for years (is it tridon or triton - maybe eye don't looka so good). Serously the good bad and ugly If any) would be nice to read.

I also have a Triton, the 2-1/4 HP model. I bought it with the intention of using it with my old router table top and fence and building a frame for it. But, as typically happens with me, the Rockler table deal came up shortly afterwards and that plan was abandoned. I've only used the Triton a couple times to play with it. I like its many thoughtful features. I don't like the round handles though. I feel I get a more positive grip with vertical handles like on my 30-year-old Hitachi TR-12. Just a personal preference.
 

Martin Roper

Martin
Senior User
Questions on the "Bora mobile base kit" and the 'flip wheel'(?) on your bandsaw base. I bought a set (of flip wheels) for my metal cutting Horizontal band saw some time ago and returned them - too flimsy IMHO. But the BORA kit appears substantial and, as you've two 'flip wheel' approaches in use, I thought to ask or your assessment/comments comparing the two before spending $59 on the Amazon BORA kit only to have to drive to Hickory to return it!

The Bora mobile base is awesome. It's well-made, the finish is good, and it goes together easily. If you have a cabinet like mine, it can be attached directly to the bottom. If you have something on a frame, you can cut a sheet of plywood to size and attach the wheels to that and set the frame on top of the plywood. Super easy.

I bought this caster set on Amazon for the band saw. I would've preferred to put it on a Bora kit, but I wanted something I could attach directly to the base it's in without having to lift the band saw out of its base, attaching the Bora, and picking the BS up and dropping it back in.

The "tricycle" set-up is an experiment. It works, but it doesn't seem stable enough once raised. The idea was to raise the front end all at once so the saw wouldn't lean when you raised one caster then the other. I'll put another caster on the corner and move this one to the other corner for better stability. I'm going to try bolting a piece of angle iron to connect the two levers so I can raise both casters in one go like this guy did.

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tvrgeek

Scott
Corporate Member
Tell me more about your triton router - been eyeing them for years (is it tridon or triton - maybe eye don't looka so good). Serously the good bad and ugly If any) would be nice to read.
You are a bit away, otherwise stop in and play with it yourself. ( I am in Hillsborough) , or if you are over this way. I am happy with it, but I am an occasional router user. ( new Makita compact 18V may be changing that :) )

I added a paddle switch. The spindle lock is automatic, but only if you hold down the switch safety cover, so bit changing means fumbling for the pin under the table. I may make a lever to extend the reach. Otherwise, I have no complaints. A lot cheaper than one of the Jesem lifts and a generic router!


On the flip wheels. I think Stumpy had a segment on them. One idea was the cross piece with a hole for a lever if the tool was too heavy. I have them on my jointer and work bench, but the single lift point base on my BS. I would not want it tippy. The wider the base, the less tippy. The larger diameter the wheels, the easier rolling.
 

Martin Roper

Martin
Senior User
I bought this caster set on Amazon for the band saw. I would've preferred to put it on a Bora kit, but I wanted something I could attach directly to the base it's in without having to lift the band saw out of its base, attaching the Bora, and picking the BS up and dropping it back in.

The "tricycle" set-up is an experiment. It works, but it doesn't seem stable enough once raised. The idea was to raise the front end all at once so the saw wouldn't lean when you raised one caster then the other. I'll put another caster on the corner and move this one to the other corner for better stability. I'm going to try bolting a piece of angle iron to connect the two levers so I can raise both casters in one go like this guy did.

View attachment 211818

I abandoned the "tricycle" idea and found a little piece of channel that was an extra piece from a universal mobile base I once had and made a foot lever that will raise or lower both casters simultaneously.

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I drilled holes in the tops of the caster levers and attached them to the channel with nuts and bolts.

I used a little piece of oak to fit in the channel. It needed some 9° cuts to sit correctly in the channel and I rounded over the top edges. I used a half inch Forstner bit to make a couple relief holes to fit over the tops of the bolts.

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It's much more stable now and easier to use.
 

Martin Roper

Martin
Senior User
Robert, the DustRight box I have works very similarly to his set-up. It hooks right up to my 2hp dust collector and gets routed through the box and through the fence. It's amazingly efficient.

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I see Rocker has that box on sale right now for $70. I bought mine used, but they retail for $120 which seems like a lot for what it is.
 

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