Author Topic: Router table or....?  (Read 8823 times)

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Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Router table or....?
« on: February 11, 2017, 10:55 AM »
Preface: I'm planning on a kitchen project in a few months for my house.  You can probably expect a lot more questions from me in the near future.   [wink]   

I have an OF1400 w the Edge Guide and LR32 kit.

I'm planning on doing slab doors and drawer fronts, so no big profiling bits are needed. 

But, there are going to be at least 12 drawers and possibly a lot more. My plan was to do a pocket screw drawer box with a dado for the bottom, using 1/2 Baltic Birch ply for the whole drawer.   I'll be using blum undermount slides.

Aside from boring holes, the only other need for the router on this project would be the 1/2" dado in the drawer sides and a little roundover on the top of the sides of the drawer.  If I use solid wood edgebanding on the doors and drawers, I might use it there, too.

In the past, I've routed 1/4" dados in drawer sides just using the edge guide.  That has been pretty accurate, but it has typically been for a single cabinet at a time, so not a lot of parts.   It seems like this would be simpler to do using a table and fence, and avoid the risk of introducing variation on the 40th part (or the 2nd, in my case..).   Same with the roundover - seems like having a fence to run against would keep things more consistent. 

As I understand it, using an OF1400 in a router table is not a convenient proposition.  Am I going to be best served getting another router and fashioning some kind of router table?  For this work, is a lot of horsepower going to be very important?   Would I be better off just making a few jigs to guide the router?  How would you all approach this?

In an ideal world, I'd have a dedicated router table or shaper.   But I have a relatively small work area in a basement that does all the other things a basement needs to do.  No tablesaw or other stationary tools.  Lately there's barely room for me down there, so I think I need to be careful about adding more furniture while I'm living here.

Thanks,
Adam





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Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 12:21 PM »
If you will be ripping the drawer sides from sheet stock with a tracksaw, just dado the entire length with the 1400 and edge guide then rip to width. Then. It to length. Pretty efficient  work flow.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1177
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 12:28 PM »
Why not just order the drawer boxes from a drawer supplier ?  You furnish the measurements and they'll ship you the parts ready to assemble.

It won't be that much more expensive, if at all. They'll do a better job and it will free up your time to concentrate on  the carcasses and fronts , which it sounds like you're better equipped to do.

Online ear3

  • Posts: 3234
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 03:42 PM »
Jesse-Em recently added a lift that fits the 1400.  Not cheap, but it exists: http://www.jessemdirect.com/product_p/02320.htm

I think if you can make some sort of jig that will allow you to just swap in and out the boards to be routed then you might be good.  The problem comes, however, if you need to do stopped dadoes as well, which will complicate the setup of your jig, or maybe even require another one.  Stopped dadoes are easy to do on the table, however.

Having an MFT table is also helpful if you're doing repeat operations, as you can trust the hole pattern for square, and it makes rail guided routing simpler.  That might also be a good solution for your space constraints.

Preface: I'm planning on a kitchen project in a few months for my house.  You can probably expect a lot more questions from me in the near future.   [wink]   

I have an OF1400 w the Edge Guide and LR32 kit.

I'm planning on doing slab doors and drawer fronts, so no big profiling bits are needed. 

But, there are going to be at least 12 drawers and possibly a lot more. My plan was to do a pocket screw drawer box with a dado for the bottom, using 1/2 Baltic Birch ply for the whole drawer.   I'll be using blum undermount slides.

Aside from boring holes, the only other need for the router on this project would be the 1/2" dado in the drawer sides and a little roundover on the top of the sides of the drawer.  If I use solid wood edgebanding on the doors and drawers, I might use it there, too.

In the past, I've routed 1/4" dados in drawer sides just using the edge guide.  That has been pretty accurate, but it has typically been for a single cabinet at a time, so not a lot of parts.   It seems like this would be simpler to do using a table and fence, and avoid the risk of introducing variation on the 40th part (or the 2nd, in my case..).   Same with the roundover - seems like having a fence to run against would keep things more consistent. 

As I understand it, using an OF1400 in a router table is not a convenient proposition.  Am I going to be best served getting another router and fashioning some kind of router table?  For this work, is a lot of horsepower going to be very important?   Would I be better off just making a few jigs to guide the router?  How would you all approach this?

In an ideal world, I'd have a dedicated router table or shaper.   But I have a relatively small work area in a basement that does all the other things a basement needs to do.  No tablesaw or other stationary tools.  Lately there's barely room for me down there, so I think I need to be careful about adding more furniture while I'm living here.

Thanks,
Adam
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Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 11:20 PM »
If you will be ripping the drawer sides from sheet stock with a tracksaw, just dado the entire length with the 1400 and edge guide then rip to width. Then. It to length. Pretty efficient  work flow.

Interesting approach.  I thought about this some more.  It seems like it would be more efficient to go in the other direction.  Rip the sheets down into drawer sides, and then dado the whole length.  Then cut down.

Basically like producing the drawer stock they sell at the lumberyards (which I probably should investigate).

Thanks,
Adam

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2017, 11:26 PM »
I looked into this.  It looked like I could get boxes around $40 each, including the locking mechanisms.  That worked out to something along the lines of 500 total, plus almost $240 for shipping.   I could get almost 10 sheets of 4x8 baltic birch for that price.

I'm sure they would do a better job. And you're correct that it would free up my time to focus on the carcasses - along with all the other details of this project.   But for a hobbyist like myself, I don't know if the economy is there. Afterall, it wouldn't take me more than a few hours to get everything roughed out.   Are there better sources than what I'm looking at?

Thanks,
Adam


Why not just order the drawer boxes from a drawer supplier ?  You furnish the measurements and they'll ship you the parts ready to assemble.

It won't be that much more expensive, if at all. They'll do a better job and it will free up your time to concentrate on  the carcasses and fronts , which it sounds like you're better equipped to do.

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2017, 11:33 PM »
That's a neat lift.   I guess if I was committed to using the 1400 in a table, I would look into that.  Seems like it's almost better to just buy a separate motor at those prices?

I've been thinking about these jig designs all evening, but they are all based on the assumption that I make a fence that either the router base or a bushing is pushed up against.  At which point I find myself asking whether I would do just as well to use the edge guide and just make sure I slept well the night before.   :)

I've been avoiding the MFT table because I really don't room for any more workbench shaped objects right now, and I will probably end up buying a Fuji Q4 in the next month or two.  I do really like the hole system, and I'm a big fan of flag stops.  I strongly considered ordering the PGS to make something I could throw on some sawhorses just to accelerate the whole cross cutting process while I'm making the boxes.   I think I'll probably go a little more lo-budget and build something like Guido Henn has, with the stops on the edges of the board for the rail, with a fence along one side. 

Thanks,
Adam


Jesse-Em recently added a lift that fits the 1400.  Not cheap, but it exists: http://www.jessemdirect.com/product_p/02320.htm

I think if you can make some sort of jig that will allow you to just swap in and out the boards to be routed then you might be good.  The problem comes, however, if you need to do stopped dadoes as well, which will complicate the setup of your jig, or maybe even require another one.  Stopped dadoes are easy to do on the table, however.

Having an MFT table is also helpful if you're doing repeat operations, as you can trust the hole pattern for square, and it makes rail guided routing simpler.  That might also be a good solution for your space constraints.

Preface: I'm planning on a kitchen project in a few months for my house.  You can probably expect a lot more questions from me in the near future.   [wink]   

I have an OF1400 w the Edge Guide and LR32 kit.

I'm planning on doing slab doors and drawer fronts, so no big profiling bits are needed. 

But, there are going to be at least 12 drawers and possibly a lot more. My plan was to do a pocket screw drawer box with a dado for the bottom, using 1/2 Baltic Birch ply for the whole drawer.   I'll be using blum undermount slides.

Aside from boring holes, the only other need for the router on this project would be the 1/2" dado in the drawer sides and a little roundover on the top of the sides of the drawer.  If I use solid wood edgebanding on the doors and drawers, I might use it there, too.

In the past, I've routed 1/4" dados in drawer sides just using the edge guide.  That has been pretty accurate, but it has typically been for a single cabinet at a time, so not a lot of parts.   It seems like this would be simpler to do using a table and fence, and avoid the risk of introducing variation on the 40th part (or the 2nd, in my case..).   Same with the roundover - seems like having a fence to run against would keep things more consistent. 

As I understand it, using an OF1400 in a router table is not a convenient proposition.  Am I going to be best served getting another router and fashioning some kind of router table?  For this work, is a lot of horsepower going to be very important?   Would I be better off just making a few jigs to guide the router?  How would you all approach this?

In an ideal world, I'd have a dedicated router table or shaper.   But I have a relatively small work area in a basement that does all the other things a basement needs to do.  No tablesaw or other stationary tools.  Lately there's barely room for me down there, so I think I need to be careful about adding more furniture while I'm living here.

Thanks,
Adam

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1899
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2017, 11:58 PM »
Why not just order the drawer boxes from a drawer supplier ?  You furnish the measurements and they'll ship you the parts ready to assemble.

It won't be that much more expensive, if at all. They'll do a better job and it will free up your time to concentrate on  the carcasses and fronts , which it sounds like you're better equipped to do.

You're probably right, but I think that might be a sacrilege in the religion of DIY, where we would probably even make the plywood (if we could) just to say we did it.  [big grin] Often when factoring DIY cost the labor is free, but gaining knowledge and seeing the finished product of our free labor is priceless.
+1

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 899
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2017, 06:50 AM »
Here is an example of someone in the business working out the math.  Bear in mind I didn't see a date, so the end result is relative, but there is a good source for the boxes quoted on the page.
http://www.solowoodworker.com/wood/drawerbuy.html

In terms of work flow, the advantage of ripping after you've dado'd and profiled an edge is that you have the full sheet of ply for support.  Otherwise you're left trying to clamp and balance a router on a narrow piece of wood.  Using the workflow suggested you can skip the router table entirely.  The only fiddly part is changing the router edge guide position from dado to profile and back, but using a small piece of the first completed side as a template it will go pretty quickly.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 06:55 AM by RKA »
-Raj

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1177
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2017, 03:54 PM »
sounds waaaaaay high for a shipping cost ?    I've had built in fridges shipped cross country for less.

Was that a quote for them already constructed ???   Get one for them ready to assemble.

I hear you on the skill building exercise.  You can also order side material from these places and they'll ship them to you in 5' lengths in a box.  It's already grooved for a bottom and you can choose , baltic birch, maple, beech, cedar ect... then just construct as you see fit with dovetails, pocket screws, dowels, dominos, - whatever.  There's also the option of prefinished material.

The key is to have them shipped knocked down so you glue up the boxes.  Honestly , I would not be putting drawers constructed with pocket screws in my kitchen either.  So , it seems like you'd be buying a dovetail jig and taking more time honing that skill.   This kitchen is really about project management , not craftsmanship - and outsourcing components you aren't equipped to handle makes the most sense even if it looks expensive at the outset.

If you want to hone your craftsmanship, make a blanket chest or dresser out of mahogany.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 3293
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2017, 04:38 PM »
I agree with antss...if I'm making a few drawers, I don't mind pulling out the dovetail jig and have at it, but any more than a couple and I purchase them already made. Maple sides, ply bottom, holes and cutouts for the Blum under mount slides, all edges broken, fully assembled and sanded.  [smile]

Offline Jesse Cloud

  • Posts: 1701
  • Festooling at the end of a dirt road in New Mexico
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2017, 05:28 PM »
If you aren't sure you want or have room for a router table and fence, its easy to improvise one for your project.

1. Screw or otherwise attach your router base to a piece of 3/4 " or 19 mm mdf.  Insert your dado bit (may need to do this before
attaching the router to the mdf if it would be hard to insert the bit with the router attached. 

2. Clamp the mdf on top of a couple of sawhorses.  Plunge the bit down through the mdf.  Flip the mdf over so that the router is under it, reclamp to sawhorses. 

3. Clamp a long square board to the mdf for a fence and you have a router table.

I have a top-of-the-line Incra router table set up in my shop, but I have fashioned this gizmo a few times for work in the field.

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 10:46 PM »
Here is an example of someone in the business working out the math.  Bear in mind I didn't see a date, so the end result is relative, but there is a good source for the boxes quoted on the page.
http://www.solowoodworker.com/wood/drawerbuy.html

In terms of work flow, the advantage of ripping after you've dado'd and profiled an edge is that you have the full sheet of ply for support.  Otherwise you're left trying to clamp and balance a router on a narrow piece of wood.  Using the workflow suggested you can skip the router table entirely.  The only fiddly part is changing the router edge guide position from dado to profile and back, but using a small piece of the first completed side as a template it will go pretty quickly.

Those prices are better.  I would probably be looking at that closely if I could order through Walzcraft - aren't they only dealing to the trade?

Great point about the support on the base of the router.   I could see doing the dados first and then switching it up and doing the roundovers after. 

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 10:51 PM »
If you aren't sure you want or have room for a router table and fence, its easy to improvise one for your project.

1. Screw or otherwise attach your router base to a piece of 3/4 " or 19 mm mdf.  Insert your dado bit (may need to do this before
attaching the router to the mdf if it would be hard to insert the bit with the router attached. 

2. Clamp the mdf on top of a couple of sawhorses.  Plunge the bit down through the mdf.  Flip the mdf over so that the router is under it, reclamp to sawhorses. 

3. Clamp a long square board to the mdf for a fence and you have a router table.

I have a top-of-the-line Incra router table set up in my shop, but I have fashioned this gizmo a few times for work in the field.

That's an interesting approach.  I may try this out.   I like the simplicity of it.

Thanks,
Adam

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 11:08 PM »
sounds waaaaaay high for a shipping cost ?    I've had built in fridges shipped cross country for less.

Was that a quote for them already constructed ???   Get one for them ready to assemble.

I hear you on the skill building exercise.  You can also order side material from these places and they'll ship them to you in 5' lengths in a box.  It's already grooved for a bottom and you can choose , baltic birch, maple, beech, cedar ect... then just construct as you see fit with dovetails, pocket screws, dowels, dominos, - whatever.  There's also the option of prefinished material.

The key is to have them shipped knocked down so you glue up the boxes.  Honestly , I would not be putting drawers constructed with pocket screws in my kitchen either.  So , it seems like you'd be buying a dovetail jig and taking more time honing that skill.   This kitchen is really about project management , not craftsmanship - and outsourcing components you aren't equipped to handle makes the most sense even if it looks expensive at the outset.

If you want to hone your craftsmanship, make a blanket chest or dresser out of mahogany.

I agree about the project management aspect.  It really is more about managing materials and workflow than anything else. 

I'll have to try and see what it would take to get in RTA form. 

Thanks,
Adam

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2400
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2017, 12:20 AM »
If you aren't sure you want or have room for a router table and fence, its easy to improvise one for your project.

1. Screw or otherwise attach your router base to a piece of 3/4 " or 19 mm mdf.  Insert your dado bit (may need to do this before
attaching the router to the mdf if it would be hard to insert the bit with the router attached. 

2. Clamp the mdf on top of a couple of sawhorses.  Plunge the bit down through the mdf.  Flip the mdf over so that the router is under it, reclamp to sawhorses. 

3. Clamp a long square board to the mdf for a fence and you have a router table.

I have a top-of-the-line Incra router table set up in my shop, but I have fashioned this gizmo a few times for work in the field.

That's an interesting approach.  I may try this out.   I like the simplicity of it.

Thanks,
Adam

Here's a simple router table setup based on a WorkMate: Router Table-Mate - Popular Woodworking Magazine
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2017, 09:23 PM »
Quote from: Corwin
Here's a simple router table setup based on a WorkMate: Router Table-Mate - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Too bad I got rid of my workmate a few years back!!  At the time, I was living in a 300 sq. ft studio and just didn't have room for that (or a lot of other interesting things..).

That's an interesting design, too.  I like the idea of these simple, purpose built, tables.  They're more like jigs than an adjustable piece of equipment.    For someone such as me, who doesn't have a lot of occasion to use a router, this seems like a nice option.

Thanks,
Adam

Offline Corwin

  • Posts: 2400
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2017, 12:38 AM »
Adam,

For more ideas, there are lots of images you can view on a google search;  simple router table
Looks like your rabbit joint is a hare off! ;)

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2017, 11:45 AM »
Just out of curiosity, is there a source anywhere for a line drawing of the hole layout for the 0f1400 base?

It seems like the hard part of getting the router stuck to a piece of wood is going to be getting the holes consistently laid out for the two larger holes in the router base.   I suppose the LR32 base plate could work as a template, too.

Thanks,
Adam

Offline rst

  • Posts: 1508
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2017, 11:52 AM »
Check out Timothy Wilmots site and You Tube channel...http://benchworks.be/en/projects/mf-tb-router-jigsaw-table

Offline mrFinpgh

  • Posts: 219
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2017, 11:25 PM »
Check out Timothy Wilmots site and You Tube channel...http://benchworks.be/en/projects/mf-tb-router-jigsaw-table

I like Tim's work.  Very thoughtful and organized.   I'm not sure how comfortable I would be using toggle clamps for this.   It seems as if they could end up loosening or popping open from vibration.  And if they didn't, I'd also wonder about the force being applied to the base.

For example, those harbor freight toggle clamps claim to apply up to ~500lbs of force each.  Imagine 4 of them clamping down a router base.  Seems like it could deform the base in the process of trying to keep it stabilized.

Maybe my thinking is off on this.

As a test, I grabbed some 30mm M6 screws tonight and used the LR32 base plate as a template to put some holes in a piece of 3/4" MDF.  I countersunk them, and then threaded the screws through the MDF and into the base plate.  It seemed to be a pretty good connection. 

Thanks,
Adam

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 592
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2017, 08:09 AM »
Here's a simple router table setup based on a WorkMate: Router Table-Mate - Popular Woodworking Magazine

That brings back memories. B&D used to sell a router table for the Workmate back in the late 70s, along with a mount for a circular saw and a jig saw. I have the booklet that came with my Workmate somewhere with photos of these add-ons in use.
I find the Workmates' height a bit low for any serious router work though, your back would be killing you at the end of the day.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Ross 71

  • Posts: 48
Re: Router table or....?
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2017, 07:21 AM »
Just out of curiosity, is there a source anywhere for a line drawing of the hole layout for the 0f1400 base?

It seems like the hard part of getting the router stuck to a piece of wood is going to be getting the holes consistently laid out for the two larger holes in the router base.   I suppose the LR32 base plate could work as a template, too.

Thanks,
Adam

Can you bung your router onto a photocopier. You get a nice paper template out....
If you need a tool and don't buy it, You will ultimately find that you have paid for it but don't have it- Henry Ford