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Dual Router Table under construction

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  • Dual Router Table under construction

    A few of you may remember the Router Center Table I made and posted back in 2002 or 2003 when I was living in Japan. It worked well, but I didn't have enough space to bring it back. I am in the process of making one similar now but with some minor differences. I need it to make a few things I have planned, especially an oak corner cabinet for LOML. Not sure I can get the corner cabinet done for Christmas but I have some backup presents ready in case I do not.

    The new Router center, like the old one, will have dual routers in it plus a PC 690 base on a mounted horizontally on a vertical fence on the rear; For routers - I have an older (but in great shape) 2 1/4 hp Craftsman and a 1 3/4 hp PC 690. I have three bases for the 690 so I move it around from base to base.

    ON the new router casing, it will be the same size as the one left behind in Japan - 36 inches wide, 22 inches front to back and 42 inches tall. I brought the original fence home with me along with the vertical back with the horizontal router mount. I had to construct a new top and it will be similar to the one pictured, but with the two routers spaced out a little different from the picture below on the old one.

    So far, I have the basic case made, the top made and routers installed. It is "operable" now but I need to add the drawers and add the rear vertical board with the horizontal router base. For the top, I had an MDF board with some kind of phenolic top on it, very slick. The top came out of an exercise machine that someone was throwing away a couple of years ago. (The rubber belt of some exercise machines slide across an MDF board and are coated with some kind of slick coating.) I thought this would make for an excellent for a router top, smooth and slick, so I kept it.

    I will get some pictures of it probably by next week. I need to get started on the Oak Corner cabinet.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

  • #2
    What's the thought process behind the dual routers? You can have different bits and just lower the unneeded one down under the surface?

    Comment


    • #3
      So its really a Triple router table... Two in the table and one mounted horizontally.

      What's the main reason for two table mounted routers? Why can't you just swap out the insert with the router? Are sou trying to save the router position from the fence or the router height setup?
      Loring in Katy, TX USA
      If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
      BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

      Comment


      • #4
        Short Story: Loring, you are right, saving the router bit position in the router is the primary reason.

        Long story:
        I have been owning and using routers (at least two at a time) since high school.Early on, One problem that I ran into ( that involves my obsessive compulsive nature) is the adjusting of moulding bits to the perfect height - over and over - and later rail and stile bits. I often do projects that require two or more bits to accomplish. Getting a bit re-set to the proper height after taking it out - drives me nuts. The obsessiveness come into play in that I hate it when height alignment is 1/128 off and I don't like "close enough", as I want it "dead on". So when I start a project, I want the bit to stay in that router until the project is finished, but I am always needing to use another bit in the mean time on the router table. AND I like/prefer doing multiple cuts on the router table when possible.

        So I when I designed the first one, I found out just how handy it was to set a rail or stile or moulding bit in and leave it there while using the other router for a rabbet or dado cut, or other, and then go back to using the moulding cutter without having to re-set it. If you look at Woodcraft or Rockler or MLCS or other site, you will find router bit SET-UP Blocks for some bits. Those are handy but I don't have them for all of my plethora of bits - I have well over 100. So my alternative is to leave my main bit in its router, and be able to use the other router for other cuts.

        One thing I think most people don't realize is that you don't have to use a router table fence in parallel to the front/back edge. You can turn it any direction you want in relation to the router bit effectively. Just place it so that it cuts the amount you want.

        AND with that in mind, with dual bits installed and up to the correct height, I can cant (angle) the fence so that one router bit is totally covered and the other bit is sticking out horizontally to the needed amount. Totally unlike a table saw fence alignment. Imagine a fence on a drill press; it doesn't have to be parallel to the front of the table to be effective, and likewise for the router fence. But the added advantage is one part of the fence will cover one bit totally and set up to the right amount of exposure for the other bit. To go from using the fence on one bit and then the next, all one needs to do is cant the fence.

        A tip for wide bits such as panels or tall bits such as molding bits - one should take several passes and let the bit cut 1/8 inch or no more than 1/4 inch per pass: I set the fence for the final cut, then add 1, or 2, or 3, or 4 layers of 1/4 inch plywood/fiber board next to the fence, to the point that only about 1/8 inch of the blade is sticking out. After running all of the pieces through at the first level, I remove the outer layer of ply and run everything again. Repeat. The fence stays in one place and each layer of 1/4" ply allows a small amount to be cut at a time. I usually place a 1/8 in thick piece next to the fence for a smoother final cut.

        There is a time when you do want the fence parallel and that is if using a feather board horizontally, locked down on a T track.

        Loring, you are right, really It will be a three router table. since I got started with Porter Cable 690 routers some years ago, I have several 690 bases and that is what I used on the horizontal position. I have changed my plans from the OP above to install my PC with variable speed control.
        On the table in the picture, I used the horizontal router setup twice. It was not as effective as I thought it would be because my expectations were different. When using tall moulding bits turned horizontal, it takes constant, consistent and solid pressure and consistent feed to be effective in the horizontal mode. However, knowing the problems going it, it is not that difficult to make a better hold down and feed system, which I am thinking about.

        BTW, I have done a few rail and stile projects and make my own molding designs too, so this is something that I do fairly often. I realize that most router table users don't get into that much detail on a regular basis, so the dual router table is not something everyone needs Probably not for everyone.
        Last edited by leehljp; 12-15-2018, 08:06 PM.
        Hank Lee

        Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

        Comment


        • #5
          Since the height is the critical thing you are preserving, can you just have one router table insert in the table and swap router&bit/insert combos for as many setups as you want. You don't need two inserts side by side. Admittedly, if you have a fence on the table sometimes its hard to get the insert and router out if you don't want to disturb the fence position. But you say you often work without this fence, I seem to read.

          Another comment. purchased Router setup blocks are meant for setting a precise height needed for a bit. Since you are adjusting your bits to a precise height you need then cutting your own router bit setup blocks onto a scrap is easy to do once you have a height selected for a particular setup/project.
          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LCHIEN View Post
            Since the height is the critical thing you are preserving, can you just have one router table insert in the table and swap router&bit/insert combos for as many setups as you want. You don't need two inserts side by side. Admittedly, if you have a fence on the table sometimes its hard to get the insert and router out if you don't want to disturb the fence position. But you say you often work without this fence, I seem to read.
            That is very doable, but to me, I prefer having two without having to change. Height is my primary reason for wanting to change bits; CHANGING out routers is number two reason. Related: I still like my BT3000 because of its moving rails, but it bugs me to have to move them back and forth several times on a project, same for changing out routers.


            Another comment. purchased Router setup blocks are meant for setting a precise height needed for a bit. Since you are adjusting your bits to a precise height you need then cutting your own router bit setup blocks onto a scrap is easy to do once you have a height selected for a particular setup/project.
            That is true and I had a DUH moment when reading your post. Why didn't I think of that! Duh. Thanks. I guess I'm one of those people who could build a car and forget to make the keys!
            Last edited by leehljp; 12-17-2018, 03:50 PM.
            Hank Lee

            Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

            Comment


            • LCHIEN
              LCHIEN commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, once you make a setup block it is easy to replicate the height of the same bit profile to the same height later.
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