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Here is Why I have a Multi-Router Table

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  • Here is Why I have a Multi-Router Table

    I have had people ask me on occasion why I need a multi-router table. I had one in Japan and left the table due to size of moving it back. I am building one now similarly.

    ANYWay - here is a link to Woodworker's Journal that briefly discusses it:
    https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/c...f4ctwknrhwgpuk
    Last edited by leehljp; 09-03-2019, 07:38 PM.
    Hank Lee

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

  • #2
    That was a link to an article about cordless routers, not multi-router tables. I'd love to hear your reasons for it, as I'm unhappy with my current table and have been considering different options for a while. Also general ideas for layout of a multi router table. I do very little routing now--because I hate and fear my router table.

    On the cordless routers, I recently bought a compact router, and considered cordless with my battery system (DeWalt lithium-ion). I went with a Makita corded instead. Lower weight, much lower cost, more visibility (the big battery packs could get in the way). I also found features in the Makita that I wanted, which the DeWalt didn't have. So far I haven't perceived a penalty for that choice.
    Last edited by Carlos; 09-04-2019, 11:44 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Carlos View Post
      That was a link to an article about cordless routers, not multi-router tables. I'd love to hear your reasons for it, as I'm unhappy with my current table and have been considering different options for a while. Also general ideas for layout of a multi router table. I do very little routing now--because I hate and fear my router table.

      On the cordless routers, I recently bought a compact router, and considered cordless with my battery system (DeWalt lithium-ion). I went with a Makita corded instead. Lower weight, much lower cost, more visibility (the big battery packs could get in the way). I also found features in the Makita that I wanted, which the DeWalt didn't have. So far I haven't perceived a penalty for that choice.
      Are you not looking at the top of the page? Is it not showing?
      This is what caught my eye:
      "I have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to handheld routers. I have three mid-sized routers, one 3-hp router, and two trim routers. I also have an aluminum body Skil brand router my dad owned in the 1960s Ö I donít use it too often (it smells kinda bad when I do), so I donít count that one."

      "
      Why so many routers? There is method to my madness. When I am making raised panel doors, I like to set up three different router stations: one for the cope cut, one for the stick cut and the other for raising the panel. Set them up, lock them in and it is show time!

      I also like to leave a small router set up with an 1/8-inch
      roundover bit
      . I can break edges in a hurry and get uniform results.

      Why am I thinking about routers?
      "

      It does go on to talk about the cordless routers and the reviews. However, he points out his needs in different routers. HIS method is different from mine in that he indicates that he has four different tables for different setups; for me, I had a three router table in Japan, but the one I am making now just has two routers.

      Basically the reason behind his (and my) set up is so that you don't have to keep changing bits and re-adjusting for precision height. I find it frustrating to have a rail and stile or moulding bit and then need to change them to do a dado cut and then back to rail and style bit or moulding shaping bit. I have gathered from the questions here over the years that most people in general woodwork don't think in those terms.

      I personally enjoy table routing much better than hand held routing. Of course I do hand held, but I have so much more control on a table. But it is either several tables like he has, or one table with two or three routers mounted.

      TW, because of the nature of routing versus sawing (with table saw), a fence does not necessarily have to be square to the edge of the table to be effective,- i.e. just so it locks down and guides the board being routed.
      Hank Lee

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

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      • #4
        Ah, OK, understanding now. I too dislike handheld routing a lot (except with the compact). So how do you orient your multiple routers in a table? I assume make it wider, and arrange them side by side? And if so, is alignment critical?

        Since I do so little router work now, I'm thinking to what I *could* do and not what I now do.

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        • #5
          I don't have a multi-router table... but I have used multiple routers on projects. I have the primary table integrated into the BT3's rails. When I need another router table I clamp my old Freud table to a pair of Ridgid's flip-top stands. I did have one project where both tables were in use and I needed a third setup so out came the hand-held router. For door panels and some joinery setups I can see where a two-router setup would be advantageous. I'm spoiled now with a router lift in my primary table... I don't think I could convince myself to buy a second one plus a compatible router motor though (I only have one router that'll work in a lift).

          I don't think a side-by-side fence arrangement is the way to go - for rail and style or cope & stick joints you need different bit-to-fence settings so, unless the routers were spaced a couple feet apart, they'd get in each others way. Back-to-back (router - fence - fence - router) seems like it would work fine; a V-shaped fence layout probably works too, right? A triangle arrangement of 3 routers should work too but I imagine that would require a fairly large table accessible on all sides; not a table hanging from BT3 rails for example.

          Rather than one large table with multiple routers, what about a primary table for the majority of the work... and a small benchtop table or a shop-made table that can be stored easily when not in use but set up on any flat surface if/when needed... something like the small router table the Woodsmith Shop guys came up with. Unless you are doing joinery on house doors (compared to cabinet doors) a 1/4 inch router is probably sufficient. One or two of the portable-and-stowable Woodsmith tables (even one sized for a 1/2 inch router) would supplement a "big" primary router in a table for those times when simultaneous multiple setups would be advantageous. Most of the time I don't need multiple setups simultaneously so one table is sufficient... but I have needed two tables several times. 3 tables? So far no... never say never though.

          mpc
          Last edited by mpc; 09-04-2019, 10:58 PM.

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          • #6
            On the table I had in Japan, and which I am making one very similar now,
            https://www.sawdustzone.org/filedata...photoid=822404

            In the above photo, I only had two routers showing but behind, I had a horizontal router. However, to the main point of fence - if you look at the fence in the photo, you see the cutout for the two routers. I could pull one end slightly forward and push the other end back an inch or so. By doing this, it would allow me to cover the router hole/bit I didn't want to use and use the other. By rotating the fence, I could cover one and leave the other exposed, and vice versa.

            Saw fences have to be aligned parallel with the blade; Router fences only have to be aligned to the amount you want to take off, whether the fence is front to back or side to side or kati-corner - you get the same cut. That is the point I was trying to make.
            Hank Lee

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

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            • #7
              Back before I downsized my shop I had three routers mounted in tables. One on the right side of my BT3000 in the extension table and another on the left mounted in the aux table and a third on my main router table. When building cabinets the two large tables had tounge and groove bits setup an height matched in them and the aux router was for a flush trim bit to knock of tounges from panels where necessary.

              For drawers I'd keep the dovetail and straight bits setup in the two main tables and the aux table kept the flush trim bit to clean up the pins that protruded on ddrawers after asembly

              Finally, for doors I'd keep the rail and stile bits setup in the main tables and a bit for the edge profile of the doors in the aux table.

              My plan with the new shop ... once we get a new house, is to build a three sided router table laid out similarly to the Grizzly shaper shown below.

              Grizzley Three Sided Shaper
              Chr's
              __________
              An ethical man knows the right thing to do.
              A moral man does it.

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              • #8
                I've always wanted a horizontal mounted router table.
                Seem to be running out of room to keep one, though.
                Click image for larger version

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                Last edited by LCHIEN; 09-06-2019, 12:19 AM.
                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

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                • #9
                  I've often looked at those horizontal router tables and tried hard to justify one... so far I don't have one...

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