AN ULTIMATE ROUTER TABLE
Perfect for the Delta enthusiast.
SHOP OWNER: Keith Bohn
LOCATION: Menomonee Falls, WI
Like many woodworkers, I am a cheap cuss and certified bottom feeder. Much of my shop consists of off casts and found material, i.e., free. This is not to say that it looks thrown together. Itís just that I'd rather spend my money on important things and my router table would be no different.
This all started when a good friend remarked that "THE" ultimate router table was the Delta Heavy Duty Shaper. Me, I like routers. So, after the debate was finished (neither of us budged a bit), I set about to build An Ultimate Router Table.
Construction started by making an inner cabinet from 1 1/8" MDF (free leftover from a project at work). This cabinet would have been fine all by itself but I wanted to doll things up a bit and pay homage to Herbert Tautz, the man who founded Delta.
With some MDF corners from Rockler ($30ish of the final tally of $50ish out of pocket expense, not counting the router and lift ($500ish)) and some additional MDF and maple, I made the side cabinets. Although these ended up looking like medicine cabinets, the intention is to store bits here.
I fabricated the base from more of the 1 1/8" MDF, which I stack laminated and rounded over to look like the cast iron bases found on the older Delta machines. I did come up with a pretty slick trick for getting the base just right. I sanded the first layer smooth and square. The corners were rounded and sanded smooth. Then each subsequent layer was glued one layer at a time. When the glue dried, I trimmed the overhang with a flush trim bit and that layer was in perfect alignment with the previous layer. After a rinse and repeat, all four layers match up perfectly.
Now all that remained was to fit up the doors. Again, I used some free MDF (3/4" thick), which I banded with maple. I used solid wood so the piano hinge screws would have something to bite into. To not interrupt the lines of the final design, the doors were inset. Since there couldnít be any door pull hardware showing, I used touch latches to open them.
The color choice was a no-brainer (Delta-ish gray). For the top, I used maple and alder glued up in a stripe pattern. This feature is from the classic old machines that used maple and apple for the table surfaces. Yes, I know, there is the chance of warping and twisting but the material was free, so what can I say? I can always put an MDF top on later, finished in gray laminate of course. For now, all is well.
Not shown is the switch, which I ordered from Jet. It's the one sold for their SuperSaw. Their switch retails for under $20 and is, in my humble opinion, just right for this application. I did, of course, bead blast it and paint it to match the cabinet.
For the time being, I have been using a straight stick of wood for the fence but will be making something more fitting in the future. Oh, and in case you might be wondering, it weighs more than my Unisaw, but only by a few pounds. As for the nickel test, heck, I can stand a hair up on end and it doesn't fall over!. . . Keith Bohn
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