Woodworker's Journal 2007-Winter, страница 27




Woodworker

Next to a table saw, we consider a quality router table to be the next most important piece of shop equipment a woodworker can own. Aside from its joint-making and profiling capabilities, a router table can serve as a jointer if you don't have one. It also makes a handheld router safer to use for milling small, narrow or odd-shaped workpieces.

Designing a router table involves two challenging requirements, and our group of woodworking experts has come up with very good solutions. The first challenge is making the router easily accessible for exchanging bits or adjusting their height. On our cabinet the router can be removed through the tabletop for major alterations or adjusted from the front for raising and lowering the bits. The second hurdle is designing a fence that works for every possible routing operation. Our system begins with a conventional fence that adjusts quickly for general routing. With the addition of an Incra jig attachment, the fence system offers precise, incremental adjustments for routing perfect dovetail joints, finger joints or flutes.

Several other minor considerations must also be met. In our shop, tools need to be mobile, so we put wheels on the router cabinet to get it out of the way when it's not needed. The drawers provide storage space for router bits and accessories, and the lower cupboard shelters power tools from

all the dust in the shop. The addition of an electrical strip on the right side of the cabinet is a handy feature that provides easy access to the On/Off switch.

We built this router cabinet from white oak, using a half sheet of 3/4" plywood, 11 board feet of lV-thick solid stock and 4 board feet of 3/4"-thick material. Making the top requires a half sheet of 1/2"-thick Baltic birch plywood and another half sheet of 3/4" Baltic birch plywood. In addition to the lumber and plywood, we used a piece of plastic laminate to cover the router table surface for improved durability and a roll of oak iron-on edgebanding to cover the exposed plywood edges.

Building the Cabinet

Begin constructing the router table by making the frame and panel sides. You'll want to continually refer to the Pinup Shop Drawings while building the router cabinet, as they detail all the parts and joint locations. The two side walls are made of 3/4" plywood surrounded by lV-thick solid-oak frames. Cut the frame rails (pieces 1) and plywood panels (pieces 2) to size and rout one edge of the rails with a 1/4" roundover bit. Join the rails to the plywood with biscuits as shown in Figure 4, page 30. Now cut the stiles (pieces 3) to match the overall length of the panels. Hold the stiles up to the panels and mark the points where the frame pieces intersect, then rout the length of the edge between the marks with the

roundover bit. Join the stiles to the panels with biscuits.

After the two side walls are constructed, lay them on their faces and mark the dado and rabbet locations shown on page 30. The dadoes and rabbets are all 3/4" wide and 1/4" deep. In the left side wall, rout two dadoes — one for the bottom shelf (piece 4) joint and one for the center shelf (piece 5) joint — and rout a rabbet along the top inside edge for securing the web frame (pieces 7 and 8). The right side wall requires dadoes for the bottom shelf joint, the center shelf joint and the two drawer dividers (pieces 9) as well as the top rabbet. Use a straightedge jig such as the one shown in Figure 1 to guide the router while cutting the dadoes and rabbets. Also, while the panels are still laying face down, rout a 3/8"-deep by 1/4"-wide rabbet along the back edge of each side wall for installing the back (piece 6) later.

The web frame, which secures the router table to the cabinet, is made of four pieces. Rip and crosscut the two rails (pieces 7) and the two stiles (pieces 8) to size, then join the frame together using the biscuit joiner and your smallest size biscuits.

Rip 3/4"-thick plywood for the bottom shelf, the center shelf and the upper section divider (piece 11) all at the same time, then crosscut the pieces to length. Glue on the solid-wood banding (pieces 12 and 13). Now cut the two drawer dividers (pieces 9) to size and band their front edges with solid wood (pieces 10).

Winter 2007

27



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