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Gareth

Anyone use a Router table?

Does anyone here on OTG use a Router Table for woodworking?

I am doing more and more woodwork and light engineering with plywood that it has got to the stage where I need something more than just a hand held Router, but less than a spindle moulder.

I am notoriously heavy handed with Routers: I've killed 3 in the last 2 years, and I think that by using a router table and feeding the wood into the cutters rather than the cutters into the wood, I would be a lot less ambitious with the machine. It would also make for more permanently made jigs that I am using now.

I have a really big Plywood Engineering project and order coming up in the next few weeks, and all the components will made out of  1.5 mm, 3mm, and 4 mm thick multi laminate birch plywoods, I've  never used a Router table, and just wonder how others are getting on with them.
Slipster

Gareth

I no longer have the time to tinker about making things but a few years ago i owned a DeWalt 3/8 drive router and made my own table, it opened up a whole new world of making things the ease and accuracy of a bench mounted router was hindered only by my imagination.
sod

I have an old one that I use on thicker ply than 1.5/3.0/4.0 ply and it works great, I mainly use it to cut through top few layers and leaves rest so has to be set the same all the time works great and you can't put presure on Router    
Gareth

Initially I will only be using the router table for repeatable profile cuts and slots. I have got over a thousand pieces to do in the 1.5mm thick plywood that will then be laminated up into the required components.

Until now I have been using a normal 1/2" collet plunge router or my cordless rotor-zip type tool. The router had the disadvantage of me not being able to see all of the material under the sole plate, and after 30 minutes of use becoming heavy and somewhat awkward to use.  The cordless rotor-zip is lightweight and easy to use, but not suitable for almost continuous work; it was never designed for this type of work, and that is borne out by the almost flimsy sole plate and adjustment arrangement. It is however an excellent tool for one-off jobs and circle cutting.

Ironically I have had the most success with the rotor-zip when doing jobs it was not designed for as it has both 1/4" and 1/8" collets. I have mainly used it with a metal cutting rotary file for cleaning up welds, and with a 6 mm rounding over router bit for taking the edges off 18mm thick plywood, I have also used it for 9, 10, & 12mm wide straight line slot cutting in plywood.

I have experienced an issue with the spiral cutters for the rotor-zip lately. No matter what brand I bought or where from, the 1/8" diameter cutters were over heating and breaking on me after only a few minutes. Out of desperation I bought yet another brand of cutters from an ebay shop; 5 spiral cutters for 12. When these arrived I found that I had ordered the 4mm cutters and not 1/8" so I ended up having to have the collet bored out to suit by a local precision engineers..... a very wise choice on my part as one of the 4mm cutters has done well over 100 times the work I could get out of 1/8" cutter, and it is still going strongly with 4 new replacements still unused in the packet.
SomBerk

Hi Gareth,

A guy I know on a Reef tank keeping forum made his own rotor-zip style router; http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/showthread.php?t=352424 have a look, amazing what you can do in your own garage!

Regards

Steve
Gareth

I bought a Trend router table a little over 3 weeks ago, and for the past fortnight it has been performing admirably, but already I have reached its design capabilities. It is an absolutely superb piece of kit for straight line run, one pass cuts, with some of the items we are producing requiring 6 or 7 passes at different settings to make the finished item.

Some of the items that I may have to produce in the very near future will look something like a squared off "S" shape made from 9 mm thick plywood, and another will look a bit like a musical tuning fork made from 1.6mm thick plywood, some others will also require odd shaped holes cut out from within the boards and away from the edges. It really looks like I am going to have to up grade to CNC (XY axis) Router (2000 and upwards   ) capable of handling 8' X 4' sheets of plywood. On the plus side the one I am looking at is capable of handling all "Forest" fibre boards, flat fibreglass panels, most sheet plastics, and perspex (subject to cutters), and with another expensive upgrade can handle 3D CNC (XYZ axis) routing work up to a maximum height of 650mm.
Bazzer


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