With the plywood cabinet assembly complete, I could next look at installing my router table. Simply fitting my existing benchtop table (made about three-years ago) wouldn’t have worked. For starters, I’d have had to reduce its height by a few inches. One of the flaws in its design is that I wasn’t left with much arm room in which to fiddle with the collet when changing cutters. That’s why I decided to make a new unit (keeping the old top!) from 18mm MDF; most of which was salvaged from my previous table saw stand – if I hadn’t glued those joints though, it would’ve been much easier getting it all apart…
I decided I would try and use my extended table saw for some of these rips; mainly, because I couldn’t be bothered to get my saw horses out, setup the cutting table and also to mess around with the circular saw and guide again! These components weren’t as big as the plywood I was cutting before and, with the PK200’s fence G-cramped to one of my temporary width supports, I was able to make cuts as wide as 600mm and slightly more (not that I quite needed to cut such a width).
There isn’t much to this part…
All the joints are screwed and glued at the corners. Previously, I biscuit jointed them, which meant each joint required clamping. That was for a painted finish, though. This time, I’m less concerned about making it all light inside, as that space should only now be used for dust containment and collection. It still needs a door and the dust hopper at this point, though…
I’m sticking with the same router as before – the Freud FT2000VCE. It’s been a good tool for the past four or five years now. Plenty of power, it’s reliable and it even has a fine-adjuster knob built-in as standard. I’ve never seen eye-to-eye with these plunge bar covers though which, I presume, are designed to keep the plunge bars smooth and clean… Well, they certainly don’t do that when your router’s inverted! That’s why I decided to cut them off – at long last!! Now, I can actually attend to and lubricate those bars (what a difference that should make).
So, I have no plans to change my router for another model. If I had the spare cash, I’d probably look at something like the Trend T11. One feature of note with this model (and a few others) is that you can raise and lower the cutter through the base (ie. through the top of your router table) without having to reach underneath. However, I am now considering the purchase of a Router Raizer kit for the not-too-distant future, which basically allows you to do the same thing, without having to buy a complete new tool.
That’s how it looks (currently) with the new router setup in place. I had to place some strips of 16mm thick pine underneath the old router table top. Not only to level it with the aluminium of the table saw but also, to bridge the gap between the two aluminium base rails attached to the saw. Another thing I need is a length of aluminium channel (approx. 10x10mm) to be fixed to this near edge of the router table, allowing me to use the saw’s rip fence across the full width of this combination unit.
I really am now in dire need of space in my workshop…
I designed this project with the intention of freeing up some floor space yet, that plan appears to have totally back-fired! …Kicked-back at me, even!! 🙄
A few months ago, I really did think I was getting somewhere with this… Now, I’m again questioning my ‘needs’ toward and reasons for owning even a small table saw like this one. Another idea might have been to build two separate units (one for each machine) that could connect together when required to extend the ripping capacities of the table saw. But then, I’m not convinced that would take up any less room; it would probably have made accessing each machine much simpler, though. Of course, I’d still have the issue of those 1150mm long rails to live and work with as well.
After looking hard last night at the space I do have to work in, I realised I may be able to free up a good 2ft or so, which would certainly help… Only trouble is, I’d definitely have to look at replacing the up-and-over door before that could ever become practical!
Next up, making and fitting the dust hoppers!
Thanks for reading.