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A little router table that costs nothing!

sometime back I made a video about a simple box joint jig for the table saw maybe you call them finger joints it doesn't matter to me but you have to admit it came out looking pretty nice and a lot of people found the jig really helpful because it was easy and inexpensive to make and it just worked really well but some viewers said I don't have a DAT set show us how to do this with a router table so I decided to make a quick and easy box joint jig for the router table but then I remembered that this is the internet and some folks will still complain that they don't have a router table either so finally I decided to make a box joint jig that would work with a handheld router but as I was building it I realized that I was essentially making a lowcost quick and easy portable router table that can do so much more than just cut box joints so let's solve that problem first today we'll make this adorable little portable rotter table and later in a separate video I'll show you a cool box joint cutting attachment for it which I'll link to at the top of the comment section below when it's ready this isn't just a router table for people who don't already have one it's also the perfect second router table for folks who want something that can be just stored on a shelf or tossed in the back of a truck and taken somewhere or dedicated to a specific task that you do often and you want to just keep a router and a bit in it it only requires a few scraps of wood something you probably have laying around your shop already and it can easily be adapted to any router you own even an inexpensive trim router which is what I used in this video making this the ultimate budget friendly router table all right you get while I'm excited about it so let's get started I'm taking the base plate off my trim router because we're going to replace it with a piece of4 in thick MDF you can use plywood instead but make sure it's really thin and as stiff as possible especially if you're going to adapt this to a full-size router because that extra weight could cause sagging if your material isn't stiff enough mine is 12 in x 12 in square you may decide to make yours a bit bigger if you're using a large router really the exact size isn't important but the two Dimensions do have to be exactly the same so if this is going to be 12 in wide it also has to be 12 in Long precisely align the original router plate in the dead center then Mark the locations of your mounting holes the large Center hole gets boarded all the way through but the screw mounting holes must be counterbored with a larger one going just partway through and then a smaller hole going the rest of the way through its Center this allows the screw head to sit below the surface of the wood and it provides some extra room for adjustment your router plate should already have these types of holes in it we're just duplicating them on the MDF plate so use whatever drill bit matches your original plate attach this new extra large MDF plate to your router you can carefully align it by ey with the center of the collet but it's best to get it perfectly centered if you can this will make it easier to remove your router later and then get it back in the table exactly in the same place when you want to they make centering cones for this purpose they're inexpensive and if you can get your hands on one I highly recommend grabbing one in fact you really should use a centering cone anytime you take a router base plate off and put it back on I'll link to one below this video the router table itself is simple to build because it's essentially just a wooden box with two solid side panels connected by four rails notice how one rail is mounted lower than the side panels by about an inch I'll explain why later the exact size of the Box depends on the size of your router and your new top plate the outer dimensions of the Box itself must be smaller than the outer dimensions of the top plate leaving a slight overhang on all four sides the Box height is simply determined by how tall your router is you want to keep your router suspended above the benchtop beneath it once the box is finished put some glue around the rim and drop the router plate on be sure there is a slight overhang all the way around all four sides once mine was aligned I shot in a few nails to hold it while the glue dried finally apply a coat of paste wax to the top surface before waxing the edges of the top plate be sure they are sanded smooth but be careful not to over sand and because each Edge must remain parallel to the opposite and you still want both of those Dimensions to be precisely the same that's it for the router table now let's make a fence this is primarily made up by two main pieces that are an inch and a half wider than the width of the rotor table's top plate the size of the cutouts aren't important I just used the largest forcer bit I had to cut the arcs then I finished removing the waist with the band saw if you really want to know how wide mine are you can look at the ruler here but don't feel like you have to match my measurements because this is all about using the tools and materials you have once the cutouts are finished the two pieces are simply attached together to ensure that they're 90° I added some small blocks to each end of the fence now we'll attach the runners to the bottom these strips of hardwood are 3/4 of an inch square by about 9 in long and they have to be mounted precisely if you have it you might use some super glue and some spray EX accelerator because it dries quickly giving them less time to move out of position the first is mounted perfectly flush with one end of the fence as seen here I'm also adding some Nails just to make sure it doesn't shift at all because the next step is critical place the attached Runner along the edge of the table's top plate then attach the other Runner to the other side beneath that end of the fence again I use superglue so it'll set up quickly I want a good fit but I don't squeeze them together to too tightly as I shot in a few more Nails you could also add some screws just to be sure nothing ever moves out of place in the future the fence should slide smoothly forward and back and you should be able to rotate at 90° and slide it side to side as well if it's too tight use a little sandpaper on the edge of the top plate to adjust the fit that's it now let me show you how the router table works it's just a trim router so you won't be using huge bits but you can use a lot of different profiles Guided by the bearing alone or with a fence in place a clamp on the back locks the fence down in whatever position you require remember how that lower rail protruded an inch below the side panels if you place that on the front edge of your workbench it will keep the table from sliding when you push in that direction or you can turn it 90° and hook it on the end of your bench for when you're pushing in that direction if you have a vice you can clamp i

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