Today’s DIY has mainly been about creating this:
It is a simple version of a router table which fits on top of my workbench. The router motor isn’t shown in this photo but it fits into the frame that is positioned under the surface. Rather than having to move the router over the piece I am working on, I can move the piece over the spinning cutter, which should allow for greater precision and repeatability.
It looks like it should have been pretty simple but it wasn’t without its challenges. Even the base, made from a solid piece of chipboard that used to be part of a chest of drawers, took a while. I needed to use the router to cut away a circular shape in the centre in which the Perspex base plate could rest and then add further holes for the cutter to come up and to screw the base plate down.
If I’d stuck with that, I could have been done by lunchtime but I decided that I also wanted to add an adjustable fence including a dust collection box where I can insert the suction pipe from the vacuum cleaner (the blue unit you can see on the floor). That took a combination of design skills and grubbing around to figure out which parts to use. One way I could save time is to rationalise my collection of screws, bolts, washers, drill bits and the like to give fewer choices but ones that work well together!
The fence runs diagonally for a reason. It is fastened at one end with a bolt and I can rotate it out of the way or so that the cutting bit is almost completely covered. The other end can be clamped down and then I’ll probably just need one more clamp to keep everything stable. Because I’m working through a stock of reused chipboard, the appearance is a bit clunky in parts but, in theory, it should all work well. Tomorrow I’m planning a real test – assembling some herb planters including routing some tongue and groove joints for which the table, simple as it is, ought to be a real boon.