Soup Up Your Router Table
By Dave Munkittrick
Your router table will really sing with these great accessories. Like all good tools, our accessories will increase safety and improve results. Even though we designed them specifically for the Best Buy Router Table on page 39, they’re easily adapted to use on almost any router-table system.
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A stop block is indispensable for cuts that don’t go the entire length of the board. Ours mounts on the fence T-track for quick settings that won’t budge.
Cut hardwood runners (V) wide enough to just fit into the T-track slot, but not as deep. Glue the strips on the blocks, and drill out for the 1-1/4-in.1/4-20 hex bolt.
Featherboards make routing safer and better. Safer because they hold the work against the table and fence instead of your hands. Better because the constant pressure holds the piece on both sides of the bit for smooth, washboard-free profiles.
The featherboards are made from clear, solid-wood stock like pine or poplar. There are two sizes (see Cutting List, page 45). The longer ones are mounted on the table and the shorter ones on the fence. Cut the 45-degree angles first. The 1/4-in. slots can be cut on the router table and the feathers are cut using a bandsaw.
A freehand guard and a starting pin are a must for routing curved profiles, such as this arch-topped door panel. Dust collection isn’t perfect, but it keeps the bit area clear.
Assemble the base (parts B, C and D) with glue and screws. Then build the hood (parts E through H, N, P and W). Slip the hood over the base and glue the two 1/4-in. guide dowels into the base. The winged bolts allow you to adjust the height of the hood. Drill two 1/4-in. holes at the back of the base for the hold-down knobs.
A router-table sled replaces the miter slot found on many commercial tables. It allows you to safely perform end-grain cutting, such as the cope cut on this rail, without having to set your fence perfectly parallel to a miter slot.
The only tricky part to making this accessory is getting the holes for the bolts just right. Simply hold the completed jig up to the fence with the base on the table and mark the T-track opening. Then, drill your holes in the center of the marked opening. UHMW T-track slides guide the sled along the fence.
A tall fence makes vertical routing safe and accurate. It provides plenty of support for work that must be stood on end to rout, such as drawer joints, lock-miter joints and vertical panel raising.
The tall fence fits between the two outside supports of the main fence. Build the two supports (U and T) and attach them to the main fence. Use a square to align the top (S) with the face of the main fence and secure with screws or winged bolts.
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker March 2003, issue #99.