Home > Woodworking > For Thursday, router table fence assembly and plumbing

For Thursday, router table fence assembly and plumbing

Steeled by a large dose of reality, I’m ready to share the progress on my bench top router table project.

Wednesday is not a shop evening however my oldest daughter Erin wanted to take Susan for a short walk so I ended up with a bonus hour of shop time.  I could make good use of it by gluing up the router fence assembly which I had cut last session.

Router Table Fence Glueup

I glued the base to the front and using pocket holes, attached and glued the braces. I had cut out 6 angled braces but decided that 4 were quite enough for the fence. You will recall the center two braces surround the dust collection port as I’m sure you’ve seen in other folk’s plans. After about 30 minutes, I used my glue chisel to clean up the partially set squeeze out. I didn’t want to let that harden overnight like I did on the box project!

Thursday I drilled 5/16″ holes in the fence edges to accept the bolts for the clamping system. I had already anticipated that the clamps wouldn’t work because the top of the clamp doesn’t reach the underside of the table but I wanted to try them anyway. I was in fact correct, they don’t work. At least they don’t work properly. I could torque them down so that they held the fence but then they wouldn’t release after I loosened them back up. Sigh….. No worries, I knew I had them fix them but I guess I was hoping….

Router Fence Clamp Issue

You may have noticed the shop built star knobs in the last pic. I mentioned them in a previous post. Early on in this project, I figured someone knew how to make knobs so I searched the Internet and found wonderful instruction and several variations of knobs. I don’t have a lathe so I couldn’t turn a knob. These are made from flat stock and a drill. A drill press and band saw would have been better but I made these with a hand drill and jig saw. First I drew a 2″ circle on flat stock using my compass and then divided the circle into 8 quadrants also using the compass and basic geometry.

You do remember how to do this from high school geometry class right? Well that gives me an idea for another post and I can show you how. I’ll also pass along the calculator I created to figure out how to measure an n-sided knob of any circle dimension using the law of cosines. No need for everyone else to reinvent the wheel if I’ve already spent the time sorting it. Right?

Back to the star knobs. At each of the 8 compass points, I drilled a small hole on the arc of the circle. These are the finger grips.   Using a jig saw I carefully cut from hole to hole along the arc of the circle. They look a bit knarly at this point. I did a little trimming and then took the knobs over to the belt sander to shape them. I didn’t really know what I was doing I just kept rounding each of the points until I liked the appearance. One thing I have choosen to do is to wear leather work gloves when I’m working around this power sander. I chose this precaution from the start and I have contacted the belt several times since then while busy working the piece. I don’t know if others do this or not. The knobs were completed by drilling a 5/16″ hole in the center and attaching a similar sized T-nut to the bottom.

Homemade Star Knobs for the Shop

I put aside the fence clamping issue and moved on to wiring the router switch. The plans called for a duplex outlet with switch up top and a outlet plug below. You plug the router into the bottom which is wired to the switch up top.

Plan Wiring for Router Switch

Simple enough but I didn’t like the router cord running around the front so instead of a fixed outlet, I’m using the female end of the extension cord. Basically I’m wiring a switch into the extension cord. The router will plug into the female end and I’ll make some hooks for the back to coil up the rest. I would have had many fewer problems to solve it I had just followed the plan but hey, I’m doing it my way.

Wiring the Router Table Switch

The first problem is how to mount the switch box and route the cables. I can immediately see that the cord strain relief clamp is not going to work so I fret over what to do about that for a while. Putting that issue aside, I focus on how to mount the box. This I did but widening the two little holes in the box side and screwing with small wood screws. As you can see from the photo, I also mounted the box on a wooden plate. This was completely uneccessary but at the time I was thinking it  would be helpful to first mount the box to the plate, then the plate to router table. As though that would somehow help me. It didn’t. I did however use 4 countersunk wood screws to mount the wooden plate (no glue) to the box.

As if waking from a dream my family is now home from karate and it is time to quit. The switch wiring will have to wait for another day. As I clean up the shop, I ponder over how to provide cord strain relief, how to best route and dress the cables and how to fabricate the cord wrap hooks for the back. Hey what if I used a stuff box for the cord instead of hooks? All that wrapping and unwrapping, just pull out what you need and stuff it back in when your finished. Hummm…

This is definitely better than TV.

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.

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  1. March 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    An arlington industries LPCG50 should work as a strain relief. You can pick them up at the Home Depot I think. My part # may be a little off, but I’m usually pretty good with stuff like that. You can run a premade disposal cord to power the switch and make a small jumper to go from the switch to the recept. if it isn’t set up to do that already. Good luck!

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