Home > Woodworking > Benchtop Router Table – stepping toward completion

Benchtop Router Table – stepping toward completion

Our family returned home from Melrose on Sunday afternoon and I found an hour or so of shop time while Susan went for a walk.

You may be confused but actually we own two homes. Before Susan and I met and married, I built a home in Melrose, Florida. Our property there is on a canal named “Turtle Cove” with water access to big Sante Fe Lake.  I thusly named my  brewery Turtlecove Brewing and it follows that I am The Turtlecove Brewer. Our primary residence is located between Archer and Bronson Florida and this is where I’m putting together my shop in the basement.

I directed my attention to the matter of the defective fence clamps. I wasn’t in a mood to get fancy with the repair and was really just looking for a quick and easy solution. The fix I came up with was to cut a shim from 1/2″ stock and stack it on to the threaded bolt. This worked and for now, I’m not going to bother remaking the clamps. I think the permanent repair would be to cut off the bevel on the clamp top and to glue a new piece on top, then re-cut the bevel. This would be better but I really can’t see where the current solution will cause much of a problem. It’s not like I’m going to be taking the clamp apart all the time.

Router Fence Clamp Fix

With working clamps I still had a little time left on Sunday to consider how I was going to make the keeper for my router lift handle. I had been toying with the concept of a sheath of some sort to hold it. It occurred to me that I might be able to route a dado that could hold it and sure enough the 1/4″ straight cut bit would just fit the handle blade making it nice and snug.  I decided to mount the handle on the inside of the box rather than the outside as there was room and felt it would keep things a bit tidier. I also wanted to keep the router wrenches handy and advancing the “simple is better” concept, purchased a hook to hang them.

Router Lift Handle Keeper Router Lift Handle - Keeping it Handy

Last night I mounted the keeper (4 screws, no glue) and installed the hook. Convinced this will work I moved on to dressing the extension cord. I decided to use common nylon cable clamps and actually bought two sizes (1/2″ and 3/4″)  not being absolutely sure which I would need. I figured the 1/2″ tie was going to work and it did the trick.

Dressing the Router Table Cord

Now there is no possibility of pulling the switch apart and they are neatly run. The switch plate isn’t a good fit but it is safe. I’m not sure if I want to trim it up to fit or leave it as. For now I’m leaving it and moving on to other details.

The remaing 20′ of extension cord exits the router box via a 1/4″ through hole and is currently laying on the ground behind the router table. So next I start building the cord wrap . My toolbox pump plan (a brewing project) called for 2 metal robe hooks to be used as cord wraps but 1) robe hooks cost money and 2) I had too much cord to wrap for the hooks. Anticipating this same problem, I wanted to use 4 hooks instead of 2 so the wraps would be much larger and use the entire back panel of the table. I decided to make the hooks out of scrap wood because it will be inexpensive AND give me something else to hand make.

I ripped a length of 1/4″x 2″ stock which I will use to form the hook blades and crosscut some blocks out of a piece of poplar scrap.

Building a Cord Wrap

I am hopeful that I can attach the blade to the block with enough friction that it will hold the cord in place but can be turned so that the cord can be pulled free of the block easily. This is a feature I’ve see on some vacum cleaners and I think it would be handy and (hopefully) easy to duplicate in this application.

Oops the phone rings …. Susan and the girls are on their way home from Karate. I had better vacum and get bathed if I want any hot water tonight.

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

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