Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2020.05.31 - Back to the Workbench I

Work on the workbench has languished these last few months due to the frozen shoulder but since that it now easing I decided that it was time to get back to the workbench with the aim of getting it finished. So, the day's task was to work on the router table part.

This is the router and it is what is known as a dual purpose router since it can be used as a hand router or mounted in a table. Although I shall be using it in the table mode, it comes with a useful circle cutting guide so I used it for today's efforts.

As you can see I'm cutting a hole in the workbench and have just cut through the 4mm hardboard.

I took the router out at this point and checked that the hole was the correct size to hold the perspex circle I bought last year. It is not flush at this point.

As you can see from this close-up.

This is what it look like without the perspex.

Having cut out a section of the worktop 20mm wide or about 3/4" I started to cut down through the remainder of the bench. You can just see the deeper groove.

Working carefully I cut out the hole in the middle. Despite the care I took, I did mess it up a little when the router bit came loose. My fault, I hadn't tightened it up enough. You can see the damage athlete bottom part of the hole.

Here is a closer view. It's not a big deal since I'll probably use some sealant to bed the perspex down and to secure it a little more.

Here is the cut out section still attached to the router.

This is the bit that makes the circle jgg work. This small piece of plastic is nailed to the centre of the circle you wish to cut. The square of wood is to compensate for the missing hardboard that I took out once the router had cut through it.

The plastic pivot is bolted to this slot in the router guide constraining the router to move in a circle once it is tightened up.

Now the perspex fits flush with the bend or will do once I remove the protective covering.

But first I have to cut a hole in the perspex through which the router bits will protrude. This is done with a sharp hole saw and patience. Not my strong suit I have to confess, but since haste would be likely to shatter the plastic, I did take it slowly and made sure that the perspex was securely clamped to the drill press table.

So the hole in the bench, the hole in the perspex and the bit from the middle. What next?

A line in the protective covering was scored by putting the perspex in the hole, holding it down firmly and running a scribe round the edge of the hole from underneath. I used a gauge to scribe another circle halfway between where the hole ends and where the perspex ends. The fixing bolt holes will be situated on this second circle.

And here is the result. Six fixing holes to fix the perspex to the table, four holes that will allow the router to be bolted to the perspex and another hole for the lifter. That will become more obvious later on. There are two holes for the lifter, the keen eyed of you will notice. One is a mistake.

At that point I have to stop since I now need some 1/4" UNC countersunk bolts and they will arrive sometime next week. So more on this later.

Time for another cup of tea.