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Discussion Starter #1
Getting ready to rout out the rabbit for my Rockler router table plate. I'm going to use the method where you tape strips of wood around the plate to act as a template.

Question: should I push the template strips tight against the router plate or allow a little tolerance to make sure I can get the plate in and out of the rabbit? I've noticed the plates in the tables in Rockler's store have about 1/32" clearance all round (of course they have the hold-down screws - as will mine).

I was thinking of putting some pieces of masking tape around the edges of the plate (to provide a little relief) before using it to set the template strips. I'm going to seal the surfaces of the rabbit with paint or varnish after completion so some of the gap would be taken up.
 

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where's my table saw?
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sounds good to me

My plates are not tight, but they don't move around either. You don't want to force them in or out. Your tape idea sound like it would work just fine.
 

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John
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I agree with Woodnthings, you don't want the plate moving around but you do want it easy to lift in and out. The tape idea is a good one. I would omit the hold down screws, with the router hanging on the plate and 99% of the time the fence will be clamped over it, chances of it levitating are pretty slim.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Completed test cut on some scrap 1/2" mdf. Attached photos show 3/4" mdf template strips set in place with carpet tape and plate in routed opening.

Had a brain cramp and didn't recognize I needed a full inch height on the template strips to get the bit bearing to register. I carefully aligned and carpet taped additional 1/4" mdf strips to the top of the 3/4" strips before routing.

Set the bit 3/64" low to allow for leveler screws to adjust. Came out just about right.

Put pieces of masking tape on all four sides of the plate before setting the template strips. The resulting cut had a max of .025" gap (about 1/40") between the plate and rabbit. For the real thing I think I'll just put the masking tape on two adjoining sides of the plate - should reduce the gap by about 1/2.

I used a 3/4" pattern bit - which matched the corners of the Rockler plate exactly. Worked out good - I didn't have to mess with bondo to form radius corners as I saw in a couple of on-line "how-to's."

Next, work my courage up and move on to the real thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
And, after a few deep breaths, the final. As I indicated, for the actual table top installation I only put the masking tape on two sides of the plate. Setting the template strips went smoothly as did the routing. I had a moment of panic when I removed the template strips and tried setting the plate in place - it wouldn't go. Then I remembered the pieces of masking tape and removed them. A perfect, although a little tight, fit. A few light strokes with some #100 sandpaper and it slides right in and has no movement in any direction once in place. If it tightens up after I seal the rabbit, I'm thinking a few more strokes with the #100 sandpaper will get it right back to where it is now.
 

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John
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:thumbsup:
 

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Looks great :thumbsup:

Don't know how this bondo thing got started, but last spring I was asked to assist on a router plate cutout. The WWr had the correct radius bit on-hand, but was planning to drill the corners and bondo the overcut. Had to remind NOT to believe everything published :thumbdown:
 

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minuteman62-64 said:
And, after a few deep breaths....
Laughing!

Been there done that.

A lot of work goes into building a router top and cutting in the plate just right is a real nail biter.

Great job. Enjoy!
 
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