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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wanting to build a good functional router table but I don't have any idea what size to make it. I have a small one now that measures 24" long, 14" deep from front to back, and the bit center is about 8" from the front edge.

I know this is too small. I'd like to make a router table to handle about everything I'd throw at it. What size should I make one that will need to handle raised panel doors, or other large panels, but not be too big to make routing small odd shaped parts with a bearing bit too hard? I think if the bit is too far from the front edge it will make adjustments and generally using it for small parts too hard.

Is this the part where y'all make a convincing case for having two separate router tables?
 

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Sawdust Creator
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I'm about to start mine and I'm looking at 36 wide x 24 deep x 42 high.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are you centering the router in the width from front to back?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also, is there any reason I'd need to make the table adjustable to provide significant space between the bit and fence, as in grooving a board in the middle? I can always use an edge guide for that I guess.
 

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I planned on setting the bit 14-16 inches back.



I think you'd be better off taking the router out if the table for that instance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Can you tell me why you'll need 24" of depth if the bit will just be 14" - 16" from the edge? That's 8 to 10 inches of space behind the bit for a fence. I just want to learn whatever I can about this before I begin building.
 

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The fence is 4 inches deep.....which allows me to set the bit up to 6 inches into whatever I'm routing. I prefer lots I space in front of the bit to make a nice flat surface for things like solid panels to rest on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you don't groove with the table router, what's the 6" space ability between the bit and the fence for? Any specific technique? I am only imagining either right to left movement against a fence on the table, or fence removed and freehand routing with a bearing bit.
 

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snip I think if the bit is too far from the front edge it will make adjustments and generally using it for small parts too hard.

Is this the part where y'all make a convincing case for having two separate router tables?
Router tables really have no front or back, mount the router off center with the larger top and you have the best of both worlds.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Router tables really have no front or back, mount the router off center with the larger top and you have the best of both worlds.
Now why didn't I think of that? I guess the fence doesn't have to be a permanent mount type. It could be the clamp down type.
 

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Wood Snob
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I don't think the size is as important as the way you set up the router. I have hung mine from the top but now use a system that works much like a shaper. Got the idea from American Woodworker.

image-3000872714.jpg

Bit changes are a drag until you have something like this.

image-1793038485.jpg

Adjusts from the top which is now capable of micro adjustments. Router drops out by loosening one bolt.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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One reason to bring the router forward from the back edge of the table top is so that you will have enough clearance for the router body against the back of the cabinet. Also if you are going to have a mitre slot you will want enough depth from the slot to the bit opening so that the mitre gauge doesn't contact the bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Al, that is nice. Gives me a few ideas on what I might want now.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
One reason to bring the router forward from the back edge of the table top is so that you will have enough clearance for the router body against the back of the cabinet. Also if you are going to have a mitre slot you will want enough depth from the slot to the bit opening so that the mitre gauge doesn't contact the bit.
Should have mentioned, I don't plan on making a miter slot. Haven't had a need for one yet. I was thinking of doing a router sled but if I do I'll just make it use the table edge instead.
 

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I'm going to throw a wrench into the mix here.

My router table is one of the store bought bench top tables that I hung off the side of my table saw. Its 24x18, but I can use the entire table saw surface if I need it for larger pieces.

I did it this way because I simply don't have the room for a stand alone router table.

Works like a charm for me.
 

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Duane Bledsoe said:
Should have mentioned, I don't plan on making a miter slot. Haven't had a need for one yet. I was thinking of doing a router sled but if I do I'll just make it use the table edge instead.
I don't have a slot either. I use the table top to clamp the fences in place. I like to use a square board against the fence in place of a miter gauge.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I like how that fence works with clamps on the ends instead of making slots in the table surface. What's the cutout in the middle on the back for? I'm assuming sometimes it gets turned to the front, maybe for raised panels? It also looks like it has a sealant on it. Is that what I'm seeing along the edge near the underside?
 

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Mine are:
27 X 20
32 X 24
48 X 15
48 X 96

As you can see, they can be any size you want. However, the most versatile for a 1 table shop would be the 27 X 20 tablesaw extension. Since there is no need for a prescribed Front, Side or Back on a router table, you would have the entire top of the tablesaw if needed.
 

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Wood Snob
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Duane Bledsoe said:
I like how that fence works with clamps on the ends instead of making slots in the table surface. What's the cutout in the middle on the back for? I'm assuming sometimes it gets turned to the front, maybe for raised panels? It also looks like it has a sealant on it. Is that what I'm seeing along the edge near the underside?
That's cut out for the wrench to get in to raise and lower the router. It's sweet.

Al

Nails only hold themselves.
 
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