- May 5, 2017
- Posted by: Calvin Gerry
- Category: Guide
If you like doing various projects around the house and you’re looking for new gear that will help you work smoother and easier, then you have probably encountered router tables often in your searches. In case you’re not familiar with these items, then you have certainly landed in the right place. To find out what these tables are and what exactly they’re used for, continue to read this article.
History and definition
It is designed and used to increase the versatility of a hand-held router, making it easier and safer for woodworkers to finish their projects. Most models feature a vertical fence. Against this fence, the workpiece is guided in order to control the depth of the cut with an increased precision. These items used to be improvisations made by woodworkers, these people mounting the routers in an inverted position beneath a table and making a hole through the table for the router to fit. As time has passed, manufacturers understood that handymen need a proper solution in order to do their projects with ease, this being the reason why these items have appeared. As a DIY person, you definitely need this item if you want to make furniture pieces or any other projects, enjoying an increased accuracy and stability when you work.
Router tables can be used in three different ways, an accessory being used in all cases to direct the workpiece. When the vertical fence is used, the router bit partially emerges from the fence, the workpiece being moved against the fence. This leaves the exposed portion of the bit with the purpose of removing material from the workpiece. When the fence isn’t used, a template is affixed to the workpiece. In this case, a router bit with a ball bearing is used, the ball having the role of guiding against the template as the bit removes the material from the workpiece. Last we have the situation in which a pin router is used. In this case, a template is affixed to the workpiece, and the pin is lowered. As the template moves against the pin, it carries the workpiece against the router bit that spins to create a duplicate of the patterned part.
What a quality routing table must have
There are four elements that you must look for when buying a product like this to ensure that it is of a great quality. These elements are a flat and solid top, a flat and rigid base plate, an accurate fence that is easy to position, and a sturdy and stable base. When it comes to the top, the most popular material used for its manufacturing is MDF because it’s reliable and reasonably priced. But if you want to enjoy superior quality, it’s best to go with a top made with phenolic resin as this material is naturally rigid and tough. Just be aware that such models cost a little more, so don’t be surprised by the spicy price tag. The base plate of such an item must be flat and it has to sit perfectly leveled with the surface of the table to ensure stability, safety, and precision when you work. The fence is important due to the fact that it is the piece which controls the cut. High-quality fences feature incremental positioning mechanisms, ensuring increased accuracy. Another thing that you need to know about fences is that they can either be one-piece models or two-piece models. One-piece fences are solid, straight pieces that cover the infeed as well as the outfeed sides of the table. On the other hand, two-piece fences consist of two separate adjustable sections, the infeed being positioned at an offset from the outfeed side. This provides you with the advantage of being able to use it when you want to join straight edges on boards. The downside is that two-piece fences require you to be careful when you align them. Last we have the base, a piece that is of an utter importance, being mandatory for it to be perfectly stable in order to ensure accuracy and safety when you use the table.