The router table has become a mainstay in most woodworking shops, but there is often some important detail in setting the router and table up each time. Changing bits and re-settings them, all of this requires some sort of a tool to set, check or adjust and if you have to go looking for these tools every time, it significantly breaks up the workflow of a project.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/UWWxNyR25vw
In this video, I am doing what I can to shorten those interruptions and make the workflow more continuous by making things related to the router table much handier to find, use and then put back where you can find them again. What I am doing for my router table is individual to me, but the same system can be used in most other router tables.
For much of these simple upgrades, I am using what is called " Rare earth magnets" or "refrigerator magnets" but what is really the new generation of strong magnets that are made of neodymium. These strong magnets come in different shapes and for most of what I use, I purchase the disc-shaped ones because they are often being inserted into holes I drill with my Forstner bit so the magnets are recessed and are then flush with the surface they are being used in.
For most of my workshop set-up using my router tools, I need to move it into the center of my shop so I have room to move wood through the machine and to plug in the vacuum hose. This means that all of my bits, my collet wrenches, rulers for setting bearing flush and more, are on the far side of my router table which means stopping everything to walk around the table and get what I need. No big deal right .. well, if you only have to do this once or twice, no problem but if you are changing bits and or making a variety of cuts this can mean a lot stoppages ... i.e. workflow interruptions that could be avoided with nothing more than a little bit of tool organization and innovation.
My router table is equipped with something called a "lift" system that was designed as a quick way to access the underside of the router table and change bits. For me, it also serves as a place to quickly unplug my router (very important to always unplug a router when changing bits) AND, for me the most useful thing is in getting an accurate bit height setting without having to stoop over or kneel down to see whether the bit is the correct height.
For those who have not seen this in my previous videos, you can check out details at www.dowelmax.com
The reason I mention the lift is because another bonus to this is that it allows room between the base of the lift and the router table deck where I can store flat tools like a ruler that is used frequently for setting bearings and a wrench that is used all the time for installing and changing router bits. And, if you had more, there is probably room for even more things in this space.
The best way of holding these items is with magnets, which I can drill out a recess for, then insert the magnets into the holes with a dab of CA glue and they will be held fast in that pocket. What I have discovered, and shown in previous videos, is that if you drill a tiny hole through the recess, when you put the magnet into the hole to check for depth, you can easily pop that magnet back out by using a fine drill bit, nail or even a piece of wire ...
Then when the hole is the proper depth, a dab of CA glue in the hole ... then spritz the magnet with the accelerator, pop the magnet into the hole it will be held fast instantly.
I started off by insetting magnets for my steel rule and my collet wrench...
One last item I wanted to add for this quick project was my fine adjustment too for the height adjustment for my router. Not every router comes with this kind of a tool, some have larger knobs so a fine adjustment tool is not required others have a different kind of mechanism.
There are probably a variety of tools and accessories that you OFTEN use on your router table that can easily be implemented into the structure of the router table to make it more convenient for you to find and use those tool and help elevate your workflow too ...
Copyright Colin Knecht