There are many accessories for the wood router table, but of those who are new to wood routing, there are a few basic accessories that may be a bit more useful at first and many of them will be used over and over again because they are basic tools used in conjunction with router bits and router table usage.
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Someone told me many years ago that "probably 80% of the things you can do with a wood router, will be done on a router table" and I think after all these years I have to agree with him. My first router, was, like so many others and handheld device that did a few things, but many of the more advanced things I wanted to do require a router table ...
Bit and Accessory Cabinet
One of the first things I made with my new router table was a router bit and accessory cabinet. I remember thinking at the time that this thing was huge and I would probably never fill it up, but over the past 20 or so years, and purchasing maybe one of 2 router bits a year, I now have that router bit cabinet quite loaded with useful wood router bits because I only ever purchased router bits that I needed. I still have a few holes left but I also have pretty much every router bit I will probably ever need .... (well maybe).
Very often newer woodworkers are afraid of using a router. I think it may be because of the high speed that the blades spin at, but having a healthy respect for any power tool is a good thing, but you still need to have confidence in using it. One of the things that can help the confidence, aside from good eye and hearing protection, is push blocks. These allow the user to have a good grip on their workpiece while keeping their hands and fingers well away from spinning bits and blades. Of course, there are commercial versions of these, but you can also make your own that work very well, and here is the link to the article and video on doing this. The first step is to make the handles Making Wooden Handles, then you can start making the push blocks and here is the link for that ... Making Push Blocks
Router Lifts and Router Table Top Lifts
Having a router lift can be a very handy thing, and there are commercial versions of these and some people have even made their own. There is also another version of a lift and that is to lift the whole router top which exposes the router base for easy bit changing, and for setting the bit height. If you decide to purchase one of the commercial lift versions, make sure you confirm that your router will work in the router lift. They are not all universal and generally range from $300 to $600 depending on features, size, and compatibility.
The router I have in my router table has a build-in lift that is accessible from the base of the router (not very many routers have this feature).
What I discovered a few years ago, another type of lift, that some have also made their own version of, but that is also commercially available like the one I have. The version I have is sold by Dowelmax.com I think the one feature that sold me on this unit is just how accurate I can be in setting the bit height because I don't have to stoop down to router top level to see where the bit is aligning. That alone sold me on this concept.
Working Bit Holder
Sometimes the simplest things can be the most valuable, and this bit holding stand is one of those. I find I use this thing every-time-am-routing. Over the years I have had a very few occasions where a router bit has rolled off my bench and on to the floor. In a couple of cases, the carbide chipped, which means the bit can never be used again because we can't see if there are any invisible cracks in the carbide that will fly off at any time and cause serious injury. This has not happened to me personally, but I have talked to a couple of others who it has, and one was hit on the cheek and still has the scar to prove it.
This simple-to-make bit holder will keep your bits safe from rolling off the bench or crashing into another tool, and they are always ready to use and are especially useful when using rail and stile bits, panel bit and other bit combinations.
Small Parts Holder
I can't recall ever seeing anything like this that is commercially made, so here could well be one of your first significant wood router projects.
This is another jig that is perfect for both seasoned and new router users. Trying to rout smaller pieces is always a challenge and this holding jig will make those jobs much safer, and allow you to do a better job as well. Here is the link to the article and video for making this jig - Small Parts Holding Jig
These are only a few of the accessories that I use, but I find these are some that I use the most. In a later episode, I will show some other accessories that some may find useful on the wood router table ...
Copyright Colin Knecht