New router table base – Day 8

(Tenth and final day elapsed)

For intents of this project blog, the project is now complete. Follow-up posts on it will be of their own accord, or included elsewhere.

With the base half finished with ARS, Sunday started by going ahead and putting casters on. As I (think I) noted previously, the casters I had left over were two swivel, two fixed. No matter, I’ll just mark the holes and install the carriage bolts preemptively for when I take apart the miter saw cart. Well, it turns out I used smaller casters there. Whoops. Anyway, I marked for all four corners, used a combination of drill bits, and installed what I had to the best of my ability. Then I put the base up on it’s wheels on the MFT and set about covering the remaining panels with a coat of ARS.

Once a coat of finish was all over everything (including some spatter on the MFT), it was time to think about getting it down. I rolled out the table saw – yes, these are the situations where that really comes in handy – and moved the router table over near the door. The new base came off the MFT just fine, and it was time to put the cover back on the switch and make some mounting points for the top.

The last mounting points I made for the old one were pure afterthoughts, corners that screwed into the sides. These were planned a bit better. There’s one that spans the router cubby hole and provides rigidity to that side, and two that span the opening for the drawer cabinet, both front and back. I cut the parts to size on the MFT using the TS55, and went with pocket holes to install. The pocket holes are oriented to face the top, so you’ll never know they were there. No ugly through screws this time – a screw not driven is a screw not needed to be hidden. I drilled a 1-3/8″ hole through the back of the router cubby and through the side of the drawer box for the end of the switch cord to go through. I always seem to forget the option of removing the cord, drilling a smaller hole, and routing it through. Oh well. The irony of it is, I’ll need a longer cord to reach a plug, so I have to rewire it anyway. Such is life.

Now it was time for the replacement ceremony, if you will. I removed all the drawers from the old cabinet and undid the Spax screws holding the top in place. Moving the top over was pretty easy, I didn’t even bother taking the router out. I tried to get the top lined up with measuring, but something seemed off. Instead, I just used my fingers and felt where it was even on all four sides. I used my new Robertson drive screws to attach the top. I like square drive much more than Spax, there’s almost no chance of rounding the center if you take even the least amount of time. There were two on each stretcher. I hooked in the router to the short lead on the switch, and put the excess through the access hole. I’ll need to tie these off and attach to the cabinet later on.

Now it came time for the most important test: if my measurements were correct and my two systainers fit where I needed them to. As you can see, I’m fine there.

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I wheeled the old base outside and it promptly fell apart, so that tells you something. This one is better built, even with the old one having to be modified once. The old drawers are now sitting in a stack where the new ones will go. That will be a task I’ll have to conquer shortly, and it will best be done after I determine just where I want what, the LR32 components included. I also have to determine what I want them made from – I don’t think the other 3/4″ panel is enough, but I don’t have any 1/2″ available to do the task. It turns out I have quite a few 3/4″ drawer slides that would do the trick, but do I want full extension instead? There’s also usually a slight width difference between the two. Here is what I absolutely have to store thus far. It’s a lot less than I thought, giving me plenty of room to add or store other things:

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Now, to the part I wasn’t fully expecting. Except for messing myself up on the width of the base, all my measurements have been pretty on point. Really on point. So on point, when I estimated 36″ for the overall height of the unit I expected to be off a fraction of an inch or so and that would take care of it being shorter than the table saw. Except, it’s exactly 36″. As in, if I were doing this down to the 1/128″ I couldn’t have gotten any closer to 36″. So that presents a problem of not currently being able to safely cut anything on the table saw. The saw might have to temporarily sit on some 3/4″ plywood to raise it up. I can swap the casters out for the ones on the miter saw, but those are on order of at least an inch shorter, and that might be too short. I’m sure though I can put a hardboard spacer or something on. That would solve the issue of not having four swivel casters. The old ones I had from Harbor Freight are probably going in the trash. They squeak terribly.

So, after ten calendar days I built and swapped out my router table base. There are a few things left to take care of, but for the most part the structure itself is done. I do need to sort out the caster situation, which will be very soon. I need to mark and cut a hole in the cubby for dust collection, but I’m deciding exactly what I want to do there first. The power switch needs a longer lead, and I’ll probably inset it a bit further into the side. The rest of it is more dressing than anything else. A door for the router compartment, drawers for everything. I didn’t have a door, dust port or all functional drawers before, so yes, I consider the project pretty much done. I’ll blog the drawers, door and other things at other times.

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