Router Table Insert

The router table has been a great part of the space, but I thought it could be made even better!

Some of you who have used the inverted router table attached to the table saw may have noticed that when you're working with smaller parts - specifically around 6 inches or smaller  - there'd be some issues...

I'm routing happily, suddenly the part drops into the router recess or gets tilted on the uneven surface. Oh no! My work has been mared and chewed up!

Just me? I thought not.


A solution

So I decided to rectify the issue and took to Fusion 360 to draw up a plan for a cover.

The router table insert is composed of a number of elements, so initially, I decided to just draw the rough shape I needed in Fusion 360, consisting of 5 circles - 4 circles within a larger circle.

With these sketches in place, it allows me to set the size of the circles and the spacing after.

Once all the basics were in, I was able to then take accurate measurements using calipers, and transfer those into constraints ready for the 3d model.

The 3 outer holes were for the bolt heads that hold the router to the table. The distances between each were taken, and also their diameter across the points of the hexagonal heads of the bolts.

The model

Once the measurements were done, there were only the main outer circle diameter and a center hole for the router bit to take into account.

The outer is a fixed size as this is the same as the existing recess.

The central circle is a variable and will be based on the size of the bit, I exported 3 different models and cuts for these.

Next was simply to set up the cuts for the CNC and grab our 1/4 inch MDF - the same thickness as the depth of the recess in the table.

As I mentioned, there were a few versions with a different sized opening for smaller and larger router bits, and I got cutting on the CNC Shopbot!

In place

The inserts worked right off the CNC machine, the only thing I did was add a small hole on the drill press as they needed a way to easily switch between the different size. I also added a small chamfer to the edge to avoid the chance of any work being caught on a microscopic small edge.

It's a small change but a big impact to my workflow not having to stress that an edge I'm trying to get a clean chamfer on is going to receive a big chip.

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