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View Full Version : thinking about making a simple router table for laminate trimmer



UkeforJC
05-04-2011, 11:41 AM
Dear all,
I finally decided to buy a Bosch colt laminate trimmer.
I am thinking about making a simple router table like what Pete has shown in his video. Just plywood and a hole.

I understand that normally, people mount a full size router for table routing, not a laminate trimmer.

But I can't afford a full size router right now.
I am wondering whether any of you have done so and have successful experience.

Any thought is appreciated.
Thank you
JC

Allen
05-05-2011, 12:30 AM
Not used a laminate trimmer, but the concept is exactly the same, no matter the size of the tool that you are using. I've used from 3 hp down to 1 1/2 hp routers. Makes many tasks a lot safer and easier to accomplish.

UkeforJC
05-05-2011, 06:15 AM
thank you so much, Allen

thistle3585
05-05-2011, 06:22 AM
The downside to it, for me, is that the type of adjustment that my laminate trimmer has isn't going to be user friendly if I mount it under a table. That includes using an inset piece like on the Rockler tables. I often clamp my laminate router upside down in my parrot vise and use it for small projects and let the material run along the base. I am thinking of making a larger base for it to make it a bit sturdier but the last thing I need is another object in my shop to set crap on. In fact, I pulled two work benches out and am installing a tool stand with a parrot vise in it that I can clamp a lot of my medium sized tools to like my buffing wheel, laminate router, go bar deck etc.

ksquine
05-05-2011, 07:29 AM
It should work fine for small items. The laminate trimmer will be more bother to adjust.....but we're not talking about a production machine here anyway.
I'd recommend a melamine or laminate coated table instead of plywood. It will be easier to slide the pieces over it. You can get a melamine coated shelf blank from the hardware store and cut it to fit your needs

UkeforJC
05-05-2011, 08:05 AM
thanks to you all for your input.

Ya, I think I will only use it for making bridge, and some other small items, and for rough shaping the neck. I am planning to use that to make a mold as well.

I have read in other forum and found that many people suggested using a full size router for making a mold, for it is more powerful.
But I think I will only make one or two molds...definitely not a production machine. I probably can only make 3-4 ukes per year anyway.
I am so glad to hear that this idea has been working for other builders.

@ksquine, thank you for the suggestion for using a melamine or laminate coated table. That sounds like a great idea.

JC

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-05-2011, 08:36 AM
Go on line and buy a couple of extra bases for that trimmer. That way you can use the same trimmer in other fixtures, such as a binding cutter, rosette/hole cutter, trimmer, etc. I have one base mounted upside down in my workbench to trim sides flush and such. As been mentioned, it's too bad these laminate trimmer bases don't have the same kind of adjustment capabilities that most routers have. I chose the Rigid brand primarily based on the ease of using the bases and being easy to quickly change them out.

Vic D
05-08-2011, 07:58 PM
I've got it in my head to build a little router table with dedicated cheapo trim routers just for doing bridges. It's not drawn up yet... but it's up there in the noggin wating to come out.

thistle3585
05-09-2011, 05:34 AM
I've got it in my head to build a little router table with dedicated cheapo trim routers just for doing bridges. It's not drawn up yet... but it's up there in the noggin wating to come out.

Do you make a custom bridge with curves? Not sure why you'd use a a router table to make a standard rectangle shaped bridge.

Vic D
05-09-2011, 05:36 AM
Yes, thistle, I intend to make custom bridges with curves and birds and fish and all kinds of neat things.

thistle3585
05-09-2011, 05:44 AM
That would make sense. Just watch the fingers on those small parts.

Vic D
05-09-2011, 06:12 AM
Right on thistle, my idea would incorporate pushers with handles well ABOVE the cutter ;)
Two machines that give me great pause, table saw and router... and I've worked on some huge cutting presses that didn't phase me.

UkeforJC
05-09-2011, 08:02 AM
I was planing to use the table to make bridges as well.
I will receive my router today and will start building the table. Nothing fancy...
Will update with you guys later.

Vic, if you do make a table, please show us some pictures too.:drool:

mzuch
05-09-2011, 08:29 AM
This little jig (http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43000&p=41780) is highly recommended for keeping fingers safe when routing bridges and other small parts.

Vic D
05-09-2011, 09:53 AM
This little jig (http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?cat=1,43000&p=41780) is highly recommended for keeping fingers safe when routing bridges and other small parts.

That's perfect, and would be better than the jig I was planning. And the price is right!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-09-2011, 10:58 AM
Small parts and router don't mix well if you want to preserve your digits. Using a marking pattern I plunge all my bridge slots on a large board first, clamped to my bench top. Once all the slots are where they should be, THEN I rip the board according to the width and length I intend the bridges to be. Of course this will only work if you have long lengths of rosewood or ebony.

Vic D
05-09-2011, 05:56 PM
Sounds like a winner Chuck... do you happen to have a photo of your marking pattern and setup? :)
I have a confession to make, I've got an older used fixed base 1hp craftsman that's a little rusty around the shaft and i've used it like, twice.. I just don't care for it... otherwise I've been working the heck out of my harbor freight trim router. It's gonna have to be
a real plunge router very soon.

I've got a photo somewhere, probably on a dvd, of a really cool template/jig for shaping the wings n such with a plunge router... I was thinking of a formica type table different bridge shape templates along with the under the table dedicated routers for the saddle slots... but really the saddle slots require more HP than the cheepy Trim router. Heh, I'm rambling again. Your way sounds saner.

UkeforJC
05-10-2011, 09:00 PM
Small parts and router don't mix well if you want to preserve your digits. Using a marking pattern I plunge all my bridge slots on a large board first, clamped to my bench top. Once all the slots are where they should be, THEN I rip the board according to the width and length I intend the bridges to be. Of course this will only work if you have long lengths of rosewood or ebony.


What kind of router bit do you use to route the saddle slots?
is it 1/8" Straight Down Spiral Double Flute router bit? or something like that?

by the way, what do you use the plunge router for? besides routing saddle slots and maybe rosette..
I am just wondering whether I will need it.
thanks

realityguy
05-18-2011, 07:40 AM
I cheat and have a full size table for a router in my shop..but a small one at times seems to be a better idea.
A fence is an important addition to a small table so you have something to ride against,for safety, and good control of the piece being cut,even using bearing bits.Having something for one end of what's being routed to rest against allows fingers farther away from bits,a sturdier holding method,less chatter,and just overall more control.Look online and see some ideas for fences.
I use a laminate top that has a pattern of 1/8" squares which is sweet for fine adjustments of a fence.Most of the time I can eyeball off the next line for accuracy for resetting the fence.
Some stopblocks that tighten to a fence..allow you better control for "start" and "stop" points for slots for bridges,etc.Sometimes simply drawing start/stop lines on the fence are enough to get by with some accuracy.
Of course,the heavier the table and the more solid it is,the less chatter and vibration for smoother cuts.
Adjusting a router is tough when it is in a table.Changing bits is also a problem.Some tables make it easier by using a removable panel the router is mounted to.The entire panel..say 6"x6" in a 12x12" table can be pulled out,adjustments made,and the panel popped back in place in the table after you are done.Making the panels of clear polycarbonite or lexan helps when you can see through it to change bits and make adjustments,especially when left in the table.
I think if I make a small table I'd incorporate all these features.Right now my table uses a 2hp old Makita in a full size reversible old table saw table(the entire top rolls over!),but it has an Incra Jig Ultra that eliminates that access without some serious removal of the fence system.it is a pain to adjust and change bits,but I manage and it is a sweet setup...basically why I haven't made a smaller one yet.I agree some jobs seem overkill with it....