Only as good as his tools

I have a project coming up shortly (a gate across the driveway) that has many mortise and tenon joints.  I don’t fancy doing these all with hand tools, so will need to utilise a router.

I have a 2100w Ryobi plunge router (model: ERT2100VK).  It was a ‘must buy’ purchase 3 years ago.  I’ve never used it.

After finding some great videos on trusty YouTube of some DIY router table projects, I decided this was a job I could do myself.  One of the best projects I saw used two sheets of laminated MDF so that the router was attached through a thin plate, but the rest of the table had a good thickness for strength and stability.  That’s the one I based mine on.  The thin plate means that I don’t lose any cutting depth – in fact, the new plate is the same thickness as the old one, so there is no loss in cutting depth at all.

At a local tool shop I found a drop-saw stand that a customer didn’t want when he purchased the saw, so I got it for $40.  It’s nice and solid and makes a great base for the table. Luckily Father owns a portable sawmill, and so the timber for the frame was already supplied

I haven’t quite finished yet – still need father-in-law (electrician) to help me wire in a proper on/off switch (the built-in one will be ok for now), still need a fence (a clamped piece of timber will suffice for now), and still need a router lift (manual adjustment will do for now).

Router table 1
Table with router before installation. Note the laminated surface with a cutout in the top sheet
The existing base plate is removed. This shows the new one with counter-sunk screw holes ready to go on
The existing base plate is removed. This shows the new one with counter-sunk screw holes ready to go on
Base plate attached to the router, with router ready to drop in place
Base plate attached to the router, with router ready to drop in place
Router in place and ready to roll. Just need a solid piece of timber clamped down for a fence.
Router in place and ready to roll. Just need a solid piece of timber clamped down for a fence.
A view from below showing the bracing structure to add strength and support
A view from below showing the bracing structure to add strength and support

If anybody knows where to get mitre track or T-track from in New Zealand (especially around Palmerston North) I’d love to know! The closest I have seen is simple aluminium track, but it is not ideal.

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