Mounting a router in a router table

         
         
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  Insert plate mounted in router table, router table  

Mounting your router into a table will allow you to complete even more tasks than just using it as a hand-held machine. Mounting the router should be fairly simple, as long as you have an appropriate table with a correctly fitting insert plate, and a suitable router. Each model of router table will differ slightly so always check manufacturer's guidelines and instructions for your particular table and how to assemble all the parts and accessories properly. Below is a rough guide to mounting a router in a router table.

 
         
 

Before you begin 

 
 

Router table, insert plate, rebated central hole of router table

 

Most router tables can be bought with a choice of insert plates, so you should be able to order a table to fit your router. If there is not a suitable insert plate available as standard then you will be able to get an insert plate which can be re-drilled to suit your router or you can re-drill the router base to suit an available insert plate. Occasionally you may need to re-drill the router base and insert plate. 

 
         
 

Router table insert plate, router insert plate levelling system

 

When you first get your router table you must check the insert plate is correct and identify the mounting holes which line up with the securing points on the base of your router. You must also check you have the appropriate fixing screws or bolts, as well as any washers and nuts if necessary. If the insert plate is not the correct one most manufacturers will be happy to exchange it for the correct one if you contact them, and additional insert plates should be available if you want to use the table with more than one model of router

 
         
  Securing insert plate to router table with mounting screws, tightening screws to secure insert plate to table  

You should identify if you need to do any re-drilling of parts, and if there is anything additional you need to install the router. Some models will need to have a packing material, like a gasket or packing washers, inserted between the router base and insert plate for them to fit properly. If no adjustments are required you can proceed with fitting the insert plate to the table; if you need to do any re-drilling you must follow the manufacturer's guidelines and instructions.

 
         
 

Fitting an insert plate to a router tablebuy router tables

 
 

Insert plate without screws, positioning insert plate and router in central hole of router table

 

The components needed to fit a particular router may be different for different models. Typically, you will require adjustable bolts and retaining bolts, and a type of locknut, such as nylock nuts.

 

The adjustments bolts are inserted into the four corner of the rebated edge or bracket, where the insert plate will fit. They're inserted from underneath the table and secured with nylock nuts with their nylon rings facing upwards. 

 
         
  Insert plate without screws, positioning insert plate and router in central hole of router table  

The insert plate goes into the opening in the table and rests on either a rebated edge or brackets. The threaded hole for the lead on pin should be located to the front right of the tables surface. You need to ensure the insert plate is completely flush to the tabletop. Pushing down on the plate from above you can adjust the adjustment bolt with a screwdriver until the plate is fully level with the tabletop. 

 
         
  Router table insert plate, router insert plate levelling system  

Check the insert plate is properly flush with something like a steel rule or level. The insert plate should be stable when pressure is applied and it should be supported equally on all four of the adjustment bolts. When the insert plate is properly positioned you can secure it to the table with the four retaining bolts. These are fitted on each corner of the insert plate from above and secured tightly with the remaining nylock nuts, with the nylon ring facing downwards. 

 
         
 

Fitting a router to an insert plate buy router tables

 
  Insert plate, inserting rings, starting pin, insert wrench  

Once the insert plate is correctly fitted you can mount the router. Turn the table on its side and line up the mounting holes on the bottom of the plate with the correct securing points in the router, which you identified earlier. The router will be attached to the insert plate with bolts which are inserted into the plate and go through to the router base. You must also attach any washers or nuts if required. The router can now be secured in place.

 
         
 

Choosing and fitting insert rings into an insert plate

 
  Snap-in insert ring, insert ring held in insert plate by magnet  

The insert rings provide support to the workpiece as it's routed. They come in varying sizes, for use with different sized cutters. You should always use an appropriate size of insert ring for the cutter you're using. You will usually have a selection of sizes included with your router table and individual rings are available as separate purchases if necessary. 

 
         
  Lever hole on outside edge of snap-in insert ring  

You should choose an insert ring which has an inside diameter that is about 6mm (1/4") larger than the maximum diameter of the cutter you intend to use. This will give you about 3mm (1/8") clearance around the cutter which allows the cutter to spin without restriction and allows chips to be cleared, but will still fully support the workpiece. Make sure you check the router table's and router's specifications for the largest cutter diameter they can be used with so as to not overwork either of them.

 
         
  Installing insert ring, removing insert ring  

Usually, the insert ring should simply click into place in the insert plate. Although, some insert rings need to be screwed on or into the insert plate. Ensure the insert ring is sitting flush and fits in the hole tightly. If the ring becomes loose or is damaged it should be replaced immediately. You can usually remove the insert ring by releasing the tab from the edge of the insert plate's hole and simply pulling it out. 

 
         
 

Fitting the lead on pin

 
  Screw-on insert rings, insert ring screwed to router insert plate  

The lead on pin is also fitted to the insert plate, into the threaded hole which you should have positioned at the front right of the router table. It works as a guide for when the fence is not being used. It should screw into the threaded hole and tighten by hand. It can then be secured in place with a screwdriver. To remove it, you simply unscrew it. 

 
         
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