Thread: Yet another Router table build.
19th Feb 2017, 02:40 PM #1
Yet another Router table build.
A CNC ?:
YES, I would LOVE to fit a CNC and VFD – it would make this design SO MUCH easier.
1: I already have a low cost (before the ridiculous price rise) small triton router and 1.4HP is enough for the small work we do.
2: I do not have the funds to purchase a CNC, VFD – that may change.
3: I could not find a 1/2” Collet design to fit a CNC that was dual locking like the newer triton routers.
4: This build will allow me to simply swap in a CNC without changing the router table design.
So, can we please drop any talk of a CNC and VFD, at least for now - thanks.
On to the Build:
I’ve always used a router in plunge mode, but now with the smaller woodworking that my wife and I are doing I’ve decided at long last to build a RT. In an effort to sort out the wheat from the chaff, I built a test table with a low cost insert plate in a conventional manner, I wanted to find out firsthand what I did and didn’t need. I have previously posted a few pictures of that test build, now a few months later and I’ve finally decided on the design.
This system was driven by the following:
3: Safety - By making big positive holding jigs for working with small timber – this one was always a priority regardless of router table design.
4: Emphasis on safety, guards and dust extraction, especially when routing without a fence.
5: The need for maximum dust extraction at the Router cutter (not the bottom of the cabinet).
6: A simple way to change the dust extraction configuration for various routing uses.
To achieve this required a redesign of the router mounting itself, a rethink of insert rings (around the router bit) and insert plate design in general, a redesign of fence extraction, below table extraction and making them work together / apart in all routing tasks.
For anyone who may be interested, I have just started the rebuild and I will post pictures as it progresses.
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19th Feb 2017, 02:48 PM #2
The cabinet frame was built a while ago and fitted with a test router top (table) that was hacked and modified as I tried different dust extraction and insert plate designs. It’s now in the process of having a new router top fitted with modified insert plate and extraction.
I will have finished the router base plate / lower insert plate in a week or so, the low cost upper insert plates are simply swapped out for various DE needs and RT usage, so no pictures yet.
The 240V AC control unit for the router along with a differential pressure switch to detect correct Dust extraction flow rate has been finished and fitted.
Pressure sensor recessed into rear of router table, the small white probe fitting in the top RH corner of the box is supplied with the vac switch and the fitting protrudes all the way into the router dust cabinet, it detects the dust extraction vacuum created in the cabinet.
The Vacuum switch is fitted in its own space and easily accessible. The Plastic cover that is normally required for safety when switching 240V AC is not fitted here, those exposed wires are only switching low voltage DC from a plug pack. I fitted a cover that allows me to easily set the pressure switch and keep the entire switch and adjust knob completely protected from workshop knocks etc.
Back of router table showing 150mm extraction port and Pressure sensor recessed into LH side,
this sits behind one of the cabinet draws that will be built and added once final layout has been decided.
19th Feb 2017, 02:57 PM #3
More info on the Dust extraction detection sensor
The Pressure switch.
I have one fitted to my Bandsaw, and now the Router table. These differential pressure switches are used to sense the vacuum in the Bandsaw and Router cabinets, they are adjustable and save me from having a face full of dust if I forget to open a blast gate or have more than one open.
Will not allow the Router to start:
1: Unless dust extraction is running at the router itself.
2: More than one blast gate is open (or even partly open).
3: If the Router Dust enclosure door is open.
4: Insufficient dust extraction for any reason.
A: No external connections to the Dust extraction system or blast gates are needed.
B: Low cost $21.00 - (AU delivered to my door)
Will need a way to control a NVR switch – which usually means using a relay, and like the NVR it requires a licensed electrician to fit and wire up.
Note: A NVR power switch should be fitted to a router table in any case. NVR “No Voltage Release” magnetic switches costs around $32.00 for a 240V 2HP 16A device. You can also buy a NVR switch that has a 240V lead and 240V socket fitted, no electrician is needed as you simply plug in the router, however these cost around $140.
If you wanted to use a vacuum sensor then you could get an electrician to wire up a small case with a 240V lead, 240V socket and a relay that is controlled by a low voltage 12 to 24 VDC supply, this is how mine is controlled, and it allows you to wire up the Vacuum switch and a Door switch yourself if you wish, only needing a small 12/24 DC plug pack to control the 240V relay.
I got the pressure switch here.
From the manufacture:
Differential pressure switches can sense the pressure difference , vacuum, over pressure, poor flow of the corrosive gas.
Conventional applications include :
+ Monitoring Filters blocked Alarm Device
+ Monitoring air blower running status.
+ Monitoring air of ventilative pipelines
+ Controlling the largest gas flow of variable gas volume
+ Monitoring the gas of combustion furnace.
Measuring range: 50Pa~500Pa
Max differential pressure: 12000Pa
Degree of protection: IP54
Electrical rating value: <2A / 250VAC
Storage temperature: -40~85°c
Min. actuating pressure: standard: 20Pa
Linearity: range 50~500Pa <±3Pa
Installation direction: vertical(standard installation style)
Weight: 110 grams without bracket
Repeatability: <±0.025mbarIn the ranges 0.5 to 5mbar
$17.00 + $4.00 Registered Air Mail to AU
19th Feb 2017, 03:09 PM #4
Router Power Control
I made a simple picture diagram to show the basic design of the router power control - Note, these are not pictures of the components that I have used.
Basically, the NVR will not engage (switch will not Lock ON) unless:
1: The 24VDC supply is switched on.
2: The Dust extraction is running (correctly)
3: The Dust cabinet door switch is closed.
Now the vacuum switch will ALSO detect the router dust cabinet door being open, but it’s just another level of safety if needed.
If the router is running, then any of the following will switch it OFF:
1: AC power to the router table is interrupted.
2: The Dust extraction stops or drops below a set level.
3: The router cabinet door is opened.
4: The operator presses the NVR Stop button.
The router will NOT restart until the condition that caused it to stop is rectified AND the NVR START button is manually pressed by the operator.
The Triton router has an automatic spindle lock mechanism that requires opening the cabinet door to access the router, this action of course means that if the router is running, it will stop. Now the power switch on the router itself has to be switched off BEFORE the auto lock can be engaged (safety interlock). There are now THREE 240V double pole circuits disengaged between the AC mains and the router motor, it’s now virtually impossible for the router to accidentally restart by itself in this state, and if you did manage to forcibly start it with the automatic spindle lock engaged, you would likely destroy the router motor.
19th Feb 2017, 03:09 PM #5
MandJ, can we ask you to either use the standard forum editor to compose your posts or a plain text editor such as Notepad?
Whatever it is you are using is inserting formatting codes that show up in the text of your posts on Spy, see attachment.
19th Feb 2017, 03:25 PM #6
19th Feb 2017, 03:28 PM #7
All good now, thanks
19th Feb 2017, 05:30 PM #8
I decided to remove the plunge spring on the smaller Triton, unlike the larger routers the main rack post can only be removed by taking the case apart, which is pretty easy in any case, however you don’t need to do this to remove the main plunge spring.
There are two retaining rings inside the end of the main rack post, the first holds the guide tube and Drive head for above table height adjustment, the second holds the plunge spring inside the rack post, which in turn holds the fine height adjuster (elevation thread rod unit) in place, which means that if you take height adjusting knob off without the main spring installed, the rod will drop into the rack post allowing the top thrust washer to fall inside the case, you can get the thrust washer back in position without opening the housing though, if you are good at juggling.
Now, I’ve had a bind in the above table adjuster since new, turns out that the PIN that holds the Drive head to the guide tube was protruding and jamming in the C-clip (retaining ring) that sits below it, which in turn retains the main spring, so every revolution it would jam in the open part of the C-clip.
I filed the pin down a bit and as I was leaving out the spring, I fitted the plunge spring washer ABOVE the retaining clip, I fitted the guide tube and Drive head assembly and left out the upper washer to keep the same clearance between the two retaining clips, IE I fitted the top retaining clip above the Drive-head without a washer – Perfect, the metal fine height adjust mechanician is very smooth and light to turn now.
Parts diagram: http://www.brisdance.com/Wood/RT/Parts.pdf
As soon as I finish the new router base I’ll post some pictures.
4th Mar 2017, 08:02 PM #9
Due to health issues with a friend I haven’t been able to get the router mounting plate made, hopefully this week. In the meantime I decided to fit the depth DRO head unit and make up the power supply to run the two DRO that I will be using in this build, one DRO is for vertical bit depth display and the other for bit position with respect to the fence. The DRO’s I’m using are from Timbecon:
•Accuracy +/- .002” per 6"
•Ability to set zero at any point on the sensor.
•Ability to set “PRESET” values.
The PRESET function allows the setting of any measurement reading at any point in the travel of the sensor.
•Display: decimal in .0005" increments, fractions down to 1/28th increments and millimetres in .01 mm increments.
Now these newer units have an external power socket and most websites list it as 3V input, however the unit sold for these DRO’s on eBay is in fact a 5 volt 300mA plug pack.
The display head runs internally from 3V via 2 x 3v button batteries in parallel (NON rechargeable) and the testing I did shows that the unit regulates the voltage at the battery terminals to 2.99 volts (with or without a battery) for inputs voltages up to and above 5V at the external socket, so 5V appears to be the correct unit. I also measured really low current consumption of 0.00008A (80uA) when powered on for these new DRO’s, when switched off (soft off) they still draw around 50uA, so as others have complained, the only way to stop the small button batteries from draining over time is to unplug the Scale module from the Display head after each use, but doing that resets the unit to default and drops any offset settings - there are times when this is anoying for some users.
IMHO, the simplest solution (for most people) to all of this is to grab a $6.00 small 5 volt 2000mA power bank, get a plug from Jaycar to fit the DC input socket on the DRO Display head and run the DRO (without the button cells) from the power bank, all you need now is a low cost "off the shelf" or any spare 5 volt mobile phone / mini PC charger you may have to keep the power bank topped up, and seriously, it will take a very long time for these things to discharge a 2000mA power bank.
As an example, I had an old 3.7v 7000mA lithium ion battery from an old palm PC, OC terminal voltage was 4.186 volts, after 5 days turned on and running for 24 hours a day, the voltage had dropped to 4.181 volts.
I also decided to feed each DRO via a 5600 ohm resistor, this solves any problems of a short circuit in either the DRO or the cable, it also gives better isolation for the DROs supply rail from each other and any interference coming down the +5v rail.
FYI, I used the old battery I had as it’s not going to be used for anything else, I added a small charging module ($4.95) from here:
- Micro USB 5V 1A Lithium Battery Charger Module in sydney australia
4th Mar 2017, 08:09 PM #10
A few photos
The battery and charge module sit under the table on the LH side of the cabinet. I fabricated a small case for the Display and it allows me to angle the display for best viewing.
The main router control, power and safety switch gear, along with the 5 volt DRO supply are located on the RH side. Both are still easily removable with the router top installed.
The depth Display can be set to 3 positions for best viewing, and kept out of harm’s way when not in use.
The current LED status shown (all on) is AC on, dust extraction present and 240V power at the router itself - (NVR engaged)
8th Mar 2017, 03:20 PM #11
Finally finished the new Base plate. Once again if I had been using a CNC motor I would not have had to do this, I’ve previously stated my reasons for using the Triton for now.
This is a build in progress and I haven’t rounded over or finished any of this.
A view with the unmodified fence:
The fence has to be modified for “small” changeable zero clearance inserts (these will slot between the current zero clearance sliding panels) These small inserts will have a dust pickup cut out above the Bit zero clearance profile. I’m going to make a few dedicated zero clearance inserts and also a box of spares to quickly use as needed.
Nothing out of the ordinary here.
The current sliding zero clearance panels open.
Below: This is what is normally called an insert plate, it is now the equivalent of an insert ring. This is the first one (just finished it) and it took all of 2 minutes on a bandsaw and 5 minutes with a Jigsaw.
This one is used when the fence is close to the bit – there is no need to have the insert ring running underneath the fence and blocking air flow, just one (of the many) ways dust extraction is improved in this design.
I will have various inserts plates (rings) for freehand work without the fence, with inbuilt guards and dust extraction and anything I can think of – simple.
COST: 50 cents each.
8th Mar 2017, 03:22 PM #12
This is not an insert plate – it’s actually a new Base plate that I made for the Router, Why?
To remove the stupid constricted space below the table and around the bit.
The Dust port for the fence is in the table, but look again at the completely open intake path behind the router Bit. That base plate is screwed down and becomes the level base for the various table inserts. No connection hose hanging off the fence, and all the intake air now travels in the same direction.
Larger part of the opening at the rear of this base plate is 105mm, length from front to back is 160mm. The below table cabinet DC port is 160mm.
The only hole through the table is for dust extraction intake and two router base plate column mounts, this gives rigidity to the 4mm Base plate which is screwed down into the recess, there is No sag.
The router is easily removed from the bottom.
A few more views.
The table insert (insert ring) does not have to be removed to undo the Router Collet. Auto shaft lock is incorporated into the new base.
The white tube in the back below the table is the 160mm DC port connection.
8th Mar 2017, 03:26 PM #13
Now to finish the below table build, fit the DRO height sender, build a C frame coming down from the handle stubs and incorporate a lift and a few other ideas I have planed.
The base plate, that’s 4mm plate and again braced by the way it’s mounted into the table, except for the column mounting blocks, the whole plate sits on and is supported by the timber table, there is no flex.
9th Mar 2017, 09:16 PM #14
Painted the base plate and insert recess in the table, rounded over the bottom of the opening and also painted any exposed Particle board in the table slab. Once dried I assembled and got to fitting the Router height Digital readout sender. It’s fitted to one of the round metal tubes that normally hold the plastic handles. Works brilliantly, no change in the display when the router is started or is running, checked against a vernier calliper at the bit and table top and it’s 100% spot on.
View of the DRO scale sender from the top of the table looking down through the dust extraction opening in router plate.
Also took a photo looking from below the table and where the 150mm Dust extraction port would normally be. There is also a high mounted intake at the top of the cabinet door, this adjustable intake directs high speed or high volume air across the underside of the table and the table opening. Even if the fence is removed and a piece of timber is positioned to completely block all through table intake, all dust generated by the bit is still fully extracted by the effect of high volume air flowing across the now unrestricted path between the top of the router and the table opening.
10th Mar 2017, 12:57 PM #15
DRO noise glitch.
A lot of online forums talk about problems with interference to the DRO from running machinery, especially in some cases with earth loops caused by the sender mounting brackets, it's been suggested to keep the DRO scale frame isolated from the machine and to use an isolated power supply, another concern is that the lead between the DRO head and the sender is not shielded, so cable runs can induce noise into the unit and cause readout glitches. I had gone to lengths to eliminate most of these when I built the supply unit, but for the first time today the depth DRO reading suddenly jumped to some off scale value, very random occurrence and traced to when the NVR switch was pressed on, I switched the router off to eliminate it and after a dozen presses of the NVR switch I got a random value again. I rechecked to make sure that the DRO Sender mounting was in fact completely isolated (electrically) from the Router frame, and it was.
I connected the Fence DRO scale unit as up until now only the readout head had been running, I tested again and found it was even worse than the Router height display, almost every second NVR switch-on produced a random value, again the Router was not plugged in. Both DRO's are powered from the same circuit and are in a similar location. However I noticed that I still had the cable from the fence sender to the DRO head bunched in a sort off small circle at the back of the table, hey I'm still setting things up, now the DRO's are on the opposite side and the opposite end of the table to the NVR switch, however the behaviour of the fence unit reinforced my suspicion that the glitch was caused by arcing as the NVR relay coil itself engages. The first thing I tried was a snubber circuit comprising a 0.1 240V AC capacitor with a series connected 47ohm resistor, this was connected across the output of the NVR switch and the problem has now been completely eliminated.
Last edited by MandJ; 10th Mar 2017 at 08:09 PM. Reason: clarity
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