The sound of the router running made me smile. Tonight I attached the table, using a piano hinge, and installed the safety switch. The table is now in working order. Is it done? Not yet. I still need to design a device to hold up the top when I am changing or adjusting the router. I have a few other small details which I may add. I haven’t decided. The important thing is that if I need have a router table, I now have one.
If one thinks they I am unbiased in my appraisal of the router table, they would be sorely misinformed. I think it is the most beautiful router table ever. I remember the week after I decided to take up woodworking. I was visiting my parents and mom saw an ad for the Woodsmith store. After a breakfast, which included eggs, an English muffin, and some turkey bacon, expertly combined to create a sandwich. I programmed the address into my iphone. The maps app got me to the store.
Walking into a place like the Woodsmith store, for a neophyte, was like a kid in a goat food store. There were table saws, band saws, Japanese hand saws, and other things that were not saw at all. All of them were shinny and called to me. They said, “You have found your destiny. Here in this place, you may trade legal tender for tools, and when you do, you will feel joy.” It was a delight.
After wondering around for a bit I started to chat with one of the helpful people working. I was told that investing in a router would be helpful in beginning to learn about woodworking. He also showed me a very sexy Kreg router table. For many months I lusted after this table, but there was still a part of me that thought I might like to build my own. The Kreg table with the goodies I wanted is around $500.00. I spent around $100.00 on wood, $40.00 on the Rousseau 3509 Deluxe Router Base Plate, $30.00 on the Shop Fox template, around $80.00 on various Rockler products, $40.00 on the safety switch and probably $20.00 on sand paper and other miscellaneous stuff. So in the end, I have spent close to $300.00 building my table.
If I were to assign a value to my table, I think a reasonable number would be $11,237.15. I love my router table. I love it so much I can barely stand it. I am going to enjoy building jigs to use on it. I am going to enjoy using it. The best part about the whole project is that I learned valuable lessons each step along the way.
Today I realized that using an awl to mark the spot where I would drill a pilot hole for the screws, makes it easier and saves time. Before this project, I would have just tried to screw in the screws without the pilot holes. Adding the awl step makes starting the pilot holes more accurate. After I had connected the hinge to the underside of the table, flipped it over, and fastened it to the legs, I looked at the top. There were several dents in the wood, which I had caused when I flipped it over. Little imperfections can be found on this table, and I have grown to accept them, but these final blemishes were quite simply frustrating.
I considered sanding them out, but that would leave the table less flat. I worked really hard to get it flat, and I wasn’t willing to tear everything apart to sand the entire top down. Then, a tiny voice, perhaps the one who told me about the joy I would receive buying tools, said, “Try putting a few drops on the dents and maybe they will soak up the water and look a bit better.” I read that this works somewhere, but until one tries it, it doesn’t really seem possible. I moistened the dents and when I checked a little while later, the dents were completely gone. Of course, I had raised the grain, so I grabbed some 220 grit and gave the area a quick touch up, and the blunder was gone. Up until the very end my little router table kept teaching me. I would write some more, but I think I want to go downstairs and hug my router table.