An Extremely Simple DIY Router Table

Not at all what the final product looked like!

Not at all what the final product looked like!

In preparation for another project, it seems that a wood router will be very useful. Using a manual milling machine to cut groves, while it works, isn’t the best way to do this, so it seems. There are some advantages to coming from an engineering/metalworking background, but sometimes I may miss some woodworking tools that others take for granted.

After a quick tour of a friend’s shop, I was convinced that I needed to put my router in a table to make things much easier. As I’d already spent quite a bit of money on the router itself, I decided to modify my table to fit it myself.

Traditionally, the fence would move in a linear fashion, but for something extremely simple I instead fastened it in one point. This means that as the 2×4 rotates, the distance between the cutting tool and the workpiece varies. In theory, this would mean I could cut grooves at any distance, though precision in the range that true cabinet makers expect likely wouldn’t be possible. I don’t need to be that precise at this point, so this seemed like a quick and dirty way to get a table working. Check out the video below to see how it was done.

If you’re wondering where I got this beefy 2×4 table, I wrote up instructions as a sponsored post on Realty Times. Sponsored or not, I’m quite happy with the results. As for the router, it can be found here on Amazon.

GoPro and Lighting Fixture From EMT Conduit

clamp-intro-1Sometimes ideas come together with the right parts to create something unexpected. After receiving a sample of Maker Pipe parts to examine, I procured several lengths of 3/4 inch EMT conduit to use it with. These parts are very much in their infancy, so it’s really cool to get a preview of this construction tool.

As cool as they are, after cutting conduit to the right length, it hit me that this type of conduit could instead be used with clamp lights to create an overhead lighting fixture. Though I sometimes wonder why I have so many unfinished projects, I immediately set this project aside to attach one of these pipes to my ceiling. The results can be seen in the video below:

Though I haven’t yet made the pipe cube I originally intended to, I did end up using Maker Pipe parts in this project. Someone had mentioned that another angle (or two actually) for my videos would improve the presentation. As seen in the second half of the video, I used this connection hardware to attach another piece of pipe vertically, creating a great mount for my GoPro camera.

The downside to my setup, with cord holding the conduit to the ceiling, is that the fixture tends to sway ever so slightly. Probably not a big deal for lighting, but it can be distracting while filming. Perhaps if I let it settle down for a while before things start, that would help.

I suppose not-quite-perfection what happens when inspiration strikes for a second time when your project is nearly done! You can see overhead video results at around 3:40. Not perfect, but it should make a fun new angle.

I’m curious as to what people think about my voice narration versus subtitles on this video. If you have an opinion, please let me know here or on the video comments! Also, any comments about the very end would be welcome too!

Make a Simple Dust Collection Box

preview-imageRecently I saw a downdraft suction box used to collect fine dust sanding somewhere online and thought I could make it very simply with 2x4s and plywood. Using some scraps of each that I had around my garage, here’s what I came up with:

Though after production, this came out to be a 7:00 video, you can probably figure out the basics from the picture above. A few details that might not be especially evident come at around 2:00, where I cut two offset holes to allow my Rigid vacuum nozzle to fit properly, and around 3:00, where screws are used in a sort of non-traditional way to retain the top.

Results are shown at the end, and it appears to be somewhat effective, if not “vortex-like.” I should note that this could also likely be used for vacuum forming, where thin material is heated, then sucked around another part. I haven’t tried the process myself, but it definitely seems to have its uses.

For another take on this design, here’s a suction box that looks slightly more complicated to build, but features an angle on the inside to help channel the vortex. Perhaps the results would have been better with that inside. It wouldn’t have been too hard to add to my build, but I was trying to make the simplest build possible (OK, I perhaps the machine screws weren’t that simple) so this is “left as an exercise to the reader.”

I put a lot of work into producing this video, so hopefully you like the results. I started putting things on YouTube to simply host it for this site, but I’ve been trying to put quite a bit more effort into production etc. I’d encourage you to subscribe there to see what other videos come out of “JCP!”

On another note, I’m thinking of changing around my YouTube playlist format to hopefully make things easier to find and play. Please let me know what you think about the video in the comments below, or perhaps via Twitter here! As always, thanks for reading and watching!