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!

Dog Clippers, a Phenomenal Payback

Evie Before Being Cut

Evie Before Being Cut

I recently moved to Florida from the also-not-that-cool state of South Carolina. Although it was the right thing for our family for several reasons, one member that was perhaps inconvenienced was our furriest child, “Evie.” Because of her long dog-hair, she’s not naturally that well-suited to 100 degree days with very high humidity. Her hair isn’t nearly as long as it eventually gets, but how would you like to have to wear a sweater around in that kind of temperature?

Even in cooler South Carolina, we had her professionally cut and groomed, but at around $60 each time, it’s not cheap. In order not to put this off now that we are in Florida, and potentially save some money, I bought a pair of clippers for under $30 on Amazon. A few days for shipping and something like a half-hour of work later, it looked like I had sheared a sheep and I could at least wait another month or so to take our first daughter to the groomer.


Evie happily resting on the cool tile floor after a haircut!

Literally, an instant 200% payback. If I were to save 12 visits to the groomer a year, that would represent a savings of $720, or a yearly payback of 2400%! Add to that the fact that I get to spend some quality dog-time with her, and I’d say its been well worth it.

Now, in reality, we will probably still take her to the groomer every couple of months to get her nails trimmed and other “stuff,” done, and she seems to need cutting only every 1.5 months. Also, the job I do is not as good as a professional groomer, but Evie seems to be cooler, and isn’t self conscious about her somewhat slipshod haircut. All that being said, even if we cut that payback in half, the clipper was a great investment!


After shearing our sheep dog the second time

Evie, or course, is a valuable member of the production team, shown below helping test out the StrandMaus:

For another cost-saving idea, here’s a post I wrote on the economics of fixing things yourself. I’m all about things like this that save money on a monthly basis, and much prefer to choose how money gets spent on an individual purchase basis.

I should note that you might be thinking, “Why not cut your own hair with this as well.” The thought has obviously crossed my mind, but given that my haircuts are much cheaper than Evie’s and that I have to interact with the public at least every few days, it seems worth it. It’s tough trying to keep yourself in the zone between “frugal” and “cheap,” and in my case, it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.