The shank cutter router is a useful assistant. We agreed on that in our previous articles. Using a router table, in which you fasten your router upside down, makes its applicability and ease of work even better.
The assembly is not difficult
The table itself comes disassembled, with a detailed instruction manual. Get some coffee, a moment of peace, and it’ll be up in no time. An extra pair of hands may be handy, but not absolutely necessary.
Strong and stable
The table is made so that its base is wide and robust. That makes it fundamentally different from simple smaller tables with a small base and base rulers. The middle section, to which the router is fastened upside down, comprises a solid, rib-reinforced profiled casting with guide grooves. The angle ruler helps guide the stock, but of course you need to attach it correctly.
Stable sheet steel legs are fastened to the table base. They too have reinforcing embossments for longer life and better stability.
Large area, comfortable working
The large area is a plus for router tables. Longer mouldings or stock that you are going to work on will not tilt over and will glide easily. The uni-max table belongs precisely to this category.
The base area, which is certainly not small with its dimensions 61 x 36 cm, is further extended with two side wings, comprising side add-ons sized 21 x 36 cm. The total size of the working area is then 103 x 36 cm, which make a good workplace. Smaller tables have the working areas only 43 x 40 cm, which is almost two and a half time less. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, though. Deciding what table or router to buy, consider particularly what you need them for and how often.
Thanks to its size, the table has room for an integrated switch with two sockets with a dust-free design and a standardised stop button. One of the sockets will accommodate the router, the other one a vacuum cleaner. The master switch takes over the switching control, so there is no need to fumble for the switch under the table.
The top plastic cover is another good and safe assistant. It hides the rotating cutter and only rises when pushed by material, which is why its front is chamfered. The view of the cutting area is good even through the thick transparent acrylic glass. The cover diverts chips into the exhaust tube, preventing them from injuring your hands or eyes, and enhancing the capacity of the connected vacuum cleaner. It also prevents accidental contact with the cutter and defines the working area.
With this table, you can comfortably control all the features of the suspended router thanks the expanded side openings in the table legs. Worktables with insufficient or poorly designed access tend to provide less comfortable switching or setting. The taller legs and the overall table design even allow use of stronger, more powerful and larger routers. They, in turn, allow you to use their power for easily cutting deeper or more complex profiles or using cutters of larger diameters.
However, even a smaller tabletop will be enough for comfortable cutting of smaller items.
The table is so tall that it accommodates even tall and powerful routers and use of larger bit diameters for producing larger or more complex profiles or tenons, or things such as profiling for kitchen cabinet doors.
Using the shank cutter router in the table changes its method of use. It in fact turns into a smaller spindle moulder. The fundamental difference is that you now only move the stock towards the rotating blade of the cutter instead of holding the router in your hands while profiling stocks or rounding edges.
One or two routers?
If you use the table-mounted router frequently, it is not convenient to constantly remove it and fasten it again. You just loosen four screws, really, but it is eventually easier and more convenient to have two routers. One will be the stationary spindle moulder in the table, and the other one handheld, for free uses. You can use identical bits in both.
You can use the table with the side or lateral guides, or just keep the central router with a bearing or tracing ring. We will talk about that next time.