More finishing touches for the router table
With the drawer mounted, I placed the drawer front in front of it and used spacers to position it just right. I then screwed the front on through the mounting holes for the drawer handles to fix that position in place.
After that I opened the drawer and clamped some blocks to the top corners to help get the drawer front in the exact same position later.
After the glue dried, I finally nailed on the drawer bottom. I usually nail the bottom on earlier in the process, but held off making the bottom until I knew how it worked out with my remaining plywood. As it turned out, the piece was not quite big enough, so I had to splice a piece on(you can see the two extra pieces of plywood glued on to tie the last 3 cm of plywood that I had to splice on.
Making a guard for the motorI figured this twisted piece of maple would was just right (as in, not "too good") for making the guard around the motor.
I joined the corners with box joints using my box joint jig. Not that box joints were necessary, just that with the box joint jig already set up, it was the most convenient way to join them. filmed cutting both box joints and it took three minutes and 22 seconds.
More balancing the blowerThen removing the blower unit from the cabinet. I also wanted to do some tweaking to the blower.
Looking in through the front of the blower (which is also the back of the cabinet) you can see a thin layer of plywood I added so that hte gap between the front of the impeller and the front cover is small. This prevents air from the high pressure side from flowing back to the low pressure side.
You can also see a nail clipped to one of the impeller blades for more balancing.
I rested the blower impeller on some soft fabric, and made it push against a thin strip of wood, which amplified the vibrations of the housing to make it more visible. Though with the impeller spinning at about 28 turns per second, and the camera recording at 30 frames per second, video aliasing made the vibrations look like gently waving back and forth.
I numbered my impeller blades 1-8, and experimented with putting weights in different positions, noting how much the whole thing vibrated each time. Once I found the positions that seemed to give the least vibrations, I bent the nails to a tighter U-shape so they would get stuck when I slid them over the edge of the impeller blades.
I glued two strips of wood against the back of the housing so that I could mount the guard without having to take the impeller off again. Those two strips also help to reinforce the back of the housing.
Then adding the electrical. The electrical simply consists of an extension cord with the "hot" interrupted by a switch. I soldered a short power cord to the leads of the motor to plug it in. I have gotten into the habit of always cutting the two leads at different lengths, so that the soldered connections aren't right next to each other and are less likely to short.
I could also have used this approach, or just used a power bar.
Shortening the legsI found it annoying how the router table often rocks back and forth a bit on the floor. I checked that it's square by placing the cabinet on the table saw, and, indeed, one of the legs should be shortened by 1 mm. But I also realized I made the router table about 6 mm too tall, so I marked 6 mm up while it stood on the table saw, then shortened all the legs by that much.
After that, it rocked worse than before, so further tweaking was necessary.
But the cabinet rocked by much more than that in many positions while on the floor, so I guess it's mostly that the concrete floor isn't that flat.
Investigating dust flowFrom this test I knew that the cabinet let in quite a bit of air. I wanted to feel where the air was blowing in, so with the blower running, I squeezed into the dust compartment, closed the front and closed the small access door, then felt around to where air was blowing in.
Most of the air blowing in was between the top and the cabinet. The top is only screwed down in the corners, so it's not surprising that there is a slight gap in a few places. I'm not sure if it's worth doing anything about it.
Next I wanted to see to what extent dust was swirling around inside while routing. So I put a camera inside a box, with the front covered with plastic foil so I could film the inside without getting my camera all dusty.
The shavings mostly just fell down, it wasn't too windy inside the cabinet. At any rate, much less windy inside than this one. But the airflow into this cabinet was also much less.
But that would be quite tricky, especially because the router also has air inlets on the side, and the speed control is on the back of the router.
Looking at my other routers, it wouldn't be any easier with those either. But fortunately, it doesn't look like this is necessary.
Of course, it's better to suck away the chips right at the top of the router, like I did when I made lots of baseboards, or curved trim, but with a tilting router lift, that requires a different configuration depending on the setup. Having the whole router in the dust enclosure is much more flexible, but it does put the router in the dust.
Tilting router lift (2012)
Building a dust collector (2018)