Monday, July 14, 2008

A proud owner of a router!

Jim & I finished the crown moulding in the bathroom, caulked it, and painted it, and now it doesn't look bad - pretty good, I'd even say. But Jim grabbed the camera on his way out the door for his latest work trip, so I unfortunately have no pictures of that for you today.

I am also proud to announce that I have finally made a router purchase! I was contemplating buying a whole setup - with a table and everything. Jim reminded me that we are fast running out of "shop" room in the basement, and I should look into using the table saw.

This is the saw that I have:

It's nothing particularly special or fantastic, but it's pretty good as a beginner/hobby saw - which is what I need. It's a Ryobi BT3100. I got it at Homer a few years ago, but for some reason they no longer sell it.

If you look at the accessory table on the right, you can see a fairly large hole - this is where you can attach a router. I don't have any experience with routers, and I couldn't visualize how you attach a router to that table - especially when the router that we had was an old old one from Jim's grandfather. I did a little bit of searching, and found that you can purchase this accessory kit to mount a router:

It seems like the only key piece in that kit for attaching a router is that aluminum dog-eared plate. The kit is listed at $99 at Homer, and less at ebay auctions, but still seems like a lot when all I need is what looks like a simple plate.

More searching, and I found this site dedicated to the Ryobi BT3100. It's kinda funny to have an entire forum dedicated to a Ryobi table saw... But it was helpful. I got the reassurance that you can just fabricate your own aluminum plate - that the bottom of the accessory table has the shape you need molded into the metal. Then you can drill your own holes for whatever router you have or choose.

So with that knowledge in hand, I headed over to Rockler after work and picked up this little router:

It's a Porter Cable 892. Maybe it's more than I need, but after some research, it looked like I'd be wasting my time with less than 2hp, and this particular model has a way to crank the router up from above the table to more easily change bits.

Now, to begin my routing, Jim is going to fabricate that aluminum plate, and I have to wait for my special 120 degree v-groove bit to come in to do this job on the balusters. I have a feeling that everything - bit and flooring will come in all at once - probably on a weekend that I have no time. Or it's raining.

1 comment:

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I've got a BT3100, too. I'm not sure why they discontinued it.

It's ended up being the most expensive inexpensive saw out there - I blame bt3central for that. A couple blades, a Shark Guard (which I highly recommend), and an extra set of rails and the hardware to attach them. Once we have our house, I'm going to buy another BT3K, used, and combine the three sets of rails, using the second saw head for cutting dadoes.

If you have the space in your workshop, I strongly encourage you to get a second set of rails - it really helps to improve capacity. I've found that you can find these saws on Craigslist on a regular basis for about $125. Just a thought.