Tips for Using a Horizontal Router Table

April 16, 2020
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When it comes to routers and router tables plans, the most common type is actually the vertical router table design, which means that the router is underneath the table with the bit pointing upwards. A horizontal table is actually less common, but for certain purposes, it can be a good choice.

Of course, it can still do all the things that a vertical table can do, just slightly differently and your benchtop router table still needs a number of features to get the job done, such as a router lift, a router plate, router table fence, dust collection with a dust port, and a jig for your router table plan.

For most people, however, this woodwork plan is going to be a little more difficult and a little stranger unless you’re working on things like a horizontal mortise, slot mortiser, or other special angled joints. Just check out how to make it work for you.

Though less common, a horizontal router table can still be a great tool to add to your collection. It provides you with plenty of options and even allows you to do a lot of the same things you would with your vertical router table, just with the router flipped a different way.

So, just how do you go about using the table? Well, that’s going to be the fun part of the entire experience. What’s really great is you don’t need to use auxiliary fences, jigs or multiple feather boards to get a lot of the same results as you would with a vertical router table.

There are some important things to keep in mind with this type of table and reasons why it’s actually a great option for you. The first is that it’s actually a lightweight table in many instances because it sits on top of a set of legs instead of being attached to a full table.

That means it’s easier to transport this type of table (though you can get larger and more elaborate versions that are heavier and designed to stay in one place). You can choose which type of table is going to work out the best for you and your workshop or whatever you’re planning to do in it.

Another benefit is that you’ll be able to route widestock materials, without having to worry so much about how you’re going to manage. With a vertical table you have to stand your pieces up on their side to route but, with a horizontal one, you don’t have to do that because the bit is in the bottom. So your widestock pieces are routed while laying down, making the entire process a whole lot easier and a whole lot safer at the same time. It is easy to move the piece of wood to cut.

When you route anything you’re also going to be pushing it from the left to the right because the router is oriented in the same way it would be (or similar at least) to what you would be using if you routed by hand. This makes it easier to use because it’s exactly what you’re used to. Not only that but the router itself is mounted on the back of the table, rather than underneath.

This makes it a whole lot easier to access and a whole lot easier to adjust at the same time.Rather than having to reach under the table to uninstall your router, you can simply take it off the back, making it very simple to swap out whatever bit you’re using and even easier to adjust the height of the bit or anything else that you want.

You can even easily reach the switch to turn your router on and off, making it much simpler than installing the router through an electronic system built into the table (like many other router tables do). Just reach around the back and you’ll be ready to go (or not go).

Because the router is sideways, the bit is also hidden by the table. That means you don’t have to worry as much about potential injury. The router bit being hidden keeps you a whole lot safer while you’re moving pieces of wood over it and when you’re working with the router itself as well. You raise the router bit up and down to get a different cut and make sure it’s deep enough for what you want, but you aren’t going to have the end exposed at any point, which is definitely a whole lot safer than what you would find otherwise.

The main thing to keep in mind when you’re using a horizontal table is that it’s actually a whole lot more like using a handheld system, except you’re moving the wood instead of the router. You’ll be able to easily adjust whatever you need directly on the router without needing a lift or anything else to help you with the process. You’ll also be able to slide the material across the router in the same way you would normally slide the router across the wood, which is more common and more comfortable for most people.

No matter what your plans are for your router, you can definitely find some great features with either version. A vertical router table is going to be the more common one for most people, but the horizontal one is definitely going to provide you with some unique capabilities and features.

You’ll see just how great it really is when you get a chance to try one out for yourself, so make sure you don’t miss out on that. See how your projects really change when it comes to using this totally unique benchtop router table.

Whether you’re planning on building your own or purchasing a pre-built option, you’re definitely going to see a lot of things improve when you’ve had the chance to look at these tables and the routers that go with them, because you can use whatever you want.

The most important thing is that you’re creating a really nice project and that you’re getting something that you can really enjoy. So get out there and try your router table, no matter which one you decide you want, and don’t miss out on the cool things that you can do when it comes to woodworking if you have this type of table available.

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