December 27 2008 16:08
There are quite a few benefits to enclosing the lower portion of the router table. After I enclosed the lower portion on the router table, I wondered to myself why I hadn't done it years before.
- The best benefit is dust collection while mortising (or using another bit that directs dust down).
- The other benefit that I never considered was the fact that the router is much quieter.
The construction of my enlosure is simple. I made two identical squares out of 1 inch square stock. The upper and lower squares are connected with 1/4 hardboard on three sides (leaving the fourth side open for the access door.
The access door is 1/8 lexan connected to the enclosure with little nuts and bolts through a piano hinge. The access door has a pair of metal pads that engage magnatic catches mounted on the enclosure to the keep the door closed. Take care when drilling through the lexan - it has a tendancy to crack easily.
The enclosure needs to be vented so your router stays cool and your dust collection system isn't starved for air. I'm not sure my placement or amount of holes is optimal, but it seems to work okay.
The dust collection shroud you see in the bottom of the enclosure is marketed to fit the bottom of a contractors saw. It funnels into a 4 inch DC hose and works very nicely. The shroud comes oversized and I trimmed it to fit the size of my lower square. It sits on the ledge of the lower square and a couple of screws hold it in place.
The outside dimensions of my enclosure are as follows:
- 16 inches wide
- 14 inches deep
- 17 inches tall
The enclosure was built as a unit and is attached to the underside of the router table by screws that go through the upper square and into the underside of the router table.