Introduction: Router Table Fine Tune Depth Adjustment for $5

I have an old plunge router fixed to my 'portable' router table. While fine tuning the height of the router bit has always been a struggle, I never thought of trying to find a solution till I chanced upon this 'able by cnludwig (https://www.instructables.com/id/Plunge-Router-Tabl...).

While I really liked the idea, I knew it would be more effective if the contraption were to be attached to the table top so I wouldn't have to clamp the router table to a work bench. And of course, there was a cheaper, simpler solution that used a Jenga block...

Step 1: The Concept

The concept is simple:

  • There's a U-shape frame built around the router from scrap 3/4" plywood
  • In the center of the bottom of the U, a carriage bolt in bolted into a T-nut
  • The round head of the carriage bolt nestles in the opening of another T-nut that is fixed upside-down to the router itself
  • Turning the bolt raises or lowers the router

And as you will see, the execution was just as simple - the whole project took me less than 3 hours and that included the trip to HD.

What I bought:

  • 2 3/8" T-nuts
  • 1 3/8" 4" carriage bolt
  • 3/8" nut

I did buy 4 brackets but in hindsight, could easily have gone with pocket hole screws and glue, which would have been cheaper and probably stronger.

The 3/4" ply was scrap I had lying around and the Jenga block I 'borrowed' from my daughter's games.

Step 2: The Frame

The frame was built with 3/4" ply ripped to 2" width. Overall dimensions were specific to my router but as you can see from the pictures, none of this has to be super accurate.

The only place you have to be accurate is when aligning the 2 T-nuts (more on that shortly).

Step 3: Router Attachment

The 2nd T-nut is hammered into a Jenga block, which is stuck to the top (bottom?) of the router with double-sided tape. With this solution, there was no concern with blocking the air vents either.

Step 4: The Knob

I made the knob from 3"x3" 3/4" ply and attached the carriage bolt to it.

Step 5: The End Product

And that's all there is to it:

  • The frame's attached to the underside of the router table
  • The carriage bolt with the knob/handle gets bolted into the T-nut in the frame
  • The head of the carriage bolt is centered in the T-nut fixed to the Jenga block stuck to the router

Let me know your thoughts in the comments and what ideas you have to improve upon this!

Comments

author
vincent7520 (author)2016-11-01

Papa, gimme back y Jenga block … or else.

Thanks for posting ;))

author

Shhh... she hasn't noticed yet :-)

author
PatrickP70 (author)2016-10-20

An additional, free, benefit of this set-up -- assuming you used a 3/8-16 bolt, which would be standard -- is that each turn of your knob moves your router 1/16 inch, or each quarter turn moves it 1/64", for easy, rather precise, depth adjustments. I rather like your idea for the linkage as well. Is there a particular reason for the Jenga block, or is that just your thing?

author
Neeraj Juneja (author)PatrickP702016-10-20

That's an excellent idea - thanks for it! Let me now go mark the knob so I know how much I turned. I used the Jenga block because it was there i.e. just my thing.

author
cnludwig (author)2016-10-14

Nice improvement to the idea I put out there a few years ago. I hope it is working well for you!

author
Neeraj Juneja (author)cnludwig2016-10-14

Good to hear from you and thanks for the inspiration!

author
PhilEC (author)2016-10-10

About a year ago I faced the same problem. I already had a router
table and a bench to mount it on, but still had the problem of manually
lifting/lowering the router and locking it to height each time, a slow
and labourious task. To resolve this I made a cradle for the router with
the supports under the two handles. On the bottom shelf I mounted a
car scissor jack, and fixed a support pole between the jack and the base
of the cradle. Now I can adjust the router as fine as I want. I wish I
had seen yours earlier though.

author
Neeraj Juneja (author)PhilEC2016-10-10

That's another good idea - thanks for sharing.

author
acheide (author)2016-10-05

Thanks for showing such a straight forward and simple method.

author
Neeraj Juneja (author)acheide2016-10-05

You're welcome. Thanks for the note.

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