The Router Table Insert Plate
A router table insert plate is used to hold your router while you are using it. You can use a standard router table or a custom made one. A good quality one will last longer than cheap ones, but they aren’t always available. If you want to buy one now, then go ahead!
But if you have some money left over from other projects, then why not save yourself time and money?
You can get a router table insert plate from any hardware store. They usually cost around $10-$20, but you don’t need to spend much to make one. There are many ways to make them, so let’s see what we’ll do today…
How To Cut A Router Table Insert Plate
1) First of all, you need to decide which side of the plate you want to put your router on. I would recommend putting it on the right side because that way you won’t have to move your hand when cutting something with a straight edge.
2) Next, you need to determine where you want the center line of your router bit. Most people just place their finger at the point where they want to start and draw a circle there. However, I prefer to draw my circle first and then measure out a spot near my finger. Most times, the top of the plate is going to be better because it will protect your workpiece when you’re cutting it.
2) Next up, you need to determine where you want your holes to go. Sometimes there are two options here; either just drill straight through both sides of the plate (as shown in picture), or you can create a notch at each end (as shown in picture). I find this method makes the plate more centered.
3) Next, you want to drill a hole in the plate that matches the size of the router bit. You can use a regular power drill or you can use a small bit and make it bigger by screwing in a larger bit. Whichever way you do it, make sure your hole is slightly larger than your bit because you still need to add adhesive in there.
4) Now comes the fun part! Take out your favorite lube and apply it liberally around the inside of the hole. Next, take out whatever adhesive you can find and fill up that hole. It is best to use a brush or something similar to make sure all the little nooks and crannies get filled up with adhesive.
5) After a sufficient amount of time has passed (see package for details), take out the insert. You will find that it is stuck fast to the plate. If it isn’t, then you need to try again or throw it away and try to make a new one.
6) Use a router (or whatever tool you like) and cut out the plate. You now have a custom made router plate! Just place it wherever you want it to go, add some screws or nails to the underside of the plate and you’re good to go.
Now that you have your custom made router plate, it’s time to get creative! I’m sure there are many things you can make by using this plate.
6) Now you need to cut the insert plate to size. Do this by clamping your workpiece into a vise and then use your dremel or jigsaw or whatever you usually do. Just be sure to take it slow to make sure you make a straight cut.
7) After this step, you should have something that looks like this.
8) The final thing is to drill some holes in the plate so you can bolt it into place. The easiest way to do this is to just put it where you want it, then drill the holes and finally bolt it down.
And that’s it! You now have a custom plate that you made yourself! (From something else that you made yourself!)
Now it’s time to get creative. I’m sure there are many, many things you can make with this insert plate.
I hope this Instructable was helpful to you. I just wanted to note one thing: when I made my plate, I bought a Kreg Jig for my drill. It’s the same idea as the plate but it has preset holes in it so you don’t have to measure and mark and drill them yourself. I used the Kreg Jig to make my plate because I am more familiar with it rather than using a plain old drill.
You can buy a Kreg Jig at many hardware or home improvement stores. They usually range from $30-$70 depending on the type you want. If you already have a drilling system that works for you then by all means use that! Also, if you can find an insert plate at your local hardware store, that would probably be the easiest way to go. Good luck and have fun!
By the way, here’s my custom insert plate that I made. It holds my router, drill bits, attachments, and even parts for my jigsaw!
You can also use this plate to make a dado blade attachment. It takes a bit of measuring and some test fitting, but it’s really easy to do. I’ll leave that to you to figure out!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Router table sled (EC Tucker, SK Jones, L Sevack – US Patent 5,890,524, 1999 – Google Patents)
- Router table top (EC Tucker, L Sevack, LG Lee – US Patent 5,715,880, 1998 – Google Patents)
- Router dust collection assembly (R Keenan – US Patent 7,905,260, 2011 – Google Patents)
- Router table (IJ Ferdinand, R Sylvan, M Peterson – US Patent 4,484,608, 1984 – Google Patents)
- Router baseplate and table (EC Tucker, L Sevack – US Patent 5,725,038, 1998 – Google Patents)
- Router table (AL Bassett – US Patent 4,679,606, 1987 – Google Patents)
- Flexible router height-adjustment mechanism (R Mulvihill – US Patent 5,590,989, 1997 – Google Patents)