Router Table Parts & Features Explained: Our Essential Guide For Users

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

A router table is one of the essential tools and additions you can add to your arsenal when doing woodworking. While you can do many things using a router, securing in a router table further enhances your precision, productivity, and safety. Plus, the list of processes you can accomplish using the router table is endless. In this post, let’s look at the router tables parts and accessories and how they all contribute to providing the given advantages.

 

What Are The Basic Router Table Parts?

router table complete set

 

Though there may be different models of router tables available, most of them will consist of the same router table parts. The only thing that would differ is where these parts will be located on your tool. Nevertheless, each of which functions heavily on providing you a better routing experience.

 

Insert plate

 

The insert place is the part that holds your handheld-router in the router table. You can secure your router by using screws and mounting it in the center of the table top.

 

Table guard

woodworker using router table

The guard is a plastic cover responsible for preventing your hands from delving into cutter when you start to work. This part goes straight over the router bit and also helps in directing dust and wood chippings under the table or behind the fence.

 

Table fence

 

The fence is used in guiding and supporting workpieces as they move towards the cutter. This thin and straight board is placed vertically on the table top. It helps in providing accuracy by letting you control the positioning and shape of your cut.

   

Mitre gauge slot

table saw with mitre gauge

This router table part is specifically designed to hold the mitre gauge and enables it to move within the table. It runs parallel across the end of the table. Larger tables may more numbers of this part. The mitre fence is utilized together with other accessories used for guiding cutting.

 

No-volt release switches

 

Power buttons are now becoming a standard feature for the latest woodworking power tools. Routers are plugged into these no-volt release (NVR) switches serves as safety mechanisms. It cuts the flow of electric current going to the device should there be any power outage. That means if electricity comes back at any given time, the router will not operate automatically.

 

Router table dust extraction port

 

This port is where dust extraction hoses can be placed. Located behind the fence and the guard, this helps in effectively clearing almost all types of debris accumulated when you are working. There are accessories you can use to help fit various hose sizes in the port. Never use a conventional household vacuum on this port. It is advised to use ones specifically for extracting dust brought by woodworking.

 

What Are the Accessories Available For Router Tables?

 

You can also use accessories on your router table to help you with different tasks. Some manufacturers included them handily on your purchase but some, accessories are needed to be bought separately. In this section, get ready to know what are the available accessories for your router table:

 

Mitre gauge

 

The mitre gauge, alternatively called as mitre fence, is placed on  the mitre gauge slot. It is composed of a pivoting fence and a long rod, somewhat resembling a protractor. This accessory is utilized is guiding materials when making angled or straight cuts and has adjustable stops with a 5-degrees scale pitch usually at -45, 90, and +45 degree.

 

Lead-on-pin

 

The lead-on-pin, or starting pin or shoulder pin, is an accessory utilized whenever you are routing without using any fence guide that supports the material as it goes along the cutter. This accessory also functions like a fulcrum that enables you to turn the workpiece to the cutter when cutting curves. Lead on pins normally are secured into the holes located on the insert plate and are usually 10mm (⅜”) to 13mm (½”) long.

 

Insert rings

 

Also called as the insert plate ring or reducer ring, this accessory is used in the insert plate to alter the dimensions of the holes in the center of the latter to enable usage of various sizes of bits or cutters. Using this accessory to minimize the size of the cutter opening results to lesser chippings and dust that can go into the router.

 

Router table finger pressures  

 

This accessory is used to prevent the material from being reflected when moving across the guide fences towards the cutter. Also called as side pressures or top pressures, these accessories hold the workpiece adjoined to the table or opposed to the guide fence and typically have fingers or tines that would deliberately press material forward. It provides extra support and ensures more precise and cleaner cuts.

 

Router stop blocks

 

Stops blocks are utilized if you only want to work on a particular length or part of the workpiece. The accessory prevents the material from going through the router table top. Calculating the space between the stop block’s edge and cutter’s end will give you the length of the resulting product.

 

Router table push tools

 

Push tools are accessories designed to provide distance between the cutter and your hands without hugely affecting your control over the direction and feed rate of your workpiece. There are various types of this accessory available in the market most can be function regardless if there is a guide fence or none. Push tools are often used on smaller work pieces.

 

Collet extension

 

This accessory is used when you want to extend the cutter height when used on a router table. Majority of the variations of collet extensions will allow you to maximize the router bit height to more than 2” (50mm). Collet extensions are installed the same process how router bits or cutters are fixed.

 

Conclusion

 

Having a router table surely enhances your accuracy, speed of work and safety. However, it doesn’t end on just purchase one. Feel free to know and understand its components and the accessories you can use on it so you can maximize its advantages.