New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert" 1



New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert" 1
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
Last week, I posted this picture with the announcement
that Beth and I would be starting a new project an
"Insert Plate Garage.'
This is what started the idea some months ago. Marc
Sommerfeld sent me a new product, the new Pocket-Pro
Joinery System developed by Marc and CMT (photo is
from CMT's website.) I have used it on a number of
projects but simply clamped the base to a worktable.
But this picture intrigued me. Since these insert plates
are so well made and fit so exactly, I asked myself the
question: "What other shop tasks could use this concept?"
I shared my thoughts with Beth. It didn't take long to
look at how we use the router table I came up with a
practical need for 5 insert plates. And, if I need this many
plates, I also need a garage for them one that would keep
the tools safe and sound.
Beth starts by measuring the tools that we will mount
on insert plates. You can see the CMT/Sommerfeld
Raised Panel Set in the center of the picture. I am
planning the "garage" around that product and the tasks
of making raised panel doors. I want to include the
following insert plates:
1) large router with speed control for the large raised
panel bit; 2 and 3) 2 smaller routers for the rail and stile
bits; 4) the Porter Cable Portable Oscillating Spindle
Sander (already mounted at the right) and 5) the CMT/
Sommerfeld Pocket-Pro Joinery set, far right.
Choosing the right router is going to be a bit of a task.
Beth is holding the PC 690. It is a gem of a router that I
have used for years, but it works only at the speed of
22,000 rpm great for a lot of routing jobs, but too fast for
the rail and stile bits which, because of their width,
should be run at 13,000 rpm.
This Porter Cable plunge router model (PC 8529) is a
recent addition to their lineup and sports a 2hp motor
and has variable speed and a soft start. In the back
ground you can see that I have one unit already mounted
in the insert. It has the same hole sizing as the PC690
which makes it easy to change models.
This is the Porter Cable Portable Oscillating Spindle
Sander which I mounted during the week. I used 1/2"
Finnform which is absolutely great for this use.
I used a number of router "copying techniques" to
make this insert. I did photograph most of the steps, so
here they are.
I have cut a piece of Finnform (see source below) on the
table saw using another insert to set the fence distances
exactly to the insert dimensions. Using an 80 tooth cabinet
blade gave me a very smooth edge.
I am trying to figure out where the sander would be
located on the plate. Since the sander is long, I decided to
place the hole offset so that the unit will "fit." The
number "1" is at the Porter Cable accessory that I am
using to mark the hole position. I could also use the base
("2") which I have removed. I thought I would be leaving
the base off, but I see that it is an integral part of the
unit's dust collection system and belongs on.
I have used some double face tape to fix the base
adapter to the Finnform and am now drilling the holes
that will hold the router.
Well, I got wrapped up with what I was doing and did
not photograph some small tasks in between. What I did
was use the holes to attach the black adapter to the base
and then used the router with a pattern bit to follow the
plastic adapter. It took only a few minutes to make an
exact copy of the hole. I also used one of the other plates
and the pattern bit to rout the corners exactly.
I am holding the final product it is perfect. But, I will
admit, the other plate on the bench is the earlier attempt.
I countersunk the holes on the wrong side I don't want
you to think that I don't make mistakes.
Beth was admiring the "perfect" fit and then she tried
to place it in the top. It fit perfectly, but there is not
enough room under the top for the sander. I will either
have to remount the sander or remove the small cabinet
inserts underneath the top.
This is what it looks like. I had built these storage areas
to fit the Hitachi M12V exactly. Since they are installed
with pocket hole screws, I should be able to remove them
and trim them down to allow the new equipment to fit.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
Between the two of us, the measurements have been
checked and rechecked a number of times. We want the
sides and back to have grooves cut in them to the depth of
I want the insert plates to have only 1/8" play so that
they can slide in and out easily but no more. I do not want
the equipment to be able to fall out of the slots. To be
certain of our "math", I have used a scrap piece to cut to
the lengths. I have also cut some grooves with the router
set at exactly 3/8" depth. Beth slides one of the plates in a
groove and checks the fit. It is fine.
I was going to use lock miter joints but opted instead to
butt the back into the sides and use the Pocket-Pro to give
me a number of screw locations. They will be from the
back and therefore not seen. Time to cut the panel.
I bought a fresh sheet of birch ply and have laid it out
on my work table. With the two sides and back all being
the same length, Beth starts by putting the Festool guide
rail in position for the crosscut.
She has set the saw's plunge depth to be about 1/4"
deeper than the plywood. If you recall, the work table is
made up of a sheet of A/D plywood topped with a 1" thick
piece of foam. The extra depth of cut then only cuts into
the foam. It is a great system for handling these large
panels. With the Festool saw cutting exactly to the guide
rail edge, it makes for extremely accurate cuts.
To setup the guide rail for the cutting of the sides, Beth
uses one of the "sample" side pieces for length and uses a
1/8" brass spacer to set the guide and allow for the blade
She makes the cut. She makes all three cuts using this
Beth is setting up the edge bander and will apply the
veneer edging to the front edges of the side pieces. Can
you guess why we do that now?
Here is part of the answer. Beth is clamping the three
pieces together . The arrow points to the boards that have
iron-on veneer. She is attaching a clamp guide that will
position the router for making the 3/8" deep dados. I am
hoping that by clamping the veneered edges like this, that
veneer chip out will be nil I hope.
Beth has installed a 3/4" mortising bit. This bit is
similar to a straight bit except that the bottom of the
cutters are straight across. This gives a groove with a very
flat bottom.
She has plunged the bit to just "kiss" the ply and then is
using a 3/8" brass spacer to set the plunge stop. The
router's plunge scale is easy to use and is accurate, but I
like to use these spacers when I can.
Beth makes the groove in two passes plunging a bit at a
time. By the way, the Bessey K-body clamp is used to hold
the three pieces tightly together. She will move the guide
rail clamp for each of the grooves. The K-bodies assure
her that there is no board shifting when she repositions
the guide rail.
Next week, we will have this finished and will try all
the tools in their slots. We will also add a French cleat on
the back so that we can hang the garage. And, we can
start using it.... yeah!
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
While Beth was away, I worked on the grooving. I
wanted each groove to be 2" away from the last. There
must be a clever math way to do it, but I couldn't figure it
out, so I simply marked a 2" point.
The jig is made of one piece that fits into the groove
and the top piece which is ripped to the 2-inch marks I
just made. Not "rocket-science" but it worked.
So with the "jig" in the last groove I cut, I move the
guide clamp up until it firmly touches the jig and clamp it
in place.
I remove the jig and route a new groove with the router
base against the clamp guide.
Well the grooving is going well but oh so slow. The
mortising bit can overheat easily, so I am making each
groove in several shallow passes. One of the problems
with using mortising or straight bits is that when you take
the cut in steps, it is only the bottom tip that does all the
I finally wised up and installed an up-spiral 1/2"
diameter bit in a second router. I will make the first cut
with it and follow with the 3/4" mortising bit. The upspiral is only 1/2" I don't have any larger. But it still
worked fine. I was able to make one pass with the spiral
at full 3/8" depth and follow with the 3/4" mortising bit at
full depth. Both bits worked without any strain and the
final groove was smooth with very little "fuzzing."
Even with the vacuum attached to the 2nd router, there
was a lot of sawdust to suck up.
Beth is back and inspecting my progress.
Do you remember that we used iron-on edge banding
before the grooving. This is why. We clamped the edges
together, and they served as perfect "backups" to each
other and there is literally zero tearout at the notches. A
little hand sanding is all that is needed. If we had not
done this, the edging would be torn up in many places.
Beth runs a block plane over the edges to make them
"picture perfect."
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
The garage isn't done but we can already start to use
the CMT table insert concept. Beth places the CMT
Pocket-Pro into place.
We are using pocket screw joinery so Beth places the
back on the jig. The board is large and flexible right now,
but the table handles it perfectly.
Beth drills holes every 8 inches or so she just makes
sure that the hole is positioned where there is wood, not a
When she starts to assemble the unit, she uses a scrap
piece of plywood to make sure that the grooves are
aligned before screwing the assembly in place.
Once both ends are aligned and clamped, Beth loosens
one end and moves the back away just enough to apply
some glue.
She has glued the other end, then repositioned the back
and is now driving screws home. The pocket screws are 1
1/4" coarse thread and pull each section together for
some nice glue squeeze out.
With the one side fastened to the back, she applies glue
to the other side. Note, that it is resting on the black right
angle guides that she has clamped in place to help her
position the side.
With the side in position, she can start driving the
pocket screws in place.
With the three sides assembled, Beth has carefully
measured and cut two pieces that will be glued and
screwed at the top and bottom.
She goes back to the Pocket-Pro and drills some holes
for attaching these pieces.
With the top in place, she has added a piece of edge
banding and is now sanding the edges. There will be a top
to cover these pocket holes and on the bottom, they will
be down and resting on the base.
Beth has cut a scrap piece of plywood to about 1 1/2"
wider than the case and is installing 4" casters. You can
see that she has rounded the corners, run the slotting bit
and has added the black plastic "bumper." She is using
machine screws which, when tightened, are pulled into
the top just enough to be flat against the base.
The machine screws were 1/2" too long, and she cut off
the excess with a hacksaw. Now the casters swivel freely.
She positions it on the case and will attach with some
wood screws.
It is looking good. We have to mount two more routers
and then we can figure out the real position of each unit.
For sure, we will want the heavier units at the bottom. I
think we will also have space for a sliding drawer or two.
Also, we will create a simple way to manage the power
cords so they don't hang down and get combobbled* with
the other cords..
It will be fun to have it finished and ready for testing a
cabinet door project, maybe. For sure, this unit is built to
be used.
* combobbled - I know, my spell check didn't have it
either, but it is very descriptive, isn't it?
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
During the week, I worked a bit on the garage. Here I
am cutting Baltic birch with a green phenolic covering. If
you recall, I have been using "Finnform" a similar
product but red covered, from Woodpeckers. This
material is green and is carried at Woodcraft.
I am cutting it to the exact dimensions of the CMT
insert (arrow.) I will cut two.
I have made a sandwich of the CMT insert and the two
pieces I just cut. I have them clamped together which is
fine for the work at the drill press. Here, I am drilling a
small hole through the leveler positions.
The arrow shows the one bolt I have threaded through
the entire stack. I am cutting threads in the hole at the
other end for another bolt.
I am installing a 2" high 1/2" diameter pattern bearing
bit. The router is a mid-range one (2hp Porter Cable
7529.) It has a shaft lock so using a single wrench works
Making the duplicates couldn't be easier. The bearing
guides on the top plate and cuts the other two plates to
the exact same shape corners and all.
I have centered the router's base plate on the sandwich
and am back at the drill press to drill the three holes that
fix the router to the plate.
This is the final insert plate for the small routers. I am
using the PorterCable 690LRVS. I have had my regular
690s for years. But they run at 22,000 rpm just too fast
for the rail and stile bits that are about 1 7/8" in
diameter. According to the CMT guide, the speed for that
size bit should be 18,000rpm. The new model has speed
adjustments of 10,000 to 27,500.
You can see that I drilled a different hole size than the
CMT plate. I decided to use a 2" Forstner and make the
holes that size. For my use here, that is a good size hole
and doesn't need any adapters.
Beth is here and starts a new task. She will be the first
to use the insert garage by making a two panel door for
the unit. I have some padauk and figured maple which we
will use for the doors.
Beth starts by setting up roller stands at both the in and
outfeed sides of the Delta 13" planer.
I will have to get some good hose clamps. In the
meantime, Beth connects the dust collection hose to the
dust port of the planer.
She tightens the clamp on the portable dust collector.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
She turns the planer on and adjusts the speed to the
finishing speed. This is the slower speed, but it should be
better for running the figured maple through it.
Beth uses a small caliper to measure the board
thickness. The arrow points to the machine's height
window. We have no experience to know how accurate
the machine gauge is so we will use the hand calipers this
time. Beth measures about 1 1/16", and she wants to end
up with a thickness of 3/4" exactly.
She feeds the board into the planner. We have run
several boards through the planer with this setup and
have experienced no snipe.
It didn't take all that much time for Beth to get to the
final thickness of 3/4". That is exactly what she now
At the table saw, Beth has installed a CMT rip blade
and set the GripTite fence in place. With these magnetic
hold downs set so that they just "kiss" the boards, she can
feed the board through the saw blade and have no
kickback. She is cutting new edges on the board.
She cuts the boards in thirds at the CMS.
She measures the three boards as they would be in a
single panel. The width is just right and the fit of the
boards is excellent no further jointing is necessary.
She applies glue to the maple edges. The arrow is
directed at the maple board I had glued up earlier. These
maple pieces will be the raised panels for our doors.
Beth lightly taps the rubber mallet to even up the
boards as she applies a little pressure to the clamps. After
this coaxing, the panel is real smooth.
With her glue-up in the clamps and drying, she turns to
the panel that was clamped up the day before. She uses a
paint scraper to remove a small amount of glue squeezeout.
Beth uses the Festool Rotex 150 sander/polisher to
sand the glued up panels. While every effort was made to
glue the boards evenly, there is always a minor bit of
sanding required. Beth is using 80 grit sandpaper and has
switched the unit to a more aggressive sanding action. It
doesn't take long in this mode to smooth out any
With the panel evened out, she changes the sander's
action to random orbital.
With the sander in the random orbital mode, Beth can
sand the entire surface to get any swirls out. In this mode,
the sander is easy to operate it almost glides across the
With the panel done, Beth checks the program that I
used to create dimensions for all the components of the
doors. I used Raised Panel Doors, Ver. 5. It has never let
me down. She has a printout that will allow her to cut all
the elements to the right size. Their website is listed below.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
In preparation for crosscutting the rails and stiles,
Beth is installing a CMT 80 tooth cabinet maker's blade
it gives the smoothest crosscuts in the shop.
Beth has placed the Incra 5000 cross cut sled in place on
the table saw and is checking for alignment.
She has set the Incra Stop to the exact measurement of
the rails. With this set, it is easy for her to cut the four
pieces. The rails and stiles will be made of padauk
lumber. I very carefully, planed the board and cut the
widths in preparation for Beth's visit.
She makes one last check of the measurements.
At the garage, Beth looks over the CMT/Sommerfeld
Ogee Cabinet Making Set. This is a great set that I have
used over the past few years. The raised panel cutter has
a back cutter so that you cut the panel with the precise
edge to fit the groove of the rail and stile.
She slides out the insert with the coping bit.
This is where we quit for the day. Next week we will
show the Insert Garage in full swing.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
Well, a new week for work on the "Garage." It is time
to select routers. The arrow points to one of my PC690's.
It has been a favorite workhorse for years. Unfortunately,
at a fixed speed of 22,000 rpm, I couldn't use it with many
of the router bits that I used.
I asked the good people at Porter Cable to suggest
models that would work. They did better than that. They
sent me three routers that they felt would be right for the
Garage concept.
The one on the left, is a new variable speed model of the
690. It is the PC690LRVS. It has 1 3/4hp motor with soft
start and variable speed. The middle one is the PC7529. It
is a plunge router with 2hp and variable speed and soft
start. The third router is heavy and heavy duty. It is the
PC 7539 a plunge router with 3 1/4hp and five speed and
soft start.
Beth and I will try to give each of these a fair trial.
Without a doubt, the variable speed 690 should work
well for the rail and stile bits.
The two rail and stile bits are just under 2" each so the
recommended speed is 18,000 rpm. (CMT's speed chart)
We will be using one of the "green" inserts which we
made with 2" holes. The bit will fit exactly and no
additional adapter plate will be necessary.
I usually put a 1/2" diameter O-ring in the bottom of
the collet. Marc Sommerfeld tells me that he now uses one
of the CMT Panalign Strips. Beth has done that here.
The lower arrow shows one of these strips. The arrow at
the left is a strip folded over and stuffed into the base of
the collet. Whether you use a strip or an O-ring, the key
thing is not to install a bit "bottomed out."
It is easiest to change bits in this router with the motor
removed. Also, note that Beth has positioned the two
wrenches so that she can grip them with one hand and
use a scissors type of tightening action. This method can
prevent a lot of bruised knuckles.
Still out of the table, Beth can adjust the height of the
coping bit so that the "lip" is about 1/8" high. She uses a
Formica chip to help her set this height. One chip is about
1/16" so she guessimates twice that. This setting doesn't
have to be exact, but it is the measurement from which all
other cuts must match.
Beth also adjusts the speed dial to the three position.
Have you ever had thoughts about what would happen
if you accidentally plugged an "ON" router into a live
outlet? Scary. I found a short extension cord with a neon
installed in the outlet. The arrow shows it on. If it is on, it
has power to it and I do not want to plug the router in.
Beth checks and adjusts the level of the plate.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
Beth uses the adjustable square to align the fence with the
bit's bearing .
She has adjusted both fences to give her about 1/8"
clearance on both sides. As a last minute check, Beth
rotates the bit manually to ensure that it clears the fence.
Using a push pad, Beth routes a sample.
Remember the 1/8" lip she wanted and set the router
for? Here is that lip. It is very important to have that.
It took Beth less than 3 minutes to make the cuts in all eight
ends of the rails.
Before she changes routers or bits, Beth uses this handy
gauge to measure the router bit's height. She is measuring
the top of the post. While "matched sets" usually allow us
to measure heights from the bottom, I assume we can also
measure from the top.
Beth puts back the router with the cope bit (1) and takes out
the router with the matched profiling bit (2). What could be
For this first time, she carefully adjusts the router
height to the height gauge she set from the profile router.
And, once again she sets the fence to the bits bearing. She
could have put stops in place for setting the fence, but this way
seems easy enough.
To run the rails, she presses the coped end into the push
block which she has cut the profile in. It holds exactly and
minimizes tearout of the coped end. This is a real neat
trick we learned from Marc Sommerfeld.
With the push pad and rail together, Beth can make the
profile cut of the rail.
Running the longer stiles is easy. She just uses her left
hand and a safety push pad to hold the piece down and
against the fence and her right hand with a Stots push
shoe to move the piece safely through the cutter.
Beth does a quick test of a corner. It is perfect.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
The next step is to cut the panels. The software
program gave us the exact measurements, but Beth still
double checks the numbers. The frame is dry fit and the
measurements are easily made from "lip" to lip. This is
the same measurement that you would have if you were
measuring inside the groove. She will subtract 1/4" from
the measurement to have room for the Panalign Strips.
Beth carefully cuts the panel using the Incra 5000. You
can see at the right, she is using the Incra Stop which she
has set for the exact length she needs.
This time, Beth takes the midsize router from the
garage. It is the PorterCable 7529 a 2 hp plunge router.
In the past, I have used only the Hitachi M12V which
boasted a 3 1/2 hp motor. It will be interesting to see first
hand what this 2 hp unit will do, and if it is up to the
panel raising task.
This router is unique since it has available a height
adjustment knob (arrow.) Unfortunately this adjusts the
plunger's depth mechanism. This works quite well when
using it manually, but in the table, you have to plunge to
the new setting. Beth and I both found it difficult to apply
plunging pressure without pushing the insert plate out.
However, once this height is set, it can be locked and left
in if 2 horse power is enough.
Beth is routing the raised panel in four increments to
minimize the amount of work required from this router.
Staging the cut in that way, she was able to make the
sequence of cuts without exertion of the router.
We tried to make the cut in two moves as we would
normally do, and the router bogged down. This is maple
which is moderately hard. In red oak or ash, it would be
much less forgiving.
Beth examines the cut very closely. The final pass
cleaned up the cut and the panel looks very good.
Beth tries the new panel in the frame.
It is still just dry fit, but she can't resist looking at it in
place on the garage. It will look great with an oil finish.
A number of friends have asked if it makes sense to
spend so much money for figured maple and padauk for
"shop cabinets." I think so. For one, it gives Beth and me
some serious sampling of our craft. Secondly, we spend a
lot of time in the shop so why shouldn't it be the best that
we can make it.
Next week, we will try that big router of Porter Cable's.
I am hoping that the addition of a RouterRaizer will
allow it to be "tamed" for router table use. In any case,
we will be finished with the garage and on to some new
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
The starting point this week is the mounting of this
large PorterCable Router. It is the PC 7539 a plunge
router with 3 1/4hp and five speed and soft start. I know
that it will only work in the table if I add a RouterRaiser
lift mechanism to it. The RouterRaizer's instructions
include this model in its specification sheet, so that is
what I will do.
I have installed the RouterRaizer a number of times,
but all to the Hitachi M12V so I want to take my time and
follow each step of the instructions exactly.
The first step is to remove the plunge lock handle.
And then remove the bolt that is holding the spring.
This spring puts tension on the lock lever so that it is
normally closed. With the RouterRaizer, we want it to be
held open or at least not spring closed. The kit comes with
a replacement spring to be put in the original spring's
place (inset).
The replacement spring is in place and I am ready to
reinsert the plunge lock bolt. This is a reverse threaded
bolt, and you do not want to tighten it too much your
plunge will always be locked. So, tighten it until the
plunge is locked and then back the bolt out about 1/4 turn.
Next, With the router partially plunged and locked, I
remove the plunge guide.
Next, I release the plunge lock and pull the router body
straight up the plunge springs are released from the
plunge columns. This step was easy getting them back in
will be the challenge.
On the template page for this router, there is a small
outline which I am cutting to size.
The tiny template fits the curved housing exactly. I am
to drill a 1/2" hole at the mark. Using a 1/8" drill to start
makes the drilling more accurate.
I temporarily place the unit back on its base so I can
hold the assembly level at the drill press. Drilling the hole
is easy.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
The RouterRaizer instructions include a page with all
the parts shown in actual size. What I have done is to
place each part on its picture so that when it comes time
to install that part, there is no mix-up. If it seems like
there are a lot of parts, it is due to the fact that this one
kit can work on many different models. Some parts will
not be used in this installation. There are quite a few
small tools that are needed for the install. If you look
closely, some "tools" are sprayed a color. That, too, is for
mounting on a variety of routers. This is a well thought
out kit all you have to do is take one step at a time.
There are a few steps that can seem complicated. I
showed above how they make it simple to locate the
correct part. The illustration at the left is one of many
figures that illustrate specific assemblies.
By the way, if you have been tempted to add a
RouterRaizer to your router, you can read all the
instructions on their website. They are in PDF format and
are exactly the same as what comes with the kit. (there is
a link at the end of this story.)
Per the instructions, I have started the assembly of the
The next step is to remove the sub-base.
Next, I have to remove one of the two plunge posts. It is
held in by a short pin. The instructions say to use a
hammer to pound it out of there, and that is what I did
scary at first and then it started to move.
I have reinserted the post and am drilling for insertion
of two new pins. The arrow points to one of those freebie
drill size gauges I keep getting from one of the
subscription services. I hate to admit it, but it is useful at
With a hammer and a tool supplied in the kit, I am able
to put the shaft back with two pins that also come with
the kit.
I am preparing to put the plunge body back together. I
have placed the springs in the columns. The left spring
uses the black plastic rod that was in there originally
(arrow). On the nearer spring, I am inserting the brass
guide that is part of the kit.
The next step is to squeeze these two springs and get the
motor unit back on the columns. It takes two extra hands
in my case, Sal, who was shooting pictures is now helping
me put the two units together and therefore no picture.
With the router back together, it is time for me to cut
the gasket material. A precise template for this router is
available. The hole for the main shaft has been cut. I have
to cut the four holes for this router and then cut the inside
and outside shapes. It sounds easy except that the black
gasket material is thick and tough. Here I am taping the
template and gasket together.
I tried to cut the screw holes with a sharp knife, but it
wasn't working. Here is what I did successfully. I put the
gasket material between two blocks of wood. I placed the
template on top then I could drill the four holes and
hopefully have nice holes for the screws.
It worked. Now I have to cut the two large holes so that
the gasket is the shape of the router's base.
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
My next task is to drill the holes for attaching the insert
plate to the router. I want the plunge lock lever facing
front, and I want the RouterRaizer crank forward of the
fence. With these two criteria met, I am lucky to be able
to orient the plate that way.
I use the router's base plate to center the unit at the hole.
Having taped the base plate in position, I drill a screw
hole slightly larger than the one in the base plate.
I then carefully drill a countersink hole just deep
enough to hide the heads of the 5/16" bolts.
I have placed the gasket material in the sandwich of
router and insert plate.
I keep a Japanese kitchen knife in my toolbox for
cutting thick foam and insulation bats, and it seem
perfect for this task. I am trimming the inner circle of the
gasket material right flush with the inner router casting.
This difficult to cut material is trimmed easily this way.
Finally, on the outside circumference, I use the utility
knife and many cuts eventually the material gave up.
A day passes and Beth is here to continue working on
the panel door. She gives the panel a final sanding before
shaping the edges.
She brings the new router insert from the "garage."
And places it into the router table's opening. I have
previously set the bit height based on the door we did last
The CMT fence can be used with inserts or by just
sliding the individual fences. Since this bit will be used
often and the shape lends itself to making a special fence
insert, Beth sketches around the shape of the bit.
She has used a saber saw to shape the profile and now
manually rotates the bit to ensure that there is sufficient
clearance. It is fine, and she is ready to shape the raised
New Product - "CMT Router Table with Large Insert"
Beth has set the fence so that on this first cut only a
small portion of the back cutter is exposed. It is about the
half-way point of this bit.
For the second and final cut, Beth adjusts the fence so
that it is aligned with the bearing. After making this
adjustment, she checks again to see that the bit can make
one full revolution without hitting the fence insert.
She makes the final cut. She always starts with an end
grain and then rotates to the side and so on. This way,
any splintering of the end grain will be removed in the
side cut. She also makes a second pass on the final cut just
to smooth out and "polish" the final cut.
Beth inspects the cut, and it is perfect. Clearly the 3
1/2hp Porter Cable router is the right one for this large
In preparation for clamping, Beth sets the K-body
clamps into the K-body blocks.
The blocks have shallow and deep slots. This allows one
clamp to be put in going one direction and the second
clamp to be held over the first and in the other direction.
They are meant for this operation of rail and stile door
assembly. What is really nice, is that once setup, the
clamps don't flop over but stay upright and ready.
Beth spreads yellow carpenter's glue over the rail's end.
There is a lot of good gluing surface in this joint, so she
wants to brush the glue in and make full use of it. There
will be no metal fasteners used here.
Beth inserts one Panalign Strip into the end rail and
two in each side stile. These will be compressed by the
raised panel and allow some seasonal shifting without
forcing the frame. If you recall, she allowed for 1/4" in
both directions for these flexible strips.
She clamps the assembly. The clamps going the long
direction are tightened just enough so that the rail/stile
corners are flush. The shorter clamps are tightened just
enough to bring the joint together. It is a nice system.
This is almost the last of the work on the insert garage.
Next week, we will hang the doors and put some coats of
clear gloss on both the doors and the garage itself. It will
give Beth a chance to use some HVLP equipment one
that we have never used.

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