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A Universal Bench Mount

Like most of you, my workshop (garage) is really full and I am constantly re-arranging my machines to search for that elusive extra space. The recently acquired Router Boss is fitted with the largest sliding bar and this has proven to be problematical for my limited wall space. I finally decided that it would have to come off the wall  and sit on my workbench with the other small machines like the Drill Press, Sander, Mini-Mill, Mortiser etc.

Freeing up the wall space meant that I could re-arrange my other machines which are all on castors in a more efficient way but how was I going to use the RB? Well I think I have found the solution which came to me by way of a threaded insert! I quickly made up a mount from some scrap plywood and am pleased with the result which is suitable for both the 'Rat and RB.

 

Mount2 This is the little chap that set the ideas rolling. It is an eight mm threaded, screw-in insert. I got mine I think, from Screwfix. They are available in different sizes and you could try Trend or Axminster Tools. You drill the correct size hole and just screw them into the support or bench using an Allen key. Should be simple but no, they are little s*** to get in square to the surface and need the help of a heavy persuader (hammer) to seat them before the external threads begin to bite properly. That is the reason for the slightly chewed workbench.
Here is the Router Boss sat on the mounting and pushed to the back of the workbench next to the drill press. This leaves me with working room to the front.
The first mount I made was a little taller but this proved to be a bit unstable when not fixed down.
The wooden structure held in the clamp is one of my universal work holders which works very well in the RB.
Mount1
Mount3 Here it is pulled to the front and locked down. The mount overhangs the edge of the bench a bit so the clamped work clears the drawer handles underneath. More by luck than judgement the working height has proven to be satisfactory.
There is room underneath to store bits and pieces and in the picture above you can see I have already made a fancy box with a sliding lid plus there is room for more.
Here it is and very simple to knock up. The main structure is 10 inches high by 21 inches wide by 11 1/2 inches deep. I used 24 mm Maple plywood but only because I had some scraps spare. Any stiff board would do. The WoodRat or Router Boss will fit. Mount4
Mount5 Underneath I screwed on some melamine faced MDF to make an easy slide surface and arranged that 8 mm screw knobs pass through little ears into the inserts set into the bench top. The deeper you can make the base the more stable it will be but it is a compromise between space and stability.
I did drill down and tapped  a third fixing hole into the steel strip on the bench front as shown but found it not really necessary.
These are the rear vertical supports. At the moment they are square at the top but I am going to dish them so that the rear dust extraction pipe can be pulled from the channel and stored there on top. That will save some space.
Perhaps a good sanding and some varnish would make it look a bit better but it'll do for now.
When screwed down the whole thing becomes rock solid. The end result is a considerable space saving at the expense of having to set two holding knobs before use. A small table saw now occupies the space that was left by the RB.

Note!!! Don't try lifting the whole assembly by grabbing the 'Rat/RB. I found what happens the hard way!
Mount6

 

 


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