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The Plate, Router Plate and Wings
|The main plate is a very substantial alloy sheet beautifully milled
and drilled. It measures 15 5/8" wide by 17 1/4" deep by ~9mm thick.
Mine is perfectly flat and square. It is fixed to the beam by two Allen
bolts and two countersunk screws. There is a very small tolerance on the
mounting holes to permit it to be tweaked and set at 90 degrees to the beam
face. Mine bolted up true without any need for adjustment.
This shot is of the underside where the two steel strips are fixed. These strips are for the magnetic attachment of the front dust extraction mouldings.
|The larger silver Phillips screws are for the magnet strips and the smaller ones are for the scales on the upper side.|
|This is the right hand scale which sits in a machined rebate in the plate. Set them both so the zero line is directly above the edge of the beam face. It is important to set them accurately.|
|The acrylic router plate is a hefty laminated structure 14.5 mm thick. It is CNC machined and needs to be that size to accommodate the laser heads. The thickness will have a detrimental penalty to the router plunge depth however, The Craftsman Gallery do sell a specially developed quick change chuck for the DeWalt 625 which will restore matters. Details here.|
|Here the laser cross hairs and illuminating lights are on. The laser beams are not the thinnest but they are sharp. Of course, they are permanently set to the bit centre and can't be adjusted. They should be fine to centring onto a line.|
|This is the battery box which takes two AA sized dry cells.|
|The black plastic guide rails can be set like this for straight
North/ South travel of the router plate. Mine had about one millimetre
of play when set like this though.
There are alloy rails available as an extra which would probably be better plus they have slots to mount travel stops.
The red arrow points to the elongated binding bolt holes and the blue arrow points to the scale window.
|The rails are mounted the other way around to make use of the angled wings. This system is used for dovetail or angle cutting. The adjustable wings combined with the re-positional main plate can give angled cuts up to 30 degrees either side of centre.|
|When the wings are used the plastic rails must be set level with the edge of the main plate as shown here.|
|The manual contains a chart which is referenced to set the rail position against the scales. This is dependant upon angle and bit size.|
|Angles are set by placing locating pins through the wings into receiving holes in the rails.|
|These are 'Binding Bolts' which are used as pivots to secure the angled wings onto the plastic rails. Care must be taken not to over tighten them as they can break if heavy handed. I am not entirely happy with them and consider that it is one area that could be improved. When fitted to the rails and the rails fixed down the underside is not assessable. They depend on the star washers to prevent the female part from revolving when tightening. The geometry of the system requires that the rail fixing holes are elongated.|
|The left and right wings are the same therefore the numbers are
upside down on the right hand side. I spent an hour trying to work this
out before being confirmed by Lewis. Very embarrassing! They are
installed with the wider edge gap towards the router base as shown.
I did not find it too easy to locate the fixing pins into the holes below and there is nothing to stop the wings lifting on the extremes of travel.
OK this is perhaps an unfair comment until I fully test the system on some wood and hope I am proven wrong. The pins can be a little resistant to removal for my arthritic fingers.. I think I may make a simple pulling tool to grip them in their head grooves.
|The left side shown here set in the zero degree position.
Note the numbers are vertically correct here. On this system there is no sideways play on the router plate at all. In fact I think it will need some lubrication for smooth travel until it 'runs in'.
|There are four countersunk bolts in the kit. The longer ones fit in the plate and the shorter ones are for the fence.|
|The plate can fixed at an angle to the Box Beam as shown. Use this
for making mortises for louvered door rails?
For normal mounting two Allen bolts and two countersunk bolts are used.
|Adjustable front and rear stops and router plate locking knobs fitted here.|
Coming next, fitting the router to the router plate and setting up the plunge assist bars...................................
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