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The RB Riser Plate with Fences kit

The Router Boss is essentially an overhead router which has many advantages for most operations. However one disadvantage is that longer mouldings have to be manually passed by the router bit underneath the main plate. Known as profiling, this at first can appear to be a little disconcerting but fear not the humble 'router table kit' takes care of all the safety aspects for you. Of a rather clever design it's simplicity belies the uses it can be put to however the name 'Router Table' I think is a little misleading. It emulates an inverted router table in a way but is better viewed as a router fence kit.

Parts1 In the kit you get a riser plate which sits under the main alloy plate and can increase routing depth. A couple of MDF strips run along two short sections of T-slot to form adjustable sacrificial fences. Some fixing screws, knobs and bolts, a plastic feather board and a hog bristle brush complete the kit.
The riser plate is 3/4 inches thick and has elongated, precisely positioned holes drilled in it. The elongated holes permit some degree of fore/aft adjustment which is useful when combined with the Power Feed Work Holder.
Not shown but there are longer bolts for the main plate included in kit.
The green plastic feather board is held under the main plate with two knobs. The fences are 3/4 inch thick MDF and can be closed to any gap to either just clear your router bit or be closed altogether to make a zero clearance fence. They also of course, partially obstruct the dust chute but prevent any passing work from catching or falling in. By their nature they are sacrificial so I made a couple of pattern drawings so I could easily replace them at any time from hardwood. The oval nuts slide in the T tracks with the fences being secured by short pan headed screws. Parts2
Drilled Holes In the top photo you can see three long coarse threaded screws. These are specially designed for MDF/ Particle (chipboard) and will hold tight. Each short T- track strip is held by three screws.........however......
Hey, you at the back!!! ........Pay attention!!
Pre drill the holes or the MDF may split.
 
The track is now screwed to the riser plate edge and the oval fixing nuts inserted.
Now the MDF is thicker than the track is wide so you have to be careful when pre-drilling. Arrange for the top edge of the track to be flush with the upper surface of the riser. Any higher and the main plate will lay not lay flat upon the riser plate. If the track is at an angle the cheek faces will not meet square to each other. In my rush to assemble the kit I got it wrong the first time but luckily the track screw holes are not equally spaced so you can flip them over and get a second chance to fix it.
Track
Assembled
Adjustable fences
Here we are all assembled and ready to be installed.
The cheeks can be slid to any position to just clear the router bit or indeed closed altogether to give a zero clearance fit.
The riser plate is secured to the box channel by two flat headed screws which fit into elongated holes. This adjustment is important for when the fences are used in conjunction with other jigs but we will see more on that in some more reviews later. For now mount the plate with the fences against the channel face. Fixing bolt
Dove tailed the brush Now we come to the hog bristle brush.
Stop sniggering please!!
I know it appears to be.........well, a bit, how can I say, agricultural, but I find it to work very well indeed.

Using the Router Boss I ran a 10 degree dovetail slot down the back of the brush to slide onto an oak mount of the same thickness as the brush. I made it a loose fit and fixed it on with  hot melt glue.
This was my first chance to use a 10 degree sliding dovetail bit from a boxed set from the Craftsmangallery.
More on that at the end of this report.
It provided a very clean cut.
10 degree bit
Feather Board We are looking at the main plate underside and this is how the feather board fits. There are three locating hole positions and combined with the slotted board holes permits boards up to 4 1/4"  wide to pass underneath.
Important!!
Note the direction of the teeth. With an overhead router the work is passed from left to right.
Of course they will be looking the other way when the plate is flipped over and mounted.
Do not even try to pass the work opposite way.
In this shot I have a power feed work holder mounted which has a slight modification setting it about 1/8" away from the box beam face. The slotted holes in the riser plate permit enough adjustment to bring out the fences flush. Lined up
Medium position The brush held in the fences and raised to firmly support the passing work. The feather board set in the central mounting position.
Feather board set to the outer extreme so you could profile for example a skirting (base board) up to 4 1/4" wide. Maximum
Closest position Here I am passing a small one inch strip through the set up. Fingers are kept well away from the cutter and all is held well. I was initially sceptical about the efficiency of the brush but it does work proficiently and smoothly too.
I suppose you could pass a narrower strip through the "mill" with safety but I do not think I would be comfortable with that. Much better to profile a wider strip and then finally trim it to size on a table saw.
I found setting up the bit  plunge depth a little more tricky than on a router table due to the reduced visibility but this is off-set by the simplicity of pulling and setting the router base towards you for gradually increasing the cutting depth. Unlike top end router tables you cannot individually set the in-feed/out-feed fences and so I advise sticking to the use of bearing guided router bits as shown on the left. I was able to route with a non-bearing bit but for some reason did not feel so confident with it plus I got some minor sniping for the last inch of cut.
The work here is 3 inches wide which I thought was about the optimum size for profiling and band saw/table saw trimming afterwards.
Bearing
This large  1/4" shaft bit ran in the XL Quick Chuck with an adapter sleeve with just a little vibration.
The size meant I had to take successive cuts but forgot to re-adjust the feather board for the second pass.
Result: A slightly  wavy profile.
Bit 2

So there we have the Riser plate with Fences kit from the Craftsman Gallery priced at $54. Part number 12-260.

Pros:

A worthy addition to the Router Boss kit, it is well made and typically very strong. On its own the riser plate will give extra cutting depth providing you have a router with enough plunge capacity and long enough router bits.

Using the brush and feather board your fingers will be kept safe from the cutter and much thought has gone into making it adjustable.

The Router Boss manual has a drawing showing you how to make your own but why bother? The kit is not expensive plus you get all the longer screws and hardware with the feather board having a multitude of applications.

Real wood fences are very simple to make.

Cons:

The fences partially block the rear dust chute with the result that it is rather messy to use.

MDF fences require carbide tipped cutters if you want to make zero clearance cuts.

Take time to fit the T-Slots accurately for well fitting fences that line up properly.

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TCT Dovetail Bit Kit

"Our set of 7 TCT (carbide tipped) dovetail bits includes the sizes you are most likely to need. Use with real wood or man made material up to 1-1/4" in thickness. Contains five 8-degree (1-in-7 slope) bits for through and drawer dovetails and two 10-degree bits for sliding dovetails. All bits have an extra long 1/2" shank that is best for Router Boss.
Dimensions:

  • Width: 3/8", 8, Cutting Length: 1/2 "
  • Width: 7/16", 8, Cutting Length: 5/8 "
  • Width: 1/2", 8, Cutting Length: 13/16 "
  • Width: 11/16", 8, Cutting Length: 1"
  • Width: 13/16", 8, Cutting Length: 1-1/4"
  • Width: 9/16", 10 Cutting Length: 11/16 "
  • Width: 13/16", 10 Cutting Length: 1 "

Always use TCT dovetail bits when cutting man made material. Use the 10-degree bits for sliding dovetails. "

Bits
Bit Box This kit is presented in a rather splendid stained softwood box. The bits are held in a hard foam plastic base and well spaced to keep them safe from chipping.
The box lid seals well and the pack of silica gel inside should help keep the dreaded rust at bay.
They are I believe made in the far east but appear to be very well finished. The extra long  two inch shafts are very accurately ground and just slide into the XL Quick Chuck like silk.
Brilliant for that extra plunge depth.
I presume the coating is the standard PTFE non stick one and is evenly applied.
1/2" shafts are the premium size for any router bit and will fit directly into the collet of a DeWalt 625.
Coating
Tips The carbide thickness is not up to that of some industrial grade cutters that I have but is certainly 'scary' sharp and very finely brazed onto the body.
It would be interesting to know what grade the carbide actually is but I am sure it will be sufficient for my needs.

I have only used four so far and found the balance to be really good with very fine shavings and a clean cut when I  used them  on softwood which is sometimes a bit ragged when carbide cutters are used.
Only time will tell how robust they are.
The carbide tips are ground for a bottom cut and I found the larger diameter ones work just great for trimming end grain square with the Router Boss.

7 Pc TCT Dovetail Bit Set
Code:17-175
Price: $79.00

From the Craftsman Gallery

Pros:

At about $11.00 each for extra long specially produced carbide cutters in a good protective box has got to be a bargain.

Essential if you plan on working with man made boards or abrasive woods like Teak or Iroko.

A range of sizes suitable for most work.

Solid 1/2" shanks.

Cons:

Nothing really, perhaps the carbide could be a bit thicker.

What about metric sizes?




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