• Router Table – Handibot Style

    by  • February 11, 2016 • Projects • 2 Comments

    For a while now, I have been thinking about flipping a Handibot over and have the bit pointing up like a router table. Mostly we think about using the Handibot like a smart hand drill, where we move the tool around a stationary work piece. With this upside down Handibot, I was thinking of it more like a smart chop saw, where a work piece is brought to the tool, and the tool operates on a small portion of the part. I went all out and made a whole bench with a reversible top. You can do the same thing with a piece of plywood and some saw horses. If you decide to go this route, I suggest you cut a 10.375″ X 9.25″ rectangle into the plywood for your router body to fit through. I used some wood screws to hold the Handibot’s base plate to the bench top, then I flipped the bench top over.

    The Handibot slung under my custom bench

    The Handibot slung under my bench

    Next, I lined up a board with the Y-axis of the Handibot’s motion and placed it at X=0. This fence makes it very easy to locate boards in the cutting area. Finally, I added some toggle clamps to the fence to make a quick hold down system. Since the toggle clamps are on the opposite side of the Handibot, I didn’t need to worry about the Handibot colliding with them during the cut.

    The bench top with the fence and toggle clamps installed

    The bench top with the fence and toggle clamps installed

    To cut, I just line up a board with the fence, clamp it down, and run the file. I threw a piece of plywood on top of the board and clamped the plywood, so I could get more clamps around the edges. If I knew I was only going to use one size board, I probably would have installed more toggle clamps into the bench top on the other side of the board.

    The hold down setup

    The hold down setup

    The project I’m cutting out is a set of coasters and a holder for the coasters. If you’ve come to training at ShopBot you might have seen a set hanging around. To cut all four coasters and the holder, I need to do multiple setups. Putting the Handibot upside down makes this pretty easy. I used a ruler to mark the board, moved it over a couple inches, then reset my clamps, and was ready to cut again.

    The board after all the cutting

    The board after all the cutting

    If you’re trying to cut something that needs many setups, this makes it easier since you can move the board instead of the Handibot—and you still have the flexibility that if you need to move the tool to a job (instead of the job to the tool), you can always unbolt the Handibot and use it as usual.



    2 Responses to Router Table – Handibot Style

    1. Brian Pearson
      February 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      Looks like a great approach, any chance the plans for the cabinet are posted? Also how have you handles dust collection? Besides the obvious gravity advantage, hose bib would be a must and the closing of the front and top. I would have to think tool change much easier as well but the zeroing of Z more difficult.

      Again looks great, would love to see plans and an update on the other items.



    2. Anthony Wong
      March 2, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Brian, I’m glad you like it. The design still needs some refinement. For instance, I forgot to put a hole in for power cords and had to cut that with the Handibot after the fact. The bigger issue is that it doesn’t nest very well. It took me two 4′ X 8′ sheets to cut it out, and there’s was a lot of wasted space. But I’ll see if I can clean up the VCarve file a bit and post that.

      Concerning dust collection, I didn’t do anything except for the gravity. The plywood board I threw on top with the clamps did a pretty good job of keeping the chips from flying around, but a small amount still got out the top. Also I specifically added a sloped board underneath the Handibot and an opening in the side so that the chips would slide out and onto the floor. It made a fairly neat pile on the floor. I’m toying with the idea of having some sort of hood that doubles as a dust enclosure and hold down, but that will take a bit more leg work.

      I didn’t find zeroing to be all that difficult. The z depth isn’t very critical for this project. When I normally use a Handibot, I visually zero it with a flashlight (I watch the shadow of the bit until it meets the tool tip) and that’s usually good enough. For this setup, I laid a piece of aluminum across the rectangular opening on the top and visually zeroed to that.

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