Hang a Router....Perfectly
Surfire router plate installation
By Jennifer Feist
Are you tempted by the
benefits of owning a router
table plate but hesitate to take the
plunge because of the hassles involved in
mounting it in your table? That’s understandable
because a poorly fit router table plate leads to endless
frustration.A loose fit makes it impossible to maintain a
consistent distance between your bit and fence. A plate
that’s set too high or too low in the rabbet creates catch
points for stock and makes depth-of-cut settings difficult.
Fortunately, you don’t have to put up with these headaches.
Here’s how to correctly install the plate for peak
If you’re still worried about approaching your immaculate
tabletop with a screaming router, do what I did and
practice the procedure on a piece of scrap first.You’ll need
a pattern bit (Photo 1), a jigsaw, a drill,double-stick tape and
some 1-in.-thick stock. (The 1-in. material can be made
from built-up sheet stock.)
1. Choose a
Click any image to view a larger version.
2. Make an exact
template using your
plate as a guide.We
used 1-in.-thick stock
to accommodate the
depth of the bit and the
bearing (Photo 3).
works great for holding
the boards in place
without making holes in
your router table top.
3. Set the bit
your plate as
of the plate.
4. Rout the
base to the
5. Rough cut the opening with a jigsaw. Be sure
to support the cutout so it can’t break off before
the cut is finished. Predrilling the corners helps
start the cut and makes cutting the corners easier.
Accurately Centering the
Router on the Plate
If you want to use template guide bushings with your router
table plate, the router must be mounted dead-on center, and
that’s not easy.
Rousseau has developed a
baseplate mounting system
that’s simple and accurate. The
bit includes a centering disc,
alignment pin, longer mounting
screws and pointed tapping
screws that accurately mark
where to drill your plate.This
system works with any plate that accepts 1-3/16-in. guide bushings.
Priced at $5, it’s well worth the headaches it saves!