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Old 09-03-2017, 04:37 AM   #2211
highup
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This afternoon, I cut about 7 or 8 linear feet of 1/4" aluminum plate in my table saw as a starting point to build a router lift for my new router. Now I have 4 rectangular pieces. Part 1 makes the table insert, the part you see mounted into the table top.
Pieces 2 and 3 will make the router holder and movable elevation parts. Piece number four will be have 4 threaded rods that will connect to the top piece. The threaded rods serve as guides for the elevator part holding the router. If all works out as planned, I'll be able to adjust the router bit up and down in very tiny increments if needed. My brain has been hurting lately from all the design work. There are commercial lifts, but they are usually for larger routers, like 3 1/2 hp models and are spendy. The DIY models I see on the internet are made out of wood. That seems silly because I'd think wood guides will swell and shrink throughout the year. I've got about $45 invested in the aluminum plate material and a tad less in the rest of the parts......... so far. Hope this sucker works when I get it finished.


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Last edited by highup; 09-03-2017 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:52 PM   #2212
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What kind of blade are you using?



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Old 09-03-2017, 09:05 PM   #2213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarisMulkin View Post
What kind of blade are you using?



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A 40 tooth carbide combo blade... Metal cutting blade is $60 and a regular carbide blade is...
...oh wait, I already had one on the saw.
I used the heavy blade instead of a thin kerf figuring it could make straighter cuts. Aluminum cuts like frozen butter. Just went slow and easy.
I made a sammich with plywood screwed to my wooden saw table. I raised the saw blade up through the plywood. That protected the table and also stopped vibration and noise a little bit.
Next, I adjusted the blade upwards another 3/8" so I'm cutting 1/4" plate with 3/8" blade height above my base plywood level.
I used another smaller scrap sheet of plywood on top
of the aluminum........ with that 3/8" cut height, the blade can't protrude through the top layer of my sammich. That top sheet of plywood stops chips from flying in your face. Still, you MUST wear eye protection because metal shavings are a lot sharper than sawdust.
I also soaked the metal on both sides and the plywood cover sheet with with WD-40 before running it through the saw. I lubed the fence with WD-40 too.
I also put a 10X12 sheet of painters plastic and a 6 by 8 foot carpet scrap under the saw to contain most of the shrapnel. It did a really good job.
The cuts are as accurate as cutting wood but you can see the blade rotation marks in it 'cause it's shiny. It makes for a nearly machined edge on the aluminum with only some minor bur filing required afterwards.
Now I'm onto getting the pieces lined up and temporarily fastened together so I can drill through all the pieces at the same time for accuracy. I need super duper accuracy so that all 4 threaded rods used to line up the elevator are perfectly parallel. The elevator thingy holds the router and allows it to move straight up and down with zero horizontal wobble.
My ideas are morphing slightly as I proceed, but the basic design is the same.
I'm gaining, but very slow in committing to each step so I don't screw anything up.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:23 AM   #2214
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Safety alert with the aluminum plate cutting.
I mentioned screwing a piece of 1/2" plywood to my wood saw table, then raising the saw blade 3/8 of an inch up through a scrap of plywood. Mainly to dampen the noise control the shavings, but also so I could soak the plywood with WD-40 to keep the blade lubed.

That worked fine for cutting a 12" wide piece off of a 22" wide sheet of aluminum.
I discovered that with last nights plate cuttings, that one side of my table saw fence was out of square with the table.
I decided to re-cut the main 9x12 piece of metal that was out of square. I wanted to trim off about 1/8 of an inch of material. ...same width as my blade.
As a reminder, I ran my saw blade up through a piece of scrap plywood thus creating a zero gap in my blade and work surface.
...not so swift an idea.
Events slowly went awry
Ya see, cutting off this narrow 1/8" strip, the saw blade of course created a slight downward burr, which slowly dug into the plywood near the blade and steered my 1/4" aluminum away from the fence and into the blade.
I stopped pushing on the piece and held the metal plate firmly down against the table and unplugged the extension cord to my saw using my feet. I mean........ it's not like I could just let go of the metal as it was binding.
I wasn't in any danger. I was standing to the side of my fence. Worst case scenario might have been launching the 9" by 12" section of metal a few feet behind the saw. I had a plywood cap over that sheet of aluminum to eliminate the shrapnel from flying all over my face. Had I let loose of the metal and it had bound against the fence and stopped the blade, I suppose the saw motor could have been damaged from seizing.
I ended up re cutting a second time. another 1/8 inch. ......and this time I left a 1/8 gap between the blade and the plywood to prevent that small bur from digging into the plywood like before. I also proceeded three inches forward, then carefully backed the aluminum sheet out of the cut to re-spray the blade with WD-40. (blade still moving) then forward 3 inches, then slowly backed out again, re-sprayed the blade and finished the last 3 inches of the 9 inch cut.
From what I learned, is that backing out of a cut with this aluminum sheet is at least as safe if not safer than doing it with some 3/4" plywood. Just hold the piece steady against the fence as you push and keep everything doused with WD-40..... the blade, the fence and the table top surface so the metal slides easily.
I may do an MS Paint drawing to show the procedure more clearly.
So anyhow, I got's all 4 rectangles of aluminum (aluminium for you Jon) cut and stacked together and ready for marking the layout of the contraption.
With luck it won't look too much like a '"contraption" but more like a tool.
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Last edited by highup; 09-04-2017 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:19 PM   #2215
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Spongebob leaving the hurricane area.
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:30 PM   #2216
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Been siding my house the last few days .


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