A router table is a fine woodworking machine that you can use as a jointer, edge trimmer, lock-miter, and groover that you can use to with long, narrow, or small stock to create raised panel doors and more. There are also several types of router tables, each has a special feature that makes it perfect for certain woodworking projects.
The vertical router table is the more conventional type, while the horizontal router table is more uncommon but is known to have more versatility. There’s also a hybrid between the two that combines their functions to make the perfect router table.
A Vertical Router Table
A vertical router table is a woodworking machine that features a vertical fence, against which the work piece is guided to control the horizontal depth of cut. This type of router table usually has the router’s base embedded in a table top, usually hanging from an insert plate.
This router table works by molding a profile into a piece of wood with its spindle that can be spun at speeds typically between 3000 and 24,000 rpm. You can easily use a vertical router table to cut mortises and dowel holes.
Though the main difference between a vertical and horizontal router table is their areas of specialty, the vertical router table is deemed to be safer to use for cutting raised panels since it is equipped with smaller bits.
A Horizontal Router Table
A horizontal router table similarly works like a vertical router table. The only difference is that the router base is completely perpendicular to the table unlike the one in the vertical router table.
This means that you will have to put your wood pieces flat on the surface, making this type of router table perfect for projects that require you to use large wood pieces.
When using a horizontal table, you will be putting your wood pieces on the table top, making the pieces more stable than it is when being stood up. Horizontal router tables make it easy to cut tenons on long wood pieces because it will have you lay the wood on its face against the miter gauge.
What’s more is that a horizontal router table does not require the use of auxiliary fences, multiple feather boards and jigs when crafting angled cute or angled joinery.
You can use a horizontal router table to easily cut arches for doors, make edge treatments, dovetails, and finger joints as well.
A Hybrid Router Table
What’s great about router tables is that they’re fairly easy to make. Because of so, many people just make their own hybrid router tables that offer all of the special functions that both a horizontal and vertical router table can offer.
Joining the two types of router tables together will provide you with a tilting table that will enable you to shape angled tenons, panel raising, joinery cutting, and other shaping procedures that wouldn’t work on a normal router table.
A hybrid router table has a base with an oversized bottom that can make it easy for you to clamp it atop your work table. It also has a pivoting router plate that can provide you with a mount that will work with pretty much any standard router.
The hybrid router table’s pivoting plate can also adjust the bit’s cutting depth up and down. What’s more is that the table’s top is attached to the base with plywood compasses that have radiused slots that will let the top tilt from flat up to 45 degrees. Hybrid router tables can also contain a standard miter gauge that you can use for end-routing.
You can easily use a hybrid router table for both vertical and horizontal router table projects by setting the table to your preferred tilt angle. You can also adjust the actual depth of the cut by adjusting router plate and pivoting it up and down before you lock it in place.
If you are planning on creating wood pieces that require both basic router table procedures and difficult angled cuts or modified profiles, a hybrid router table will surely help you do the job.
A Quick Recap
There are several types of router tables you can use, each has their own special area of function. Vertical router tables are best for cutting dowel holes, mortises.
While a horizontal router table works best for making door arches, dovetails, and for cutting larger and longer wood pieces. There are also hybrids between the two types of router tables that can offer you versatile functions that no normal router table can do.
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