Compact routers are so versatile that manufacturers have started to create a whole range of accessories to harness this usefulness.
Veritas Compact Router Table
Once only thought of as laminate trimmers, they can accomplish so much more. Yes, they have less power and only a 1/4″ collet, but their smaller size makes for a safer and more controllable experience.
Veritas has jumped onboard the accessory bandwagon making a table and various attachments that are just plain smart. The heart of the unit is the table and base. Attachments include an adjustable fence with a see-through guard and quick adjust flip-stops. Baseplates can be bought depending on the manufacturer of your router, and for those odd installations, a blank plate is also available. There are several other attachments for the baseplate alone. A pair of knobs will allow you to freehand rout comfortably. There is also a fence that lets you reference the edge of a workpiece, as well as a centering kit that allows you to cut circles or arcs.
The kit comes flat packed and can be assembled in no time at all. The unit’s base is “C” shaped, making it a breeze to clamp to a larger surface. After removing your router’s baseplate, you mount it to the Veritas see-through plate using the same hardware. There are levelling screws built into the top that ensure a flat and flush surface after seating and securing it with two more screws. If you’re going to rout curves without the fence, one of these screws can be replaced with the included pivot post. The top and base are made out of 18mm Baltic birch plywood. The 15-1/2″ × 11-1/2″ top is covered with a durable, low-friction laminate.
If you opted for the fence, it rides in keyhole slots via a pair of T-bolts and knobs. The aluminum fence has a pair of sub-fences that are laminate-covered, like the top of the table, and can be slid closer in or farther out from the router bit being used. There are T-slots in the fence for attaching the flip-stops or your own shop-made jigs.
I like using my routers in tables, especially the larger varieties. I typically only use compact routers for freehand work as they’re much easier to handle and balance. However, why should I limit what I can do with this very versatile tool? I made a small modification to my table. I found in use that I would rather have the micro-adjust and quick-release clip of my router facing the front. It makes for easier adjustments and bit changes. However, this put some stress on the power cord as it hit the back panel when raised to full height. The quick and simple remedy was to cut a small slot making sure the cord wouldn’t kink. I think I’ll also head to the hardware store and replace some of the hardware with Robertson drive bolts. I’d prefer to have one style of screwdriver instead of several when adjusting equipment.
Veritas has done a great job with this table. From its ease of assembly to its practicality, it’s a smart way of extending the use of compact routers. The table and fence allow for the addition of shop-made jigs, and small details like the integral cord wrap proves a lot of thought went into its design. I’m not sure what else they could have done. Maybe offered it in the latest design colours coming out of Europe? Then again, maybe not.