Sliding Top for Router Tables
Routing dadoes--grooves across the grain--poses several challenges, especially on narrow stock. Securing the workpiece, spacing the dadoes, and guiding the router straight over the stock become even more difficult on small workpieces.
This sliding top for your router table, from WOOD magazine reader C.E. Rannefeld, of Decatur, Ala., makes dado-routing easy. Start with a piece of 1/8"-thick tempered hardboard as wide as the front-to-back dimension of your router table and about 4" longer than the end-to-end distance. Attach a 1x2" guide bar across each end on the underside of the hardboard, locating them so the hardboard slides without excessive side play.
Chuck the straight bit for dadoing into the router. Raise the bit the distance above the hardboard equal to the depth you want the dado to be. Push the hardboard sliding tabletop into the bit, and cut a slot about halfway across the hardboard. Notch a 1x2" fence to clear the bit, and mount it at the back of the sliding top.
To rout dadoes, hold the workpiece firmly against the fence and slowly slide the tabletop across the bit. Add a stop-block for repetitive cuts.