I am using my router more and more these days, it is just such an incredibly versatile woodworking tool. However, all this extra use combined with increasing Anno Domini, means that prolonged routing sessions have been taking a serious toll on my ageing back.
The problem is that a conventional woodworking bench or table is at the wrong height for most routing work, as you usually need to get down lower to check the action at the cutting edge. This obviously necessitates a lot of bending and stooping and you are also often working semi-prone with the router extended at arm´s length, not the ideal situation from an ergonomic point of view. I am over 6 feet tall and was really beginning to feel the strain of all this, particularly when working with the heavy-duty router.
Coupled to the physical problems, is the difficulty of holding the work securely on a conventional bench, which often has a deep fronted apron and is also very wide, making it difficult to get clamps to hold in the right place. You always seem to end up clamping and re-clamping the work several times just to make a single cut.
After yet another back aching session, I decided enough was enough and resolved to make a dedicated routing bench, incorporating a range of features deigned specifically for use with the router. For a start it needed to be very much taller so that I could always be working at elbow height. Secondly, it needed to be long and narrow with plenty of overhang on the top to allow easy clamping anywhere along the surface. The work holding capabilities were to be further enhanced by the addition of a tail vice and rows of holes that would take standard straight or adjustable dogs, or even a hold down. A very good range of these devices is produced by Veritas, all of them having standard 5/8" diameter shanks, so they are all interchangeable anywhere on the bench.