This is the second article about my new 3-in-1 workstation for dremel-type rotary tools. It will come in handy when doing small operations, such as marquetry and luthier work in my case. Here you’ll find the first part.
I’ve built a robust fastening system, using a hose clamp, a thread of an old sharpening device that I’d never used. For the plunge system I thought about using drawer slides, but these have too much play.
With this steel rod and ball bearing bushing system, I’ve managed to almost completely avoid any looseness. This workstation could also be used with other bigger and more powerful routers.
If you are interested in making your own workstation or collaborating with my work, here you can buy and download the plans.
How to use a Rotary Tool Workstation:
I’m going to perform some tests to show you how it works. With the router at its highest part, we can mill pieces up to 140mm in height. I’m going to mill this piece of cherry wood to fasten a little hinge to it. I set the milling depth using the hinge itself as a reference. What I have in mind is to make a compound table for this workstation, which will make these kinds of straight milling operations easier.
Now I’ll try to make a truss rod cover for a guitar I built a few years ago. I’ll make a little engraving with the initials of my logo using motherpearl. I’ll lower the router and drill the inner holes of the letters. I finish cutting the letters with a coping saw.
I mark their outlines on a piece of wood and start cutting away at the wood. I’ll start with a 2mm bit, and then I’ll use a finer one for the corners. A few days ago I made a similar inlay with a homemade plunge base; both tools are perfect for the job. I’m not sure which one I’d choose!
Now I’ll glue on the letters with a mixture of epoxy and some shavings from wood of a similar color. I’m going to trim the cover to make it thinner. The workstation would be very useful in these kinds of milling jobs. I apply some DIY oil on the truss rod cover and screw it to the guitar’s headstock.
Now I’ll use the workstation’s router function. To do that I’ll have to remove its table and the height-adjusting knob. Finally, I’ll have to pull out the router table. Here I can make all kinds of cutting jobs using the multitude of bits available on the market. Of course, I can use all sorts of accessories, such as the drum sander.
Now I’ll show you the station’s lathe function. I’ll make a bridge pin for an acoustic guitar. This is the piece that holds the strings against the bridge, which sometimes breaks due to the high pressure it withstands. First I mark the centers on the wood. As an axis, I’ll use this accessory that comes with nearly every rotary tool to use with polishing wheels.
Since it’s threaded, I can hold the workpieces without putting too much strain on the router. I place the tailstock and the toolrest and select the speed. About 8000 rpm should be enough. I can use common carpentry chisels for turning. Little by little, I’ll give shape to the piece. I need to make a few homemade chisels with the exact shape for each part of the pin in order to speed up the process.
How to make a Rotary Tool Workstation:
Now I’ll show you how to build the station. I’ll pick up where I left off in the last video, which you can also find on my channel. I’ll leave a link at the end of the video. First I’ll cut the missing pieces following the cutting list. I make a groove on the sides to insert the aluminum square tubes on which the plunge system will slide.
With the 3D router I make the grooves that will allow me to lock the plunge system at the desired height. Now I’ll cut the base of the station, and after making the necessary holes and placing the threaded inserts, I can put together the frame of the tool.
I’m going to use some masking tape to leave a small gap so that the plunge system will slide better. I make sure everything is correct and apply some wood glue to achieve a stronger bond. After cutting the aluminum square, I stick it on the groove with some anchoring adhesive and I screw on the first lid of the workstation.
Now I’ll cut the second lid. First, I cut with the router and use the leftover round piece to use as part of the height-adjusting knob. I make a groove on the threaded spindle to lock it more tightly to the height-adjusting knob, and another groove to place the locking washer.
I cut the washer and place it on the groove I just made. Now, I’ll stick the spindle to the part of the knob I just cut with some polyurethane adhesive, and drive a steel nail to strengthen the bond. I insert the spindle in its t-nut and screw it again to the workstation lid. I also screw on the second top and the back.
With a hole saw, I make the other part of the height-adjusting knob. I’ll use a steel pipe, some washers and a self-locking nut. I cut one of the parts of the detachable base from a piece of plywood, and the other part from HPL.
Here we could also use plywood of a similar thickness. I predrill the holes for the screws that will allow this base to be attached and detached, and finally I glue the two pieces together.
From another piece of HPL, I cut the table for the router. I make the necessary holes and adjusting grooves with the 3D router. I’ll cut the fence from another piece of HPL.
I switch to a pointed router bit and predrill the position of the tailstock for the lathe mode. I install a threaded insert in the hole, I give a knob thread a pointed shape and check whether the tailstock is centered with the rotary tool.
Lastly, I’ll build a tool rest. After cutting and drilling all the parts, I put them together with glue and screws. It’s a very small set, so I have to be accurate if I want it to work properly. That’s all for today. See you soon!