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Thread: Power Feeder on Router table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
    804

    Power Feeder on Router table

    Anyone have any experiences that they want to tell me about putting a Power Feeder(Delta 1/4 hp) on router table(Bench Dog router table/cabinet- not cast iron)? I have read a few threads here and there, but am looking for tips/ideas that might make the whole process simpler and easier to use once I'm done.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Lowell,Michigan
    Posts
    324
    I made my fence board wide, that way I can mount the feeder to the fence. When adjusting depth of cut the feeder stays in position relative to the fence.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Fontucky, California
    Posts
    430

    Power feeder

    Please be careful. Lot's of forces involved and flexing or movement of the fence, table, feeder, or mount could end badly.

    When I was assembling the PF and hardware on my saw/shaper, I was shocked at how beefy they were. Then, I used them and understood why.

    PF's use lots of amps at low rpm and have massive amounts of torque.

    If anything get's sideways, always remember that darn PF will keep right on feeding stock and will not bog down or stop. Only way to get it to quit is to kill the power. Mine is 1 HP at 220V, so the small Delta may be more forgiving, but please don't underestimate it.

    Mounting it properly to a well secured base is critical. Don't be afraid to drill holes in the top, use backer boards and secure it with through bolts and lock nuts. Be mindful of your fence setup. The PF will wrench it right off the table if the stock catches on something.

    Regards,

    John

  4. #4
    If you are only going to use it on a router table or a small, light duty shaper, Look at the CoMatic 'Baby' stock feeder thats availible from various dealers. I've got one on my router table with a 3hp router and it's sized just right for it. Won't break the bank either.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    Posts
    1,393
    There are some light-duty power feeders on the market that will work on the router table. Several years ago Fine Woodworking magazine had a test of router bits. To insure consistency, they used a router table equipped with a feeder to get the same feed rate for all the bits. Just make sure to mount it securely to the table, and make sure the fence is locked tight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Ida, MI
    Posts
    10,919
    I put the Shop Fox version of the baby feeder on my table this past summer. The mount I made flexes more than I'd like. I'm probably going to build another new table because this one doesn't have enough room to accommodate the side crank mechanism from Woodpecker for my lift. If I do, I'm going to beef up that area.

    I've used it to run a bunch of molding. Very nice addition. I can run it slow and steady to get a good finish but don't have to worry about burns due to stops and starts as I reposition my hands.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hood Canal, Washington
    Posts
    1,023
    I'm with Mark. I have an 1/8 hp Baby feeder on my 1 1/2hp shaper and feel that it's a good match. These things have a surprising amount of power and they are much more compact than 1/4hp versions. Setup is completely different from other feeders but works fine once you get the hang of it. I wouldn't use it for production shaping I suppose, but I recently ran tongue and groove on 30+ 8' shelves and the feeder didn't complain.

    The cool thing about the 1/8 hp feeders is that they use a universal motor (very quiet btw) with variable speed and reverse.

    Feeders are great. They make a real difference in the quality of the cut, especially noticeable when making trim where you might normally get scallops or burning in the spots where you had to shift position while feeding by hand.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
    804
    I already have the feeder(DELTA 36-850 1/4-Horsepower). Bought it new from someone here on the Creek. They had bought more than 1 at a store closing.
    John, I am not sure what you meant by " I made my fence board wide, that way I can mount the feeder to the fence. " I have not seen them mounted to the fence. I thought they were usually mounted to a "back corner" of the table??
    I have a Bnech Dog floor model router table (not a cast iron top). I had thought I might put a rectangular/square steel plate on the undrside of the table where i mount the feeder for stability.
    Any thoughts on that?

    Jim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Topeka, KS
    Posts
    291
    I have the 1/8 HP baby feeder on my grizz 1.5 HP shaper and recently ran 3000 linear feet of flooring through (twice) for tongue and grooves. Agreed, feeders need to be mounted securely. If mounting to a wooden substrate router table, I would recommend steel backer plates or a framework under the table to keep flex to a minimum. I don't know how much life the baby feeder has left, but it performed flawlessly. Just keep the table well waxed so it doesn't work any harder than it has to.

    Ryan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    27

    power feeder

    Its great! i have a 1/4 hp on a steel router table, I should have done it years ago! No burned marks when I used to stop and reg-rip a long molding, hand free if well jigged up, speeds up the work, swivels out of the way super easy. I have the Powermatic version, well made, very heavy.
    I inage it may distort / bow the top of a bad supported wood router setup, so reinforce with steel. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    'over here' - Ireland
    Posts
    1,383
    Fine Woodworking ran a piece by a guy on the use of a Comatic Baby feeder (think they might have had it under a different name - it was this unit but maybe sold under another brand) on router tables. Probably a few years ago now, but it should come up fairly easily with a search in their back articles section on the website. Join up for 14 days free trial if you need to for access...

    ian

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Woodstock. Ont.
    Posts
    182

    Power Feeder

    Have a 1/4 hp feeder on my Jessem table. Works excellent and flex has not been a problem. The only problem has been that I mounted the feeder on the corner of the table when I should have moved it closed to the center of the table as the arm is extended to its full length to use it.

    Brian

  13. #13
    One suggestion would be to get a small shaper, like a Delta HD, which can be bought pretty cheap. (I bought two for 300 dollars). These machines are very serviceable, due to Richard on the OWWM site.

    You could mount the feeder on the cast iron shaper top, and have the router table fixed to the rear of the shaper- back to back so that the feeder could swing between the two.

    This seems like a good way. If you wanted to make some cabinet doors, the shaper could raise the panels, and the router could do the rails and stiles, and the feeder could feed both.

    Just a thought- you really don't want to damage your good router table by over stressing it. Feeders are pretty heavy, and at the end of a long arm.

  14. #14
    Jim, I have done exactly this. I added the 1/4 Delta PF to the 'standard' Benchdog top. First attempt was to put in in the left rear corner. Bad idea, not enough reach on the arm. It worked much better in the center location.

    IMAG0067.jpg

    There was a small bit of flex to the table, but not enough to cause any problems. I have since upgraded to the Benchdog cast iron table. Much better obviously, no flex what so ever. The added mass of the table helps the stability of the entire table.

    IMAG0065.jpg

    You'll see that I have an auxiliary mounting setup. That's because if the PF was permanently mounted, you couldn't remove the fence from the mounting slots without unscrewing the fence lock.

    It also makes the PF removable which is sometime helpful. It's really not that heavy.

    The only area of flex I have now is the fence. When using the PF to 'press' the workpiece against the fence, it flexes. To counteract that, I just clamp a support to the table, rear of the fence to prevent the lateral flex.

    If you didn't already know, the key thing to remember about setting up the PF is to make sure everything is tightened down. VERY TIGHT. As someone else mentioned, the torque and force it's able to exert is amazing.

    If you have any questions or need additional photos, let me know!

    Bob

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lewisville, NC
    Posts
    804
    Bob,
    Thanks for the feedback and pictures. That is the exact table and feeder that I have. I will take you advice about the "center position" mounting.
    I am going to stack a pair of 1/16th" thick steel plates that are 5" X 8" and put one layer on top of the table and one layer on the underside. I am thinking/hoping that this will spread out the pressure from the Power feeder and not distort the table top.
    What do you think?

    Jim

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