Thought you fellas might get a kick out of my Router Boss mounted on a Shopsmith "Shorty" base.
I made this several years ago to use for my custom clock repair-and-construction business. Today was a cleaning day in the shop, and it occurred to me that someone might like to see this, so here you are.
For those of you who don't know, the Router Boss is a multi-functional router jig and milling tool that holds the router in place and moves the clamped piece of wood past the spinning bit to do the routing and joinery. I guess you could say it is a "super Wood Rat," for those of you who are familiar with those older machines. I absolutely love this machine. It is fast, safe, repeatable, incredibly accurate, almost dust free, and fun. It has been a huge help to me in making clock cases.
Typically, you mount the Router Boss to the wall, but by having it on the Shopsmith base, I can move the work to wherever is convenient for me. Sometimes it is a beautiful day and I move the whole job out into the sunlight and fresh air.
The base began life as a rust-bucket Mark V that I rescued from a barn with a leaky roof. I removed the froze-up headstock, rebuilt it, and used it for another project. Then I cut the tubes to make a Shorty, bought a second table off of eBay, cleaned up all the rust, and bolted everything together. The new casters let me roll the whole thing around with a fingertip. It works so great! Better than I could have ever hoped.
The black toolbox holds all the Router Boss accessories right at hand and visually balances the look of the whole assembly. I imagine it also helps to keep the Shorty steady on its feet (though the whole thing has always been as solid as a rock).
This was an easy enjoyable project that simplified my woodworking tasks and greatly improved the quality of my clocks. I think the philosophy of the Router Boss dovetails nicely (heh) with that of the Shopsmith, which to me has always been a customizable motorized woodworking jig. It's fun building hot-rodded Shopsmiths.
Even if you _don't_ copy what I did and mount a Router Boss, the Shopsmith Shorty base is a neat idea. I am already working on a design for a Shorty router table that uses one of these bases...
ps - I highly recommend using Penetrol on your base tubes and other rust-prone Shopsmith parts. Here in humid North-East Ohio, it never really dries out, and tools want to get rusty quickly in my unheated barn workshop. Penetrol stops rust dead in its tracks. I have tools that I wiped with Penetrol more than a decade ago and they are still shiny and free of rust. You should have seen this Shorty's tubes before I cleaned them up... they were brown with rust. I removed the rust and then wiped them down with the Penetrol and they have remained rust-free ever since.
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