Top 5 Router Table Accessories

A router table is the most versatile piece of equipment in the wood-workers arsenal. Router tables open a whole world of endless wood-working possibilities for the experienced wood-worker. However, even the novice, within a few weeks of using the table can master a host of common woodworking procedures, including, edge trimming and template work, stopped cuts, dovetail and box joinery, making raised panel doors, Lock-miter, drawer lock, and finger joints and much more. You can read all the information from Router Table Pros. They are doing a great job covering all the latest information about router table reviews.

If you’re just starting out using a router table, or if you’ve been using one for a while plenty router table accessories can help you get the most of your table and your wood-working efforts. These Top 5 Router table accessories are guaranteed to make your work easier and more enjoyable.

router table accessories

1. Router Table Lifts: A router lift is a simple device that helps lift your router table so that you have better access to changing the bottom of the table. There are two kinds of router table lifts. One that lifts the table at right angles to the table stand, using a giant piano hinge and the other that uses a cranking mechanism to lift the entire router table top directly above the stand. Router table lifts are extremely useful accessories that not only make it easier to change bits and such but also make working on the table itself a less tedious process. One of the best router tables lifts are made by Kreg. You can read about kreg router table lifts from here. 

2. Insert Plates: Insert plates make working on the router table easier. Instead of having your router attached to the table top and essentially working underneath the table to make changes and adjustments, you can change the entire dynamic by adding an insert plate. With an insert plate, your router attaches to the plate and slips into an opening at the top of the table, which provides a more secure platform for working and allows you to work on top of the table by removing the plate (and attached router) whenever necessary. 

3. T-Tracks: T-tracks are versatile accessories that attach to the fence of the router table. They allow you to rout with greater accuracy and safety by making it easier to mount bit guards, feather boards, and other such useful items. Finally, they are fairly cheap. However, they come in varying degrees of thickness, which you will have to keep in mind when you mount one on the fence of your router table.

4. Featherboards: Router bits spin at incredible speeds with some spinning at 22000 RPM. When you’re running blocks of wood past a bit at those speeds, it is always best to be careful and to take all the precautions you can to prevent kickback, especially in your direction. Featherboards apply pressure to the wood that keeps it secure and in place, thereby greatly reducing the chances for any kickback and subsequent injury. Once you have your T-tracks installed, all you need to do is slide your feather board on, and you’re ready to go.

5. Dust Control: Routers can cause a huge mess, regardless of whether you’re using hand held one or one that is mounted on to a table top. Within minutes, your entire workplace can be filled with wood dust and tiny particles that can be pain to clean up. The solution is simple and inexpensive. All you need to do is attach a dust hook-up to your fence (by building a small opening), and you never have to clean up again.

Correct Posture and Health

We live in an extremely exciting yet extremely confusing time. Technology has given us much that has made our lives more comfortable and convenient. From better, faster and more comfortable transportation to the luxury of reclining chairs and comfy couches at workplaces, our lives have become a series of resting points where we no longer know how to relate to gravity. Our bodies have learnt to fall into furniture and cushions and, as a result, have become weak and unable to support our spines. We suffer from all kinds of postural problems that not only affect the body but also affect the mind.  This awesome infographic describes the pitfalls of poor posture as well as how to correct posture and experience good health.

 

posture fitness infographic

Posture is about more than just sitting straight or standing tall, it is about how the body related to gravity. It is about efficiency and understanding the bodies anatomy. Our bodies were designed to walk, run and move in certain ways that would naturally maximise health and longevity and minimise illness. So, start paying attention to the way you move and you will notice that if you maintain good posture you will naturally feel better as well as more confident.

 

How to Relieve Lower Back Pain with Inversion Tables

Inversion therapy is an age-old technique that has stood the test of time, but one that has only recently been recognized by the medical community for its benefits and practice. You might be aware that most doctors only treat the symptoms of back pain and not the underlying causes of the pain. Treatments including the use of anti-inflammatory medications, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and cortisol injections only treat the surface level symptoms and fail to address on of the biggest contributing factors of back pain: Spinal compression. Spinal compression is a result of the pressures of gravity and various muscle imbalances on the spinal disc. Our spines are designed to absorb pressure much like the suspension system of a vehicle. However, when excess stress is put on the spine as a result of muscle imbalances and prolonged sitting with little to no exercise, i9t can lead to adverse effects on the spine that need treatment.

inversion table

An Insight into the Anatomy of the Spine

The inner core of our the spinal discs consists of jelly-like material that acts like a shock absorber system that provides flexibility and cushioning when we sit, stand, exercise or engage in any kind of activity.  During our everyday normal activities, gravity causes fluid to squeeze out of spinal discs into adjacent soft tissue. When we sleep some, but not all of this fluid soaks back into the discs. During an average day, you could lose up to 3/4″ in height! which you regain in sleep. This along with spinal degeneration is the reason most people lose between 1 and 2 inches in height in their old age.  Insufficient distance between the vertebrae can result in nerve root pressure and pain. To make matters worse, ver often the pressures on the discs is not distributed evenly and sooner or later this become overbearing for the discs. The discs will then bugle or herniate causing spinal damage which, for the most part may result in a life with chronic pain. Even the slightest increase in spacing can be enough to allow a herniated disc pop back into place or relieve pressure from a compressed nerve.

The Benefits of Inversion Therapy 

Inversion therapy is a method of treating back pain by diminishing the influence of gravity and reducing the compression between the vertebrae and discs and allowing the muscles and ligaments that in case the spine to relax. It is typically performed using an inversion table. The table allows you to lie on your back and relax in an inverted position. This position eliminates some or all of gravitational compression, depending on how far bac you position your body. Although, this may sound simple, this type of therapy is the safest, quickest and easiest method to increase the space between your vertebrae. Numerous studies that have been published in reputable medical journals have confirmed that inversion therapy is successful in creating separations between the discs of the spine which brings relief from back pain.

Other benefits of Inversion Therapy:

  • Maintaining height
  • Improving circulation
  • Relieves Stress
  • Heightens mental alertness
  • Increases Flexibility and range of motion
  • Improves Posture and,
  • Realigns the spine after Intense workouts

Conclusion

Inversion therapy is an effective, and trusted method to heal the spine and relieve the stresses that accumulate during days, weeks and months of sedentary work and activity. An Inversion table is a one-time investment that is sure to last you months and years. While you should consult a doctor in the case of spinal injuries, it pays to visit only occasionally and be able to treat yourself on a weekly and monthly basis.

 

 

The Smith Machine is Your Enemy

Modern gyms are filled with fancy machines that promise a great workout. These machines do most of the work for the user while you sit back and gloat in the false belief that it is you who has put in all the effort. Whether it is the chest press machine, the shoulder press machine, the leg press or the fly machine, they all offer the illusion of “working out”. The gym is no longer a place for grit, sweat and grim, but a place replete with air conditioning and tall floor to ceiling mirrors where the wannabe and narcissist bask in their feeble attempts to look good. Perhaps the greatest con of all the shiny equipment one can find in a modern gym is the Smithsonian machine or “Smith” machine, as it is commonly referred too.

What is the Smith Machine?

To put it gently, the modern “Smith Machine” is nothing more than a glorified power rack for pansies. Although the smith machine may look like a power rack it fails to offer the same versatility in training and greatly hinders a users movement and exercise potential (more on this further down). The Smith has a barbell that is fixed to the steel rails and that moves in a single vertical plane with the help of hydraulics. The hydraulic system allows for controlled movement along the rails and the notches on the rails help to the catch the bar in the incidence that it fall off the of the user’s shoulders.

Smith machine

Pitfalls of training with the Smith Machine

The smith machine was invented in the early 1950’s. It was intended to serve as a muscle-toning machine in addition to using free weights. However, it was never intended to replace free weights or be used to isolate and bulk up one muscle group. Even the person who invented it used it only as a toning device to complement his free weight training program. The tragedy is that most uneducated gym buffs use the smith machine to squat, bench press, military press and even deadlift!

The fixed barbell on the smith machine only moves in a single vertical plane, which as you can imagine greatly restricts movement. The body is forced to move in unnatural patterns that can cause a variety of muscle imbalances and hinder further development and progress in training. What’s worse is that people who train with the smith machine can rarely ever lift even30-40% of that weight with free weights (i.e. with a barbell).

The squat is not called the king of all exercises for no reason. It engages the most muscles in the body and is responsible for burning more calories than any other movement. When you squat with a barbell, your body is forced to balance the barbell on the way down and on the way up. In doing this, you engage your core, back and shoulder muscles in addition to the quads and hams in your legs.  However, when you squat with the smith machine, not only do you damage your technique, but you also fail to activate all the muscles that the squat incorporates. This applies to the bench press, the military press and any other exercise that you do with the smith machine.

Conlusion

If you want to build real strength and muscle, I suggest that you dis the smith and get started on a regimen using free weights. Work on perfecting your technique and learn to get comfortable with the discomfort and pain accompanied with lifting. This is the only way you will ever build a truly strong body that also looks great.