Building a router table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Default Building a router table

Hi all,
I am new to the forum and looking for advice. I have a background in carpentry and remodeling, so I'm not new to working with wood and tools, but I am fairly inexperienced when it comes to fine woodworking. I recently completed a built in closet for my inlaws and I really enjoyed it. Particularly the routing. I built it all out of finish grade 3/4" plywood and cut dados with my new Bosch 1617 to support the shelves and hold the upright panels in place. Im trying to get more into fine wood working and especially milling my own parts as I find it to be very relaxing for me, and I currently have a supply of free hardwood pallets. Anyway I'd like some advice on building a router table. I want to make it a fairly high end table and plan to keep it for a long time. For now I'll be making a bench top base as I have limited space, but I may eventually build a cabinet for it. I'm looking for recommendations on how to make the top i.e. What material for the top, what glue to use, etc, also what insert plate to go with, best place to buy t track, how to build the fence so that it stays perfectly square, how big to make the top, and any other ideas you may have. I would like to keep the cost down where possible, so I'm looking at trying to get some countertop scraps for the top, maybe glue two pieces together with the Formica facing out and band the edge with hardwood to seal out moisture? Not sure if that would be flat enough?

Thanks in advance!

Some pics of my closet project for your enjoyment!



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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 05:58 PM
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How far down do you want to keep the cost? The cost of good components can add up pretty fast.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I'm not really sure at this point. I'll have to see what everyone's suggestions are, then add up the cost and see where I'm at and where I could maybe cut down. I don't want this to be a bare bones build, but I'm not a professional cabinet maker either. At this point I'm expecting about $60 for the plate, $50 for t track and other minor hardware like that, and then whatever the lumber costs me. I'd really like to keep the total cost around $150, definitely no more than $200.


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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 06:17 PM
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spend a few hours here:

http://www.routerforums.com/table-mo...ter-table.html

It is as good a place to get started when it comes to building a table as any I know of.....

Then start asking away. Alot of good folks in here, some of em even pretty knowledgeable , who are
more than happy to help ya out!!

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JIMMIEM View Post
How far down do you want to keep the cost? The cost of good components can add up pretty fast.

ain't it da truth!!!!

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 07:01 PM
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If you can find them, the now-defunct Shop Notes published a very good article on building a router table in 2007 and an article on building a fence in 2009. I found both online but that was a couple years ago. I used both as guides to building my router table...which became a Cadillac. It probably cost me $600...more than I'd have had to pay for a new factory built table because I included a lot of high end stuff like UHMW plastic for the fence faces. But the experience and satisfaction were priceless. By the way, Shop Notes now belongs to Woodsmith and is no longer published. Woodsmith sells a DVD or a thumb drive containing all the Shop Notes articles.

Here's a pic of my router table:
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 07:50 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

Ross,
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia


Enjoy the knowledge of others that can be found within.

‘Members are requested to add a first name in their profile as we are a very friendly bunch here'.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leathermaneod View Post
I guess I'm not really sure at this point. I'll have to see what everyone's suggestions are, then add up the cost and see where I'm at and where I could maybe cut down. I don't want this to be a bare bones build, but I'm not a professional cabinet maker either. At this point I'm expecting about $60 for the plate, $50 for t track and other minor hardware like that, and then whatever the lumber costs me. I'd really like to keep the total cost around $150, definitely no more than $200.
First thing, look at that thread Bill recommended. My table is in their somewhere. I think it's about version 5, been using it for somewhere in the 10-15 year range, and doubt I have more than about $10 in it max. Not fancy, but it does exactly what I want it to. That cost includes my router plates - all homemade. Never felt the need for a fence, but will use one in a future project, probably the last time too, it will be a chunk of wood or 2X4 clamped down.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 08:10 PM
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Regardless of which inset plate you choose, make sure it has a hole predrilled so you can use the hex key that came with your router to adjust the height from above the table. You will, however, still have to lock/unlock the router from under the table when making adjustments. That locking mechanism prevents the router motor from creeping while it is in operation.

Good luck. The 1617 is a good one.
Do you have both bases (fixed and plunge)? Use the fixed base under the table and the plunge for hand held use.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 01:50 AM
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A couple of things. find a source of Baltic Birch plywood and pick the flattest piece you can find in 3/4 (18mm). Some wood supply stores carry it. Keeping the table flat over time requires a little work. Either add a second layer of MDF, or put some straight 1x2 or 3 trusses underneath. Or do both.

Cutting the opening for the router plate requires a template and trim bit. I used the router plate itself as a guide, then snugged four pieces of straight 1x up against the plate, with maybe a playing card between plate and board so you have a nice fit, but not too tight. Clamp the boards in place and you have a template. Drawing attached. Using a trim style bit with a bottom bearing to follow the template. Set the depth a couple of millimeters/ 16th to 1/8 th deeper than the thickness of the plate. Use your plunge base, or the fixed base to create the rabbit or ridge on which the plate rests. Pictured are some plate levelers you put in the corners to line the plate up with the top.

I prefer an aluminum plate, stronger and flat, don't sag. There are all kinds of fence designs, but they can be pretty simple. Rockler makes a little dust hood that boes behind the opening in the fence. So far we're up to about $60-$70 bucks. You already know how to build boxes, so make one into a stand for your top if you want.

Keep it simple, but precise.

The leverers are Woodhaven. The bit is like what you're looking fo.
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