Counter top router table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Default Counter top router table

I'm looking to build a router table out of a counter top. It's already laminated. Any suggestions on how to build it would be a great help. What to reinforce it with. How to build the base. Anything. Thanks

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Also, what router plate should I get that isn't really expensive

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztretter37 View Post
Also, what router plate should I get that isn't really expensive
I made my own, out of 1/2" plywood.

You need to check the router table thread. Someone has the link handy I am sure.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:38 AM
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Building a router table isn't hard but more information would be good. How large a table do you want? Do you want it to have certain features like storage, dust collection, or be portable? The design I went with was taken from one of Norm Abram's builds and attached or you can download from here Ultimate Router Table while the original plan is here https://www.newyankee.com/product/de...outer-station/
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 10:17 AM
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You can build a frame under it like a floor joist system that will support it well and is easy to build. A plate on front and rear and cross members between them. I like a pair of cross members as close to the plate opening as possible. That prevents the table sagging from the weight of the router. I would also add a solid wood rim around the edges to protect the laminate and hide the particle board.

Grizzly sells a router plate. Last time I bought one was $13. Lee Valley sells some too and I think lots of other outlets also have them for a wide range of prices.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Well it's only 3/4 inch thick. So I'm going to glue another 3/4 piece underneath it. It's already laminated. I'm going to build supports and legs for it. It's 21x32 1/2. I want to buy a router plate and install that. And probably just make some type of fence for it that I can clamp onto it.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 12:56 PM
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You can glue a matching size piece of MDF onto the bottom, which will help keep it flat. Get your plate first. I prefer aluminum, and with a twist lock insert so it's quick and easy to change bits. Once you have that, you will want to transfer the outline onto the laminate and cut that opening so it's a fairly snug fit, but not too tight (a PITA for removing the router). Then glue on the MDF or make a truss as suggested to help keep the laminate flat. If you use MDF, position it, draw an outline about a half inch smaller than the opening, then cut it out to create a "shelf", then glue the MDF on. I would not use contact cement for this, too easy to mess it up.

You need to set up some sort of leveling adjustment. You could do this with screws with the tips ground flat, but if you are going to put any screw in MDF, you have to pre drill. You could put in Tnuts and put in bolts with a lock not to hold the height, but it's far easier to buy a set of 4 leveling gadgets (pix) and mount them in the four corners.

Personally, I'd use the MDF rather than truss because I think it will be easier to mount on a table than a truss system. My TS outfeed table has a truss and it has stayed flat for more than a decade.

I like the idea of an enclosed cabinet, or one with drawers to the side of the opening for the router, and also below that opening.

Stick some time ago suggested leaving room for a "snorkle" that pulls fresh air up through the bottom of the router for better cooling and to reduce sawdust incursion into the router. I haven't done this because my table would have to be remade. But I really like the idea.

You can put a hinged door over the router opening, but I'd think seriously about making it with a glass or plactic window so you know when a cleanout is due.

Dust extraction under the table is usually done with a Y splitter behind the table with a larger opening through the back into the router chamber. You must also have a way to let air into that chamber or there will be no air flow to carry the sawdust away. I'd bring air into the chamber through the same channel the snorkle runs through. You could also place a filter over that snorkle opening if you are a fuss budget about dust collection.

Your fence should also have a 2.5 inch dust collection port attached just behind the bit. That will help pull sawdust up and away from your router. I know Rockler makes a little port like this and I'm sure other makers have them too. My experience is that you want ALL of your DC connectors and hoses to be one brand. 4 inches isn't 4 inches from manufacturer to another. Parts are NOT interchangeable. I only have Rockler store access.

The diagram shows the layering.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 02:37 PM
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I’ve never doubled a table thickness yet in about 40 years and never needed to. The frame under eliminates the need and even doubled the top can sag if the open span is wide enough. The frame also makes adding legs easy. You stick them in a corner and screw in from both sides and they’re solid. Leave about a 2” overhang on all sides for clamping the fence too. Lots of us have used a good straight piece of 2x or plywood for a fence to get by until we felt like making something better. Sometimes that takes years to happen because if it’s working okay the way it is then other jobs take priority.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:16 PM
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The second layer also makes it easy to form a lip to hold the plate. Just my take on it. I think you'd likely be better off making a cabinet type carcus to hold the top, it is easy to build and very solid and lends itself to drawers and door access to the router. Of course, I tend to overbuild on most projects, and I like that thickness...and I have a Triton, which isn't a lightweight. Definitely Trusses will do the trick as well, although fussbudget me, ran the outfeed table trusses through a jointer before assembly.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 06:56 PM
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Make sure the top layer is flat. Otherwise, the router plate will not match the top surface. Look at high end router tables and try to emulate their best features.
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