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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Question help me design (and build) my router table cabinet

Hi all,

First post here, but have been lurking a couple of months. I'm pretty new to woodworking too, and the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.

I've just purchased an Incra router table (24x32" combo 4, center mount, Wonder Fence) with the Incra/Jessem Mast-R-Lift II. Chose the Incra table for two reasons: the steel MagnaLOCK ring system modification to the standard Jessem lift, and the corner/leg extrusions for the table which have slots in them to allow you to box in the legs by just slipping 1/2" MDF panels into them "without visible means of support". So far I've added the sides and back, plus two shelves (no supports yet for the upper one, it's just wedged in so I can still move it). I plan to have a face frame and door(s) and drawers on the front, and a vertical on each side of the router for a dust collection box. And I have a Porter-Cable 7518 router which will be dedicated to this table (have Festool 1400 and 1010 for handheld stuff).

For now, I'll probably just be doing relatively simple stuff such a tongue & groove edging. Some day maybe I'll advance to dovetails. As far as building a cabinet, I'm looking for simple, nothing too complex; the finished product just has to be functional.

While searching for previous threads on this, I've learned a lot (and will incorporate some ideas) from these threads (sorry, the system won’t let me post the URL’s, but there’s part of each listed):
My Router Table Cabinet Is Finally Done (BearLeeAlive - routerforums.com/show-n-tell/22795-my-router-table-cabinet-finally-done)
Custom router table cabinet for Incra LS positioner (frank230c - routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/22328-custom-router-table-cabinet-incra-ls-positioner)
Router Table for Incra LS Positoner completed! (Michael H - routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/16005-router-table-incra-ls-positoner-completed)

BTW, although this table is the smallest Incra table, I will probably add an LS positioner some day. I realize that I'll have to add a long extension off the back to support this, but didn't want the larger (but narrower) table that would normally go with the LS.

Questions:
1) The lift has 3-1/2" of height adjustment. The lower end of this range will set the position of the top shelf. How much range do I really need to provide for? How much clearance should I have between the shelf and the router in the lowest position? And how much clearance on each side of the router for a dust collection box?

2) I'll probably have about 16" left between the two shelves, so it seems I'll have room for three drawers (I was thinking of full width drawers, but see that some folks have pairs of drawers side-by-side). Would you vote for three 5" drawers, OR a 4", a 5", and a 6", OR ??? Or should I go for four shallower drawers?

3) Have NEVER done drawers before. There is a width of 22-7/8" between the legs. What width should the drawer boxes be (I'll probably "cheat" and have them made )? Should the drawer fronts overlap the face frame (there's probably a proper term for this) or be flush?

4) What should I do with the area to each side of the central router box (approximately 6" wide x 9" high each side)? Doors or drawers? How many, what size? Should any doors (including the router access door) overlap the face frame?

5) Would it be worthwhile to add an "original Incra jig" as a positioner now?

Thanks in advance, Dick
Allegany NY

Last edited by dicktill; 05-20-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 12:10 PM
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Adding the original jig will get you accustomed to how the Incras operate.

The Incra tools selling site Buy INCRA Tools Online - www.incrementaltools.com :: INCRA Precision Woodworking Tools, INCRA Fence, TS Fences, Router Tables, LS Systems has sales from time to time.

I have both the original jig and the fence. Very precise.
I do mean 'original' - given to me by my father. Incra sent me the DVD no charge as that is now included with the jig purchase.

Edit: And my table is merely 2' x 4' MDF slobbered with Watco and waxed. It sits on a Home Depot shelving unit.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply Ralph. Kinda disappointed that no one else has any advice for me ...
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 10:03 PM
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Hey, Dick! I had posted to your thread but it evidently got lost in the Ether somewhere....

Anyway, welcome to the forum! I have the Incra TS/LS system in a TS/RT combo using the Jessem lift and a 7518 motor.

I'm attaching a couple of .pdf's from my build, maybe they'll answer some of your questions. I have four small drawers flanking the router for bits and wrenches, two short drawers below for larger stuff and two large drawers below them for routers and larger accessories.

Disregard the table saw end of the cabinet, maybe you can get some ideas from the router table end. Feel free to post back or PM with questions.

HTH,

Bill
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 10:47 PM
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Dick, a PC 7518 in it's base will fit a 12" height but it is too close. 15" will fit most routers but I'm not sure with the lift. Install your router in the lift, set it plate side down and measure to see how much height you must have. When in doubt add 2" to the height.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 09:53 AM
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Hi Dick,

I just finished my router table build and I installed full extention slides on the drawer that is in the enclosed cabinet . I don't remember the brand name, but I purchased the slides from HomeDepot and the instructions say the drawer box must be 1 1/16 narrower (not sure if that's a word) than the case opening. I followed the instructions to the TEE and it worked great. There are pictures on my previous post and I amgoing to add two more right now. Enjoy your new toy, I'm starting to get used to mine.

BE WELL
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Bill, Mike, & Rick: thanks for your responses! BTW, since first posting my questions, I spent a couple of hours going through the lengthy thread "Wanted! pictures of your router table!". I found many good ideas there. Thanks to all those posted there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by billg71 View Post
Hey, Dick! I had posted to your thread but it evidently got lost in the Ether somewhere....

Anyway, welcome to the forum! I have the Incra TS/LS system in a TS/RT combo using the Jessem lift and a 7518 motor.

I'm attaching a couple of .pdf's from my build, maybe they'll answer some of your questions. I have four small drawers flanking the router for bits and wrenches, two short drawers below for larger stuff and two large drawers below them for routers and larger accessories.

Disregard the table saw end of the cabinet, maybe you can get some ideas from the router table end. Feel free to post back or PM with questions.

HTH, Bill
Bill: Thanks for the drawings; yes these will help. And thanks for re-posting after losing it in the nasty Ether ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Dick, a PC 7518 in it's base will fit a 12" height but it is too close. 15" will fit most routers but I'm not sure with the lift. Install your router in the lift, set it plate side down and measure to see how much height you must have. When in doubt add 2" to the height.
Mike: My question was two-fold. First, do I need (am I likely to need) the entire 3-1/2" height adjustment range of the Incra/Jessem lift? Secondly, how much space do I need below the router in its lowest position so that it gets adequate cooling and doesn't sit in a pile of sawdust on the shelf?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Potowner1 View Post
Hi Dick,

I just finished my router table build and I installed full extention slides on the drawer that is in the enclosed cabinet . I don't remember the brand name, but I purchased the slides from HomeDepot and the instructions say the drawer box must be 1 1/16 narrower (not sure if that's a word) than the case opening. I followed the instructions to the TEE and it worked great. There are pictures on my previous post and I am going to add two more right now. Enjoy your new toy, I'm starting to get used to mine.

BE WELL
Rick: Thanks for the photos. Is it easier/better to build the drawer & door fronts flush or overlapping (still don't know the correct term for the latter)?


Thanks again all, Dick
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 11:25 PM
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Dick, there will be times that you need the full range of adjustment. Like I said, plates side down on a flat surface and measure how tall the router is at it's maximum extension in the lift. Add 2" and you will have plenty of clearance. There are lots of dust collection options to work with all tables.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 09:44 AM
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There are plenty of options for sure. I built this one about a year ago. All mdf cabinet and top, plywood fence, aborite top and fence surfa kices, router plate made from corian sink cut out. Most kitchen counter builders have bunches of these kicking around and will give you one if asked nicely. Fence micro adjust made from scrounged parts. I think some key things to keep in mind are to have a table surface large enough to support some bigger pieces, unit heavy enough to be stable under use and a top thick enough not to sag over time. Good luck. With some careful thought and planning, you can build a better unit than most store bought ones and for a lot less. This one was less than $200 minus the M12V router.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-25-2013, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collinstuart View Post
There are plenty of options for sure. I built this one about a year ago. All mdf cabinet and top, plywood fence, aborite top and fence surfa kices, router plate made from corian sink cut out. Most kitchen counter builders have bunches of these kicking around and will give you one if asked nicely. Fence micro adjust made from scrounged parts. I think some key things to keep in mind are to have a table surface large enough to support some bigger pieces, unit heavy enough to be stable under use and a top thick enough not to sag over time. Good luck. With some careful thought and planning, you can build a better unit than most store bought ones and for a lot less. This one was less than $200 minus the M12V router.
Impressive work, Collin!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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