Thought I'd share the build of my router table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Default Thought I'd share the build of my router table

I had a local guy ask me to make some house vents for him. He provided the wood and I went to work.

I routed slots for the slats to fit into but I found that my only good work area without a back wall on the bench was the top of my router table. The table itself is one we had at the car audio shop. There was no dust collection, no fence, it was used primarily for template work and round-over/chamfer bits. It was a basic thing, built from MDF with an Alucobond top. The table and JessEm lift were given to me when the business moved to a new shop and they bought four new lifts.

Anyway, while building those vents I decided I needed a new router table with more function. I wanted a router table that I could use to do more than simple template work, I wanted a larger work area, dust collection, and storage for tools and bits.

Since I'm not a dedicated or hardcore woodworker I had to have a table that, when not being used for routing, would be functional for other tasks. If I want to throw something large on a table it would be nice if it could hang off the sides without hitting a back wall.

I searched the Internet and found that everyone seems to build dedicated router tables or add-on extensions for table saws. After a bit of searching, I decided I wanted to use the dust collection idea from the "Ultimate Router Table" build and I'd design the rest.

I went to Woodcraft for Incra miter and T-channel tracks. While there I picked up one of their 1 1/2" x 27" x 60" birch tops. On the way home I stopped by Lowe's and grabbed two sheets of 3/4" maple plywood.

Got home, routed the pocket for the router lift as well as miter and T-channel slots. screwed the tracks in place and put the new top to use cutting up those sheets of ply to build the cabinet. The cabinet is 54" long and 23 1/2" deep.

I made the router chamber as compact as possible. I thought the smaller chamber volume would help with dust evacuation and the smaller chamber also allowed me to maximize drawer space.

On the right side of the router chamber I made three small drawers. One for 1/2" shank bits, one for 1/4" shank bits, and one shallow drawer for router lift inserts and wrenches for the router. The bottom and fronts of these drawers are made from 1/2" ply with 1/4" MDF for the sides and back wall. 6-32 T-nuts were used to attach the drawer slides to the drawers.

Since I wanted an on/off switch mounted above the drawers I made a channel for cable routing above and behind the drawers. The small drawers are mounted on full-extension 20" soft-close slides.

The last picture is how the table sits now. Used 3/4" maple for the rails and stiles. I made the door frame for the router chamber tonight and will get the acrylic in it and get it installed tomorrow. I still need to build more drawers and get more slides. I'll use 22" slides for the rest of the drawers. I don't have the fence yet, but when I get it, it will go on. Wife says it's going to be my birthday present so I'll wait a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I know guys are always wanted to see router tables, so here's mine.

Input, advice, and criticism are all welcome.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 06:34 PM
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Jason, looks nice. I would add a couple of short dowel sections in one of your drawers to hold your collets when they are not in use. Keep up the good work.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 07:55 PM
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Looks good Jason
Really nice job, hope you enjoy it for a long time
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 12:07 AM
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I like it, Jason.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 12:19 AM
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Yep, definitely like it.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys.

Semipro, the plan was to build it so I could get all the use out of it that I'd ever need then be able to pass it down to the kids when that time comes.

I'm still looking for material to make the base. The plan is to make a 2" square tube frame to fit inside the cabinet bottom. The casters will mount to the steel, as will the cabinet. With the steel frame supporting the cabinet, it will survive military moves without issue and should never sag.

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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Jason, looks nice. I would add a couple of short dowel sections in one of your drawers to hold your collets when they are not in use. Keep up the good work.
Mike, that's in the plan, just need to get the proper size dowels.

I'm not a hard-core woodworker, but more of an all-around type of person. I did a good bit of research and pulled some of the best ideas I found during my search to build this router table/cabinet. I think I found that idea from you here on the forums. Collet storage, if I remember correctly.

Made more progress.

Blew it apart, glued, and re-assembled it all.

Bottom partition is in, 3/4" maple for rails and stiles attached, and the front, left, and back edges (top and bottom) of the top were hit with the 1/4" round-over bit. Also made the door frame for the router chamber.


Got the door built, cut the acrylic to fit, drilled four 1" holes for air inlet, installed hinges, applied some Watco Danish (dark walnut) oil to the rails, stiles, and the door frame. Also installed a small light for the router chamber.


Does great for keeping the dust out of the inside, but I'll give the inside a few coats of clear to reduce surface friction and help the few bits of reluctant debris to move with the airflow.

To keep the door closed I used some strong little magnets I found forever ago at the craft store. Just drilled a 3/16" hole and pressed them in.


Large drawers will be built next, then I need to decide on a design for the drawer fronts. I cut a rabbet in some of the 3/4" maple that was ripped for rails and stiles to make the door, inserted the acrylic, and secured the acrylic by backing it with 1/4" MDF. I didn't bother cutting a design into the door frame because I'm unsure how I want to make the drawer fronts. My wife says it would look good if I just made the fronts from maple as well.

If I make maple drawer fronts I'm not sure if I should leave them square or cut some sort of design into them.

Advice/ideas for drawer fronts?
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-14-2013, 07:42 AM
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Thanks for the tip on the dowels Mike. All of these years and I never thought of it...John
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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A little update.

I got the maple drawer fronts on the three small drawers for the side a few days ago. Used the same Watco Dark Walnut Danish oil on the drawer fronts that I'm using for the rails, stiles, and exterior ply surfaces.

I used the 3" wood drawer pulls I picked up for 99 cents each at a local Ace Hardware that was going out of business. A Home Depot came in less than 1/8 of a mile from the place and I kept an eye on the sale prices. Got 26 drawer pulls for 75% off. Used Watco Natural Danish oil on the drawer pulls.

Also made a small panel to mount the on/off switch for the router. I didn't want a large switch like others I've seen and I wanted a safety key in the thing so kids couldn't turn the thing on if they saw the switch and got a bad case of "What's the big red button do?" I know my kids won't mess with it, but if friends come over, I want to make sure the place is safe. When the switch is on the router, light, and Shop-Vac all come on.

I used a Kreg two outlet switch that is sold for their router tables, removed the switch and extended the switch wiring, then used a 3-prong plug to hardwire power for an outlet on the back of the cabinet so I can plug the Shop-Vac into the outlet and it will kick on/off with the switch. The line for the outlet also feeds the small cabinet light.

The router chamber has been given a few coats of satin finish Minwax Helmsman spar urethane to reduce surface friction and keep the dust moving. I also added a couple of dowels as Mike suggested for collets. I only have two collets (1/4" and 1/2"), but it's nice to have a dowel in each drawer for the proper collet.
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Last edited by JI808; 08-20-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 03:16 PM
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Wow,Jason I really like it. Gives me more to think about and hopefully I will get off the fence about buying or building. Al
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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Wow,Jason I really like it. Gives me more to think about and hopefully I will get off the fence about buying or building. Al
Build!

That way it's exactly what you want.
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