Have you ever repurposed a table for a router table? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question Have you ever repurposed a table for a router table?

Is there any reason you can't use any table for a router table? As long as you cut out the hole, fix your fence, etc., is there some inherent reason you can't repurpose any table, counter top, dresser, and so on to make a functional router table? I could build one, but I like the idea repurposing junk furniture that someone gives me or I find in the trash (or Goodwill).
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 07:36 PM
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I have not. It can be done, but there's a reason some don't.

Depends on the level of precision a person needs in their router cuts. If there's any warp, unevenness, or variation in the plane of the table, it is reflected in the cut. Cheap materials in ordinary tables can be warped by variations in temperature and humidity.

General routing doesn't always require high precision. But there are lots of routing techniques that require high precision - i.e. jointing with a fence offset, high precision joinery, etc.

Really premium router tables are made out of CNC cut phenolic or cast iron because those materials dampen vibration, very resistant to denting and scratching, are dimmensionally consistent despite changes in temp and humidity. Manufacturers have to pay a lot for CNCs and metal molds, which is why the tables cost so much.

So, my answer, as always, is "it depends." In this case, on what you need to do.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 07:46 PM
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Many here from what I have seen here have done it before , from old counter tops to a simple piece of mdf etc . Doesn't hurt to glue some pieces underneith to provide support for the router to prevent sagging

I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 07:59 PM
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Ihave done it with decent results. My first "table was made from an enclosure a customer traded in I used it as a very easy circle jig mostly no fence or anything. I was gifted a basic Skil portable table I prefer my old one sometimes I am looking to find a nice top to repurpose into a good DIY table. Counter tops or Laminated workbench tops would be a good canidate. I've seen them made from nightstands, vanitys and some other stuff
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learningtorpute View Post

1... Have you ever repurposed a table for a router table?
2... Is there any reason you can't use any table for a router table?
3... As long as you cut out the hole, fix your fence, etc.,
4... is there some inherent reason you can't re-purpose any table, counter top, dresser, and so on to make a functional router table?
5... I could build one, but I like the idea re-purposing junk furniture that someone gives me or I find in the trash (or Goodwill).
1... yes..
2... no, there are exceptions like tables made from particle board and the top is thick enough to receive miter and T slots.....
3... do the fence on T slots and you'll do alright..
4... see #2... Sam used a dresser and it is working well for him...
5... good plan...

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 08:37 PM
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Its your thang to do what you want to do. It would be easiest if the junk you select is flat. depending on the material how can it be supported. A router is a continual down pressure and the table will sag if the material is not supported. The best scrounge material that can handle the weight is a commercial door. Habitat for humanity resell store usually have them cheap but take a straight edge to make sure its flat. counter tops are particle board or mdf both will sag if you use them support it What makes all this fun is your can do it your way.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-29-2016, 10:13 PM
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 12:19 AM
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Put a reliable straight edge across the table top to see whether it is flat. If it is, I'd use some 3/4 x 3 inch braces underneath aroud the edges, and glue a very flat piece of MDF underneath. If you expect it to be flat, then you will need to buy a table insert, a metal plate about 3/8th thick. It will have leveling screws to line it up with the top. You will have to cut out an opening a little smaller than the plate and then cut a rabbit just slightly deeper than 3/8ths to to fit the plate and to give you a mounting edge and a little vertical space to allow you to level the plate. Theoretically, you could flatten the top if it is not perfect, but I'd want the material to be very good hardwood and I'd unmount the top from the base and maybe have it leveled by someone with a proper sander. All that said, personally, I'd prefer to buy a top with mounting plate and a good fence. But then, I have a little more money that time at this point in my life.

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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 05-30-2016 at 12:40 AM.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 12:26 AM
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I did one last summer and gave it to my son. There's some pictures in my uploads.

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 #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 02:03 PM
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Courtesy of Dave (aka Bushwhacker)

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I donít always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate

Last edited by RainMan 2.0; 05-31-2016 at 02:12 PM.
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