My New Router Table #4: Table top and drawer slides

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Blog entry by Blake posted 11-09-2007 08:14 AM 9315 reads 5 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Finishing Cabinet Assembly and Dust Collection Part 4 of My New Router Table series Part 5: Doors and Drawers »

More progress on the router table…

I installed the drawer slides today. This is only because I intend wanted to put the table top on and it was hard enough to do with the cabinet face already on. I really should have put the drawer slides in first. It took me forever and I had to bend down through the cabinet or reach through the drawer openings to precisely mark, measure, drill and screw the slides in place.

I actually intend to make the drawers later on, but I had to put the slides in now.

As you can see, Incra was anxious to move in! (Especially since I got rid of the old router table.)

With that done, I was able to install the table. I decided to use the suggestions on this page by “floating” the table on weather-stripping foam and then securing it (not tightly) with screws from below on those angle brackets.

Over the last few months I have been trying to figure out how to go about making this router table. I have been weighing the cost/time/quality ratio of buying commercially made components vs. making stuff myself. Obviously, I decided to make my own stand/cabinet. I think the my custom-made cabinet with storage, built in dust collection, noise reduction, etc, was about the same price as some of the commercially made bases which consist of just legs.

For the table top, the commercial equivalent of my table top cost over $250 plus heavy shipping. I found a cabinet maker in town who told me he could make one for me for $80. He used basically the same type of material, five layers of formika and a high quality particle board, pressed perfectly flat in a huge press. The upside, besides the huge cost difference is that I get to make it any size. The commercial tables are only 27” wide. I made mine 32” wide because that is the width of my fence. I didn’t want the fence hanging over the edges. The only downside is that I have to rout out my own insert plate hole. No big deal.

I will also be adding a hardwood edge around the table top to seal out moisture and protect it.

Table Top (without finished edge yet):

The Top installed:

Another View (notice power cord also)

By the way, I had some people asking me about my dust collection chute Idea. So I played around in Sketchup a little to illustrate it. Maybe this will help…

It is a cut-away view from the left side of the router table. The red ribbons are supposed to be air flow down through the router bit hole and through the front vent. They lead under the sloping shelf and down the dust collection chute which is hooked up to the shop vac.

-- Happy woodworking!

12 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4124 days

#1 posted 11-09-2007 08:18 AM

Thanks for the update. Looks good. Yep, smart to install the glides before the top. A true pro.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4021 days

#2 posted 11-09-2007 08:46 AM

Are you kidding me? I haven’t even gotten to respond to #3 and you’re already at #4! Great work Blake!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4114 days

#3 posted 11-09-2007 02:27 PM

Great progress. So the router will go on the left side of the table top and will you mount it off center with regards to the collection space(towards the right of the cubby)?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3987 days

#4 posted 11-09-2007 02:30 PM

You are moving right along. We all cuss when it’s time to install slides. After a while you just give up and do it. Looking good.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3982 days

#5 posted 11-09-2007 02:42 PM

Blake I really like how this cabinet is coming out! The top looks really nice and with that Incra fence on it it’s going to be a sweet RT. Just kind of a bummer that the power cord comes out of the side like that…You couldn’t pop it out the lower back or the bottom? Can’t wait to see that fence installed! Nice work


View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3906 days

#6 posted 11-09-2007 03:31 PM

Looking good. Good move on the top selection, flat and strong. (But I don’t understand 5 layers of Formica)

Wow. Box maker, photographer, jig maker, instructor, cabinetmaker, CAD designer, and now aerodynamic engineering. Keep it up.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4061 days

#7 posted 11-09-2007 04:21 PM

You’re flying, Blake! Great work. As Todd says, good thinking on the slides before the top. That’s a mistake I made once…just once was enough. This is really becoming a nice shop fixture!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4015 days

#8 posted 11-09-2007 04:30 PM

This is gonna look nice Blake. How thick is the tabletop? Looks better than an inch. Should be good and strong.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3899 days

#9 posted 11-09-2007 07:35 PM

Thanks for the comments. The top is actually four layers total: formika, particle board, particle board, formika. It is one and a half inches thick. Sorry for the misprint and confusion.

Gizmodyne, the fence will extend from front to back more like a table saw. It is attached to a positioner which extends from the far right and the router plate is offset to the left. It will look like this:

-- Happy woodworking!

View gizmodyne's profile


1780 posts in 4114 days

#10 posted 11-10-2007 04:38 AM

Got it.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4425 days

#11 posted 11-10-2007 05:57 AM

Great looking table top Blake. The cabinet is coming along great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4090 days

#12 posted 11-10-2007 12:00 PM

Blake that router table is really coming out nice. You are quite the craftsman. With all the planning and workmanship involved, it should be a pleasure to use for may years.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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