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My First Router Table

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Blog entry by DaveConry posted 05-03-2008 06:39 AM 4170 reads 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the router table that I have been working on. It has been an interesting experience in that this is my first attempt at building a cabinet and drawers.

The cabinet itself is made out of 3/4” cabinet grade plywood. The end panels and back are aligned using #20 biscuits, and secured with glue and screws, while the center panels are set in dadoed grooves. The face frame was constructed using pocket screws and aligned to the cabinet with buisquits. The face frame is made from recycled oak flooring planed down to thickness. I have yet to attempt any mortise and tenon joinery.

The drawers are made from 100% reclaimed materials. The drawer sides are maple from the top of an old dresser, which I cut to size and ran through the planer to get them down to 1/2 inch. The corners are all joined with dovetails. The bottoms floats in a dado cut around the inside of the box. I had a bit of trouble with the dovetails at first, but with a bit of adjustment I was able to come out with some good joints. Next time I will make stopped dadoes, as these cut into my dovetails. The drawer fronts and door frame are also made from reclaimed oak from an old table top planed to thickness. The edges were detailed with a cove bit in the router. Now that I have a router table this will be a much easier operation next time.

The table top is 3/4” melamine glued and screwed to 2 layers of 3/4” CDX plywood. It is attached to the cabinet by screws thru gussets set in the corners of each bay of the the cabinet. Minor shimming was required under the top to make it as flat as possible. There is less than 10/1000ths variation anywhere in the surface. The banding around the top is reclaimed cedar from fence pickets. I used cedar because it is very soft and I wanted an edge that would not dent finer materials should they bump it.

Set into the table is a Rousseau baseplate, which I really don’t like. A miter track runs the full length of the table, the top of which has 2 T-tracks inset into it for attaching the fence. Below the insert rides a Porter Cable router with an above the table adjustment mechanism in lieu of a more sophisticated lift.

The entire cabinet sets atop 3” dual locking casters so it can be moved around easily. The top overhangs the cabinet 3” on all sides. I cut a piece of masonite to overlay it so I can use it as an assembly bench. It is 3/8” lower than the deck on my tablesaw so I can use it as an outfeed table.

-- Evil can only thrive when good men do nothing.......E. Burke



14 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3867 days


#1 posted 05-03-2008 06:43 AM

Thats a big router table. I wish I knew what was best. Most router tables seem to be too small.

-- 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 karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Freddo's profile

Freddo

82 posts in 3164 days


#2 posted 05-03-2008 07:22 AM

Wow – awesome job and great use of recycled wood. Are all of those drawers filled up with tools yet? I’m designing a router table to be part of my upcoming table saw workstation. I’m excited to get started but still ned to tweak the design. You did a great job on yours!

-- God bless! Freddo (Northern - NJ) Our Creator designed us to create - so use WOOD!

View FlWoodRat's profile

FlWoodRat

732 posts in 3376 days


#3 posted 05-03-2008 12:58 PM

Dave, nice job… I like your design and craftsmanship. Do you have the dimensions? Also, what dont you like about the base plate? Thanks for posting

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View jeanmarc's profile

jeanmarc

1897 posts in 3183 days


#4 posted 05-03-2008 01:12 PM

very beautiful work

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3289 days


#5 posted 05-03-2008 02:02 PM

Dave,

This is a very nice design and you did an excellent job on the construction. I like the way you added versatility to the table as well in that you can use it as an outfeed table. Very intelligent idea and well planned.

Do you plan to add a fence to it?

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jjohn's profile

jjohn

390 posts in 3180 days


#6 posted 05-03-2008 02:49 PM

Very well done. Nice looking table.

-- JJohn

View Davesfunwoodworking's profile

Davesfunwoodworking

272 posts in 3342 days


#7 posted 05-03-2008 08:11 PM

Nice router table. I like how big it is. Great job!!!!

-- Davesfunwoodworking

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 3241 days


#8 posted 05-03-2008 08:52 PM

Now thats what I call a router table. You did a very nice job on it. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View SWODADDY's profile

SWODADDY

31 posts in 3308 days


#9 posted 05-04-2008 03:23 AM

Wow I just made my first router table and this makes mine look like childs play. Great job!

-- The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals, the tragedy of life lies in not having goals to reach for.

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 3164 days


#10 posted 05-04-2008 03:51 AM

Very nice router table but why have it so big , mine is very very small and I do eveyting on it even raise panel doors

View DaveConry's profile

DaveConry

66 posts in 3164 days


#11 posted 05-04-2008 10:44 AM

Thank you all for the nice comments.

Freddo….unfortunately the drawers were pretty much filled up as they were built. That was a lot of the reason for the size of this unit.

GMman…...It is 30” x 60”.....big enough to replace a work bench, act as an outfeed for the tablesaw, a router table, an assembly bench, a storage unit…..and it is big enough to build double-wide raised panel garage doors…should I choose to do so. LOL!

FlWoodrat…....the only issue I have with the router insert is the fact that it is not comepletely flat. It is designed with a slight convex in the center. According to the manufacturer this is so that the center of the plate is always the highest point. It’s only about .020” but it annoys me. Other than that it is fine.

Scott and Pat…...the fence I am using on it right now is an old dog-earred beast that I had from an earlier experiment. As soon as I get the new pretty one built I will post it. I don’t have the final details yet, but I think it will be melamine with a sliding sacraficial fence, T-slots for attachments and hopefully be set up for dust collection….so many decisions…...so little brain matter. LOL!

-- Evil can only thrive when good men do nothing.......E. Burke

View Woodwayze's profile

Woodwayze

63 posts in 3552 days


#12 posted 05-04-2008 12:21 PM

I’d say there are ‘T’ slots in the top, probably to accomodate a fence.
That ‘T’ bar is still available only a few places in UK. It looks to be the latest ‘must use’, for home made jigs! I need some!!!

This is a lovel job of work, and I would definitely build something as big, if I had the space.
Nice Work

J.

-- Working fast helps you to arrive at your mistakes in spectacular fashion. (Me 2009!)

View DavidH's profile

DavidH

519 posts in 3210 days


#13 posted 05-11-2008 05:58 AM

Dave,

very nice. I need to build both a router table and an outfeed table i just might use your idea and make a large router table that will suffice both. Thanks for the post!

-- David - Houston, Texas. (http://www.justsquareenough.com/)

View DaveConry's profile

DaveConry

66 posts in 3164 days


#14 posted 05-30-2008 08:06 PM

I have been asked many times why this table is so large. The picture below shows why. The pieces being shaped on the table are actually 12 feet long. Note the temporary fence which is made from a couple pieces of melamine that I had laying around. Still no dust collection as of yet, but with projects this big I can’t use it indoors anyway. Note the large triangular knobs for the fence adjustment. I couldn’t find any that large at the woodworking store, so I made my own from a block of wood and a blind nut. The triangle shape makes them easy to grip with my large and arthritic hands.

Router Table

Router Table 2

-- Evil can only thrive when good men do nothing.......E. Burke

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