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Setting Up Shop #5: Shop Built Router Table for under $30

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Blog entry by DylanC posted 03-06-2011 12:54 AM 2392 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: The difference between static phase converters Part 5 of Setting Up Shop series Part 6: I Can Do That, Chapters 1 and 2 »

In the short time I’ve been a member of LJs, I’ve learned 2 very important things. First, it really is amazing what a person can do with a shop full of fancy tools and a little know-how. Second, all you really need are a few key tools, some basic skills and plenty of patience to achieve satisfactory results. Sure, I’d like to have a $900 router table with a $300 lift in it, but it’s not going to happen. So I built my own for under $30. I’ll post some pictures in the next day or so, but the main idea is simplicity.

I started with the Minimalist Router Table plan from FWW (http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/11120/free-plan-minimalist-router-table). I used a piece of scrap countertop for the top and used other scraps to build a basic 3-sided box for a base. Bought a 24” tall stand on clearance for $10 and spent another $3 on wood for the fence. Invested another couple of dollars in a switch, receptacle, power strip and two single-gang boxes for a table mounted switch. A a few bucks tied up in screws, bolts and washers to hold it all together.

Its no beauty but it’s good enough for me, for now. Maybe someday I’ll upgrade to a model with an aluminum router plate and a T-track, but that day is a long ways off.

-Dylan

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...



5 comments so far

View woody57's profile

woody57

647 posts in 2892 days


#1 posted 03-07-2011 04:08 AM

Looks fine to me. One thing I do with mine is I make the top separate so it can come off easily. That way you can make different tops for different jobs and change out as needed. I just have a friction fit. Currently I need a new fence for mine. It seems like there is always something else you can do to make it better. I’ve probably about 5 or 6 different fences over the years.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View DylanC's profile

DylanC

196 posts in 2139 days


#2 posted 03-07-2011 05:01 AM

When I built this fence, I did leave enough open space directly behind the bit so that I could add dust collection someday, although I’m not sure how well it will work with the open cabinet underneath. When you say you have different tops for different jobs, what’s the difference between them? My top is screwed on, but that can be changed if necessary.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

View cutmantom's profile

cutmantom

389 posts in 2500 days


#3 posted 03-07-2011 05:16 AM

dust collection right at the bit works very well, i think though you might find the top warping if the lamiate is only on the top, i cant tell from the picture, i had one similar and it did work for quite a while, when it sagged i would put a clamp on the legs to bow the top back to flat, i didnt have the stand you have which may take care that

View woody57's profile

woody57

647 posts in 2892 days


#4 posted 03-07-2011 02:26 PM

DylanC
About the different tops. When I’m in a project that requires several router set ups I like to set each one up and leave it until the job is finished. I also failed to mention that I have 9 routers (I hate to change bits). I forget that most people only have one or two. I have some routers dedicated to certain bits. One always has a 1/4” roundover, one always has a flush trim bit, one always has a 1/8” roundover, one always has a slot cutter, etc. I learned to work this way in a commercial cabinet shop and I can’t break the habit. It’s a big time saver.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View DylanC's profile

DylanC

196 posts in 2139 days


#5 posted 03-08-2011 03:13 AM

Woody57 – I guess when you’ve got 9 routers you need save money where you can. Even just $60 on a replaceable table insert adds up to over $500 in a big hurry.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

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