Apartment Router Table / Table Saw #1: Table Modification and Insert

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Blog entry by JonDH posted 02-06-2014 07:08 PM 2001 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Apartment Router Table / Table Saw series Part 2: Insert, Rails, and Fence »

I live in a small apartment but love woodworking. Thinking my old dining room table could be used for dinner and woodworking, I’ll try to convert it to a general workbench, router table and maybe even a table saw.

For the first step, I made a frame to cut both the hole in the table and the insert. I used a 1/4” bit with a 1” bushing for the hole and a 1/2” bushing for the insert.

Unfortunately one of my clamps slipped while I was working and took too much from one of the edges. I got frustrated, went a little to quickly and broke the router bit. This will be a lesson is patience.

To fix the gouges, I made inlays and cut off the excess using the original form and a plane.

I glued in blocks underneath the table to hold the insert, but I forgot to take pictures of that. Here’s a picture from a little later in the project that shows the blocks.

The last step was cutting out the insert. I tried using a chisel to round over the corners, but that was a mistake. There were a lot of voids in the wood already and the chisel just highlighted that. Sandpaper worked better. This was the result.

6 comments so far

View HerbC's profile (online now)


1756 posts in 2857 days

#1 posted 02-06-2014 07:47 PM

Good progress. Good solutions to problems encountered working on this project.

I take it you’re not married and live alone? < SMILE >

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View jim65's profile


999 posts in 1931 days

#2 posted 02-06-2014 10:02 PM

This will be a fun blog to watch :-) Patience is the key, take it slow. I just mentioned to my wife that you are converting the kitchen table and she mentioned what Herb said, “does he love alone?” keep at it, I built my workbench 20 years ago in a spare bedroom of an apartment in Vienna Austria, neighbors did not appreciate it but I still have the workbench! Be safe and have fun!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View cyclops4069's profile


66 posts in 1575 days

#3 posted 02-07-2014 08:41 AM

like Jim65…this is going to be a great blog to watch…hahaha…one can only assume you DO live alone….I think if I tried that at home….wow….there would be nowhere I could hide….

will you be storing the fence separately? and the router….will it live under the table or be stored elsewhere??
I am keen to see how you go..

-- regards, cyclops4069

View JonDH's profile


3 posts in 1578 days

#4 posted 02-07-2014 02:17 PM

I suppose it is pretty obvious I live alone. This table will have some spare parts:

extra inserts
the fence

I’d like to have a storage spot on the table for all of those, but I’m not sure how to do it yet. I like the idea of minimalist clips under the table, but some shallow drawers would also be pretty nice. I like drawers because the parts would be less likely to fall out. This probably isn’t a normal concern but I take the table outside to use it. I may live alone, but I still don’t want sawdust covering my living room.

Let me know if y’all have ever seen clever under-table storage.


View jim65's profile


999 posts in 1931 days

#5 posted 02-07-2014 09:29 PM

if your just starting, I would go with stackable plastic boxes. Easy to move out of the way and easy to move when you change apartments. As you go, build a tool box. Everytime I try to make a cabinet to hold everything, I outgrow it or change the table or get a new router and it’s bigger or… Build your talent on simple stuff and keep going. If your in an apartment, start with hand tools. They make for better neighbors. In Italy, a single family home is rare – my shop is off of the garage that is under the apartment (our “block” has 6 apartments on two floors and we all get along very well but I am still careful when I use the tables saw and planer – and Italy is generally a loud place. Cheers!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View NormG's profile


6111 posts in 3001 days

#6 posted 02-08-2014 01:11 AM

Very creative, you could use it as a motorized Lazy Susan

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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