A Proper Router Station Cabinet

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Blog entry by Lenny posted 01-12-2011 02:19 PM 6526 reads 9 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am referring to this router station cabinet as Blake’s Cabinet, the Sequel. I made a favorite of Blake’s when I bought my LS Positioner and accessories, with the intention of one day making the same or a similar cabinet. You can see Blake’s blog series on his build here, “Incra Router Station”: For those who have already seen Blake’s blog on the build, this may be repetitive. However, I have departed from his build in some areas so it might still be of interest to you. This first installment covers the carcass (carcase if you prefer). I chose to make this from ¾” stock and splurged a bit as I bought a sheet of pre-finished maple ply. By doing a couple of glue-ups (the back and the divider) I was able to get the entire carcass, with the exception of the bottom, from the one sheet of plywood. The bottom is ¾” birch ply. The face frame is solid maple milled to ¾” by 2” and it is joined via pocket screw joinery.

I should step back to say that my router station consists of the Incra 17” LS Positioner, a Pinnacle router lift and a Porter Cable 7518, 3 ¼ hp router all mounted to a Woodpecker offset table. Here is a photo of the set up mounted to a temporary base I constructed while waiting to build this cabinet.

The table measures 27” X 43”. These were the guiding dimensions that helped me determine the dimensions of the cabinet. I made it 25” X 41 ½” X 36 ½” to tabletop height (incorporates the casters and tabletop thickness). I liked Blake’s idea of dedicated dust collection for the unit so I included the area beneath the router for a small Craftsman wet-vac. My set up incorporates dust collection above and below the router and will be covered in another installment.

I cut the carcass components to size and joined the divider to the back and bottom via a dado. Glue and screws from underneath hold the divider to the bottom and glue and toe nailed brads hold it to the back. I also cut a dado in the back, the left side panel and the left side of the divider for the shelf between the router and dust collection compartments. The remaining parts are joined via biscuits. The cabinet will sit on 3” locking casters. They can be seen in the first photo above.

Here are all the carcass components.

I learned from Blake’s blog that putting in the drawer runners after assembly can be quite a task so I made sure to do mine pre-assembly. I chose runners rated for 75 lbs and that allow ¾ extension. Here’s a photo of the drawer runners installed and attached to the divider and right side wall.

Once the divider was in place I began gluing up the sides. Here is a shot of the unit upside down and the right side being glued and clamped.

And here is a shot of the completed carcass. The hole you see is where the hose will exit to the above table dust collection.

Next I made the face frame. Here’s the back side of the face frame, showing the pocket hole joinery.

And here it is in the correct orientation.

Here is a shot of all the biscuits in place, ready for the face frame.

And finally, one of the face frame glue up. I used every long clamp I own for this one.

Next installment: The Switch and Dust Collection

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

26 comments so far

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2759 days

#1 posted 01-12-2011 02:31 PM

your ‘temporary’ one looks prety good

but this one is just great

using all the space under the tools
is a great way to store things
and drawers are always welcome

nice build
and good instructive photos
and details

thanks lenny

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View ellen35's profile


2719 posts in 2850 days

#2 posted 01-12-2011 02:39 PM

Glad to see you are keeping busy in your retirement, Lenny!
This looks great.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View blackcherry's profile


3292 posts in 3241 days

#3 posted 01-12-2011 02:45 PM

The rout is on…great start Lenny. Look to me your like the new and warm shop, enjoy the snow fall…WC

View SPalm's profile


5249 posts in 3300 days

#4 posted 01-12-2011 03:49 PM

Go Lenny!
I want one. I want one.

It seems like you used every joinery technique in the book. I don’t disagree with any of it.

Thanks, this is fun to watch,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2706 days

#5 posted 01-12-2011 03:53 PM

nice work.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 2609 days

#6 posted 01-12-2011 05:17 PM

Lenny, your tempoary stand looks exactly like my perminant stand…Very nice!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3303 days

#7 posted 01-12-2011 05:40 PM

And he turned on the Buzz Saw…............................................ ;-))))))

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Lenny's profile


1469 posts in 2945 days

#8 posted 01-12-2011 05:44 PM

To David and Bob, I made the temporary base sturdy because I knew it would be awhile before I would make the cabinet and I wanted to be able to use the tool. That entire setup (Positioner, lift, router and tabletop) is quite heavy!

Thanks Ellen and Ike.

Wilson, 2 to 4 inches of snow you can enjoy. Over a foot…not so much! The good news is it got my wife a day off from work.

Steve it’s funny you should mention the joinery. I was thinking the same thing as I wrote the blog. You’ve got your dadoes, your biscuits and your pocket holes. No mortise and tenons though. Hmm, maybe when I make the doors? By the way Steve you must be a router station cabinet junky. As I recall you followed Blake’s throughout.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Lenny's profile


1469 posts in 2945 days

#9 posted 01-12-2011 05:47 PM

Hey John. Thanks for chiming in. Come join me for an afternoon of moving snow around. I will take the helm of the snowblower, you get the “manual snow mover”.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3146 days

#10 posted 01-12-2011 06:14 PM

very nice. i was very confused by the orientation around the vac until you posted the correction (-:

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2495 posts in 2525 days

#11 posted 01-12-2011 07:12 PM

Lenny, Dog gone it! I buy you books, send you to school, and you still haven’t learned to keep enough clamps on hand. These woodworkers now a days. tsk tsk lol I’m sorry, just couldn’t resist.

That is going to be…....Correction…IS one very nice addition to a great shop. Good to see you having so much fun in your retirement.

Try the Tom Sawyer method for snow removal. Like PT Barnum said there’s a sucker born every minute. lol

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2752 days

#12 posted 01-12-2011 07:28 PM

Nicely done Lenny, You will have a great router table there when finished. I couldn’t figure out how you mounted the drawer hardware in relation to the face frame. Did you have to use spacers to align the gliders with the door openings?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Lenny's profile


1469 posts in 2945 days

#13 posted 01-12-2011 07:29 PM

Thanks Hokie. Come on Rand, cut me some slack will you? lol All I said was this took all of my LONG clamps. I had several 24” and 12” clamps sitting on the wall watching and laughing at me scurry around the glue up adding clamps at a frantic pace. I am about to head out to the shed for the snowblower. Most of my neighbors have one so I’m not counting on success with the Tom Sawyer tactic.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Lenny's profile


1469 posts in 2945 days

#14 posted 01-12-2011 07:48 PM

I guess I will stay a bit longer to answer stefang’s question. The snow will still be there. Hi Mike. Let’s see how I can best answer this. First I made the spacers that you see at the rear of the drawer compartment since the runners are only 22” long. I attached the spacers temporarily with screws. With the face frame clamped to a work surface, face side down, I positioned the divider in its exact location and using right angle clamps, clamped it in place. Using a shim to allow for the required 1/32” to 1/16” space at the front of the runner, I wedged the runner and mounting bracket between the spacer and shim (there is some play front to back) and set it in the face frame exactly where it would be located. I then used a small torpedo level to assure plumb in two directions. This means that if the unit were upright, the runners would be level up and down and consistent left and right. Holding the bracket in place, I installed one drywall screw and followed that up with the two mounting screws. I repeated this on the outside wall. If not clear, let me know Mike.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 3292 days

#15 posted 01-12-2011 08:01 PM

Lookin’ good!

-- Happy woodworking!

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