A Proper Router Station Cabinet #2 - Switch and Dust Collection

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Blog entry by Lenny posted 01-22-2011 03:41 AM 3390 reads 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For those who may have missed Part #1, I am making a router station cabinet using Blake’s as a prototype. When it came to the switch for this router station, like Blake, I wanted/needed one that would turn on the router and dust collection at the same time. Blake wired his own switch, I opted to buy a Kreg switch when I saw it on sale. The thing is, it is made to be screwed to the leg of a Kreg work station. It is manufactured with a tab to the side, supported by an angled plastic bracket. I had to come up with a means of mounting this to my face frame. I decided to make two short pieces of maple that fit snugly in the two slots. This way, I could still use the screw holes. I then bridged the two small pieces with a third, longer piece and glued all three together. Here is a photo of the manufactured piece next to the switch:

I made this jig even with the end of the tab so I could then glue it to a larger piece of wood that would butt against the switch. I cut a piece of purpleheart to fit snugly around the tab and tweaked everything until I got a decent fit. I glued the purpleheart to the maple jig and when it was dry, I was able to slide the whole unit in and out of the slots on the tab. Here is a shot of the two joined together:

Two screws through the tab and into the maple hold the two together. Viewing it from the front, the purpleheart is the same width as the switch. This is for aesthetic balance. The width of the switch and purpleheart together established where I set the stile in the face frame. Initially I planned to place the switch low in this space and fill the area above it but I found that I am more likely to accidentally hit the switch with my knee if it is there. So I mounted it high with a purpleheart spacer below it. The spacer is permanently glued and nailed to the backside of the face frame and I secured the switch unit to the carcass via two small L-brackets. Here’s a photo of the mounted switch from the back:

I planned to mount all of it flush with the face frame and liked that look but again, with it set back about 1/4”, I am less likely to bump it. Here it is:

This unit has dedicated dust collection. Blake found a 3.0 hp Craftsman wet-vac with a 2-1/2” hose. I was unable to find one of those but did find a 2.5 hp Craftsman but it only has a 1-7/8” hose. Here is a photo of the vac in its compartment:

Via some research on the net, I found a woodworker who had success using automotive exhaust adaptors on his DC system. I found one that, with a piece of duct tape (not even a full turn around the piece), fits snugly in the wet-vac and the inside diameter is 2-1/8”. The other end accepts 2-1/2” hose nicely. As there is dust collection at the fence as well as below the router, I bought a 2-1/2” wye. One end goes to the dust chute below the router compartment and the other exits the vac compartment and goes up to the fence. I should note that I strayed from Blake’s design here. I did not include the slanted board he used in the upper compartment to direct the dust and chips to the dust chute. I will see how this works and if not satisfied, will add this feature. Here is a photo of the adaptor, the wye and the connected hoses:

I may shorten the hoses once I see the unit in operation. And here is the set up attached to the vac:

The cord for the vac has to be plugged into the switch above so it has to exit the lower compartment and enter the top. Rather than make two holes, I decided to carve out a space next to the hose exit hole. Here is a photo of that:

And here is a photo showing the vac cord (and hose) exiting the lower compartment. The cord continues around the side of the cabinet and enters a hole in the upper compartment. The cord coming out of the compartment is the plug for the switch:

I had to make quite a large hole to fit the plugs through. I decided to make a small plug that fills the larger hole and leaves a smaller one for the two cords. I will caulk both holes to help seal this compartment:

Lastly, here is a photo of how the exiting hose will connect to the LS Positioner fence. Of course, the LS Positioner will be sitting on top of the cabinet:

More to follow.

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

20 comments so far

View patron's profile


13609 posts in 3369 days

#1 posted 01-22-2011 03:49 AM

it is easy to see
why this wasn’t banned
in boston

well done

enjoy !

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

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3802 days

#2 posted 01-22-2011 03:54 AM

Hi Lenny

You are doing a great job on this unit. It is will thought out and a nice addition to your shop. Looking forward to its completion. Thanks for sharing.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3701 days

#3 posted 01-22-2011 04:48 AM

Lenny, I like your router table.

View Lenny's profile


1596 posts in 3555 days

#4 posted 01-22-2011 04:57 AM

No Boston Massacre here David! Thank you. Tom, thank you as well. Much of the credit has to go to Blake. CJ, thank you.

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

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3851 days

#5 posted 01-22-2011 05:05 AM

Hey Lenny looks like you moving right along on your table, can’t wait to see all the double double dovetails and such. Hope all the heavy snow fall is over, were in a deep freeze right now. This doesn’t bow well for the NFC championship game this weekend, thank god for HD,cold beer and home cooking…lol, stay warm my friend…BC

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3447 days

#6 posted 01-22-2011 07:03 AM

Hi Lenny,
Nice Job !! I would recommend a high quality hepa filter…otherwise…you’ll be getting fine dust in your lungs.


-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 01-22-2011 07:17 AM

You is welcome, Lenny I may someday build a router table for my shop.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3460 days

#8 posted 01-22-2011 07:30 AM

You are making great progress, Lenny.
It’s going to be a beauty when you finish!

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

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3316 days

#9 posted 01-22-2011 09:14 AM

nice work can’t wait to see it done.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3910 days

#10 posted 01-22-2011 03:08 PM

Hey Lenny,
That really looks nice. Soon to finish.

Thanks for the tip about the vac hose adapter. I can use that.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3331 days

#11 posted 01-22-2011 03:46 PM

your doing a great job lenny…we can tell your having fun here …i cant wait to see this project in the finished mode..its looking great….grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View 489tad's profile


3370 posts in 3039 days

#12 posted 01-22-2011 04:08 PM

Good find on the exhust adaptor. Looking forward to the finish project.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Lenny's profile


1596 posts in 3555 days

#13 posted 01-22-2011 04:48 PM

Thanks a lot Wilson. Yeah, I have about had it with the “S word” this winter. I try to look at the positive side though which is that at least I don’t have to commute in it anymore! Thanks Paul, I will take you up on that hepa filter suggestion. Thanks Ellen, Ike, Steve, Grizz and Dan. The adaptor find was a stroke of luck. I think I did a search on 1-7/8” to 2-1/2” adaptor and when I clicked on one of the items it opened up to another woodworking forum. This fellow was sharing his experience finding and using the exhaust adaptors. I found both Pep Boys and Advanced Autoparts to have them and they have plenty of sizes from which to choose.

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

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3014 days

#14 posted 01-22-2011 05:40 PM

Your router station is looking mighty fine Lenny! Your work should pay off in precise & dust-free routing! I may need the vac hose adaptor tip because I need to refurb my router table too.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3219 days

#15 posted 01-22-2011 06:43 PM

It’s building real nice. Lenny, your making me wish I had built the lower part. With more work
comes more dust. Earlier this week My furnace chewed up the air filter and tripped a circuit breaker
switch. I pulled out the filter it was packed solid with saw dust (less than 3 weeks old the filter) As
time allows I guess I’m going to have to work on air purification and dust collection. Well your cabinet
looks like it’ll trap and capture all the dust real nice. As for my current dust collection system: You
know the dust falls on the floor then I sweep it up!!! Well that system probably has to go. Nice work
looking forward to seeing the final product!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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