Proper Router Station #3

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Blog entry by Lenny posted 03-08-2011 03:43 AM 5870 reads 4 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well it has taken me over a month to complete the drawers and doors for this router station cabinet but they are finished. I wanted to make this a series but had some problems doing so when I made my first post on this project. If interested, you can find the prior posts amongst my blogs. To summarize, I am making a router station cabinet for my Incra LS Positioner, Porter-Cable 7518 router and Pinnacle v2 router lift, all of which sit on a Woodpecker offset router table. I am fashioning the project after one made by Blake but making personal modifications as I go along.

I decided to make the drawers from Baltic birch with solid maple fronts. The fronts are 7/8” thick, the sides and back are ½” and the drawer bottoms are ¼”. I had every intention of using dovetail joints where the sides meet the front but ran into difficulties which I attribute to my router. I have a Leigh jig and I ran test cuts in pine and they came out fine. When I installed the first drawer front (maple) in the jig, I found that the router was not holding/locking the depth of cut. Anyway, I shifted gears and opted to make locking rabbet joints at the front. The back sits in a dado cut into the sides and the bottom floats in a groove in the front and side pieces.

Here is a photo of the drawer pieces laid out followed by one of the assembled drawer:

When I conceptualized these drawers I decided I wanted to use some purpleheart and yellowheart as accent wood. I came up with a horizontal stripe design. I cut ¼”x 1/4” strips of the two woods (slightly oversized depth-wise), glued them up to form a ¾” strip, dadoed out a ¾” wide by ¼” deep dado and inlaid the strip into the drawfront. Here are a couple of shots of the work while in process:

The drawers are overlay drawers so a 3/8” rabbet is cut all around the inside edges and then I did a ¼” roundover on the front edges. I used a block plane and cabinet scraper to bring the stripe flush with the maple. I had the best luck I ever had with my card scraper. One of the photos shows the wonderful, thin curls I was getting as I pushed the scraper through the stock.

The most enjoyable part of this project to date was the epiphany I had one day about making my own drawer pulls. I got the idea to fashion the pulls into the names of my family! I have a wife and two daughters so I did their names and mine. I made the pulls from purpleheart. I drew our names freehand on paper in bubble-letter fashion, making them about 7/8” tall. I glued the names onto strips of purpleheart using adhesive spray. Then I broke out the scroll saw and went to work laboriously following the lines. I chose spots to keep solid so as to maintain enough stock to have a functional pull. I went back and used a Dremel tool to carve out the spots I didn’t scroll saw.

Here is a photo of the finished drawers:

Next, I needed a way to attach them leaving a space for my fingers. I milled purpleheart spacers making them 5/8” deep. I epoxied them to the pulls and after locating them on the drawer fronts, I clamped and drilled into them for the screws (drilled from the inside of the drawfront). I added some silicon caulk into the holes and on the back side of the screw head to hold them in place. I am pleased with the end result and so are my three ladies!

As for the doors, the top one is to access the router chamber and includes a floor register to provide take up air to the shop-vac in the lower compartment. The doors are rail and stile type with flat panels that include the accent stripe. I joined the rails and stiles with pockethole joinery. The pocketholes will show when the cabinet doors are opened but what the heck, this is a for a shop tool! For the time being, I have installed store bought door knobs on the doors. Eventually I might make some from purpleheart.

Here is a shot of the completed unit with the door knobs installed:

The two doors are made from some maple I already owned. It has a more amber tone than the rest of the cabinet but again, it is a shop tool. The finish on the unit is 3 coats of Minwax wipe on polyurethane with #000 steel wool “sanding” between coats. So this project is nearly finished. I added 6 glue blocks (actually triangles) which will be used to screw down the tabletop and I installed locking casters on the bottom of the cabinet. I think I will make one final post after I have placed the “business” portion on top. Thanks for checking in on me.

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

21 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


3368 posts in 3036 days

#1 posted 03-08-2011 03:59 AM

Great looking cabinet. The banding really catches the eye and the pulls are great.

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

View TMcG's profile


191 posts in 3025 days

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

That really is a great looking cabinet, can’t wait to see it all assembled and ready to go.


View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3697 days

#3 posted 03-08-2011 04:41 AM

Lenny, thats going to be a nice router station once you finish.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4153 posts in 3600 days

#4 posted 03-08-2011 04:46 AM

You’re setting that bar pretty high for guys with two left hands like me Lenny!
And, that name/drawer pull idea, BRILLIANT !
That thing is sweet !

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View brianl's profile


108 posts in 3105 days

#5 posted 03-08-2011 06:10 AM

Looking great! I really like the purpleheart and yellowheart accent.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3444 days

#6 posted 03-08-2011 06:30 AM

Way to go Lenny !!
Keep up the creative ideas!

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3215 days

#7 posted 03-08-2011 08:20 AM

Really attractive Lenny, baltic birch is my favorite ply wood for
jigs-fixtures-and drawers.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18286 posts in 3700 days

#8 posted 03-08-2011 11:09 AM

Looks too nice for the shop!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3526 days

#9 posted 03-08-2011 12:46 PM

Great Job Lenny!!
That’s going to be a joy for you to use for many years to come… Very Well Done!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3456 days

#10 posted 03-08-2011 01:21 PM

Super job, Lenny… this looks like it could be in your living room!
This is the Cadallac of router tables!

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

View rogerw's profile


262 posts in 2714 days

#11 posted 03-08-2011 02:46 PM

very nice!

-- >> my shop teacher used to say "do the best at everything you make for your mom because you're going to see it for the rest of your life!" <<

View Lenny's profile


1596 posts in 3551 days

#12 posted 03-08-2011 03:05 PM

Thank you for the kind comments everyone. I have had some fun, some frustration and some challenges with this build. A part of me is glad it is almost over. If all goes well, either today or tomorrow I will be giving it a test drive.

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3846 days

#13 posted 03-08-2011 03:06 PM

Lenny, this is one of the nicest looking cabinets that I have had the opportunity to see. This looks like a piece of fine furniture rather than a shop tool.

Now you do realize that since this cabinet looks so good you are going to be expected to upgrade the rest of your shop furniture! :)

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

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3906 days

#14 posted 03-08-2011 03:26 PM

Wow Lenny. That is nice!
What an inspiring build.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Lenny's profile


1596 posts in 3551 days

#15 posted 03-08-2011 04:33 PM

Thank you Scott and Steve. Scott, my shop “to do” list includes a sanding center for sheets of sandpaper, sanding disks, sanding blocks and maybe my random orbit sander. Perhaps a Queene Anne highboy would look nice?

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

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