Norm Abram Router Table #1: Cabinet & Top

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Blog entry by Litrenta posted 05-06-2013 04:59 PM 16126 reads 15 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Norm Abram Router Table series Part 2: Finishing Up »

I’ve been wanting to build a new router table for a while now ever since I got rid of my old one. I’ve always like the Norm Abram style router table, I just needed some time to build one. Since the weather is getting nicer and it’s not below freezing up here anymore, I finally got a chance to start this. I used the plans that were available at:

They were a good set of plans to start with and best of all they were free! I’ve completed the base so far and just started moving onto the top of it now. I got a little bit of practice working with contact cement when I laminated the bottom of the bit drawers with some 1/8” melamine hardboard that way I would know what I was dealing with when I did the top.

Everything is made out of maple plywood, and I was able to use so many scrap cutoffs from other projects so it’s been a really nice use of materials. Plus I had all the knobs given to me when someone did a kitchen redo so that was another score! Overall I’m really happy with the progress of it now and it’s probably the nicest piece of shop furniture I have to this point. Been using this as a good test for a lot of different methods of joinery and really trying to hone my skills.

The top is some Formica countertop material that I scored from HD for 10$ because there was a chip in it. The top is a sandwich of 1/2” and 3/4” MDF along with the Formica top. It was edge banded with some Oak I had kicking around and used some biscuits to keep everything nice and lined up when I did the glue up. I think this was the best mitering job I’ve done so far, everything fits perfectly and is nice and level with the top. In the past I haven’t been so lucky so I’m happy it turned out well.

Just need to finish up routing the top for the router plate, finish the router fence, add the T-Track, and build the dust extraction chute. But I think at this point all the hard work is done. Now I just need to make sure I don’t screw up routing the t-track or router plate and wrecking the decent job I’ve done with the top =)


7 comments so far

View Mip's profile


453 posts in 2040 days

#1 posted 05-06-2013 05:17 PM

Looks good so far. I have the same plans, and when I have more times between projects and work, I’m going to build this table. Take your time in deciding where to put the t-track groove, like you said, you don’t want to screw up now when you can see the end in sight.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2539 days

#2 posted 05-06-2013 06:42 PM

Nice job!
Those are a great set of plans and I’ll be building my own version soon.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 3635 days

#3 posted 05-06-2013 08:58 PM

Sweet! You’ll be wondering why you didn’t build one a long time ago. It will become one of your most prized tools in the shop!

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View NiteWalker's profile


2736 posts in 2539 days

#4 posted 05-07-2013 12:22 AM

I forgot to add, one thing I would have done is apply the wood edging first, then the laminate. That way you’s have a seamless top.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Litrenta's profile


25 posts in 2085 days

#5 posted 05-07-2013 01:18 PM

NiteWalker, I decided to do it by laminating the top first because I didn’t trust myself getting everything straight with the formica. I laminated the top, used a router with a flush trim bit to get the top nice and even and then I used a biscuit joiner after it was laminated. So when I attached everything it’s perfectly level with the top. It turned out amazing and I would definitely do it again that way, I found there was a little less room for error. Only thing I needed to cleanup was a little squeeze out from the glue.


View NormG's profile


5927 posts in 2966 days

#6 posted 05-08-2013 12:49 AM

Thanks for sharing, looks very sturdy

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

View Shuja's profile


270 posts in 1529 days

#7 posted 11-11-2014 01:57 PM

nice execution Hope by now you have a lot of wear & tear on this table

-- shuja

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