After seeing many other beautiful and functional router tables here on LJ’s one of the top projects on my to-do list has been to make a proper router table. I have used an extension wing on my TS as my router table due to space constraints in my current shop; however with an impending move to a new, larger garage, I felt it was finally time to build one.
I chose a 24”x 32” laminated MDF top from MCLS. The deciding factor was that it was cheap and I’m broke. Eventually I’d like to upgrade to something I could put a better fence on, but for now this will do fine. The cabinet design is intrinsically linked to the router top size and placement of the insert. I wanted a large, central space to mount the router and allow me to hook up a 6” DC port on the back. Unfortunately though, this left me with smaller than I would have preferred space on each side for drawers. Will be enough though to store my router bits and some of the other router gear.
My ignorance of Sketchup meant old-fashioned pencil and paper for design.
Most of my shop projects so far consist of plywood screwed together with drywall screws. This would have been the easier route to take, but I wanted to stretch my limited woodworking skills, and build a proper cabinet with face-frame construction.
After cutting the components from fir 1×2’s, I decided to use dowels to join them. It was my first attempt at using a dowling jig. I’ve heard that pocket hole joinery is easier, but I wanted to cut dado’s in the back of the face frame once assembled to fit the cabinet sides into, and I didn’t want to have to worry about hitting a screw. Overall, I found using dowels tedious, and not entirely precise.
Glue-up turned out ok though, and I’ll move on to constructing the carcase next.
-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil