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Router Table #1: Planning and Face Frame

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Blog entry by Manitario posted 1144 days ago 3867 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Router Table series Part 2: Carcase construction »

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



9 comments so far

View scarpenter002's profile

scarpenter002

466 posts in 2502 days


#1 posted 1144 days ago

Looks like a great start.

-- Scott in Texas

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

253 posts in 1838 days


#2 posted 1143 days ago

Hi Rob,

You’re on the right track! I only wish I had the usable space to put a stand alone router table. Much as I like having one work station area, I’ve found that having to change the table saw set up to use the router table is a PITA…...

Since you are building your table, I thought this fence design might be of use. I built it with a few modifications. I made the fences out of melamine, and make them moveable and adjustable using recessed t-nuts. The only trick will be controlling the position on your new router table surface. BTW, if you want a zero clearance cutting surface on the fence, they can be made of MDF. This has worked well for me. The hole in the end of the fence is 2.25”. Dust collection works great! Find the article and design here:

http://www.finewoodw...e.aspx?id=33274

If you cannot see the article, let me know and I’ll copy and paste a drawing for you. Hope this is of help!

Gerry

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View EvilNuff's profile

EvilNuff

59 posts in 1224 days


#3 posted 1143 days ago

Gerry, I think your link is malformed, try this instead:

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

253 posts in 1838 days


#4 posted 1143 days ago

OOPS!! Thanks for correcvting the link!

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2255 posts in 1480 days


#5 posted 1142 days ago

Thanks guys; I’ve seen a number of plans for fancy router table fences, which are tempting to build, but honestly, I think that I’ll just save up my $$ and buy something like the Incra fence eventually.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1435 days


#6 posted 1141 days ago

I need to know how to USE a router. LOL And Doc- I thought you just moved into your house- but you are moving. Sounds like you put the garage on the top of the “must have” list. Good thinking! :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2255 posts in 1480 days


#7 posted 1141 days ago

Use a router??? But you have so much fun without one! I’ve been in my current house for 3 years, just enough time to renovate everything and now have to move. Actually, I’ve been travelling around this past year for work and am really, really tired of it, so have decided to move somewhere where I can work full time. So… a few more months in Thunder Bay and then out to Sault Ste. Marie for the fall.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View rivergirl's profile

rivergirl

3198 posts in 1435 days


#8 posted 1140 days ago

Well, you could just relocate down here to Pittsburgh. The land of the world’s finest hospitals and doctors. Nice rivers and bridges, no black flies…........... ;) Hard to imagine a Doctor having to work part time and move around for work…. That is really a pathetic sign of the times you know? No wonder you are tired of it- and looking for some roots. Better watch out with all that wood working Doc – you just might quit doctoring and become a professional sawduster. :) . Good luck in your move. Hope you find a nice big garage there! :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1424 days


#9 posted 1088 days ago

I really like the design I saw.

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

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