Router Table #1: The Scrap Pile Got a Little Smaller...

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Blog entry by RaggedKerf posted 08-16-2013 11:50 PM 1397 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Router Table series Part 2: The Fence »

As I contemplated working on Kylie’s Castle Bookcase, I realized that my plan for custom trim around the bottom and top would need the services of a router. I figured it would be easier to use a router table rather than clamp a 1×4 piece of wood to the bench and rout it by hand.

To this end, I turned to the router table that my father in law gave me, but soon realized that the table was too small. It would be just fine for smaller parts, lighter work and such. But handling pieces longer than 3 feet in length, I wanted something bigger, more stable, customizable, and of a height with the workbench so I could use that as an out-feed table.

So, what else could I do but design my own! I had plenty of 2×4s and some scrap plywood and MDF laying around….ideas came together and I had a plan.

First things first, I had to cut some 2×4s to length. Lucky me, I had just enough left over from the last project (building shelves in the basement). With everything cut, fit, and screwed together, I had a frame!

Here it is, sitting next to the bench in it’s eventual home. Yeah, right now it looks like a glorified shell for a small trashcan. But not for long!

I plan to attach two casters to the rear legs so I can tilt it and wheel it out of the space there for use. But for now, it needed a top. I mounted a piece of 1/2” plywood to the top, then cut out a hole for the router bit to get through.

I wanted the ability to make my own knobs for a sliding fence so I could make it the way I want. To make t-tracks for the planned toilet flange screws I was going to use, I routed 1/2” dados on the plywood (upper side). Then, I cut up the last of my MDF and attached them to the plywood in such a way that the gap between the 1/4” MDF panels equaled 1/4” in width. Now the flat head of the flange screw will fit in the slot, with the bolt part of it sliding down the track. I punched a hole in the MDF and here she is:

The MDF is not square with the plywood yet—-I’m going to go back over that with a flush trim bit and smooth that out. The picture doesn’t look like it, but the table is about a 1/16” shorter than the height of the workbench. Nice.

I flipped the table over and mounted my Dad’s vintage 1978 Black and Decker router to the underside of the plywood:

Then an idea hit me. Why not utilize the space under the router more effectively? I’m already planning on enclosing the router in a crude cabinet to make it quieter and reduce the spread of dust in the shop. But…there’s exactly enough space under that to store my benchtop drill press, too!

So, I decided to add some cleats on the lower 2×4 braces and will plank it over with scrap 1×4s leftover from when I did the same thing on the workbench:

Next up…the fence!

-- Steve

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