So I’ve been playing with the idea of building a “real” router table for a few years now. Like many of you, I have drooled over the marvelous work and attention to detail of previous LJ’s offset router tables for a few years now.
Many thanks to Blake and his blog series, http://lumberjocks.com/Blake/blog/series/358. I also really liked the gold/red design of “treeman” at http://lumberjocks.com/projects/26690. And finally the designs of 559dustdesigns just gave me something to aspire too! http://lumberjocks.com/559dustdesigns/blog/11080
I used this project as a good excuse to learn Sketchup and the cutlist plugin. It took a couple of late evenings at the computer, but I’m really glad that I spent the time to get the basics down. I’ll post some sketchup screenshots just as soon as I figure out how to. I highly recommend http://sketchupforwoodworkers.com/
So now to the router table layout.
I had a 32” incra TS LS wonderfence combo from my old table saw. A new router table was just the excuse to get that bad boy back to work! I wanted to build a monster table that could take advantage of the fences length. I started with the 32” x 53” laminated table from woodpeckers. For $200, it’s hard for me to justify spending $100 and a weekend to make my own table, just to screw up the plate inset. So, now I have this giant offset table that definately needs a little extra bracing. As usual extra bracing may have gotten taken to the exteme. I didn’t want to take any chances given the size and weight of this table top.
I read a few LJ entries that contemplated a torsion box style brace. I’m not sure what to call the joint? Half lap maybe? I also integrated two pieces of 1/4 angle iron that I had laying around for that little extra touch of over the top. Let me know what you think?
All the joints were glue, clamped, and screwed together. The joints in the stretchers was really pretty tasking to my limited skills. I used the band saw to cut the ends just because it was easy. The middle mortises were trimmed out on the sliding miter saw using the depth stop, which turned out to be much more accurate than I expected. I removed the rest of the waste at the table saw with a entirely too high dado blade (multiple passes of course) and the miter sled. I used a #6 woodriver plane to level everything out for the table top before assembly.
Here’s a couple of pictures of the cabinet assembly. And to thank that my wife thought I would never used all those clamps! The main cabinet is 48” wide and 29” deep included drawer fronts. It all rides on 4” locking casters that are slightly offset from left to right so that I can use a pair of heavy duty toggle clamps to stabilize and bring to level. I’ll post more as I finish that part up.
I used MDF for the main cabinet structure mainly b/c I had two sheets in the shop already. I have since learned to regret this decision. Let me just say that the stuff doesn’t hold screws and splits alot easier than plywood. After a couple of glue/clamp emergencies later and the cabinet is finally assembled with 3/8” dado’s and rabbets at every joint possible.
The face frame is some of the finish grade douglas fir that is sold in Lowe’s. I caught the stuff on a 75% closeout and it’s been in the shop for almost 18 months. It turned out quite nice for “cheap lumber”. All joints are pocket screwed and glued. Finished with two coats of 2lb shellac and 3 coats of GEL Poly from General Finishes. Light sanding and praying between each coat!
Like I said. I really like red. After a coat of oil primer, the whole cabinet assembly got a coat of high gloss “regal red” enamel from Ace.
I still need to build the drawers on the right side. I originally planned to stack the drawers, but I’m concerned that I’ll get a lot of dust inside without the face frame to seal each one. Any thoughts? Should have thought about that first, huh? I contemplated just building doors to cover a set of 4 pull out drawers. Has anyone tried this. I would think that the doors could get in the way?
I’d certainly welcome any comments or suggestions. I’ll try to keep some updates out as the project progresses.
-- Working on a retirement hobby, only 30 more years to practice!