Incra Offset Router Table #1: Layout, Design, and Building an Heirloom!

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Blog entry by SWM posted 09-15-2010 05:54 AM 8097 reads 10 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Incra Offset Router Table series Part 2: Sketchup Pics »

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, I also really liked the gold/red design of “treeman” at And finally the designs of 559dustdesigns just gave me something to aspire too!

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

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!

7 comments so far

View sras's profile


4811 posts in 3154 days

#1 posted 09-15-2010 04:25 PM

I too have this on my “list”. I’ll be following your story with interest…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3899 days

#2 posted 09-15-2010 05:30 PM

Glad I could help. Enjoy your new router table.

Click for details

-- Happy woodworking!

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2913 days

#3 posted 09-15-2010 06:06 PM

To get a SketchUp screen shot, go to the file menu ans select export. This will prompt you to make a choice. Choose 2 d image and click on it, then proceed as you would with saving a file.

Hope that’s clear enough, it’s so much easier to show than to explain.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View ChristopherRobinson's profile


1 post in 2212 days

#4 posted 05-30-2012 09:19 PM

Was the table big enough for your needs?
I’m trying to find a bigger table as Incra recommends minimum “56-3/4” x 27”

- 44-3/4” from the centerline of the router to the edge of the table where the base assembly mounts
- 12” from the centerline of the router to the other edge of the table (opposite edge where the base assembly mounts).
- 27” from the infeed edge to the outfeed edge of the table.

Just curious if you found a need to make your table bigger….or if you are totally satisfied…

What are your dimensions in regard to the measurements from end of table to insert etc?

View SWM's profile


94 posts in 3083 days

#5 posted 05-31-2012 12:47 PM

I have used the table for a few large panel projects, which I presume is why you’re worried about size. My typical setup on the Woodpecker’s 32×53 table allows for almost 19 inches of one-way cleareance from router center point to the wonder fence’s edge. I could get another 4 or 5 inches by taking the wonder fence off but I haven’t had the need yet. I think the largest panel that I routed was maybe 24 or 25 inches wide. The repeatability of the Incra system makes it easy to just flip the panel and start from the other edge, which really gives you about 38” of workable material handling.

Also if it helps, my Incra LS32 was originally purchased for a table saw setup that I ultimately dismantled. Incra markets the LS positioner for router tables in 17” & 25” lengths,if I recalll correctly. My 32” LS does have some additional unused capacity of about 6 to 7 inches. I have contemplated adding some sort of extension bracket to the table, but that project waits for another day.

-- Working on a retirement hobby, only 30 more years to practice!

View ScottKaye's profile


648 posts in 1978 days

#6 posted 08-03-2017 01:36 PM

anyway we could get you to update your photo bucket account? It seems the link to your pictures has expired.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View SWM's profile


94 posts in 3083 days

#7 posted 08-10-2017 09:28 PM

Sorry. Photobucket now requires pay subscriptions to host 3rd party content. Not sure where these old photos are at the moment.

-- Working on a retirement hobby, only 30 more years to practice!

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