First Shop #8: Router Table!

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Blog entry by YooperCasey posted 01-13-2008 07:08 PM 2083 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Stanley's Finest and Refinishing Part 8 of First Shop series Part 9: Router table thoughts and the future »

I spent last evening making myself a router table!

This is my first “major” project that is beyond anything small and simple. I had nothing but a circular saw, corded drill and hand tools to make it with and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

When I started I was stuck with a bit of a problem. I have no sawhorses or any other way to handle large stock such as 2X4s. I had to balance them on a small tool box and a beer cooler! To make sure the cuts were straight I clamped on a piece of maple for an edge guide for all my cuts. The process was tedious, but all my cuts turned out great. Cutting the MDF was a bit more troublesome, my blade had alot of tearout. If I foresee myself working more of that stuff I’ll definitely get a finer toothed blade.

As to assembly my clamp collection is limited to I had to get extra creative with workholding devices to keep everything square and stout. Much to my amazement it turned out square! For fasteners I used GRK fasteners. A bit on those babies, here’s a link to the media section on there website. These little babies are awesome. I could buy a box of 100 construction screws for $3.50, I bought a box of 100 2 1/2 inch GRK’s for $6.50. I knew I wanted something that I had more trust in and if I had to remove a panel I wanted a screw that wasn’t designed for a single use in. They pre drill themselves, have corrugated threads, cut there own counter sink and use a star drive. They lock down TIGHT!

Once I had the frame built I started in on the MDF. This stuff is a mess! My dust collection consists of a broom and a mini shop-vac. I had alot of cleaning to do at various stages. My cuts weren’t as nice as with the 2X4’s, but I didn’t have a fine tooth blade. I cut the top, put a 45 degree miter on the back, and cut a matching miter on another panel to go on the back. I used a few 2X4’s to square it up when glued, when it set it all got screwed to the frame.

The rear panel is for a horizontal router mounting carriage Mark Mclaughlin wrote into the plans. Once I get a good feel for it I’ll add that feature later. For the time being the router is mounted with cap screws to the top, once I get my insert plate in I’ll install that. (Rousseau)

I’ve done a few test cuts, really like it so far! I had to add the dust collection port that came with the router to the fence, this thing is messy! I’m really going to have to explore some new dust collection methods beyond my mini shop-vac.

All of my tools performed great except my jig saw. It is a Black and Decker so now I’m in the market for one of those puppies. It cuts compound angles right now, most frustrating. I’d love a Festool, but I’ll probably get a Freud or a Bosch. Anyone comment on that?

It’s snowing hard here, another 3-5 inches forecast tommorow. So here’s a little buddy my wife made in the backyard for those of you without snow! I can hear an ore boat on the bay sounding the fog horn, be one bad day to be on the lake today.

-- Casey, Engineer, Escanaba, MI

2 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3845 days

#1 posted 01-13-2008 07:51 PM

Nice table!!! You could have simply bought a commercial table but I am glad to see that you took the time to design and build one yourself (besides it gave you an excuse to spend some time in the shop rather than shoveling the sidewalk).

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4011 days

#2 posted 01-13-2008 08:45 PM

Really nice table! Give it a workout.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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