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Router Table Build

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Blog entry by builtinbkyn posted 02-12-2017 11:11 PM 1355 reads 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I decided to make a mess, um, no I mean a router table. Man I forgot how routing hardboard and MDF makes copious amounts of the most nasty dust imaginable and there’s almost no way to capture it, so I gave up on trying. Respirator all day and then a massive cleanup.

Well anyway, I’ve been using a Craftsman Workmate with an Incra top bolted to it. Actually there’s even a layer of oak flooring strips below the top making for a heavy load. Not sure why I did that. I made it about 10 years ago on a job site, but I think the Workmate top had some voids that interfered with the fastening of the Incra top via the preinstalled inserts. Anyway, the table served it purpose well for a job site table, but is a pain to move around when I need to route something long or wide.

This table has an Incra fence as well. It’s a really nice piece of hardware and is capable of doing way more than I’ve ever done with it. The fact that sliding the Workmate about was difficult (it’s obviously designed to not slide and does a good job of it) many times I avoided using it. I also wanted a wider surface. The Incra top is longer than it is wide in order to accommodate the fence system.

It was time to make a nice, new table with STORAGE for all of my bits, jigs, accessories and routers. The new table is based around a Jessem Mast-R-Fence II a Triton router and will utilize an Incra dust collection bin I initially purchased for my old setup – it didn’t fit below because of all of the cross members on the Workmate.

Here are some pics of the progress.

The top is a layer of 3/4” plywood, a layer of 3/4” MDF and topped with 1/4” hardboard. It’s bolted to the casework and can be removed if need be. The case is 1/2 birch ply and trimmed with maple. I just need to make some drawers, install the T-track for the fence and apply some finish for it to be complete.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)



15 comments so far

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

5618 posts in 2631 days


#1 posted 02-13-2017 04:07 AM

You will enjoy this setup Bill .
I used to have one but it was taking up too much space in my little shop so now I use the TS extension to mount my router but I envy you having the space for this .
It will be nice to see it when you are done .

Klaus

-- Kiefer https://www.youtube.com/user/woodkiefer1/videos

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#2 posted 02-13-2017 04:55 AM

Thanks Klaus. I contemplated a TS extension build. It would have been quicker with less work and materials required. But to be honest, the extra storage will be welcome.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#3 posted 02-15-2017 08:25 PM

After spending the other day fixing some wonky chairs for a friend, this morning I had a few hours to work on the router table. It’s coming along rather nicely.

Installed some t-track and made a backstop to prevent the fence from sliding off the rear and hitting the floor when pushing it back to access the router.

I also installed a Jessem paddle switch. It’s in the perfect spot for me to hit with my knee should I need to shut it off while keeping two hands on the work piece.

The only part that has finish applied, is the top. Once I complete the drawers, I’ll give everything a light sanding and some clear shellac as a finish.

Oh, here are the wonky chairs. Glue drying on one of four that were taken apart and re-glued.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

30765 posts in 2831 days


#4 posted 02-15-2017 09:35 PM

This is a wonderful router table and you have made an excellent presentation of it. It’s a nice size and if one would want to you could add some drawers in some of the cubby holes. The bottom line is that this is a very nice router table and will be a great addition to your shop.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#5 posted 02-15-2017 10:57 PM

Thanks Charles. Yes there will be drawers in those spaces. The middle on either side will have bit trays – one for 1/4” and one for 1/2”. Top drawers for tools, push blocks, etc and bottom two for routers. Just haven’t had time to do them. I should have time for them this weekend.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#6 posted 02-17-2017 09:18 PM

Didn’t think I was going to have shop time today, but other things fell through. So after taking my boy to the park, it was off to make some drawers.

I have to say, the dust collection of this setup is way better than the Incra fence provided. This is what remained on the table after routing the rabbets to accommodate the drawer bottoms. There wasn’t any more than that on the floor either.

Making drawers is way more work than they ever appear to be, even if they’re drawers for shop use and not meant to be pretty.

Ah, tomorrow is another day. I do the fronts then.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Bud2's profile

Bud2

33 posts in 1183 days


#7 posted 02-17-2017 09:56 PM

Very-Very nice job!! Gave me some good ideas now

View DW1's profile

DW1

1 post in 428 days


#8 posted 02-17-2017 10:26 PM

Awesome, I want to build a router table and like your set up, do you have any plans? I just bought my first router, a Triton TRA001 and want to incorporate it into a table. I did pick up a Kreg Jig for it also.
Thanks

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builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#9 posted 02-18-2017 05:21 AM



Very-Very nice job!! Gave me some good ideas now

- Bud2


Thanks.


Awesome, I want to build a router table and like your set up, do you have any plans? I just bought my first router, a Triton TRA001 and want to incorporate it into a table. I did pick up a Kreg Jig for it also.
Thanks

- DW1

Thanks. I purchased the same router for this table.

No plans. Just drew a sketch and then set some overall dimensions and went from there. It’s really only two boxes sharing a common bottom.

I made the two boxes and left off the common bottom. Cut the first layer for the top, laid that down and bolted the two boxes to it upside down, to ensure everything was square, and then added the bottom. I used Kregg pocket hole screws and jig for the assembly of the boxes. The dividers for the drawers are dadoed to help with rigidity. It’s all 1/2” birch ply. I never see the need for 3/4”. It’s just too heavy and overkill IMO.

The top is three layers and adhered to one another using contact cement.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#10 posted 02-18-2017 03:05 PM

Oh wanted to add one thing to the build info. After squaring up the assembly, I added cleats to the bottom of front and rear of the top. They ensure it will stay square and if the top is removed, it goes back into the same exact position. You can see them in the second pic I posted.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#11 posted 02-23-2017 05:47 AM

I was finally able to get back to the shop yesterday and today to finish up – ah well almost finish up this project. It still needs some clear shellac and a more convenient spot for the dust collection port. Right now it runs off of the bottom of the Incra Clean Sweep. I don’t mind bending down to attach the hose, but having it run down the middle and between my legs just doesn’t cut it. I’ll make a port on the left side to keep it out of the way.

However I did finish the drawers and the bit trays, which I think turned out pretty well. If I need more room for bits, I can utilize one of the other drawers. Right now all of my bits are accommodated with some room to spare. One tray holds 1/4” bits and the second is for 1/2” bits.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#12 posted 02-24-2017 09:31 PM

So a little side project was completed while working on the router table – can’t waste valuable time waiting on glue to dry :)

I made the base cabinet for my drill press a few weeks ago, but it was, and well, still remains somewhat incomplete. I pretty much decided to put two sliding shelves into the base and I guess doors to keep most of the dust and chips out, so they need to be done. However I also wanted a tabletop for the press and made one from bits of scrap and cut-offs. The shelves and door will have to wait. The top was the first order of business.

I had one short piece of T-track remaining in my stash and used it for a fence. I also made a sacrificial insert so the top doesn’t need to be replaced when the inevitable happens. Actually the top is made from my last miter sled project. I replaced the sled surface to as I am making some changes to how the dado inserts work. That’s for another time. But the sled half was the perfect size for this use.

As usual, this all needs some clear finish to protect it, but this is what I ended up with. Oh, though the top slides onto the existing cast iron top and is braced at the front and sides and has some rare earth magnets assisting in keeping the top in place, I think I want some way of mechanically fastening it. I’m not confident in using just the magnets. Working on it :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View rbrjr1's profile

rbrjr1

170 posts in 170 days


#13 posted 12-20-2017 04:49 PM

I’m stealing several of these ideas.. GREAT DESIGNS, SIR!!

-- only an idiot dismisses an intelligent statement because they dont know anything about the person delivering it.

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

765 posts in 1549 days


#14 posted 03-10-2018 02:57 PM

Your router table is an outstanding example of design and execution, Bill.

I’d like to ask about the three layer table top –
I understand the layers, they make sense and it sounds like a great layup schedule – but I would appreciate knowing how those layers are fastened to each other, if they are. Glue, screws, simply held by the outer frame, whatever … ?

Thanks for input on this.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View builtinbkyn's profile (online now)

builtinbkyn

2197 posts in 905 days


#15 posted 03-10-2018 03:11 PM

Hey Jim. Thanks for the complement. I like to use contact cement for the top layer of hardboard. The 3/4” to 3/4” can be glued and screwed as the screws will be covered by the final layer of hardboard. Just be sure to not place the screws where the top will be routed for the plate and any t-tracks you will be installing. You can make layout lines on the edge of the top where you placed the screws to indicate where they’re located after the hardboard is adhered, so you don’t impact them with the router bit when making your cutout for the plate and t-tracks.

Looking back, I probably would have forgone using the Incra DC bin and made the center section enclosed for DC so I would have gained an additional drawer or cabinet. But I had the Incra bin well beyond the return period so I used it. The Incra bin works but it’s a bit more difficult to reach in to change speeds on the router. A cabinet door would certainly provide more room for that. I may make that change one day.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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