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Offset Router Table Stand #1: The Initial Design

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Blog entry by jamieb posted 01-30-2009 11:00 AM 6874 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Last week I received the 17” Incra LS Positioner router table fence system that I ordered. Unfortunately I don’t yet have a place to mount it. If I previously had a full-size table, I could just add an extension to accommodate the positioner. However, my existing router table is a cheap benchtop unit made of aluminum, so it’s time to head back to the drawing board—literally.

I originally was going to purchase the 27” x 43” offset router table combo at Woodpeckers, but they’re out of stock on the metal legs for the next three weeks. That’s way too long to wait to play with my new toy. So instead, I just ordered the tabletop. And with the money I was saving, I opted to go for a router lift rather than just the plate. My goal is to have a solid base built before the tabletop arrives on my doorstep. Tonight I used the dimensions published on Woodpecker’s website and Google Sketchup too draft up a model. My goals were:

- Construct a very solidly-built stand to support the heavy, oversized table and help keep it flat for the next 20 or so years.

- Use standard SYP dimensioned lumber to keep the costs down. Preferably as many 2×4’s as possible because they’re almost three times cheaper than even 2×6’s. Smaller wood also means a lighter table.

- Eliminate the need for fasteners by minimizing end-grain and maximizing face-to-face glue points.

After several revisions, this is what I’ve ended up with:

And without the top…

The whole thing is made only of 2×4’s except for a single 17” long 2×6 used in the center-top stretcher. I decided to use that only because I have some 2×6 scrap already laying around.

A little closer view of the construction.

I’m thinking that this should give me plenty of room for the lift, plus enough space to build an enclosure for dust collection once I get a real dust collector in my shop.

I was hoping to get some feedback on my design before I start to build it over the weekend. Since I’ve never built a router table before—much less specifically designed for the Incra fence system; does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

-- Woodworker? Nah, I'm a clamp collector and expert in sawdust production.



8 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8523 posts in 3110 days


#1 posted 01-30-2009 05:04 PM

I Second DaveR about the middle legs causing more trouble then helping support flatness! try using 4 legs with a more supportive structure under the table top (think torsion box type support for the top).

one more thing to consider is – seems like you’ve invested quite a bit so far (LS positioner/fence) – why not go all the way, and setup the table with enclosed compartment for the router that will allow you to setup proper dust control for it? also , (again agreeing with DaveR) I’d use the space under the table to setup drawers/storage space.

you might want to introduce Plywood to your design which will give you both storage abilities, and add structural strength to the overall 2×4 frame.

PM me for ideas if you wish. I’m in the same boat, just dont have the time to built anything at the moment but do have some designs.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1878 posts in 3023 days


#2 posted 01-30-2009 06:13 PM

When it comes time to attach the table:

On my machine, I attached a strip of closed cell foam rubber to the stand top stringers with double sided tape, and then “laid” the top onto the foam and loosely bolted it down.

The way I bolted the table top:
Put threaded inserts into the bottom of the table, screwed 5/16 studs into the inserts. Attached “L” brackets onto the stand stringers. Placed table top and stud assembly onto the stand with the studs going through the L brackets. Attached nuts onto the studs finger tight. Note: Use thread locker (I used Locktite blue) on all threaded fastners.

Reason: If the stand top is not exactly flat, it will not distort the router table over time.

-- Joe

View jamieb's profile

jamieb

9 posts in 2870 days


#3 posted 01-30-2009 08:24 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions!

DaveR:
- Good point about the center support.
- I don’t really remember why I didn’t make the lap joints symmetrical. But yeah, it would make sense.

DaveR/PurpLev
- I was planning on adding storage at some later date; probably when I added a dust collection compartment after getting a dust collection system set up in the shop. Until then I’d be a bit worried about enclosing the router motor and cutting off it’s ventilation.

PurpLev
- I didn’t think about the fact that adding plywood would stiffen the table. I’m going to tinker around with some modifications to the design and see if I get something I like.

ajosephg:
- I’ve already built a workbench using a similar technique and I wish I had known about your idea then. I wonder if heavy duty weather stripping would do the same trick?

-- Woodworker? Nah, I'm a clamp collector and expert in sawdust production.

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1878 posts in 3023 days


#4 posted 01-30-2009 09:14 PM

Heavy Duty weather stripping should work fine. It should be soft enough to conform to the irregularities of the stand but stiff enough to not compress 100%, and stable enough that it won’t collapse over time. I used some silicone foam “rubber” weather stripping that was left over from a kit car I built eons ago.

-- Joe

View coloradoclimber's profile

coloradoclimber

548 posts in 3530 days


#5 posted 01-31-2009 06:44 AM

Jamie,

Here’s a couple links to others building offset tables for incra fences. Blake finished his, mine’s still on the drawing table.

Blake's Finished Table

Blake's Router Table Blog

ColoradoClimber's design

View Mike's profile

Mike

247 posts in 2845 days


#6 posted 02-20-2009 07:29 AM

I purchased the Incra 25 LS Positioner and a custom offset router table 27” X 53”. I haven’t built a stand yet.
The question is do you want to build one or buy one. I have seen a lot of metal stands where folks have customized it for their needs. You might want to check out Mark Sommerfeld’s table. Really nice just ordered the DVD. I was really impressed. You can also think about building one with a really good grade of plywood. Like Baltic Birch, or regular birch would be good if there were enough layers. I hope to show my soon when I am done. Still in the drawing stages.

-- Mike, VT

View jamieb's profile

jamieb

9 posts in 2870 days


#7 posted 02-20-2009 07:54 AM

I actually finished building this project a week ago, I just haven’t had the time to post about it yet. I will do so this weekend. It turned out well and I made some minor design changes using the feedback mentioned here. Thanks for the continued comments.

-- Woodworker? Nah, I'm a clamp collector and expert in sawdust production.

View jamieb's profile

jamieb

9 posts in 2870 days


#8 posted 02-20-2009 07:56 AM

I actually finished building this project a week ago, I just haven’t had the time to post about it yet. I will do so this weekend. It turned out well and I made some minor design changes using the feedback mentioned here. Thanks for the continued comments.

-- Woodworker? Nah, I'm a clamp collector and expert in sawdust production.

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