The 30 € / 30 min Router Table

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Project by Justus posted 11-27-2008 09:53 PM 3146 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of the projects that are a MUST for any LumberJock in the short or long run is a router table. A nice one, to be proud of. Just look around at LumberJocks. There are so many of them. But then, there may be a point in life where you just need one – and don’t have the time or money for a beauty.

I just needed one for my next project and came up with this design.

Take one of those cheapo wannabe workmates – if you spend more than 20 € you got robbed – , put your router on top, take a pen and draw around the base plate – it is advisable to open the jaws about 2 cm beforehand. The jigsaw will make quick work of the mdf top – some sanding, clamp in your router and the router table is almost ready.

For the micro-adjustable fence screw a batten to one of the benchdogs you got with the workmate and drill a a hole for a long screw or threaded rod into a second one – see picture two. I have not yet been in need to make a clearance hole in the fence, so far the table has mainly seen flush trimming.

Another five bucks are needed for a web clamp to act as the router lift. Wrap it around the router, and pull it tight untill you have the bit somewhere close to where you want it. Close that lever on your router that locks it in position, remove the strap and finetune the height with the inbuild finetuning.

The nicest thing about this construction is, that the workmate still works for what I usually use them – as something like a sawhorse. I would not want to consider them workbenches (though I had to, prior to my building a real one).

And yes, the router table is a bit low. You can’t get everything for 30 € / 30 min.

10 comments so far

View ChuckM's profile


608 posts in 3662 days

#1 posted 11-27-2008 10:20 PM

Both the fence and set-up shown on your router table don’t seem right when you are not doing flush trimming. You shouldn’t feed a stock between the bit and the fence. What’s the micro-adjustable fence screw for if you’re only flush trimming? Did I miss something here? Finally, the top surface area of the workmate after the fence is properly installed may be too small for supporting and routing a large piece of stock.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View Justus's profile


30 posts in 3471 days

#2 posted 11-27-2008 10:36 PM

Hi Chuck, of course you should not feed a stock between the bit and the fence. It’s a good thing that you point that out. I would not have considered doing that, but the picture is indeed misleading. Well, you might actually think of ways, where there is a point in having the fence distant from the bit. Routing a dado parallel to an edge, for example. Routing a long tenon. Actually, the fence has not seen any use yet – so there has not been the need for a cut out ( I had called it “clearance hole”) yet.

The fence goes off when I do flush trimming – and may be stuck into one of the other holes of the workmate, if you have to support somewhat larger stock. That’s why they make this kind of swiss cheese tops. For really large stock though, the whole set-up is not suitable – I you are my height (180 cm), you have to bend over when using a router table at only 75 cm height – that’s not safe with large stock.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3684 days

#3 posted 11-28-2008 10:05 AM

OMG , Thank you to ChuckM for stating exactly what I was going to regarding the fence position in this picture . You should remove these pix before a newbie sees your set up and gets injured by trying to pass stock between the fence and the router bit. Totally unsafe and irresponsible posting here .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3738 days

#4 posted 11-28-2008 08:15 PM

I think this is quite clever. I like to see your innovations – keep them coming.
Obviously the fence is in the picture to illustrate the design – not an actual setup. Particularly with all the aforementioned scenarios exposed there shouldn’t be anyone try that. Thanks for the post.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 3716 days

#5 posted 11-28-2008 09:46 PM

Thank you jm82435! I couldn’t word it correctly, and I agree with you 100 percent!

-- christopheralan

View ZachM's profile


83 posts in 3701 days

#6 posted 12-02-2008 08:04 AM

sweet, now i know what i can do with my workmate once i get a proper stand for my compound mitre saw.

my workmate has a bamboo top instead of mdf though, probably cheaper to make them that way in china.

View Justus's profile


30 posts in 3471 days

#7 posted 12-07-2008 06:23 PM

When I had somme time in the shop, I made the cut-out I promised – in the last picture you now see the true set-up, including the clamp that holds the fence in place – the threaded rod is more like a set-up tool than keeping the fence fixed.

Hope that now the posting is “newbie-safe”. Cheers, Justus

View Shotgundad's profile


4 posts in 3355 days

#8 posted 03-16-2009 11:17 PM

Truly genius! I was just about to sink some money into some dado blades and now I don’t have to. I was going to use it for making through dovetail joints. Pain in the butt having to change between regular blade and dado. My current cheapie table only has 3” between the bit and fence. Not enough to make the cuts for the jewelry box my son is building his girlfriend. Now I can have enough room for a 4 or 6” piece of wood. Thanks Justus.

Dusty56 – Dude, take a chill pill.

-- Brian

View hardwoodman's profile


84 posts in 3222 days

#9 posted 02-17-2010 04:01 AM

You came up with a gem of an idea! Great work, keep it up.

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3460 days

#10 posted 02-25-2010 11:16 PM

yeah, i wont forget the ONE time i fed a piece between the bit and fence! d’oh.

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