|Project by Bulkhead||posted 03-02-2015 12:16 AM||1789 views||6 times favorited||4 comments|
This was one of my first “projects” completed late last summer. I picked up a Porter Cable 7518 installed in a Rockler lift and table for $300. The stand was the common, open framed steel stand you see frequently in their stores and catalog.
I wanted to enclose it to manage dust and add drawers for storage. While there are many really nice router tables showcased on the site, I didn’t want to spend the time or money on such a table but didn’t want the dust created by an open stand table either.
So a little hardboard, poplar, a piece of plexiglass and some basic electrical component and baltic birch for drawers, and voila – I had a simple router table.
The cavity below the table slopes down from front to back as do the sides, so gravity works with the vacuum to gather all chips. I used detachable hinges for the small door on the front so it can be removed. The router speed selector is facing the front of the table for easy changes.
There is a small drawer up top due to the sloping floor of the dust collection cavity and it is as deep as it is to accommodate the lift and router in its lowest position.
The lower drawer is much larger and is a welcome storage location for both router specific things as well as other small items.
Regarding the electrical, I opted to use an externally mounted outlet that is wired to the on/off switch for connecting the router. While I could have directly connected the router to the switch, I wanted the flexibility to unplug the router and not have to swap cords. I was reluctant to recess the outlet and switch into the dust collection cavity below the router table due to dust, but am rethinking that decision now. I don’t like the exposed wires and boxes but wonder if dust within those would be a hazard..that was my original reason for not putting them in the cabinet.
This project was really an opportunity for me to use the equipment I had recently acquired as I outfitted my shop. I used the router itself for the drawer fronts and an Earlex sprayer to apply the water-based urethane finish to the drawers. Both worked great..
For a little effort and money, I think I ended up with a very functional table and sharpened some skills. Hope this can serve as an inspiration for a “middle of the line” router table for others!