|Project by paxorion||posted 08-19-2015 03:22 AM||1529 views||2 times favorited||5 comments|
After a few years debating the buy or build question (and several near misses with a Bosch RA1181 router table ), I finally built my router table. I tried to minimize the cost as much as possible, scavenging material where I could for the project. Most of it was made from random boards from IKEA furniture that was to be culled.
Top – Measuring at 24×27, this top is larger than any benchtop router table, and one of the reasons I settled on building my own router table. The top is 1.5” thick, and made of a surprisingly flat piece of melamine coated MDF, doubled up with a particleboard backer with screws. I edged the board with a mystery wood board that I picked up. It had the color of cherry but was way lighter and had the most atrocious tear-out.
Insert – I wasn’t convinced I wanted to buy an aftermarket insert plate (yet), and decided to make my own. The material I could find was a 1/2” piece of MDF, which sparked some debate. To provide myself an opportunity to rectify any regret, I sized the insert to be 9.25” x 11.75” (like the Woodpeckers or Kreg insert plate). I roughly centered a hole, cutting a rabbet for 3/16” hardboard inserts. To minimize the rate of sag, I don’t store the table with the router installed. A recessed a tee nut, and use a bolt with a nylon sleeve as a starter pin. I also added a few flat head screws for leveling, and 2 bolts on either side of the router insert to screw the insert down.
Router – The router I am using is a Bosch MRC23EVS. I have 2 from a pricing snafu/blow-out sale from the orange guys. Works out that I can keep each router outfit with a difference size collet.
Fence – The main body is made of 3/4” plywood leftovers I had from a cabinet project. I added a few supports and a dust collection attachment. I decided to cut a square opening that was wide enough to accommodate the dust collection fitting. The adjustable faces are made from a piece of melamine coated particleboard I salvaged from some piece of IKEA furniture.
Base – Made of a few reclaimed IKEA solid wood (i.e. heavily painted #2 common pine) cabinet doors. I joined everything with glue and dowels. The top is attached to the base with pocket screws.
Thanks to my careful hunting of scavenged or salvaged material, I think I have under $90 sunk into this project (mostly taken up by the ~$60 router and re-usable hardware itself, but that is a fluke). The router table has served me well thus far, and I figure if it doesn’t pan out, I can always make a new one with better material next time. One last addition that I have yet to do is add a miter channel. I already have, but haven’t had a need to install it yet. I figure I’d wait until the need arose before I went about putting it in.