Combination Router/Downdraft Table

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Project by Geedubs posted 08-27-2009 10:18 PM 3427 views 11 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project took awhile AND took on a new dimension while being built. I really wanted a functional router table that I could build myself and would not break the bank. Fortunately, I stumbled on an article in the February/March, 2009 American Woodworker by John English (THANKS JOHN). Included were the schematics, pictures and instructions on building this router table. John’s version is a little different since he used a solid surface top. I decided to go with materials easily available to me and so mine is constructed exclusively of solid poplar and birch plywood. The top is solid poplar and I created it by jointing the edges of the boards and biscuit gluing. The router plate I picked up from Harbor Freight at considerably less that almost identical products elsewhere. A couple of unique features with this table. One is that the fence adjusts on a pivot so that modifying the relative distance to the router bit is accomplished by moving one end backward or forward on the pivot which is located at the other end of the fence. The other feature that really attracted me to this plan is the hinged top. By having a hinged top, I can lift the surface and make router adjustments without having to get down on my hands and knees…and my back and knees really appreciate that. The plans for the table also included shelf space within the cabinet. I modified this slightly and created two trays on each side mounted on drawer slides. This provides handy storage space for my router supplies and belt sanders. Dust collection for routing is accomplished primarily by a mount on the back of the fence to which I connect my 2 1/2” hose.

The surprise modification was the result of an idea that occurred to me while constructing this. It occurred to me that I could probably devise a way to use this basic table as a downdraft table with just a few modifications. So, I created a 4” dust collection hose mount that I could slip into the router plate housing. In the back of the table, I created a 4” mount for my dust collector hose by putting a 90 degree elbow in the back. I then secured a short length of 4” hose to the bottom of the surface hose mount. Now, when I insert the surface hose mount, the bottom of the short length of 4” hose just slips over the 90 degree elbow. I created a top by using scrap materials (birch, fir and peg board). That surface just lays on top of the table surface. I created a seal on the bottom of the top by using standard 1” foam weather stripping (one stick side). So far, seems to work great. Plus, when I am routing, I still connect the 4” hose to the back of the table and that elbow takes in some of the dust that tends to fall below when routing.

I hope this all makes sense. So far, I am really pleased with the results.

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

11 comments so far

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 2363 days

#1 posted 08-27-2009 10:27 PM

For small shops (like my own) this is a great idea to save floor space. Good Going..

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 2287 days

#2 posted 08-27-2009 11:07 PM

I love the multi-function stuff. A requirement in small shops. Nice job.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Geedubs's profile


143 posts in 2321 days

#3 posted 08-27-2009 11:15 PM

Your comments about small shops are appropriate. I have to be able to minimize floor space usage and ‘put away’ my toys when I am done playing (hmmm, must be a childhood carryover). I have the rear legs on rollers so that I can easily lift and move.

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 2505 days

#4 posted 08-27-2009 11:54 PM

Geedubs, it looks great. Plenty of storage space.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View rowdy's profile


373 posts in 2534 days

#5 posted 08-28-2009 02:07 AM

Very functional. Nice job and good innovations.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View captkerk's profile


169 posts in 2333 days

#6 posted 08-28-2009 02:51 AM

Pretty neat modifications. I read the AW article and the design seemed pretty interesting and I thought I might incorporate some of the ideas into a new router table setup, too. I was most interested in dust collection aspects and was also considering a downdraft area as well. Any complaints or things you might change if you had to do it all over again?

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2650 days

#7 posted 08-28-2009 04:04 AM

Great idea. I had never thought of doing that. I might have to see if I can adapt mine to do that. Thanks for the post.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


113836 posts in 2669 days

#8 posted 08-28-2009 04:20 AM

looks like a space saver cool Idea

-- Custom furniture

View Geedubs's profile


143 posts in 2321 days

#9 posted 08-28-2009 04:35 AM

Captkerk: No really thoughts regarding modifications yet. I am just beginning to use it so I am sure things will pop up in the future. I plan on putting a t-track on the surface in the near future (and perhaps the fence) so that I can use it for featherboards. Other than that, I have no other real suggestions. Best of luck.

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 2326 days

#10 posted 08-28-2009 04:46 AM

Great idea. Very nice.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View Dustin's profile


390 posts in 2542 days

#11 posted 02-14-2011 01:43 AM

The downdraft idea is great, I’m going to give it a try.

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