Router Table

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Project by swank posted 02-04-2010 04:49 AM 2667 views 17 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s a router table and fence I made, based on 2 different Shop Notes articles. Its the most complicated project I’ve done yet, and I can definitely say I learned alot.

The base is essentially mortise and tenon. Each leg is made by gluing two 2×4s together, each with the appropriate 1/2 mortise already cut (after gluing, they combine to make the whole mortise. No pun intended.) Combining that with a pretty ingenious way to put lag screws into end grain (seriously) makes it rock solid.

The table is two layers of 1/4” Masonite/hardboard laminated to a layer of 3/4”, high quality, 11 layer plywood; top and bottom then have a layer of Formica. Oak edges. Cutting the hole for the baseplate was stressful. Then I wasn’t happy with the hole (or with my initial glue up of the layers), so I scrapped the first table and made a second one! Much happier all the way around, even if I wasted a bunch of time and money.

The fence is from a completely different issue of Shop Notes than the table and base was. It looked more substantial (and complex) to me. It is made out of layers of 3/4” Baltic Birch plywood, laminated together. The horizontal knobs in the back allow separate halves of the fence’s face to tighten/loosen. The fence faces each ride in a length of aluminum angle, allowing you to control the size of the opening around the bit. Also, dust can escape through the space into the hole in the back of the fence for a dust collection hose. Each face also has a layer of Formica, so wood slides against them easily. The bottom of the faces have small rabbets to give sawdust some place to go. I routed rabbets for the miter gauge and horizontally on each fence face for t-track, for accessories like the homemade guard and stop you can see in the picture..

One place I deviated from the Shop Notes plan was in how the fence is affixed to the table. In the plan, it’s simply held in place by clamps. I decided to make something more permanent and easier to use. I embedded t-track 90 degrees to the miter gauge slot. Then I drilled vertical holes in the base of the fence for t-slot bolts. Now I just put the fence where I want it, and tighten the two star knobs. I’d like to put self-adhesive measuring tape down somehow, so its easier to see where the fence is in relation to the cutter and miter gauge and to help me keep it square. I’d also like to install leg levelers to get it off the concrete basement floor, or maybe heavy duty casters so I can move it around (my shop is pretty small, so that would be useful).

Overall, besides some mostly cosmetic blemishes, I think it came out well. Like I said, I’d definitely do things differently next time (technique things), but its rock solid and damn flat, and I’m happy to have the experience!

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2614 days

#1 posted 02-04-2010 04:51 AM

A great looking router table.

-- Custom furniture

View Threeseamonsters's profile


66 posts in 2794 days

#2 posted 02-04-2010 05:19 AM

Very nice! It looks like it’s built like a tank. If tanks were built out of plywood and formica, that is.

-- jn

View noknot's profile


548 posts in 2479 days

#3 posted 02-04-2010 09:55 AM

I agree with threese I dont think that will ever fall apart


View swank's profile


9 posts in 2080 days

#4 posted 02-04-2010 04:09 PM

Thanks everybody!

Here’s more pics, mostly from the construction phase. Was spacing out on how to use my camera, so many of the pics are too dark, but they suffice as a record of the process, at least.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2701 posts in 2323 days

#5 posted 02-04-2010 04:38 PM

Really nice job on the router table. You will enjoy it for a long time


-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4499 posts in 2231 days

#6 posted 02-04-2010 05:12 PM

Just goes to prove one thing:... A router table doesn’t have to fancy (like the Norm table) to be funcutional and do the job it is meant to do. This r.t. will last you a long time, do what it’s supposed to do, built solid, and will probably outlive several of us… there are a few that come to mind… lol. Keep on keeping on… later.

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View swank's profile


9 posts in 2080 days

#7 posted 02-04-2010 06:23 PM

There’s an alternate version of this plan for the base that’s a step up, and a bit more complicated. Its enclosed with doors in the front. That would be nice, esp. for sound dampening.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 2232 days

#8 posted 02-04-2010 07:06 PM

Looks like a very good/solid build.

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

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