Homemade router table

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Project by jaspr posted 09-26-2007 10:17 AM 38260 views 16 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Having scared myself trying to use a very powerful router hand held, I decided I needed a router table. Best thing I ever did!!

I make most of my workshop equipment out of plywood. I decided to keep it simple and not use a router insert, just a hole though a hefty table top. Again, this plan came from Woodsmith Magazine, but I modified it. I don’t like cupboards down low – I think I’m getting too old for that. So I changed it by adding drawers below.

The table is built in two sections. The rolling base with locking castors and drawers and the lift off top section with the table top supporting the router. I included a separate safety switch and an exhaust port for a 4” dust extractor. I think the idea is that this makes it semi portable, but I have to say I never have done that.

The router is one of the 3 1/4 hp Tritons. Because it has the capacity to lift the collet up right through the table top for above table bit changing, I fixed it in with screws. It’s not designed to come out easily. Also to adjust the height of the bit, I just reach down under the table and turn the big height adjustment knob (or the fine adjuster, if that’s what’s needed.)

Also I don’t need a router lifter, because of these features of the Triton. I should probably explain though that I made the table height a bit higher than what I see on other router tables. The bit is at mid chest level – ergonomically very comfortable to use. And no real bending required!

The table top is just plywood with melamine both sides. I use a number of different pivoting fences with it and it works terrifically. I don’t know how I once managed without a router table.

-- Claire

14 comments so far

View GazAlyDesign's profile


6 posts in 3876 days

#1 posted 09-26-2007 01:37 PM

Great work Claire.

I also have the large Triton router in my table, also mounted with screws, for exactly the same reasons as you. You can see it here.

Also, me thinks by the fence on the table and the bits in the bottom drawer, you have on of Rogers wonderful jigs!!!

-- GazAly Design. Maker of fine...wood...stuff!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4187 days

#2 posted 09-26-2007 02:23 PM

I’ve seen a lot of homemade router tables, and this may be my favorite. I really like the idea of being able to mount your Triton in there semi-permanently, and not even need an insert. My current setup is a store-bought benchtop router table mounted on a rolling stand I built, but I would really like to build on like yours and get a powerful router like the Triton for it. That would free up my little PC690 for hand-held work.

Great job!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3963 days

#3 posted 09-26-2007 02:46 PM

Super router table! Great job constructing this and then modifying it to suit your desires.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4005 days

#4 posted 09-26-2007 03:34 PM

I really like the table.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3991 days

#5 posted 09-26-2007 06:00 PM

Nice Job Claire.
You make a good point about the standard plan for tables being a bit on the low side.
I made mine when I knew no better and was thinking the other day how nice it would be if it were just below where I bend my elbows.
I need to see the bit when I’m routing and have enough control to press the stock to the fence but 32” is a bit low for me. I moved my lathe up with 4×4” posts and relieved my back aches considerably.
I’ll have to look at putting a box under the present router set up and see how it works for me.

Thanks for the post.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4108 days

#6 posted 09-26-2007 11:26 PM

Claire -

Excellent! That is a very sturdy table for a beeefy router.


View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4146 days

#7 posted 09-27-2007 05:16 AM

Nice work, Claire.

I like the use of plywood. As an aside, good quality plywood is hard to come-by in Oz. Where do you purchase yours?

Nicely done project. I’ve mounted my Triton in a table but use a Unilift.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View jaspr's profile


38 posts in 3942 days

#8 posted 09-27-2007 09:40 AM

Thanks for the comments everyone.

GazAlyDesign – yes, I use a Gifkins dovetail jig – used it to make the drawers for the router cabinet. I just had a look at yours – very fancy. Must be jarrah? I also have other fences for taller work, plus one of the original incra fence and jig – like yours. Haven’t mounted it yet, though.

Bob#2 – I highly recommend making it higher, particularly with the Triton routers.

Don – the plywood is nothing fancy. I probably got it from Bunnings or Magnet Mart, I can’t remember now. I just make sure I only get it when they have stock that is not full of voids – you can generally tell, by looking at the edges. It’s been sanded back lightly and has a coat of clear varnish.

Thanks again everyone.

-- Claire

View Bud's profile


191 posts in 3907 days

#9 posted 05-25-2008 02:37 AM

Nice Job! Those drawers look beefy.

-- Bud -

View Spicerman's profile


1 post in 3229 days

#10 posted 06-23-2009 02:44 AM

Hello Claire, do you have a link to the design for your beautiful router table? I am new to routing and would like to make this table to make things easy. Is your router just screwed directly onto the ply wood top surface? In your picture I see a second board under the table top, what is this second board for?

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#11 posted 06-23-2009 07:18 AM

top notch router table.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jaspr's profile


38 posts in 3942 days

#12 posted 06-24-2009 09:58 AM

Thanks A1Jim – glad you liked it

Spicerman – the plans I got from Australian Woodsmith No.17 (you will find it in the US version of a round that time or a little earlier). It featured as the cover photo.

Yes I screwed the router directly to the underneath of the table top. Because I didn’t want to lose too much useful length, I rebated the underneath by about half an inch (the table top is 3/4” ply with laminate fixed top and bottom).

The second board you refer to is because the top cabinet (with the router and doors) lifts off the base cabinet (with the three drawers). The top cabinet has four rubber feet which lift it off the base a little. It means the router table is mobile (put it in the car or move it to a different bench) while at the same time it sits very solidly on the base – located by the top extension of the aluminium corner braces. The base has lockable caster wheels, so it too is mobile.

All in all, it’s a very easy to build and versatile router cabinet. The mods I did was use a bigger table top, put in three drawers in the base rather than 1 draw and 2 doors, didn’t use a router insert and added a 4” outlet at the back of the top cabinet for a vacuum hose. And I didn’t put in the mitre track.

If you are going to build a table without using a router insert you need to think about the maximum size router bit you will use, because you don’t want a big hole. Im my case I knew I would only be using this router table with smaller diameter bits – mainly for box making and building and other small work (small rebates and grooves and a Gifkin dovetail jig). The hole in mine is 40mm in diameter so I couldn’t use a large bit – like a raised panel bit or a cope and stick bit set. For bigger work I always intended fitting the larger of my routers into another router top on the RHS of my table saw. I bought a phenolic router insert (Woodpeckers) a couple of years ago, but have never got around to fitting it.

Good luck

-- Claire

View Gnagen's profile


27 posts in 2762 days

#13 posted 11-17-2010 06:22 AM

I really like your router table. Especially that it doesn’t have an insert. I am just starting. I was wondering what size the plywood is? With 3/4 Inch does it let the Triton raise enough to change bits and do everything you need.?



View leonard corey's profile

leonard corey

1 post in 2626 days

#14 posted 02-15-2011 08:02 PM

nice job claire, i am currently building same router table is coming out very nice i am pretty much doing it the way in plan but i am using a woodpecker insert. I have one question for you i like the switch that you used can you please tell me where you got it maybe i can get same one? thanks, lenny

-- Lenny,Rhode Island,

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