Horizontal router table

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Project by BOBAH posted 03-16-2017 05:58 AM 2092 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This router table is based on ideas from James Hamilton's horizontal router project and Young Je's horizontal router. I have started with Jim’s base and router carriage, and added sliding table but built it with standard drawer sliders, which was simpler than making my own sliding mechanism. I also made router plate out of $5 plastic cutter board – works just as fine as Rockler’s.

The main difference between those two projects is that Jim’s table surface tilts and therefore allows angled cuts but is less suitable for making mortises – it is hard to limit sideways motion of the table. On the other hand, Young’s table is perfect for mortising but no angled cuts. All I care about at the moment is mortises, so it works fine for me the way it is, though I might also build a tiltable table top as well, so I could swap them if necessary.

With this table you can make precise adjustments of router bit’s vertical position, and lock it in place; then clamp the part you need to work on to the table’s surface; adjust stoppers limiting sideways movement of the table; adjust stopper limiting movement of the table towards the bit, if necessary; start routing mortise, gradually increasing depth of the cut.

The table works great for me, doing exactly what I needed. I am going to keep iterating on improving dust collection solution though – so far I either put dust collection hose too close to the bit so that it interferes with cutting, or it is too far and does not provide adequate suction.

Another improvement I will look into is some stopper mechanism limiting depth of the cut in steps (just like plunge router bases do), to make it easier and safer to work on deeper mortises. Any suggestions?

I have got best results standing to the left from the jig, moving the platform horizontally towards me for cuts – this seems to give full control and best view of the process. As with traditional mortising, I drill at end positions to full depth, then remove material in between by making shallow, 1/4” deep passes.

I use this jig only for mortising, and it is irreplaceable – helps me produce perfect, repeatable mortises every time.

4 comments so far

View MontanaBob's profile


840 posts in 2881 days

#1 posted 03-16-2017 10:58 AM


View bushmaster's profile


3327 posts in 2479 days

#2 posted 03-16-2017 02:05 PM

Nice and thoughtful work on the jig. Don’t completely understand how it all works but you have done a fine job.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3063 days

#3 posted 03-16-2017 10:05 PM

This is a wonderful shop fixture and it is has been carried to completion in a very efficient and creative way. Well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View oldnovice's profile


7316 posts in 3564 days

#4 posted 03-18-2017 04:03 AM

Better than purchased because you built it!
A nice complement to any shop.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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