|Project by PocketHole69||posted 07-02-2010 10:36 PM||8332 views||9 times favorited||10 comments|
I wanted a router table but didn’t have $300 for a nice one, so I built this one from parts from rockler and a sheet of plywood. In total it came out to around $125 and I’m for the most part happy with the results.
This is my first “shop” project where I built a tool / jig, and it turned out “ok”. It’s based on a plan I got from an old Shopnotes.
My table saw, a $99 sears special, really sucks. The fence was impossible to keep straight and tight and the miter gauge had so much slop just about every cut was out of whack. Burnt wood, kickbacks, crooked cuts, the works.
About half way through cutting I got pissed, threw some stuff around, call the wood some strong words, and then got fed up and went down to Home Depot and bought a new table saw- the Rigid R4510. I bought this based on LumberJocks reviews and I was not disappointed!
As I was putting together the new saw and explaining to the wife why I needed it, I was thinking to myself “watch me get this together and everything still be all crooked and messed up, because maybe I just suck.”
Luckily for my pride I was wrong- it was the table saw. Man, the difference between a $99 and $500 table saw is light night and day. Straight, accurate cuts, more power, and a new Freud blade I picked up with the saw made all the difference. From then on, the project went much more smoothly.
Because I had to recut most edges except for the table top I had to slightly modify the Shopnotes plan. Instead of lapped joints I used pocket holes for most of the base to make up for the recuts and slightly smaller panel sizes, but in the end it turned out well. There are still a couple panels in the base with burned or slightly crooked edges but they don’t affect the table or accuracy and its a “shop project” so I don’t really care. It’s rock solid and functions fine.
The plans included instructions for building the fence, but Rockler had their fence on closeout for $29.99 so it seemed like an unbeatable deal.
1/2” Baltic Birch. All pieces were cut from one 5’x5’ sheet.
I made the router place from a piece of 1/4” plexiglass. Those nifty aluminum plates sure do look neat, but I was on a budget and the $16 piece of plexiglass won that one. I routed the groove in the table top slightly deeper than 1/4” and then installed 8 leveling screws through the bottom to bring the plate flush. Because my “workshop” is also my garage, I figured it would be best to leave room for leveling in the future in case humidity or heat caused expansion and contraction.
One day, when I trade in my crappy Skil router for a nice Porter Cable with through the table adjustment I’ll invest in one of those fancy blue plates.
I learned a lot on this project- how to cut panels accurately, how to route grooves (hell, this was the first time I’ve even USED the router), gluing and clamping, measuring, the works. This is probably the most complicated thing I’ve ever made, so I’m pretty proud of it even though its not pro work by any standard.
I’ve got enough wood left over to build a drill press table for my benchtop delta, so thats the next project on my list. Then I’m going to make a crosscut/miter sled for the new table saw. Eventually, I might even make something thats not a jig :)
-- Jason, Atlanta, GA