My Norm Abram router table

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Project by Praedo posted 08-28-2013 06:45 AM 7693 views 14 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am currently trying to build up a workshop capable of building some nice furniture. I had built a router table into my table saw’s side table, but it wasn’t very precise or convenient. I decided to build a Norm Abram table.

I found a 4×8 sheet of Formica at Lowe’s that had cracks in one edge, and I negotiated with the clerk who sold it to me for $20. I glued it to a double-thick MDF tabletop. The whole thing rides on 4” polyurethane wheels.

I followed the plans for the most part, but made a few adjustments.

I put some dual-track (miter slot and t-track in one) along the front of the table.

I also wanted to be able to get into the router compartment from above, so instead of permanently attaching the top, I put three big hinges on the back and made it a flip-top cabinet. I have a piece of scrap oak I keep in the compartment for the switch wires to keep it propped up when necessary.

I stained and finished the cabinet with polyurethane. The inside compartment is just painted.

With an Incra Master Lift and PC-7518 router, it’s a pretty beefy setup. I’m looking forward to using it.

14 comments so far

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2889 days

#1 posted 08-28-2013 10:59 AM

Nice setup – should work well for what you want it to do.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3629 days

#2 posted 08-28-2013 11:01 AM

Good job. Looks great. Makes me jealous

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Carl W Richardson's profile

Carl W Richardson

79 posts in 2691 days

#3 posted 08-28-2013 01:57 PM

Very nicely done!!!! I’m thinking of doing the same thing for exactly the same reasons… I wish I could get the same deal on Formica….

-- Carl W Richardson, Tennessee Woodworker

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 1930 days

#4 posted 08-28-2013 04:06 PM

It’s almost too pretty to use…almost. Nice build!

-- ~Jake

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2021 days

#5 posted 08-28-2013 05:41 PM

Very nice router table…lots of storage for router stuff…great job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Denco's profile


39 posts in 2016 days

#6 posted 08-28-2013 07:55 PM

It’s excellent. Looks wonderful. You should get many years of enjoyment from it.

-- Cut wood or cut weeds today.....well, 6ft weeds can go another week.

View mitchota's profile


48 posts in 2266 days

#7 posted 08-28-2013 08:03 PM

That looks great. I built my router table last year using Norm’s design as a starting point, and I love it. You’re going to love using it.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2272 days

#8 posted 08-28-2013 08:52 PM

Looks great. It’s on my build list as well!

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Praedo's profile


12 posts in 2069 days

#9 posted 08-28-2013 08:55 PM

Thanks for all the compliments. I’ve been building up my machine collection for about a year now. Most of the stuff was purchased at auction or yard sales- new stuff is far too expensive.

Carl, I just went to the back of my Lowes and they had several rolls of formica that had been damaged. One didn’t have a price tag on it. It was on the weekend, so the regular dept. head wasn’t there. I spoke to a lady who said she could give me half price. That’s how I got enough formica for this and for the miter saw cabinet that I’ll probably build next summer.

View tool_junkie's profile


326 posts in 2726 days

#10 posted 08-28-2013 09:53 PM

Great build…

I have been wanting to build one myself for a long time… oh well, one of these days I will get around to it.

I have a general question though, is there a benefit to how the fence is shaped in Norm’s design? What would the downside be to using just a straight non-tapered fence?

View hoss12992's profile


4081 posts in 2089 days

#11 posted 08-28-2013 10:34 PM

Great job and I look forward to seeing your future projects

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Grumpymike's profile


2330 posts in 2512 days

#12 posted 08-29-2013 12:07 AM

Great job on Norm’s router table. As I move into my new shop (final building inspection tomorrow) I will be adding two things, Steve Ramsey’s cutoff cart and Norm’s router table, I will be using my router table top and Norm’s cabinet.

Hey tool_junkie,
I have three fences that I use on my router table. (one at a time of course) Norm’s design incorporates the tall fence for vertical raised panel bits etc. (I have the saucer type bit where I lay the boards flat). Your choice on whether to make the tall fence square or taper the ends.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3143 days

#13 posted 08-29-2013 12:25 AM

Lookin’ Good! With that router/lift and the hinged top, should be close to the ultimate tool!
Nice job…

-- Smitty

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 2760 days

#14 posted 08-29-2013 02:04 AM

people love norms cabinet

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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