Router Table

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Project by EEngineer posted 07-26-2008 06:54 AM 4709 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Seems like a lot of woodworkers build a router table as one of their projects. I am no exception. I had seen Norm’s router table on the NYW and had planned to build one pretty much like it. I even bought the plywood and started to lay out the plans for one.

In the summer of 2007, while making the Saturday morning grocery run, I saw a sign for an estate sale and stopped to see what there was. There was a half-finished Norm router table in the basement. It was fairly complete. He hadn’t even started the drawers in the bottom but he had the drawer slides for them. The top was cut out for a Jessem router plate, but the router and plate had already been sold to someone else. He wanted $50 for it – I didn’t even haggle.

After I got it home I realized there were a few problems. The plexiglas front door was hinged poorly, so I mortised the hinges, put a knob on it and added magnetic catches to keep it closed. The bit drawers fit poorly and interfered with each other so I cleaned them up a little with a block plane. If I get real ambitious I might remake those some day. I built the lower drawers and replaced a broken knob on one bit stoarge drawer. One thing I never liked about Norm’s design was the dust collection tube that stuck directly out from the back of the cabinet. I redid that to allow the table to sit close up against the wall for storage. The fence was nothing special but servicable. Someday I may make a taller one for better control.

When I was all done, I researched router lifts. I had pretty much decided on the Jessem Rout-R-Lift FX based purely on cost. When I went to the local Woodcraft they had both the Rout-R-Lift and the Woodpecker Quick-Lift in stock and were kind enough to let me open both and inspect them. There was no comparison; the Quick-Lift was better built and the quick lift feature looked useful. I paid about $100 more for the Quick-Lift and an adapter ring for smaller routers – it was worth every penny. After a year of using it, I really like this unit.

The router I had been living with for the last 20 years was a cheap Craftsman – totally unsuitable for mounting in a router table. The power switch was mounted in the handles of the base and it would have been difficult to impossible to rewire it so I could mount it in a lift. I picked up a DeWalt 616 based on the HUGE bearing they have on the bit-side of the unit and the convenience of the power cord that unplugs from the unit right at the router. It has been a real workhorse in the last year.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

8 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 07-26-2008 11:56 AM

You have put together a nice router table. I like the modification that you did on the dust control outlet. I have one of these on my to do list and, since I have to keep my tools mobile and stored along the wall, this is an idea that would work well in my shop.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3736 days

#2 posted 07-26-2008 01:16 PM

Great looking router table. Thank you for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3843 days

#3 posted 07-26-2008 08:53 PM

Congratulations on the new addition. Nice job.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3672 days

#4 posted 07-26-2008 09:55 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View sedcokid's profile


2731 posts in 3567 days

#5 posted 07-27-2008 03:45 AM

Great Job!! I am envious only because I would like to have a set up just like yours! Thanks for sharing…

The Sedcokid

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3689 days

#6 posted 07-27-2008 06:59 AM

Great job! Thanks for your comments about the features and routers.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Roy Turbett's profile

Roy Turbett

163 posts in 3549 days

#7 posted 08-07-2008 09:23 AM

I just finished building one of these using Norm’s plan. I had similar problems with the plexiglass door because I think the frame is undersized. I got the bit drawers to slide easier by using 1/4” masonite on the bottoms. I also made the bottom drawers longer than the plan and like having the additional room for storage.

View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 3685 days

#8 posted 08-09-2008 01:55 PM

Great looking router table

-- jeanmarc manosque france

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