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Router table

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Project by mjdinsmore posted 09-10-2008 02:30 AM 4500 views 27 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

How hard do you think it’d be to find a reasonably priced router table? I have a handheld router that I’d like to undermount to a table.

So I took a trip to Lowe’s to see what they had. The bulk of their offerings were either Skil or Vermont American (which looked like a rebranded Skil). The fences on them were pretty poor – they ranged in price from approximately $85 to $130.

The only real option I saw there was a Bosch table that looked pretty nice but cost $250. Isn’t there a decent one for less?!? I saw one at Sears but I don’t think it fits my router.

I just got a Rockler catalog in the mail and they had a decent looking model but I don’t know anyone who has one to validate its quality.

So, I didn’t decide on any of the store-bought models. Instead, I purchased some raw materials and built my own. There is a few minor tweaks I want to make – like shelves to hold the bits and and floor-mounted power switch. Some of the parts necessary for the table I ordered from Lee Valley Tools (they have a great variety of tools and some not so common things in stock). The router table works great – easy to adjust and switch bits, align the fence and plenty of surface area for the wood. I’ve made some molding and cabinet doors with it already.





16 comments so far

View PaBull's profile

PaBull

928 posts in 2413 days


#1 posted 09-10-2008 03:06 AM

Thanks, I am saving it in my favorites, I need to build something like it.

-- rhykenologist and plant grower

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2516 days


#2 posted 09-10-2008 03:07 AM

that looks nice. i made my own router table too. you can get so much more out of it that way and for a lot less! thanks for the post.

View JLYoung's profile

JLYoung

32 posts in 2529 days


#3 posted 09-10-2008 03:19 AM

Nice Table with some great accessories. I’m in the process of building a table into the extension wing of my tablesaw and just noticed the Veritas circular router table insert in their catalog yesterday. I beleive that’s what you have mounted in your table. How do you like it? Was it easy to install / level? How do they keep it from spinning in the table?

Any insight would be much apprecated.

View tooldad's profile

tooldad

658 posts in 2463 days


#4 posted 09-10-2008 03:33 AM

The only thing I have seen and I bought it back when was about 10 years ago. Black and Decker actually made a table router/shaper is what they called it. Pretty much a table router more than a shaper. I have used it to make several raised panels with a 2” panel cutter and most of my roundover, chamfering, etc. Very easy to change bits, adjust height. Finally now that it is about 10 years old, the motor is finally showing it’s age. It was $150 at the time. Only saw it at a chain called Menards, (home depot’s of the north) in my hometown in Lincoln, NE. Haven’t seen it there for at least 5 years or so now. too bad, it was decent for the price.

View wdh's profile

wdh

55 posts in 2388 days


#5 posted 09-10-2008 03:43 AM

Nice router table.Different idea for the feather board tracks.I like the fence.

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View Douglas Krueger's profile

Douglas Krueger

396 posts in 2471 days


#6 posted 09-10-2008 07:19 PM

Nice engineering, looks like it will do everything a store bought model will do. Enjoy the new toy.

-- I can so I wood but why are my learning curves always circles

View LeeinEdmonton's profile

LeeinEdmonton

254 posts in 2329 days


#7 posted 09-11-2008 02:14 AM

One of the nice things about building your own table is that it will be less expensive than a manufactured table. Further if it is your first router table it is unlikely that you will know exactly what suits you hence if your bought an expensive manufactured “first” table & it ends up having short comings for your use you could find yourself married to it due to it’s cost. A home built table does not give you this problem. For example, mine is now about 10 years old & am planning to eliminate it’s irritating problems by building a new one. Just gotta get to it one of these days.

-- Lee

View mjdinsmore's profile

mjdinsmore

57 posts in 2301 days


#8 posted 09-11-2008 02:58 AM

JL Young—I did get the Lee Valley insert. And to be perfectly honest, I messed up the first one they sent me. Totally bogus mistake on my part—but they sent me a second one for free! That’s great customer service.

It was easy to level, as I had cut a hole for it to drop in, and I had used the router to cut a lip all the way around for it to sit in. A single hole accepts the cylinder/barrel post that ensures it doesn’t rotate.

It works well, and I had filed down a few edges of the lip so I can take the router out from the bottom as well (handy feature).

View mjdinsmore's profile

mjdinsmore

57 posts in 2301 days


#9 posted 09-11-2008 03:28 AM

Oh, I also wanted to mention I cut the hole in the top about 2/3 of the way instead of exactly in the middle. This way I can flip the fence on either side depending on the size of the wood to give it more or less table to rest on. For things like thin trim boards, I use the narrow side, but larger peices get the wide side so it has plenty of bench to rest on.

View cabinetmaster's profile

cabinetmaster

10874 posts in 2306 days


#10 posted 09-11-2008 03:40 AM

I like the table and I agree with everyone else. A table you make yourself seems to work better and you’ll always find ways to improve it. I think I am on my 4th or 5th version over the years. Great job.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Blake's profile

Blake

3439 posts in 2622 days


#11 posted 09-12-2008 07:18 AM

That’ll do the trick just fine. You’ll get a lot of good use out of this.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11684 posts in 2436 days


#12 posted 01-19-2009 07:08 AM

Beautiful table design , but what’s up with the featherboard placement ? Hopefully no rookies will see this and try to use theirs in this fashion .

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View mjdinsmore's profile

mjdinsmore

57 posts in 2301 days


#13 posted 01-20-2009 06:03 PM

Hahaha! I was wondering if someone might notice! I just slid those on so I could have a free hand to hold the camera. I certainly couldn’t use it with the way they are!

Thanks for the compliments!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11684 posts in 2436 days


#14 posted 01-20-2009 06:31 PM

You’re welcome …How is the table / fence system holding up ? Would you change anything ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View mjdinsmore's profile

mjdinsmore

57 posts in 2301 days


#15 posted 02-02-2009 04:38 PM

Everything is holding up really well. I had to adjust the fence because my original design didn’t allow the throat to close up enough. Luckily, it was as easy as unscrewing the wheels on the back and sliding them out and taking my chisel to expand the slots the ride in to be slightly larger.

I think about maybe making a way to keep the dust collector port to ‘snap in’ so the hose doesn’t move it. I’m thinking maybe just some rare earth magnets might work. Either that or fix my hoses so it doesn’t put sideways pressure on it so it wants to pop off.

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