router table dimensions

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Forum topic by skidiot posted 12-27-2009 12:20 AM 3281 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 3640 days

12-27-2009 12:20 AM

I am thinking about building a router table. The base is going to be a bathroom vanity with laminate on top. What would be a good amount of fence travel? How close is the cross slot to the bit opening? And how much should there be from the bit to the front of the table?

-- skidiot northern illinois

2 replies so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4120 days

#1 posted 12-27-2009 10:12 PM

I have a really small shop, so my router table clamps to my workbench (a Festool MFT) and hangs over. Because of the cantilever design it’s got tons and tons and tons of space between the bit and the rear travel of the fence. I never use this space.

If I had unlimited shop space, I’d love to have at least a 4 foot wide table so that I could put end stops on the fence to do stopped routing on bigger pieces, and so that when I’m routing rabbets in open frames I’d have more support. I’d like a little more room to the front of the bit, but I really don’t need that much more room behind the bit.

On the other hand, when I build that indexed fence (or just buy the Incra indexing system), I’ll probably want that space behind the bit for cutting finger joints and more complex dovetails. And it’d be tough to index a 4 foot wide fence…

Maybe we can get a few other people to chime in here on how and what they use their router tables for!

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3195 days

#2 posted 12-31-2009 12:16 AM

Ok, as you use your router more and more, you will find that the distance the fence needs to travel is based purely on the bit you are using. You can actually do alot of routing with just a guide pin. The area in front of the router bit is relative, but 10” to 12” should suffice.
The fence is strictly used as a guide to set the width of the cut in proportion to the router bit. This also corresponds to the height of the bit. You can clamp a straight edge board with a cut out over the bit and use a straight edge ruler to set up a proper cut.
I primarily use my router table for rabbits, dadoes and molding profiles. For dovetails I rely on my Porter Cable 4212 jig. I do not have the need for micrometer indexing.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

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