Router table: How big is big enough?

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Forum topic by DanM posted 07-21-2008 07:41 AM 1570 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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90 posts in 3678 days

07-21-2008 07:41 AM

Planning to build a router table for my Hitachi M12V. I have a glue up for the top, 24×30 x 1.5. I see many (or at least SOME) commercial tables are smaller than this. If nothing else, a smaller table would take up less space. Is there any real advantage to a bigger table on one of these, like with a wider/longer jointer, wider planer, etc., etc., or is there a point less than my 24×30 which is big enough?



8 replies so far

View pashley's profile


1043 posts in 3686 days

#1 posted 07-21-2008 01:50 PM

I have that same router, which is nice. My router cabinet is quite large, probably close to that size. I found that the width is good, but it’s really too deep for what I need. I think my router is about 10 inches from the front edge-plenty enough.

-- Have a blessed day!

View NY_Rocking_Chairs's profile


510 posts in 3566 days

#2 posted 07-21-2008 02:24 PM

I included my router table in the outfeed table for the table saw, so mine is 48” x 64”, with the router bit about 20” in from the long edge, centered on the long side. I also use a 24” x 30” portable table that I can clamp to saw horses.

-- Rich, anybody want a peanut?

View Tim_456's profile


170 posts in 3564 days

#3 posted 08-06-2008 08:23 PM

I’m probably the oddball here but my router table top is big, I made it from a 2ft x 4ft piece of MDO with a plywood box under it to house the router and provide a stable base. The router is on one side of the table, centered and about 10 inches from the edge. The table top is on a set of hinges to get into the box under it. The box is divided into to compartments, one for the router, the other as general storage. Anyway, I kept the table long so that I could route longer pieces. As this was my first router table I didn’t know what I needed.

I also made two fences, a 5 foot fence for long pieces and a 2.5 foot one for normal, everyday routing. 99% of the time I use the short end of the table so I could get by with a 2×2ft table. However, I’ve routed some custom moldings and edges on long pieces where it helped to have the longer table. It kept the long and narrow pieces under control. I’ve also used it to put rabbits on longer, larger pieces.

For me, I enjoy the larger table, but only because I already have it. If I had to do it again I would make it closer to 2ft deep x 3ft with the router set towards the back. This would give plenty of support for the piece and the fence but without taking up way too much space.

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3819 days

#4 posted 08-07-2008 12:49 AM

Mine is built into the end of my tablesaw. Has been adequate to date.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3843 days

#5 posted 08-07-2008 03:03 AM

It really depends on the type of fence you will use. I really like Incra fences, which require a much bigger table top. Mine is 32” x 44”

Click for details

-- Happy woodworking!

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 3844 days

#6 posted 08-07-2008 08:15 PM

I have to agree with Blake. I too have the Incra fence (older model), but you do need the wide/deep table.
And I have the same router as the OP, its a real work horse, I am on my second one in seven years. Bearings went out of the first one.

Post pics when done

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3957 days

#7 posted 08-07-2008 08:28 PM

I started out with one about 30” wide, but then got a Incra fence like Blake shows and I had to add a “wing” to the side of mt table to fit it. Too much work to remake the top at this time. Probably will later.

The bigger the better if you have the room.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View DanM's profile


90 posts in 3678 days

#8 posted 08-08-2008 01:13 AM

Well the top is done, it’s 34×24, 1.25” MDF w/ high pressure laminate on all sides/edges. Router is 8” from one long edge. Fence is done, also. After considering t-track, I went with the built-in edge clamps ala Hylton’s books, to eliminate a groove & make it easy to flip the fence to use on either the wide or narrow sides. Next step is to install some 1.5×2.5 plywood strips I glued up & machined nice & straight to the underside for flattening/bracing, then enclose the router area for DC purposes.

Mine’s not going to be nearly as slick as the ones with drawers etc. At least not at 1st. Depending on just how embarrassingly ugly it turns out on its framing lumber legs, I might post a pic ;-)

Thanks for the replies.


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