Placement of Router Table Insert?

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Forum topic by Adamal posted 05-28-2013 09:10 PM 2630 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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58 posts in 1966 days

05-28-2013 09:10 PM

I’m gonna be cutting my new Norm Abram style router table for the insert soon and was wondering what a good starting point would be for the position of it.

I’m new to router tables and don’t have a ‘typical’ need. Just an all-around useful spot for the insert.

Should I center it? Or orient it a bit towards the rear? I plan on putting T-track across the front and a couple for a fence.

Thanks all!

7 replies so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 05-28-2013 10:35 PM

Mine is located towerd the front. That is more comfortable when feeding pieces through and the front edge of the table can be used as a guide instead of having ‘T’ track which fills very quickly with sawdust. Another advantage is that you don’t have to reach far underneath while removing/ placing the router in the table. Here’s a picture of it.

 photo 0113.jpg

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Adamal's profile


58 posts in 1966 days

#2 posted 05-29-2013 12:55 AM


I would think one would want the extra space up front for support of wider stock. I understand the other reasons, but it just seems like wasted real estate.

Again, I’m speaking from no experience…

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2496 days

#3 posted 05-29-2013 04:59 AM

My router table top is laid out very similar to stefang’s. My plate might be set back another inch. Most of the stock that gets run through it is 8” or less, and having it closer to me makes it easier to control. For the occasional wide stock, I turn the whole cabinet around – it is on a mobile base – and use the wider back part of the table.

Edit: I should add that I do have T-track in the top. 4 strips – front, back, both sides. The fence is set up to work in any orientation. I have only ever used the track for the fence. Any time I’ve needed a sliding guide, I’ve used the front edge as the reference. Chips in the track haven’t been a problem.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View jte9999's profile


25 posts in 2067 days

#4 posted 05-29-2013 05:46 AM

Keep in mind some jig/fixture manufacturers, Incra, et al., require a distance range from track to bit.


-- --half full, half empty? How about twice as big as it needs to be?

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2251 days

#5 posted 05-29-2013 06:40 AM

Middle of the table will be most versatile IMO. Miter track / t-track along the front is good for feather boards.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1913 days

#6 posted 05-29-2013 10:42 PM

it depends on what you use it for. I have two tables, the first is set at 6” from the back on a 2’ x 4’ table. I am also 6’2” tall so it doesn’t bother to have it to the back. The other is purpose built. it has 2 routers for stiles and rails. so there is 4” from the back and the other is like 10”back.

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1919 days

#7 posted 05-29-2013 10:53 PM

Mine is at about the middle of the table. I wanted balanced support in the in feed and out feed ends so it’s pretty much in the center end to end. I wanted the “front” location to be driven by providing enough practical support for doing raised panels face down that I could focus on maintaining constant speed without having to check if the “down pushing” feather boards were doing their job keeping the surface being cut in firm contact with the table.

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