How to make a router table

Written by michael straessle
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Routers are one of the most versatile and easy to use tools in the woodworking industry. With all the accessories that can be purchased for a router, the only thing holding a craftsman back is imagination. Finger joints, over-eased edges, dovetail cuts, tongue and groove doors, and drawers; all can be created with a router. However, it is not expected for the craftsman to perform these feats freehand; he needs a router table. Building a router table can be elaborate enough to be able to do any type work with the router attached to the bottom of the table.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Router
  • 1 piece of Medium density fiberboard (MDF) 24 x 48-inches (top)
  • 4 pieces of 4 x 4-inch lumber 48-inches long (legs)
  • 2 pieces of 1 x 3-inch lumber 46-inches long
  • 2 pieces of 1 x 3-inch lumber 22-inches long
  • 1 piece of hardwood (e.g. oak) 2 x 2 x 48-inches (fence)
  • 3-inch drywall screws
  • 1 ¼-inch drywall screws
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Variable Speed Drill
  • Jigsaw

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  1. 1

    Mark the MDF midway down the 48-inch length and about 12-inches from the edge. Draw a 3-inch circle around that mark.

  2. 2

    Drill a hole inside that circle to create a starting point for the jigsaw. Cut the circle out with the jigsaw. Draw a line around the perimeter of the bottom side of the top, one inch from the edge.

  3. 3

    Run a bead of wood glue to the long edge of the 1 x 3 inch lumber and secure it to the bottom side of the top. Be certain to line it up with the 1-inch mark around the perimeter of the top. Repeat this until all four pieces of the 1 x 3 inch lumber has been installed.

  4. 4

    Apply glue to the end of one of the 4 x 4-inch legs that secures to the bottom side of the top. Place it in the corners created by the 1 x 3 inch lumber. Secure the leg by driving 1 ¼-inch drywall screws through the 1 x 3 inch lumber and into the leg. Repeat this until all four legs are installed.

  5. 5

    Secure the bottom plate of the router to the bottom side of the table so that the bits protrude through the hole. Turn table upright and secure the fence with the 3-inch drywall screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear safety glasses.
  • Fence is used when the router bit requires one.
  • Use extreme caution as the bit is exposed and can cause injury.
  • Do not leave the router table unattended while the router is on.

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