A router is a woodworkers dream. Routers are used to cut, create and design wood. Having a good router table is essential to good quality router work. There are different styles of router tables to choose from. Some are full tables, some are table extensions, some are table tops, and some fold up for easy storage. If you are looking to cut cost and you've decided to build your own router table, you'll be surprised to find out it's a lot easier than it seems.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- (1) 3 mm (1/8 inch) plywood, 90 x 60 cm (3 x 2 feet)
- Construction pencil
- Tape measure
- (2) 30 cm (1 foot) scraps of wood, 1 cm (3/8 inch) thick
- (2) 15 cm (1/2 foot) scraps of wood, 1 cm (3/8 inch) thick
- Router with straight bit
- Straight edge guide
- Router table insert
- Mitre track
- 2 T-tracks
- Split fence core
Trace a 22.5 by 30 cm (9 x 12 inch) insert in the centre of the plywood. Cut out the insert carefully using a jigsaw.
Glue four scraps of wood 1 cm (3/8 inch) thick to the insides of each of the four sides of the cutout. This creates a ledge that your router table insert sits on.
Purchase an aluminium router plate which screws to the table once it is in place. It includes three centre rings for different router opening sizes.
Make a groove 10 cm (4 inches) in from one side to the other, along the long side of the plywood. Use a router with a straight bit and a straight edge guide. Insert your mitre track in the groove.
Cut out T-tracks also using a router. Make these grooves, one on each side of the shorter sides, also 10 cm (4 inches) in. The T-tracks are flush mounted, so the fence can ride on them. They are flush with one end, running into the table top a little over half way.
Purchase a split fence which rides along the tracks in the table. It comes with black knobs which will hold it in place. You can buy either an aluminium or wood fence core.
Attach the table top router to a workbench with clamps to hold it down, or secure it to table legs you make yourself. The legs can be as simple as constructing a wood box large enough to support the router table.
Tips and warnings
- Russian birtch is a good wood for a fence core.
- Router tables tend to wear out quickly because of all the wear and tear. It's a good idea to glue layers of wood together to strengthen the table top.