Router tables can be made individually, but they are also made commercially, and consist of a plate and removable throat that allow the user to use both small and large bits. Learn about the benefits of a power switch on a router table with help from an experienced woodworker in this free video on router tables.
Hi I'm Dave Trull with The Trull Gallery, a custom furniture shop in St. Petersburg, Florida and I'm going to talk to you today about router table basics. Router tables like most things in a shop can either be commercially made or made by you in your shop. I happen to have two router tables that I built into outfeed tables, so that they don't require any extra floor space. And this is one of my tables here, consists of a plate and removable throat, and the removable throat allows me to use smaller or larger bits. In this case, up to about three or three quarter inches in diameter. I actually have a few other things on my table that I've added over the years. The fence again, a shop made fence. I have parallel faces, fully adjustable, they slide in and out. I also have a dust port on the back that I can hook my shop back up to. As you can see, I've got a finger board also, to help hold the stock down. My most recent addition is T-Tracks, in this case I've got tracks coming along the front, for use with my miter gage. And the two parallel tracks along the side, where I can lock my fence down with some T-Track hardware. Another thing I added to my table early on, was a power switch here in the front. I have an electrical outlet under the table, that I can plug both my router and my Shop Vac on with. So when I'm working, I don't have to fumble under the table to turn them on, I can just flip my switch. Some other things you might want to think about when you're working with or planning your router table, is what size router to put on it. Generally speaking, a heavier router will give you a better performance over all. You'll want to stay away from the plunge routers that are spring actuated, because every time you make a height adjustment, you're fighting the spring. Fixed base routers work well, or some of newer plunge based routers that have a mechanical adjustment as opposed to a spring adjustment. I would recommend a minimum of two and quarter horse, if you can afford it. That will give you enough power to swing pretty much any bit that's out there. You'll also want to look at variable speed routers, because they'll allow you to spend a larger bit. Once you get over an inch in diameter, you need to start slowing it down. And when you get into larger bits like panel raising bits, you need to bring the speed down, almost to about ten thousand RPM, which is very slow for a router. At that point, it's just a matter of putting all your fixtures together. Again, you're going to need to start with a plate, a router, I would recommend a fence as a basic starting point. And from there, you can just build on different accessories and add on jigs as you go. That's a little bit about router table basics. I'm Dave Trull with The Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.