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Big Router Table on a Budgetcomments (7) November 12th, 2012 in blogs
For years I'd been using a benchtop router table at home. It worked, but it was always a hassle to pull out and then store. Plus it was small, so large workpieces were a challenge.
No more. I finally built a bigger one. But a bigger router table didn't mean bulky or expensive. I saved money by making it out of leftover construction lumber and a few castoff parts from friends, and put money where it counted most: a router lift.
The base and undercarriage for the tabletop were made from a couple 2x4s left over from a home project, all connected with screws and glue. The front and back aprons are pine scraps, and the shelf is a 1/2 in. thick scrap of CDX plywood, also left over from a home project.
I picked up the locking casters from a colleague who no longer needed them, and the dust shroud was salvaged from an old Freud fence, also from a colleague.
The top and fence were made from 3/4 in. thick MDF, and yes, it too was left over. The top is 35 in. wide and 23 in. deep, plenty big for most of the stuff I'll be building. I offset the router lift insert a bit toward the infeed side and toward the back, thinking it would be good to have a little extra room to handle large workpieces. I haven't used the table in real life yet, so I'll have to let you know whether the idea was successful or whether I just outsmarted myself.
The fence is 4 3/8 in. tall and rides in a couple T-tracks. I designed the fence so there's a zero-clearance insert over the bit opening. The insert dovetails into the opening from up top. The design, which I picked up from John White's "Ultimate Router Table" (FWW #153), allows me to replace the insert easily when it gets worn out. But that's not the only benefit. I can install fresh faces to use with various profiling bits, which helps reduce tearout and prevents the work from diving into a too large opening.
I used the dust port from the Freud fence, and I beveled the edges of the MDF inside the opening to create a ramp that helps direct dust up to the port.
I coated the top and fence with shellac and waxed both surfaces to give a smooth ride for the work.
Overall, I'm very happy with the results, and I can't wait to put it to work. But first I have to get some push blocks...
posted in: blogs, workshop, router table
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