Introduction: Collapsible, Stowable Router Table
Since I seem to be expanding my shop as far as the little room will allow, I decided I wanted a router table. The problem is that I don't have room to set a router stand. I need a router table that will get out of my way when I don't need it so this is what I came up with. With 2 legs and a french cleat holding it to my down draft table, it is pretty stable.
Step 1: I Used
For the table: 1- 3/4" form ply - 22x48", 3- 2x2x22, 2- 2x3x45, 2- 3x3x38, 2 dowel 1"x6", 2 dowel 5/8"x6", 1- 1x4x16, 3- 24" T-track
For the fence: 3/4" form ply- 48x6, 48x4, 48x8, 2x2 cut to fit for angle supports,
For the side fence: 3/4" form ply- 8x8, 8x3, 6x4, 2x2 brace
I had 1/2 a sheet of form ply left from my down draft table. It is made to be used for concrete forming and has a hard coating on one side that is smooth and durable and should work well for me.
1" and 5/8" dowel, various screws
Step 2: Getting Started
All the screws are predrilled and anything that matters is counter sunk, just to have it said. I made a 3 sided frame from the 2x3's and one 2x2. Then I leveled the frame where I wanted, set the legs and cut them flush to the top of the frame (pic 1). Then I laid the legs down inside the frame and screwed 2 2x3 blocks to the end of the frame tight to the legs( pic 2). I have the frame upside down so when I lay the legs inside the frame, they will be flush with the top of the frame. Clamp the 3 pieces together and drill a pilot hole through for the pivot pin with the legs folded in, then I started by cutting a curve on the end of the leg and kept trimming it so it would pivot open and closed. Pic 4 shows what it wound up looking like. Once the legs moved properly, I drilled a 1" hole through the pilot hole for the hinge pins and a 5/8" hole through the 3 pieces for the lock pin and another hole through the side and the leg to lock it shut The other 2x2's I cut into a french cleat so I could mount one end of the router table to my down draft table
Step 3: Top and Spreader
I counter sunk and pre-drilled the top, then mounted it to the 3 sided frame keeping the end flush with the 2x2 so there is room under the other end for the french cleat. For the mortise and tenon, I used a 1/2" drill bit in my drill press and a chisel for the hole and cut the tenon on a table saw. I made the mortise a little deep so the tenon didn't bottom out, then just glue it in
Step 4: French Cleat
I used the 2 2x2x22 and cut french cleats. The uneven cuts give a tight fit flush to the top of the down draft table and keeps the bottom half low and out of the way when the router table is stored away. The drawers in pic 2 are the base of my drill press. Like I said, small room
Step 5: Cutting in the Router Plate
The router plate I bought has a lip around the edge so I had to allow for that. I made a sled for my router that was about 20x7 because the hole for the plate is about 12x8" and clamped straight pieces of scrap to the table for a make-shift router form then just took my time to mill it out with a 3/4" straight bit. Once I was happy with the routed hole, I drew out and jigsaw cut a 7" hole in the centre for my router.
Step 6: The Fences
It might wind up being too big, but I'm making my fence 48" so it is the length of the table. I cut 4", 6" and 8" all 48" long. I put a 10° bevel on the bottom of the fences to keep sawdust out of the way.The 4" piece is the base and the 6" piece is the face and the 8" piece will be the sacrificial fence. After I drew out how I wanted the braces and T-tracks, I butted the 4" up to the 6" and screw them together but just snug up the screws. I had some scrap 2x2 and cut the braces from that. Once I had the braces in and checked for a good 45, I tightened up the screws. The side fence has a base 8x3" and a face 6x4". 2 bolts hold it to the T track so it can't shift and I put a 6" T track on the face so the 8x8" sacrificial fence can slide sideways to where I need it
Step 7: T-tracks
I need 2 tracks for the fence so I more or less split the length and put them about 16" apart. Only one track for the side fence and I placed it about 2" forward of the hole centre. I cut the tracks for the fence 9" long and for the side fence about 20 inches, just from the end of the table to the router plate. I may decide to put in another mitre track that goes past centre if I find I need it. Carefully make sure that you have the T-tracks as close to parallel as possible. I used a router and clamped guides down to keep the cuts as straight as possible. I used #6 x 5/8" screws for the tracks. After I put in the tracks, I lined up the fence, making sure it was square to the table then marked a hole centered on each track for the bolts. Turns out I had to grind almost half the heads off the bolts so they would slide in the tracks smoothly. I don't know if that is normal or if it just the tracks that I bought. I think #4 screws would be too small and I didn't really want to try and drill out the holes in the tracks any more than they are.