Introduction: Garbage Can Dremel Router Table Table

This Dremel router table has all the basic essentials. It's easy to make. And it will save you time and space. There's only one catch...

Step 1: Underneath

... It's actually for a Proxxon/Micromot rotary tool. The lift design has enough space to put a mount for some hose clamps, if you want to use a Dremel. Actually, you can change pretty much all the dimensions to w/e. I just used the most convenient pieces of scrap I had at hand. I cheated and bought the table top and fence at Harbor Freight. It was sold as a drill press table for ~$30.00. It came with the fence and one stop block. For the life of me, I dunno why a drill press table has a lift-out cover plate in it, but of course that's good for a router table. Well, sorta. With the quick release lift, it's easier to just remove the tool for bit changes, so I would actually prefer to not have a cover plate (to fall out). So all said and done, all I built was a mount. Here, you can see how I did that. I took the idea for the lift from Matthias's tilting router lift: http://woodgears.ca/router_lift/. If you have never heard of Mathias or woodgears.ca, go ahead and click on that link... and forget this Instructable, along with the next 5 hours of your life! :)

Step 2: Other Side

Here's a look at the "back." You can get a better look at the lift. The adjustment is manual. The knob only locks things down. No gears, here. No tilt, either. Maybe next year. You can also see the ON/OFF switch and AC socket I added to the front. This beats reaching down into a half full garbage bin to turn the thing on/off.

Step 3: TOOL MOUNT, FRONT PLATE, and LOCKING KNOB

There's a slot on the BACK for the locking bolt to run through. I elected to cut the slot all the way thru the bottom, so that the still-mounted tool will slide out, just by loosening the locking knob. In the next few pics, you can get a better look at the FRONT PLATE, TOOL MOUNT, and the LOCKING KNOB. Be sure to click on these pics to see more details in the popup boxes. *Hmmm. Looking at these pics, I could lock the tool to my bench, horizontally, just by adding a slot through the edge of the bench top. Cut a miter slot next to it, and drop in a raised sled, slightly higher than the bit, and you have an instant cutoff saw??

Step 4: BACK PLATE

The BACK PLATE is made from 3/4" plywood. The 45 degree rails are cut from 3/4" hardwood. (In hindsight, looking at the growth rings, I'm pretty sure the rails are softwood. I think they're cedar.) I used a bandsaw to cut the 45 degree bevel on the rails and front plate. Next, I glued the rails to the back plate. But before the glue dried, I clamped the front plate to the back plate with 3 strips of paper between the boards as a spacer. Then I clamped the side rails towards each other, so everything would line up, tight. Once dry, I removed the paper. The tiny gap left by the paper insures that the rails will lock against each other before the plate completely bottoms out. When locked, there is absolutely no play in any direction. Then I drilled a hole for the locking knob, roughly in the center, through both plates. Then I cut the slot out of the back plate with a bandsaw (using the hole I drilled to know where the cut should line up and end.) Then I glued another block of wood to the back of this plate at a perfect 90 degrees, to give a larger surface for indexing against the bottom of the table top and more rigidity once mounted. Then two holes are drilled through to bolt it to the table.

Step 5: Switch

Well, for this to make sense, you might need to look at the second pic, first. Anyways, I just made a little front panel to house an AC socket and a switch. An AC plug comes out and plugs into the rotary tool. Click on pic for more details.

Step 6: Cover for the Router Table

I got sick of putting my router table away. Because the fence sticks out the top, and the tool/mount sticks out the bottom, it's rather unwieldy to just stick on a shelf. I never warmed up to the idea of making a permanent base for it. I felt like any attempt would be too tall and bulky to use on top of my bench but too short to use freestanding. Plus, one of the primary reasons for making such a small and weak router table is so you can use it indoors; hence, keeping things over the garbage can fits the bill. So I eventually started leaving it on the garbage can, all the time. Why not build a cover for it? That way it's easy to clear the stuff off the table when I need to.

Step 7: Putting It Away Is a Snap

So when I'm done with the router, clean up is easy. Sweep the dust into the garbage can.Then to put it back to "table mode,"  I pull the power cord out of the switch box, lower the tool so the bit is below flush, move the fence, and replace the cover tray.

Step 8: So What's It Good For?

You're not going to build a cabinet with this setup, of course. I routinely use my mini router for cutting pcb, using a V-cutter bit. Or shaping the holes in a front panel. It's a precision laser beam in foam board or thin sheets of styrene. A mini router table is also a fantastic edge jointer/planer for thin stock. Here are a couple of random little projects I did, recently.

Comments

author
JamesGannon (author)2015-03-03

Think a little harder about why a drill press table would have a removable/replaceable insert. Could it be because when you are drilling you need a backing to your material to avoid "blowout"?

author
klee27x (author)JamesGannon2016-02-24

Well, yeah. I guess you are saying you would make sacrificial inserts for it? This laminated insert looks too nice to mess up, intentionally. Overall it just appears from the insert and the sheer size of the table that it was designed as a router table from the start.

When I use my drill press for bits that are larger than the hole, I find a sheet of Styrofoam is great for a backing, because it doesn't take much damage from, say, a large forstner bit. Barely leaves a mark and the sheet lasts a long time.

author
mcsk8rg (author)2013-07-31

doesn't your dremel drop down? cuz its clamped only from its front side ... which is prolly too weak to hold to ...
i did not see any support underneath the dremel tool... except for the one in front which i think is not enough
what do you say?

author
klee27x (author)mcsk8rg2013-08-01

I just built the lift, recently. (I also just added hinges and trunnions for tilt, too). But the tool holder part has been in use for a couple of years, now, with the same table pictured. It was non-adjustable, is all. The tool can be slightly wiggled off axis if pressed. But since the tool is held so close to the bit, this is fine. The Proxxon tool holders exihibit the same thing. Most of the wiggle is coming from flex in the tool housing, not the mount. Perhaps with some additional bracing in the bottom, I could take slightly deeper cuts with it.... who knows?

But no, there's no downward slipping. The clamp is rock solid.

author
audreyobscura (author)2013-07-15

SUCH A GOOD IDEA!!!

author
klee27x (author)audreyobscura2013-07-29

Thanks! All feedback is appreciated, but positive feedback is always better!

author
mcraghead (author)2013-07-19

Very nice!

author
klee27x (author)mcraghead2013-07-29

Thanks!

author
PS118 (author)2013-07-15

And all the chips go... IN THE CAN!

You sir, are A GENIUS!

author
klee27x (author)PS1182013-07-29

Thanks!

As for the chips, only some of them go in the can. I still need to keep the vacuum handy. Actually, there are two operations where all the chips DO go in the can. When using a v-score bit and when doing a roundover on an edge. In these two operations, the chips have nowhere else to go but down!

And no, I'm not a genius. I give full credit to Matthias at Woodgears.ca. As well as all the previous makers whose work inspired him. I did nothing but adapt his design to a smaller rotary tool, and I happen to be lazy and had a large garbage can by my bench. :)