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Picture of Reclaimed-Drawer Router Table
Hello all!

So I was walking home one day when I found an old discarded drawer in a field near my house. I only had to take one look at it to know exactly what I wanted to make. Having recently acquired my own plunge router, I figured it wouldn't be too terribly difficult to turn the drawer into a makeshift router table! 

The following shows my process in making this, for those who wish to try it, or for those who are simply curious. I can already think of over a dozen modifications that I can (and more than likely will) add to the table as upgrades, and will list a few (or more) of them at the end. Not knowing a whole lot about router tables going into this project, I made it all up as I went, using mostly scraps and hardware I had on hand.

I welcome any and all questions, and will explain my reasoning for any design element you may choose to question! ;)
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tools:
-Plunge Router
-Drill
-Jigsaw/Hole Saw
-Steel Rule
-Compass

Materials:
- (1) Old drawer (this one measured 91/2"x131/2"x171/2")
- (3) 5mm 8 x 30mm Machine Screws
-(1) 2"x5/8"x17" Scrap Wood
-(2) 1/4"-20 3" Bolts
-(2) 1/4"-20 Star Knobs

Optional:
-Spray Paint
-Shop Vacuum

Step 2: The Drawer and Router

Picture of The Drawer and Router
RouterTable (0).jpg
So now that I had my idea, the first thing I had to do was make sure the router would even FIT in its new home. I stood the drawer (hereafter referred to as table) up and held the router in place for a second, sizing it up while checking to make sure all the controls and adjustment areas could still be reached. I tried to make sure to keep it as far back as possible to allow for the largest possible work area above.

Step 3: Prep Base for Layout

Picture of Prep Base for Layout
RouterTable (3).jpg
After determining exactly where the router would be positioned, I proceeded to unscrew the base plate. While leaving it still on the router, I attached rings of blue painter's tape (my fix-all for taping) to the base.
Casey35005 months ago

"-Ability to raise the router with more ease and accuracy".

If you don't mind, could you explain how? Mine has so much tension in the springs, that I'm lucky not to smash a finger or whatever.... I've tried several ways, but it usually gets way too involved, for the project I actually NEED to get done or the time I have to play w/ it. It can't be as complicated as I'm making it. What am I missing? Thanks.

rhoddity (author)  Casey35005 months ago

I've tried several different ways as well, and the easiest, fastest, and safest way to do is just with a wooden bar. I just place it underneath the router, inside the box, and lift it up using leverage. As it gets higher than the bar can handle, I place riser blocks under the bar and continue upward. If you'd like, I can go snag a photo of what I mean. =)

Kid uses a car jack in this link... Perfect. Thanks again
rhoddity (author)  Casey35004 months ago

Oh yeah! I tried that with a bottle jack I have, but because my router lives in such a small space, it didn't work out for what I had in mind. 'xD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNiuPzb5apI
Hey thanks. That is basically what I end up doing. Was just thinking that there has to be something nearly as simple but is also a little more consistent the same time. I work at a Chevrolet dealership and picked up a gas pedal set up that was going to be thrown out, thinking I could probably rig something with that to keep my hands free... If I can get the time to play with it. Pics are always appreciated. Merry Christmas
sabio04 months ago

Hi, It seems like I have the same router as you and I noticed that the router has a button on the handle to power on. I was wondering how you operate once it's mounted to the table. Do you press down the button with one hand and maneuver wood with the other hand? or have electrical tape or something to have it pressed down? -- I'm having hard time thinking of a way to use my router for router table without having to press the button under the table.

Thanks

rhoddity (author)  sabio04 months ago
Hello!
Actually, the router I have has a lock-on switch located just below (or above, depending on how you look at it) the trigger button. If I'm going to be making lots of adjustments, I usually just lock the trigger on whenever I'm prepared to use it. If I know I'll be cutting on the same height/depth/pattern for a while, I leave it latched in the locked-on position, and cut the power by plugging and unplugging the power cable.

If I could get my hands on a switched outlet box (or stop being lazy long enough to make one) I would leave it latched on for everything except bit changes, and plug the router to the box. That way, I could just flip the power on and off there, using minimal effort. ;) Did that help clear anything up?
A couple of questions: Did you screw the base on without the base plate? Did you have to extend the router it out for it to fully extend onto the table top? The reason I ask is that my router bits wouldn't be fully extended onto the table top if was inserted so that the shank was fully inserted into the collette. I would have to extend it so that about 1cm of shank was showing.
rhoddity (author)  rhenderson81 year ago
Personally, I had left the base plate on, if nothing else then so I wouldn't have to worry about losing it (which I totally would). =P

I never insert my router bits all the way (I pull back big time). Since my 'shop' is completely outdoors, moisture sometimes likes to rust up the collet, and if I forget a bit in the router, it becomes a huge pain to remove (nearly ruined a bit this way).
rajarshi1 year ago
i did not understand "can't keep the plunge bars covered by the sleeves for very long."
you mean the black covering or the sleeve and bar sliding mechanism .
or u mean to say that the router falls off?
rajarshi1 year ago
is that black and decker router?
i have one which looks exactly the same
rhoddity (author)  rajarshi1 year ago
Actually, it's a Chicago Electric router. I got it from Harbor Freight. It works pretty well, except that I can't keep the plunge bars covered by the sleeves for very long.
durrie441 year ago
Nice simple but effective, i'm making one.
Well done!
Very nice design.

I've been thinking of building a router mount into my workbench, and you have given me a few good things to think on (I really like your fence design!)
rhoddity (author)  RandomIdeaMan2 years ago
Thanks a lot! I am actually planning on modifying my fence by making it L-shaped and putting the knobs behind the main fence, so as to not get in the way of taller workpieces. =)
Another thought would be to drill a third hole in your fence and a corresponding hole in the draw at some points (for example when the fence is dead center of the router bit, and other commonly used locations) for a dowel to let you quickly and easily locate/relocate those positions which you use often... if you follow my meaning.
rhoddity (author)  RandomIdeaMan2 years ago
Ah! So you mean, basically create "presets" for commonly used locations?
Yeah exactly! So if you had a long term project and you needed to be able to re-set it to the same distance from the bit again later, you could drill a hole for it and write whatever the project was next to the hole and easily come back to the exact same fence position later.
rhoddity (author)  RandomIdeaMan2 years ago
Good thinking! I may do something like that when I go on my upgrading spree! =)
ZaneEricB2 years ago
sometimes the simple application of tape makes the rest of us have a DUH moment...i have to say...i would have been perplexed and would have done a thousand other things before even thinking to use tape....DUH!
rhoddity (author)  ZaneEricB2 years ago
Hehe, thanks! I've learned to appreciate the limitless value of simple tape early on when all I had to build with as a child was cardboard and masking tape! =]