Introduction: Work Bench Router Table
Ever wanted a Router Table, but didn't want to invest hundreds of dollars into something you would only end up using a few times?
Me neither... So i decided to build my own.
I kept it cheap and simple as I do not need to use this all of the time, but know it will make some future projects much easier.
Follow along as I show you how to construct this simple low cost Router Table.
- 3/4" Plywood (2'x2')
- 1/8" Tempered Hardboard (2'x2')
- 1x4 Pine Boards
- Wood Glue
- Three Machine Screws
- Two Machine Bolt (and two nuts)
- Four Washers
- Plunge Router (assuming you have this already)
- Adjustable Work Bench (or something similar you might have)
Step 1: Table Base
For the Table Base, I started with an adjustable work bench that I got for free from a friend that was no longer using it.
(You could use any kind of surface or make a simple surface with a slot for the Router to drop through)
I checked to make sure the Plunge-Router I already had would fit through the slot of the work bench and although the base of the Router did, the head of the Router did not.
I solved this problem with the use of thicker plywood for the main table support (as you will see later)
Step 2: Router Table Structure
For the surface of the Router Table, I used 3/4" Plywood and 1/8" Tempered Hardboard (Masonite) on top.
I cut the Plywood into a 2'-0"x2'-0" piece then used a straight-edge to mark the center (from corner to corner).
Once I had the center, I placed the Router on top of the plywood and made the bit that was installed line up with the "X" so it was in the middle.
I then traced the outline of the 'head' of the Router onto the Plywood and used a Jig-Saw to cut out the shape (as you can see in the 2nd picture).
I had to do a bit of sanding to make sure the Router head would 'sink' into the plywood as intended.
Once I had the Plywood finished, I cut a piece of 1/8" Tempered Hardboard into a 2'-0"x2'-0" piece (same as the Plywood).
I then glued these two pieces together so they were one unit.
Step 3: Mounting the Router
To mount the router to the Table, I took the Router to the Hardware store and found out what sized screws fit the thread pattern of the holes in the head of the Router.
I then placed the table upside down, placed the Router in it's position within the hole in the Plywood and marked the holes that I needed to drill.
I drilled a pilot hole at the center of each mark that was the same diameter as the screws I was using.
Once I verified that the holes were exactly where I wanted them I used a larger bit to make a 'counter-sink' void for the head of the screw to sink into.
I was then able to screw all three into the router and it held tight to the underside of the router table when flipped over.
Step 4: Router Hole
The next step to place the router hole was easy.
I measured the largest router bit I had, and then used a hole saw bit to cut a hole just slightly larger than the bit for some clearance.
Once the hole was cut I beveled the edges of the hole on the top side to make sure that as i slid items along the table nothing would get caught on the edge.
Step 5: Table Mounting Hole
To help mount the table to the Work Bench (as well as hold the Router-Fence in place) I decided to use the holes that were already in place on the Work Bench.
I flipped everything over (with the Router in place) and marked where the desired hole was on the underside of the Plywood.
I then drilled a 1/2" hole at each location as I was using 3/8" bolts and wanted them to pass through fairly easily.
Step 6: Router Fence
For the Router Fence, I used some old boards I had laying around, but you can use whatever you have handy.
(I used 1x4 pine boards)
I cut one board so it was 2'-0" long (the same as the table) and then marked where the Mounting Hole came through the Table.
Once I had the location of where I needed to place the hole I used the Washers I was going to use to mark the extent of the Adjustable Slot I needed.
I then drilled a 1/2" hole at each end and used a Jig Saw to connect the two holes to achieve the slot in the board.
I then used the same Hole Saw to add a notch in the bottom and fence edge boards to make sure that the Router Head could spin.
I glued the Router Fence Board to the base and let it sit overnight.
Step 7: Vacum Hose Connection
I wanted to b able to connect a vacuum hose to the back of the router to suck up all of the shavings and sawdust when it was in use, so I created a simple three piece Vacuum Hose Connection.
I cut two triangles for the sides, and then a top which I mitered to fit snug against the base and router fence.
Next I measured the diameter of the end of my hose and used a hole saw to cut a hole that would fit snug.
Once it was all glued together, I aligned the hole of the Vacuum connection with the hole for the Router Bit so the hose would be close enough to suck up all of the debris.
Step 8: Finished Assembly
Once the Vacuum Hose Connection was attached to the Router Fence, I connected everything together for a fit-test.
Everything fit wonderfully together.
I used the 3/8" bolts with a large washer at each end to help secure the Router Fence to the Work Bench. I then added a clamp at each side that sandwich the Router Fence, Router Table, and Work Bench together.
The hose connects well and does not get in the way at all.
- I might paint the back side of the Router Fence to make it look a little nicer.
- I might need to add some weights to the bottom Legs of the Work Bench as it is a bit top-heavy now.