Ultimate Router Station

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Introduction: Ultimate Router Station

About: Hi! I'm Matt and you can follow along as I [Build] new projects [Learn] new skills and [Repeat] the process. See all my projects and more at mwawoodworks.com

Hey guys! In this Instructable I’ll show you how I added tons of storage space to my router table to create the ultimate router station! I added enough room to store over 100 bits as well as quick access to commonly used tools as well a big storage drawers for router and accessories. Basically everything I own for my routers in one place!

Keep reading and I’ll show you how I did it!

If you like this instructable be sure to check out my most popular instructables below:

5 Pro Tips for Making Cutting Boards

How to Make an End Grain Butcher Block

How to Make a Slab Flattening Mill

The Ultimate Table Saw Fence

If you like this instructional content you can also find me at:

My Website (full tutorials, plans, videos): https://mwawoodworks.com

My YouTube (all my build videos): https://youtube.com/c/mwawoodworks

My Instagram (behind the scenes stuff): https://instagram.com/mwawoodworks

My Pinterest (things I find inspirational) : https://pinterest.com/mwawoodworks

Supplies

TOOLS AND SUPPLIES IN THIS PROJECT:

►2-Sided Tape - https://amzn.to/3yha6ly

►True Position Drawer Hardware Jig - https://amzn.to/3ePbWSJ

►Mag Switch - https://amzn.to/3ePbWSJ

►18" Drawer Slides - https://amzn.to/3ePbWSJ

►1/4" router bit for locking rabbet joint - https://amzn.to/3ePbWSJ

►Black Edge Banding - https://amzn.to/3ePbWSJ

►Power Switch with Paddle - https://amzn.to/3ePbWSJ

Step 1: Final Pics and Tour

I was able to squeeze just about every square inch of storage space I could get out of my Woodpecker router table. I added a HUGE bottom drawer for storing handheld my handheld routers and accessories.

There's a 4" drawer just below the router dust box for my coping sled and larger router bit sets.

On the right, I added a small drawer to hold my most used tools (collet wrenches, plate inserts and router lift tool)

And finally I added this awesome slide out bit storage that has room for 100+ router bits in 1/2" and 1/4" shank sizes.

Everything I own related to routers can be stored in this router station! Score +1 for shop organization!

Step 2: Prepping for the Build (really, Deciding What I Want to Do LOL)

One thing I need to do before I get started is measure how much room I have under the dust box. I want to squeeze in a shallow drawer here to really maximize the storage space in this cabinet. I also measure for my side panels and the bottom drawer as well.

And now I can remove the dust box to get it out of the way.

I also need to drill a few screw holes to help me mount the panels.

Once all that is done I can begin cutting my cabinet parts.

Step 3: Cutting the Side Panels

Since the top and rails of the router table are black I wanted to find a way to make the whole cabinet black. At first I considered painting plywood because I really didn’t want to use black melamine. I’m really not a fan of particle board, but then I found something I’d never seen before at my local plywood dealer.

It’s called shelf liner and its got a melamine like coating on top of a plywood core. This fits exactly with what I was thinking for this project.

The first step here is to cut the side panels of the cabinet and doing this at the MFT is pretty simple. I need four panels total.

The only other thing I need to do to these is cut notches on two corners and these allow space for the bolts that connect the frame of the router table. To do this I like to set up a mag switch to act as a positive stop. I just set the fence into position and I can knock these cuts out fast and each one is the same. To get the short side of the notch I just reposition the fence and the magnet and keep on cutting.

Step 4: Installing the Side Panels

These fit in really nice with those notches cut out. I cut the back

panels out of ½” ply. And for the top panel I needed to make an access for the dust collection as well as some air vents for the router.

I could have done this with a handheld router and templates but I thought this was the perfect job for the CNC and so that’s what I used.

Then I just slid the back panels into place and it looks like I overcut my notches here, but that’ll be in the back behind the drawer so no worries!

The top panel fit well and I got that all fastened in too.

Once all the panels were in I could go ahead and re-install the dust box to test out the access hole on the back panel. You can see here. I allowed for plenty of room around the dust port by making it 5.25" in diameter so I could easily add the dust hose and clamp.

Step 5: Cutting Locking Rabbet Drawer Joints

Next I need to measure for the drawers at the bottom. I'm making them the full width and depth of the cabinet.

And I cut the parts mostly from half inch ply, although I did run out and I made the top drawer sides from ¾” ply.

To build the drawers I’m using locking rabbet joints.

This is a simple joint to make with just one ¼” bit in the router table. There’s no screws or dowels needed, just glue and clamps. I start by making grooves down the sides of the side panels.

Next I move the fence to just kiss the router bit and cut tongues on the ends of the front and back.

And Here’s a closeup of the locking rabbet joint.

Step 6: Building the Lower Drawer Boxes

Like I said earlier I just need to add glue to the grooves and assemble these drawer boxes. If you make the joint snug enough sometimes you don’t even need clamps once the joints are together. In my case I needed a couple clamps and then I made sure to scrape the glue out of the inside corners.

For the drawer bottom I’m going with ½” ply because these drawers will be so big and hold a considerable amount of tools. This will make sure the drawers withstand the use and abuse over time.

I’m just going to screw them directly to the bottom which will give them tons of strength. And the other drawer is exactly the same but shorter.

I’m using 18” full extension drawer slides here which will give me full access to the back of the drawers and make it easy to find things. I find it easiest to install these by using my table saw as a reference surface.

Step 7: Installing the Drawer Boxes

I needed to add ¾” spacers for the drawer sides to install flush to the edge of the rails. This was simple enough and was less wasteful than installing a whole second sheet of ¾” ply on the inside of the cabinet. For the upper spacers I cut a scrap of ply to get it to just the right height. Then I could pop in the two drawers and this thing is finally looking like a cabinet.

That’s a lot of storage, but I can do even more!

Step 8: Building Sliding Router Bit Storage

I took some measurements of the left side of the dust box because I want to add some bit storage too.

One thing I need to be careful of here is to not interfere with the air intake of the dust box. This is critical for good dust collection as well as not overheating the router during use.

I begin by laying out some reference lines on a ¾” panel. I then add grid patterns to two other strips of ¾” ply. These will allow me to evenly space out my holes for the router bits. They also help me drill all these holes quickly. I’m adding mostly ½” holes, but I do want some spots for ¼” router bits too, but I don’t have nearly as many of those.

Then I just line up my bit holder with the reference lines I drew earlier and clamp them into place. I add three screws into the back and then repeat that process again with the second bit holder. I then added two support pieces between the bit holders for added strength and support.

Step 9: Building Sliding Router Bit Storage II

To make this work the way I want to, I add a pair of drawer slides to the back of the bit storage panel.

Next I’m going to position these on an identical panel by using two-sided tape. This helps keep everything in place while I install the other side of the slides. Just one more good use of two sided tape in the shop. And here’s the finished bit storage with 103 holes for maximum router bit storage.

Step 10: Building Upper Drawer Box

For the other side I’m going to add a drawer and I made it with ½” ply and screws.

I added a ½” bottom same as the big drawers. You could get away with ¼” ply here but I already had the ½” so that’s what I used. To hold the drawer I made a simple box from ¾” ply and screws. I’m also using the same full extension drawer slides I’ve used on the rest of the cabinet. And the drawer fits great in here this will work. perfectly.

I wanted to add a little nested storage tray to the drawer and for that I added two strips of ½” ply to the inside of the drawer with glue. I then added a little face frame. At the end you’ll see why I added this. This was one of my favorite problem solves of this build.

Step 11: Installing the Bit Storage and Upper Drawer Box

After cutting a small relief notch on the back for a bolt head that was in my way I fastened the back panel into place. I can then just slide on the bit storage and move on.

You can see here there’s plenty of space for air flow and still give myself tons of storage for my router bits.

Because I couldn’t squeeze this in around the dust box, I had to remove it once again.

But that gave me plenty of room to install this and after some mental and physical gymnastics I got that dust box back in place and could install the final drawer.

Step 12: Cutting the Drawer Fronts

Now moving on to the drawer fronts, I need to add edge banding (again, amazed at finding black edge banding!)

This edge banding is iron on and super easy to add to the fronts. To install the drawer pulls I’m using a new tool to my shop. This cabinet hardware jog from True Position is amazing. It has positive stops so you can line up your drawer pulls from the top of the drawer as well as from the side, giving you a perfectly centered drawer pull. There are drill guides on the jog too for drilling perfectly spaced holes.

It works on large and small drawer fronts. You can see here how to line up the drill guides with your drawer pull. The center line allows you to set the drill guides an equal distance from the center of the jig and everything is easily adjustable with knurled thumb screws.

Step 13: My Drawer Front Installation Technique

To install the drawer fronts I always start from the bottom and I use a spacer to help me set the correct height and keep everything straight. I also like to use two sided tape to make sure the drawer front doesn’t slide tiny amounts in one direction or the other as I drill holes.

Next I add two screws into the holes where the drawer pulls will go. This really holds things in place while I screw the drawer front on from the inside of the drawer. I can then take the two front screws out and finish drilling the holes all the way through the drawer for the pull.

How awesome is that little drawer installation hack!

Step 14: Installing the Upper Door Fronts

I can then set the next drawer front in place by using washers to get the correct spacing and repeat that whole process over again.

This really does make drawer front installs much less stressful.

Step 15: Installing the Upper Door Fronts II

Next I added a front to the bit storage and then the top drawer.

I then added a door panel to the middle to allow access to the dust box. I’m using euro cup hinges here and I’m attaching the door to that little face frame I added to the top drawer box. This was the by far the best solve I had for attaching this middle door panel. I then added a screw to the top corner that I could use to adjust the door until it sat flush with the rest of the drawers.

One final addition was a new paddle switch that I could surface mount to the side of the cabinet. My old switch couldn’t do this and this new one is bigger and easier to hit when you need to turn off the router.

Step 16: Loading Up the Router Station!

Well guys check out all that storage! I can finally keep all my router gear here in one cabinet and right where I need them too.

I’ve got tons of great storage for bits, jigs and accessories as well as my handheld routers and all of their accessories!

Step 17: Thank You!

Thank you so much for taking an interest in my projects here on Instructables!

If you like this instructable be sure to check out my most popular instructables below:

5 Pro Tips for Making Cutting Boards

How to Make an End Grain Butcher Block

How to Make a Slab Flattening Mill

The Ultimate Table Saw Fence

If you like this instructional content you can also find me at:

My Website (full tutorials, plans, videos): https://mwawoodworks.com

My YouTube (all my build videos): https://youtube.com/c/mwawoodworks

My Instagram (behind the scenes stuff): https://instagram.com/mwawoodworks

My Pinterest (things I find inspirational) : https://pinterest.com/mwawoodworks

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    5 Comments

    0
    DLMarcum
    DLMarcum

    Question 24 days ago

    I love it. Thanks for the tips on installing drawer fronts. My question is what do you have on your drill for depth limit?

    0
    mwawoodworks
    mwawoodworks

    Answer 23 days ago

    I think you are referring to the Amana Tools countersink drill bit.

    0
    BobCampbell45
    BobCampbell45

    24 days ago

    Where was the metal table purchased?

    0
    CaptClaude
    CaptClaude

    Reply 23 days ago

    My question also. Nice table, but no mention of where it came from or who makes it.
    Inquiring minds want to know.

    0
    mwawoodworks
    mwawoodworks

    Reply 23 days ago

    Sorry I thought it'd be visible in the pictures! It's a Woodpecker Tools router table.