I made this router table to provide a lot of storage and excellent dust collection, but not sacrifice on performance. Most of the construction is 1/2" plywood but with 3/4" plywood in critical places like the sides and top for rigidity.
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Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools
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I made this using
- One sheet of 3/4" plywood
- Two sheets of 1/2" plywood
- Walnut scraps for the trim and pulls (can use any hardwood or pulls)
- Rockler ProLift Router Lift
- Rocker Pro Router Fence
- Heavy Duty Levelers
- Safety Switch
The tools I used were:
Step 2: Break Down Material
Step 3: Cut Out the Router Lift Holes
Normally for a router lift it takes routing two different patterns at different depths. But instead, I’m going to cut two shape out of each sheet and then glue them together.
The top piece is 1/2" plywood, which is close to the thickness of the plate of the router lift, I cut it out first.
I screw the two pieces together before transferring the hole from the top piece to the thicker 3/4" bottom piece.
Step 4: Laminate and Trim the Top
I apply a liberal amount of glue to laminate the two pieces together.
This is where those screw holes from the last step come in handy. I put screws back through them first to make sure everything lines up the same way it did when I started.
After the glue dries the table saw makes quick work of cleaning up the edges, then I apply mitered walnut edge banding with wood glue and brad nails.
Some wood putty conceals any gaps between the trip and top.
Step 5: Cut the Track Grooves
Those grooves will stop at the first groove. So I marked the edge of the first groove and where the blade stops cutting. That way I could stop cutting when those lines meet and not accidentally cut too far.
Step 6: Assemble the Cabinet Body
I drill pocket holes in all the pieces, then cut a big slot out of the back piece to accommodate the dust collection hook ups. Screwing the cabinet together went really quick.
The back and sides are two solid pieces (except for the dust collection slot) but the front just has two stretchers to leave room for the drawers.
Step 7: Assemble the Drawers
For shop projects, I like to keep the drawers simple. These are entirely made from 1/2” plywood, wood glue, and brad nails. I just glue and brad the sides together before gluing the bottom on and using it to square up the sides.
I made two deep drawers that could store routers, router bases, and jigs. Then two rather shallow drawers to keep Allen keys, wrenches, bits, flat jigs, and stuff like that.
Step 8: Mount the Drawers
I normally use ball bearing slides, but I decided to try wood runners on this project. I cut down some 3/4” plywood and used spacers to glue them in place in the cabinet. Then added the runners to the drawers, again using spacers to get them a the proper height on the drawers.
Step 9: Attach the Top to the Cabinet
With the bottom drawers done, I took everything out and secured the top, again with lots of pocket screws.
Step 10: Attach Feet and Casters
While the entire thing is upside down, I go ahead and attach the feet and casters. I don't plan on having it upside again, so this is the most convenient time to do it.
Step 11: Install Tracks and Lift to the Top
Then I began adding the tracks to the top, and installing the router lift. I used the router lift itself as a guide to perfectly align holes to tap in some t-nuts that’ll let me bolt the lift to the top. I also added leveling screws to each corner of the lift. I can use these to perfectly flush up the router lift to the top.
The miter/t-track combo came the same width of the table so I didn't have to cut.
But, the t-track for the fence had to be cut in half. I used an exact knife to score the paint and cut it at my miter station before screwing it in.
Step 12: Install Dust Bucket and Dividers
Now to finish up the top half of the cabinet. First, I installed the dust bucket. My dust collector will hook up to this and create a down draft around the bit to capture most of the dust created.
Then I pocket holed the dividers in besides the dust bucket for some smaller drawers.
Step 13: Make and Install the Small Drawers
For the small spaces beside the dust bucket, I make some small bit drawers. They're just L shaped with a bit holder from Rockler. I kept these super simple and because they're so light, they just ride on top of the rail in the cabinet which were just attached with CA glue and activator.
Step 14: Install Drawer Fronts
The drawer fronts were cut from a single piece of plywood to have similar color and grain. They were held on temporarily with CA glue and activator before screws were put in from inside the drawer.
I wanted the cover for the dust bucket to be easily removable, so I drilled pockets for some small magnets and then epoxied them in place. Next was adding the magnetic switch. I just screwed it to the cover and drilled a hole for the cables and fed them around to the back.
Step 15: Apply Finish and Pulls
I used several coats of polyurethane over the entire thing, and some paste wax on the top to keep it slick.
To make the drawers usable, I put on some walnut pulls that I made on the router table! They were super simple to make, I just put in a 15' dovetail bit and cut an angle on both sides of the pull.
Just like the drawer fronts, I held them in place with CA glue and activator, then screwed them from the inside.