DIY Router Table – Updated

One thing that I suck at is using the router, no matter what tips or tricks I try to follow, my skills with it just suck much of the ass and I always end up having to fix and patch things. To that end I decided to remove my hands from 90% of the equations and mount my router to a table.

With that in mind I headed over to YouTube and followed a bunch of videos to create a table that is coming along nicely. I started off with my $30.00 Harbor Freight trim router and thus far it’s been smooth sailing. Here’s what I’ve got so far…

The table top itself is made from two layers of plywood glued and screwed together with a top layer of some weird board that has a nice smooth wood grain looking surface on top. I cut in and routed a spot for a piece of polycarbonate to rest inside flush with the table top and cut out the inside of it to make room for the router to be mounted to the polycarbonate plate. All of the screws across the whole surface of the tabletop are countersunk so things will slide nicely across the top.

My first attempt at a star knob based on those made by Mathias Wendel

Today I had a few extra dollars so I went and grabbed some 5/16″ carriage bolts and t-nuts to start on the mounts for the sliding fence I’ll be making as I have time this week which you can see above. This was also a good place to showcase the practical application of the star knob I made from some recycled discs I was given in abundance by a friend. I’ll do a write up on that here in the next day or two as well.

At this point the table is functional with a roundover bit and follower bearing and it worked great. As I get used to this configuration I’m sure my projects will evolve and other things will come of it.

As I have more free time I will post more and even try to make a video of this creation once it’s finished but at this point I’m pleased with the construction and it’s a very sturdy addition that I will be using quite a bit to make picture frames and stuff for my hot purple haired wife.

UPDATE 10-25-19: So I was able to get into the shop today after work and get the table to a functional state meaning, it’s now usable as is. The main thing was to add the fence with dust collection.

To make the fence I cut a sled out of some thin plywood and routed out two channels for the screws from the mounting points I made last week to slide along. I also remade my star knobs into a 4 lobe design which was not only easier for me to make but gives me a bit more surface area for my monkey paws to grasp. I built the fence onto the sled and then added the shroud for the dust collector with a hole that lets me plug in the end of my little 5 gallon bucket shop vac from Wen ( love this little thing ) and it lets me provide dedicated dust collection to the router table now. Benefit of this is that it lets me see what I’m working on without hyperventilating blowing away the dust and also drastically reduces the amount of man glitter that gets spewed around the shop.

Next things I want to add are some miter tracks that will let me add sliding stop blocks and feather boards to the fence and table to help me keep things even more in line. So here’s where I’m at now:

Front view of the router table assembly, nothing spectacular but you can see the red polycarbonate plate and the front of the fence with the cutout for the bit and entry for the duct collection which works great.
Side view showing the backside of the fence with the two new knobs and the hose from the shop vac going into the shroud.
There’s my little Wen Shop Vac on top of a 5 gallon Home Depot bucket, perfect fit and provides the perfect amount of dust collection without adding a lot of noise to an already loud router.

So next on the agenda will be to create a holder under the cart for the shop vac as well as a couple of drawers for the bits and other accessories like feather boards and stop blocks that I create. Spoiler alert, I’m working on hybridizing my table with 3D printed accessories. I’ll also be looking at adding some miter tracks for said accessories to slide onto. And ultimately I’ll be sanding and finishing the fence to fit more into the shop and give it more of a look like what I envisioned when I started on this.

One thing I will say is that building this and taking it for a test drive today has given me a renewed confidence and already has me thinking about the MPCNC ( Mostly Printed CNC ) that I want to build atop that nice piece of plywood sitting in the side of the last pic. We’ll see where that goes.

All in all, a weeks worth of work and I’ve got myself a functional router table that I plan to use the hell out of on my days off next week. So check back and see what I create or destroy lol.

UPDATED 10-27-19: So I found myself bored and home alone for a while today so I headed first over to YouTube to watch some woodworking videos which led to me heading into the shop to sling some sawdust everywhere.

The result of a couple of hours of playing around trying to decide what and how I wanted the cart for the router table to look was this:

Basically it’s just a piece of paneling supported from behind and held in place by brads fired from my Wen Nail Gun. I then decided to add some trim to the front of the panel which will be cleaned up and either stained or painted if I can decide on a theme I want to use for the shop.

The little shop vac is now also suspended under the left hand side of the table by a simple little MDF hanger I glued and screwed together then attached to the underside of the table top. In hindsight this probably won’t be used much if at all as one thing I intend to do is mount a switch that will turn on both the router and the shop vac at the same time so there’s no fumbling around for little switches under the table and it becomes much safer… in theory… anyone who knows me also knows that electricity can be cut off to the entire northern hemisphere and I will still get electrocuted !!!

Two more days of work then I’m off for 4 days in a row and will get this project all wrapped up and might even be able to pull off a video of me destroying some wood with it. We shall see.