Building the Perfect Router Table
by Patrick Harper - Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust
I experienced a love hate-relationship with my small, bench-top router table. I regretted selling it, but it was a pain to use. I promised myself that I would build a better one as soon as I got moved into the new shop. That’s exactly what I did.
Finding inspiration in Norm Abram’s Deluxe Router Station, I designed a custom table that exceeds the capabilities of the best pre-built options. It has an integrated lift and a dedicated motor (no more pulling the motor for plunge duties). It also has a large top, sturdy fence, and excellent dust collection. Better yet, it has lots of storage and is completely mobile.
I made the base from 3/4-inch birch plywood. I constructed the case using dado joints. This makes a sturdy base that is easy to glue-up.
I made the top by laminating two sheets of MDF and covering that with a thin sheet of laminate. Then, I trimmed it with oak and cut dados for a miter slot and t-track. I finished the top by cutting the hole for the router lift.
I enclosed the motor with a small frame-and-panel door. The frame is from oak and the panel is a small piece of Lexan. The door is held in place using magnetic door stops. I love that you can see all the mechanics through the Lexan panel.
The table collects dust using a 4-inch port on the base and a 2.5-inch port on the fence. I built a small ramp inside the base with a hood below.
So far, I’m very happy with the build. The Jessem Mast-R-Lift works flawlessly and it’s nice to have a powerful, dedicate router motor.
I have included the SketchUp at the following link: Router Table