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.

Router Table

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