Woodworking As a Family Hobby: Build a Router Table for Your Shop
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Woodworking As a Family Hobby: Build a Router Table for Your Shop

This factoid will provide you with plans and instructions on how to build a router table for use with your portable router. This article will also provide the reader with links to suppliers router table parts and sources for plastic laminate.

The router is one of the most versatile tools in any woodworking shop no matter how big or small it may be but the table we are about to build today was designed with the small shop in mind because it has a footprint of 28” X 28”. A router table is essential when working with small work pieces i.e. making picture frames as well as when working with larger work pieces. In many situations a hand held router will just not do the job adequately. When it comes to working with small work pieces working with them on a table mounted router is also safer.

I actually have this router table in my shop and it has never failed to meet my needs. The plans and instructions for building it are compliments of Woodplans and I have included the link the downloadable pdf file here. This table is relatively inexpensive to build but I did make a few changes to the one I built and I will concentrate on those changes here.

The router plate insert is one of the most important parts of any router table and although the one shown in the plans is functional it didn’t have some things that most users consider basic and essential I substituted a deluxe acrylic plate that allows the use of zero clearance rings and starting pivot pins that I purchased from Router Table Depot. Zero Clearance Rings are rings that slip into the inserts center opening keeping the space between the router bit and the edge of the opening to almost zero. This is extremely important when routing very small pieces because it keeps them from slipping down in the hole between the rotating bit and the plate. There are several different diameter Zero Clearance Rings that you use in combination to adjust the size of the opening for different diameter router bits. Starting Pivot Pins slip into predrilled holes in the plate and Zero Clearance Rings that act as starting pilot bearings when routing curved surfaces. Routing curved surfaces can be done free hand but it can be done much more quickly and much more accurately when Starting Pins are employed. If you do use a different insert plate then the one shown in the plans make sure you use the template that comes with the plate to route the recess in the table top to fit the plate. These plates are also custom plates that allow you to drill the mounting holes for the router that you will be using so they are one plate fits all deals whereas most plates come predrilled to fit specific make and model routers.

In order to make the table easier to move and store out the way when not being used, I also mounted locking casters on the bottom of the cabinet. I simply framed the bottom with 2X4 stock to provide a good mounting for the casters.

The plastic laminate used on the top can be found at most home centers but one of the best sources for small pieces of laminate is Wilsonart Plastic Laminate. If you want some additional information on working with plastic laminate check out my factoid on that subject.

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Wood Working Vise » Blog Archive » Wood working forum

[...] This factoid will provide you with plans and instructions on how to build a router table for use with your portable router. This article will also provide the reader with links to suppliers router table parts and sources for plastic … Wood Working News… [...]

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