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Simple Router Table


Simple Router Table

By Doug Stowe

While many woodworkers spend weekends making stationary router tables, mine have always been very simple, driven by expediency, and the desire to get other things done. My first was just a router base screwed to the underside of a piece of plywood. I simply clamped the plywood to a workbench, installed the router and bit, clamped on a board as a fence, and let her rip.

Things haven’t changed much in my shop. I still like the convenience of a router table that I can quickly disassemble and store, so I don’t lose the floor space that a stationary router table would require. One thing that has changed, however, is that the router table I use today is more sophisticated. It has an aluminum router plate and a pivoting fence with dust collection. This table takes only an hour or two to build, and it can last for years. To make your own, you’ll need a router plate and a plunge router equipped with a template guide.

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Start by positioning the router plate on the router table blank. Clamp pieces of uniform thickness all around it, to create a routing template. Then remove the plate.

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Remove the waste by plunge routing, using a spiral bit and a template guide. This operation leaves a 1/4" lip inside the clamped-on routing template.

Rout a rabbet to house the router plate, using a pattern bit. The depth of the rabbet must match the thickness of the plate.

Fasten the base from your router to the router plate. Reinstall the router motor and then fit the router plate assembly in the table.

Assemble the pivot fence with biscuits and glue. Make sure the joint is flush on the bottom when you clamp the parts together.

Check the fence to see that its face is square to the surface of the table. If it is not, use the jointer to make it square.

Mark the location of the router bit and drill a pilot hole through the bottom of the fence at that point. Then raise a larger router bit through the hole and into the fence to create a suitable opening for routing and chip removal.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker February/March 2010, issue #146.

February/March 2010, issue #146

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