Router Table


Router table

Probably the ugliest router table in the world. But if it didn't work adequately, I'd have made something better by now.

The router I use is a Freud 2000. This is a powerful ½" plunge router, with a good screw-adjustment for cut depth. This is essential for a router used in a table.

Router table

Router table

Construction is extremely simple. The top is ¾" MDF, 35" deep x 22" wide. Underneath is a simple 2" deep softwood frame to stop it drooping, as MDF is prone to do. The legs are a Lucky Golden Hedgehog WorkFriend knock-off of a WorkMate. Useless bench, not very good legs, but they're cheap, they hold it off the floor and they fold up. A coat of wax overall tries to stop it going soggy in Winter,

The insert plate is mounted to put the router 12" behind the front edge of the table. It's made of cement fibre board (like Viroc Versapanel) about ¼" thick. This is a much under-rated material and it doesn't ring or vibrate like my last aluminium plate did. The central hole is just big enough to take my largest commonly-used chamfer cutter. For panel-raising bits, I have a second insert plate with a bigger hole.

Threaded inserts in the router table top

Threaded inserts

The table top is dotted with M6 threaded inserts to hold down the fence, guards or other accessories.

Router table with Incra fence installed

With Incra fence installed

The table is so deep because it was first constructed to take my new Incra fence. This is screwed to a plywood sub-table, which is easily attached to the main table by stove bolts and threaded inserts.

Overall I'm not entirely happy with the Incra. It's a good fence, but not as good as the high price warrants. It's fiddly to adjust and less than rigid. It's good at what it does – the rack adjustment works as claimed – but it's not really up to heavy work.
So I made my own fence.


Router table with home-made fence installed

Table with fence installed

The working face of the fence carries two sliding false fences of MDF. These can be slid apart to clear a cutter, or I have extra pairs to fit closely around large cutters like a lock-mitre. If I ever chew them up, I can make more and recycle the old ones for big cutters. They're located and held by stove bolts from the front into thread inserts from behind.

Fence under construction, with sleeping cat

Fence under construction

The fence is a simple L girder of ½ MDF, 6" high and 5" deep, assembled with biscuit joints. MDF buttresses hold it square. The central buttresses are extended into quadrilaterals to make a dust collecting box.

Home-made fence installed on the router table

Fence installed on the table

One of the hardest parts of a router fence to make is a sliding depth adjustment mechanism. So I didn't bother and instead I just let it pivot. This works just as well and is far easier to make.

Router fence, showing the slotted adjustment and thumbwheel bolt

Adjustment slot and thumbwheel bolt

The fence is held down by a pair of thumbwheel bolts into threaded inserts in the table. One end is a pivot hole, the other runs in a slot in the fence to allow adjustment. For coarse adjustments there are multiple threaded inserts to move the pivot.

Dust collection box of the fence

Dust collection box of the fence

A clear plastic cover over the centre box makes a dust collection port. I use this with a ShopVac running through one of my cyclones.

So that's all there is to it. Save your money, don't buy a commercial one, make your own.