Anatomy of a router table design

Lucky number seven. I hope. I’m genuinely hoping that this will be the last primary router table I build. I may at some point redo the top or change the router (more on that later), but I’m hoping the base and the basic layout is one that I keep for all time.

The specifics are still in flux, but the top will be 27×43, the same as a standard Incra top. I figured if this dimension was good for Incra, it was good for me. This will allow for the fence mechanism to be completely within the footprint of the top, and protected from being knocked up against a wall, or other tool stand. The fence hangs over a bit, but that can be dealt with either by some bumpers along the side, or bringing hardwood edging into play. Still not quite sure about that. I also don’t know what the dynamics of adding the wonder fence into play will be. There will be a miter slot ahead of the plate for sled use.

For some reason, when I designed the last one, I put the drawers on the outfeed side. The router access was up front. This time, everything is on the infeed side. I’ll have access in the usual spot, on the left side of the body. I’ll have a fixed shelf under the router, to help provide structure and dust collection. The space below that is TBD. The right side of the cabinet will also have a fixed shelf, to prevent any recurrence of the side bowing out. Most likely all drawers on the right side, sizes TBD. The cabinet will be 24″ deep, letting me use up my abundance of drawer slides. It will be 40″ wide, giving me 1.5″ of overhang all around. This will be great for clamping anything I need to. Not exactly sure where the power switch will go, but I’d like to partially bury it in the side of the cabinet. It will sit on the better casters I have, and I’ll consign the HF ones on the current table to the trash. They squeak like crazy.

Now, about my comment at the outset. I really like my Kreg plate and my Triton router. Both are pretty good design. I did, however, come across the Incra cleansweep inserts, and I know that all the dovetail and box joint work I want to do is going to create a lot of debris. Having it being sucked back down into the router box would be a huge upgrade over having it being thrown off the outfeed side. To do this, however, would mean buying the Incra plate. It’s the same size as the Kreg, but the corners are different. It also really requires a lip, where the Kreg I have has mounting points at the corners. So, to do that would mean that I’d have to spend at least $150 on the plate and inserts, plus make a new top. So the decision would have to be to do it now, or wait awhile. Unless I see some unexpected income before I start, I think I’ll go forward with the Kreg. Making a new top really won’t be that big of a deal, especially considering I’ll have a really good template in the one I’ll make.

If I do this right, the only real issue would be dust production. I’ll have a port going into the router box, and when I get the Wonder Fence, that has a hookup as well. It remains to be seen if I’ll need it, going with the cleansweep rings.

The other new addition, the LR32, will factor heavily in making this table. I’ll be cutting holes for the adjustable shelves (if needed) and drawer slides (more probable) up and down the entire cabinet except for the router box. Once I settle on the exterior dimensions of the router table, I’ll start getting the materials together. I’d like to be able to take care of the structure with one sheet of plywood and one sheet of MDF. We’ll see.

3 Replies to “Anatomy of a router table design”

  1. I like the router table plan. But I’m hesitant to build the router table myself as I’m rookie woodworker. What you would recommend for a beginner build or buy a router table?

    1. If you’ve never used a router or router table, I might recommend going with a store solution. Find out what you like and don’t like then build something down the road.

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