New router table – reveal

After five months of thinking and shifting expectations, I’m finally able to reveal what should be the new router table base.

The biggest challenge came about when I was first considering adding another Festool router. Having space for two systainers really screwed up the layout. I kept finding spaces for one, but two was a tipping point. I had to also figure out the best option for joining everything together, which was also impacted by the need for access to the front of the router, like I have now.

The solution was to completely divide up the base into two different sections. I’d keep the access to the router like it is now, and also access the two systainers the same way. The drawers on the outfeed side are in the other section, and nothing too difficult about that.

The two systainers that live below the router, as I said, drove the whole design. Stacked up back to back they take up 23.5″, which wouldn’t fit within my 24″ width. So, I expanded it slightly to give me enough room for them to be touching. With the different heights, I can open either one up and have the lid stay open. I unfortunately can’t keep little drawers behind them for the accessories, but there will be plenty of storage over in the drawer section. Because of the tight fit, the systainers will sit on a drawer that rides on undermount slides. Might cost a few bucks more, but it is what it is. The router cubby will be very similar to what it is now, just a bit wider. I’ll finally put a door on, or at least that’s the plan.

The drawer section is pretty bog standard. I’ll have a fixed shelf roughly in the middle to keep everything square, and most likely it will be set back slightly to be hidden by a drawer. As usual, I’ll be using shelf pin holes here for easy installation. I may or may not use the multitude of drawer pulls I have ready to go.

The power switch will be located on the outfeed side. After some thought, I figured I’d be most likely to be having the need to turn it off in an emergency with my left hand, keeping my right hand on the piece. However, I reserve the right to change my mind. On the infeed side would be more out of the way, and closer to where it needs to be plugged in. The whole thing will ride on 4″ casters, like everything else in the shop.

There’s still a couple of minor storage issues to work out. Namely, where I will keep the Incra book and templates. I think I will have enough height above the systainers to install a drawer. Otherwise, over on the drawer section. I do have a bit of room to play with on the back of the router table. I sized the drawer section to be just big enough to store a third systainer, so there’s a bit of overhang. I probably have about four inches that I could widen that section, or use that space for anything else, or nothing at all. I suppose I could make a bracket to store the positioner if it needed to be removed.

The router top in the render is the Incra unit, which I will probably upgrade to at some point, so the base had to fit this. I’m thinking I will use wood edging that I’ve been practicing with. I’m so happy to have the basic design done. I’ll be tweaking a couple of things slightly to help hide the ply, particularly of the center divider, but this is pretty much it. One big panel on the back, one on the bottom, the back, middle, two shelves, and outfeed panel. It will go together with Dominos and glue. Looking forward to starting it, perhaps in a week or so, whenever I can get the plywood home.

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