Router tables – my history

One day, I’ll go back and figure out how many router tables I’ve had. There was the first, which was the converted 2×4 table and a L-piece of MDF for a fence. A good, solid start if I must say so. Throwback Thursday, indeed.

Then I made one that was a cabinet with no wheels. Moving that around on the then-installed carpet was fun. That’s the one that the edging was an afterthought, and it showed. The Rockler plate and T-tracks make their first appearance. Despite not having enough room to install the drawer runners from the inside, it stuck around quite awhile. Surprisingly.

After that I transitioned to one with casters, and the base design changed slightly. Top was carried over.

It eventually got a power switch mounted to the front, and stuck around even longer. The back isn’t shown, but I tried to incorporate some cavity dust collection as well. The miter slot makes an appearance.

Eventually it got some drawer pulls. Still on the same router table. I really thought there was another one in there.

Not a particularly glorious moment for it.

 

At some point, in 2013, I went without one for awhile. A dedicated one, that is. I discarded the case and moved the top to the right side of my table saw. Not on an offset, but the operating portion to the rear of the saw. It was awkward, but it worked. Couldn’t cross-rout big panels with a miter gauge, because one end of it was blocked by the saw table. Not terribly coplanar with the saw, either. You can see on the left side of the saw a spot for another router as well, built-in to the saw. I’m counting that.

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In early 2014 I decided to make a new router table, which is the one I am using today. Up until this one, I had used my Craftsman 17543 as my table router. Not the most powerful, but it did a fine job. I used the phenolic Harbor Freight plate, followed by the aluminum Rockler one. With this latest router table, I went with a more powerful Triton TRA001 router and a Kreg plate. The Triton has very good above-table height adjustment, and a spindle lock when fully raised. I kept the top for the one in the saw, and cut it down and turned it 90° to save a bit of space. It had to go the other way to clear room for the router.

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That brings us to today…almost. I finally got my Incra LS17 positioner to do some nice joinery work, and while I designed this table for it, specifically not putting in T-tracks for a fence, I am going to build a new one. The top is too short to adequately protect the fence and mechanism on the Incra from being hit by other tools, stands, wood and walls. I never did finish the drawers on this one, so I don’t consider it too big of a loss. It happens.

Soon, a new build will start. I’m designing it right now, and I’ll go through explaining that when it is time. It’s going to be lucky number seven.

 

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