DIY Router Table

The router is a very helpful tool in woodworking. It can be used to help with molding, cutting angles, cabinetry, and much more. It’s hard to imagine building anything complicated without this.

Routers might be the most important tool a woodworker could use. Most people use routers as a handheld tool. And a handheld router is an amazingly versatile tool in its own right. While it’s a viable option, a router mounted in a table (or a router table) is safer to use So, if you turn it upside down and mount it under a table, that same router is capable of a whole new set of tasks and can be used to cut on a whole different level.

Now, if you’re looking to build a router table by yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Click here to read more DIY Router Table plans.

Building A DIY Router Table

A few weeks ago, after purchasing a new Craftsman router, I wanted a router table for it on, so I decided to build my own.
My wish list included the following features:

  • Adjustable fence.
  • Dust Collection.
  • Switch to control router and vacuum.
  • Ease of access to the router.

Step 1: Design, Materials, and Tools:-

I modeled my design in Solid works so I had a set of plans to work from. Using leftover 3/4″ plywood from another project, I made the top and fence, while the legs were built with 2×4 material. You can adjust the top dimensions based upon your needs since I used the biggest piece of plywood I had.

Based on my router base, I determined where to place the mounting holes. Your router’s location may vary. Depending on the system, dust collection holes in fences can be sized differently.

Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Cutting Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Drill/Drive Bits
  • Router
  • 1/4 Router Bit
  • Nail Gun (Optional, to avoid having to wait for glued pieces to dry)
  • Taper Jig for table saw
  • Sand Paper
  • Outlet Tester (Optional but highly Recommended)

Materials:-

  • 3/4″ Plywood
  • ~5ft of 2×4
  • Wood Glue
  • 2 x Outlet Boxes
  • 1 x Switch and Cover
  • 1 x Outlet and Cover
  • ~16″ of House Wire
  • 2 x Wire Nut
  • 2 x Wire Staples
  • Electrical cord (I used one off an old battery backup)
  • 2 x 1/4″ washers
  • Assortment of screws from 1-1/2″ to 2-1/2″ (I picked up what was laying around)
  • 3 x 10-32, 1″ long Counter sink bolts for the mounting router (Use the appropriate size for your router)
  • 2 x 1/4″, 2-1/2″ long Carriage Bolts
  • 2 x 1/4″ Wing Nuts

Step 2: Top:-

  • Make the top as big as you want, for me this was the size of an extra piece.
  • In order to locate my mounting holes, I traced the slotted surface of the removable plastic plate of my router base.
  • The drawing shows the layout slots for a movable fence.
  • Make sure that all holes and slots are center punched.
  • Drill all holes with the pilot.
  • Router mounting holes should be 3/16″ deep.
  • Counter sink holes.
  • Drill a hole of 1-1/2″ for the router spindle.
  • Slot ends should be drilled with 1/4″ holes.
  • Set the router edge guide to a length of 6″ and use a 1/4″ router bit for the slots.
  • Make all the edges smooth.

Step 3: Legs:-

  • To make the legs, two 12″ pieces of 2×4 are supplied, along with six 12″ pieces ripped down the center. Then, cut five 12″ sections of 2×4 (I cut 6 just in case I messed one up).
  • Cut angles on 4 pieces of the layout.
  • Setting up taper jig for correct cutting angle.
  • Cut the legs.
  • Make sure that there are two pairs of parallel legs so that each pair will make up a leg.
  • Then finish by driving the screws through the larger side, gluing the smaller piece, flushing the space between them and making the vertical incision.
  • Step 6 should be repeated on each leg.
  • Make all the edges smooth.
  • The crossbar will be made from one of those 12″ pieces of 2×4 that you ripped in half in step six.
  • Make all edges smooth.
  • Put the 2 mirrored legs together with the crossbar as shown in the picture and glue and screw it in place.
  • Step 9 should be repeated for the other set of legs.
  • Attach each of the two sets of legs to the top, 2″ in from each side of the top edge.

Step 4: Fence:-

  • Cut a piece of plywood at least 7-1/8″ wide to the same length as the top (in my case 22-1/2″).
  • Approximately cut 3″ and 4″ sections.
  • Prepare the fence by cutting out the section on both the front and bottom pieces, and drilling holes in the bottom piece.
  • To cut the pieces out with a miter gauge, I used a table saw, but you could also use a hand saw or a jigsaw.
  • On the bottom piece, pilot holes are drilled and center punches are used.
  • Sand edges.
  • Assemble the front and bottom sections, keeping the 4″ section vertical.
  • Cut out dust collection pieces from drawings.
  • Trim as necessary, sand all edges, and test fit all pieces.
  • The angled side pieces should be glued and nailed, otherwise clamp and wait for the glue to dry.
  • Nail the angle pieces into the top using glue, as a good seal should be created by glue on the contacting surfaces. Otherwise clamp and let dry.
  • Clamp the top extension in place, glue the top extension, and wait until it is dry.
  • Dust collection hose hole (in my case 1-1/2″).

Step 5: Electrical:-

  • As I wanted my switch to sit vertical, I cut an angle piece (about 8 degrees) to go between the box and the leg. If you do not mind having the switch tilted, you don’t need to do this step.
  • Pilot drill first, then use 3/8″ drill to drill hole in one of the boxes.
  • Install the switch box on the front using the included nails.
  • The box with a hole drilled in the top should be mounted to the back leg using screws as shown in the pictures.
  • Connect the outlet box to the switch box.
  • Connect the hot (black) wire to the brass screw, the neutral (white) wire to the silver screw and the ground wire to the green screw.
  • Install outlet chord in switch box.
  • Connect the hot (black) wire to the brass screw, the neutral (white) wire to the silver screw and the ground wire to the green screw.
  • Plug outlet cord to switch box.
  • Connect the hot (Black) to the bottom of the switch and the hot output to the top; use a jumper to connect the ground to the ground, and wire the neutrals (White) together.
  • Install outlets and switches in boxes and attach cover plates.
  • You can use an outlet tester (optional but recommended) to verify both the wiring and the equipment are in good condition.

Step 6: Conclusion and Recommendation:-

Overall I liked it, and I think it will work well for my purposes. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know.
Here are a few things I would change or add:

  • Create slots on the front of the fence so that auxiliary fences can be used with different router bits.
  • Table should be designed to allow a bolt to cut circles with a slot in the front.
  • Slot for miter gauge.

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