-> Woodworking -> Router Table

Benchtop Router Table

This is a fairly simple benchtop router table, more or less modeled after the one on The Router Workshop.

For the sake of practice, I took some care with this project that I didn't with the previous two; for example, I stopped the dados rather than just running them through to where you could see them, and there are no nails or screws where you can see them.

As always with router tables, cutting the opening in the top was the biggest challenge. This looks like a pretty good approach, but it requires that you have a rabbeting bit that matches the distance from one of your bushings to the nearest edge of one of your straight cutters, which I don't. So what I did instead was this:

  1. Load the router with my 1/4-inch straight cutter and a bushing that makes a 1/4-inch offset from that bit.
  2. Use the actual router insert plate as a template to cut a hole in some 1/8-inch hardboard. This gives you a template whose hole is 1/2-inch larger than the insert plate.
  3. Use that template and the same bit and bushing to make another one 1/4-inch smaller. That template is now 1/4-inch larger than the insert plate.
  4. Clamp that template to your table top where you want the hole. Switch to a larger router bushing (I used the largest I have) and make several progressively deeper passes to cut the through hole.
  5. Leaving the template in place, switch back to the original bushing and rout out the rabbet that the insert plate will rest on. Creep up on the depth of the rabbet, trying the insert plate after each pass, until it is perfectly flush with the table top.
My bushing must actually be a tiny bit less than 1/4-inch from the cutter, because the initial opening was just a hair too small. I fixed that easily by moving the template about 1/16-inch back and to the left and routing those sides again.

As before, my drawers aren't quite right, but other than that it came out pretty well.

And it works great -- its first task was to mill its own drawer pulls.

I think that does it for shop furniture for a while; now on to some real projects.

For those who might be interested, the router is the excellent Bosch 1617EVS. It's hung under the table with the Bosch RA1164 under-table router base; this is the same base that comes with the router, but with no handles and with the depth adjustment extender included. Having the second base is nice because I can just slip the router motor out of the table base and into the original base for hand-held routing. The insert plate is the Rousseau model that most everyone uses. The switch is made by Woodstock International.