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Simple DIY Router Table

I want to do some rounded edges on a woodworking project I have in the works. (If you want to call it woodworking. You shall see it soon. It involves wood, and I am working on it, but craftsmanlike it is not).

Anyway, I could really use a router table. But it seems if I purchase one, my choices are: cheap tabletop model or more expensive floor model. I don't want the former and I can't yet justify the latter for one project. I did some searching on the interwebs and found a DIY router table design and set about making it. The article said "build it in 60 minutes." It took me less than 30!

It won't do for critical accuracy, but for my project, it worked perfectly.  Here's how I made a simple, basic down-and-dirty router table.

I cut a hunk of wood from some 1/2 inch birch plywood. I'd guess it's about 1 x 2 feet (30 x 60 cm). Size isn't that critical but this is probably the smallest you'd want to go.

Drill a hole in the center that's big enough to allow your biggest router bit to pass through.

Remove your router's base and use it as a template for screw holes. Your base may have 3 or 4 holes - obviously mine has 4.

Use a nail or an awl to make center marks.

Drill holes where your mounting screws will go.

I have a bunch of SAE machine screws, but my router, as it transpires, is threaded for metric screws. M4, .7mm pitch. So I had to procure some long enough to run through the table and into the router. I used ones that are 30mm long and they're perfect.

Countersink the holes and run your screws through the top of the table. This is so the material you rout won't get hung up on the screws.

This is the only part of this project that vaguely resembles craftsmanship.

But it's starting to look like an actual router table!

Put your router on the bottom of the table, and thread the screws into it from the top.

Sorry for the a-bit-fuzzy image. This is what happens with auto-focus and a slow(er) shutter speed. I use manual focus a lot but this time I just pointed-and-shot. Bummer.

You can see I mounted my little Ridgid trim router. It had just enough power for this job. I do have a bigger, more powerful machine too, but this is a lot easier to handle.

Here's the business (top) side with a 1/2 inch roundover bit installed.

Crazy, huh?

Now just clamp the table down into the Workmate and we're ready to rout!
The icing on the cake is a simple fence and rudimentary dust collection system. Also known as a hunk of pine with a circular cutout and a vacuum nozzle taped to it.

Just like a "real" table, make sure you square/align the fence where you need it.

I used big spring clamps to hold the fence down. It worked fine, but you need to check the fence every couple of passes. It's easy to knock it a couple mm out of alignment.

Here's a board I rounded the edge on. The table worked really well I think. I have just a handful of cuts to do, so this approach was ideal.

I had all of the materials on hand, except the screws, which cost me $1.22. Pretty cheap I'd say.


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