Router Table on the Cheap #2: The worst is over...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by 47phord posted 08-29-2012 12:07 AM 3380 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Beginning... Part 2 of Router Table on the Cheap series no next part

Okay, so I’ll start this post off by apologizing for not documenting my progress better but I get so wrapped up in working that I forget to stop and take pictures. But I digress. First off, I added a couple dividers in the cabinet made from my trusty CDX stash:

Then on the left side I added some oak rails for drawers:

Here is a shot of lower drawer I built. Nothing fancy, just scrap 3/4 oak ply for the sides-butt joints with glue and brads to hold it together-and 1/4 plywood bottom.

And this is the upper drawer, which I plan to use for bit storage. I still need to come up with a mounting plate for the bits, I’m thinking of just drilling a bunch of 1/4” and 1/2” holes in a scrap piece of lumber but I haven’t gotten there yet. Scrap ply for the bottom, scrap oak ply for the front, and a triangular piece of oak to brace the front.

Here are the drawers installed. They just slide on top of the rails I installed earlier-rude and crude to be sure but it works. The bad part is-like a dunderhead-I forgot to take into account the fact that the drawers will need drawer pulls so I can open them. Duh!

Next I cut in an electrical box so I can plug the router into the cabinet and use an external switch to turn it on. Note to Self: next time cut the opening in the divider BEFORE installing it in the cabinet, it will look much nicer that way.

A close-up of the butcher-job:

Next I get to the part where I actually had to spend some money (not bad eh?). I didn’t photograph the steps, but I made the top out of a 3/4” piece of MDF laminated under a piece of 3/4” melamine. I then wrapped the whole thing with some scrap oak I had laying around. The oak makes it look nice, plus it helps protect the melamine from chipping. It was also good for me to practice my miter joints.

I made a fence out of 1/2” birch ply with the leftover melamine for the face. I modeled it after a fence that was built on (thanks Steve!):

I added some casters to the bottom, screwed the table to the cabinet and drilled a hole in the table-top for my shiny new router. I mounted the fixed base in the table, leaving the plunge base free for hand work. It’s not my ideal situation but, rather, a stop-gap until I can get a proper mounting plate.

You’ll notice in the above picture that I cut some finger-holes to fix my drawer-pull blunder. Here is another shot with the cabinet drawers closed:

That’s where I’m at so far. As of right now, I got about 30 bucks in the whole deal (excluding the router of course). All I have left to get is some t-track for the fence, some dust collection fittings, and an electrical outlet and switch. I’ve used it as it is and I love it. The biggest problem I have is the fact that, with the casters installed, the table sits about 40 1/2” off the floor-a little high for my 5’9” frame-so I may have to take them back off come up with another mobility solution. I’ll do another entry when I have it all together.

4 comments so far

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2918 days

#1 posted 08-29-2012 12:13 AM


The majority of my router table is an MDF box with cheesy cabinet hinges that has held up three different tables over 15 years. It’s got patches hot glued in where modifications left holes that leaked dust and chips. It started with a top just like yours, evolving to a cast iron Bench Dog top with a Woodpecker lift and Milwaukee 5625 motor. The MDF box just keeps on giving…

I like to make nice things from the shop, vs. for the shop, so some of my shop built tools appear at the moment I need them and get used for a long time… I won’t have done it any differently.

View NedB's profile


659 posts in 4373 days

#2 posted 08-29-2012 01:06 AM

I don’t know that I’d call it on the cheap… it’s simply functional and you used what you had on hand, nothing ‘cheap’ about any of that. nice looking table out of it, and you’ve got a good tool to use !

-- Ned - 2B1ASK1

View CplSteel's profile


143 posts in 2972 days

#3 posted 08-29-2012 09:12 PM

Nice work.
For the height issues with the casters, I have always been a fan of this solution I have seen variants that work well, but you get the general idea.

View 47phord's profile


182 posts in 3045 days

#4 posted 08-29-2012 11:49 PM

CessnaPilotBarry- That was my line of thinking as well, function over form.

NedB-Thanks for the comment. But to be clear, when I said “cheap,” I meant ‘low-cost’ not, ‘low quality’. :)

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics