Unisaw Router Table

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Blog entry by WoodAbuser posted 03-24-2021 02:18 AM 693 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have recently completed a Unisaw Side-Router-Table.

I’ve been planning to do this for almost 20 years, and when I bought the original Jessem Rout-R-Lift. I also had a wood vise from my grandfather’s shop (probably came from Minnesota Ag College around 1915), and wanted to incorporate that in the far end.

I purchased the slightly used Unisaw about 1998; it came with a mobile base, and crappy particle board side table. When I took apart the side table, I found the frame was (in my opinion), absolutely the minimum acceptable. Three small metal angle brackets held the board to the table saw, and a short piece of angle iron (used like an angle bracket), attached the table to the legs. There were two long pieces of angle that kept the board flat, and one had two small bolts to attach to the fence guide.

Because I always over-engineer things, I decided to make a free-standing angle-iron base for the table, and make the table out of 1 ¼ inch Baltic birch plywood.

First, I cut angle pieces to form a frame, and screwed them to the old table to hold shape for welding. I included two cross-beams 8 inches on either side of the center of the router for T-slots.

I also added some nuts to mount the vise.

I drilled table mounting holes/slots, sanded, primed, and painted the frame.

I glued a ½ inch piece of Baltic birch to a ¾ inch piece using non-flammable contact cement, then cut the “table” to the size of the old board. Before laminating, I drilled holes through the table using the frame as a guide, flush-mounted Tee-nuts in the holes on the top of the table (except at the T-slots), and laminated the bottom. Before laminating the top, using the pre-drilled holes, I drilled through the bottom laminate. I then laminated the sides and top. I made two router templates, one for the smaller, drop-through hole, and another for the recess to fit the plate. I clamped a “center riser” to keep the router from tipping.

I put a strip of green tape on the inside of the recess template, just to make sure the fit was snug. I could always remove a strip of tape and re-route, if necessary, but the fit was perfect. Didn’t even need to make any height adjustments. I then clamped some strips to act as a guide for the T-slot recesses, and routed them.

I drilled and recessed holes in the bottom of the recess, and through the metal frame, and installed more Tee-nuts. Then I installed the T-slots.

I made a dust-collection enclosure below the table, and of course, measured when the router (Hitachi M12V) was in the “up” (short) position. I had to add two inches to the box.

I bought a standard magnetic paddle switch, and mounted to a plastic enclosure. I bought an off-the-shelf 3 foot extension cord, and cut it in half for the in/out power connections.

I’ve used the new set-up a little, and it works just as I hoped.

FUTURE: This thing is now TOO HEAVY for the previous lift caster, so I have to figure out a way to lift the table near the far end. I plan to put a drawer or two in it, but don’t have a lot of room left. Also, an “adapter” strip to allow the use of the fence from my small Craftsman table. I may make a base for the Craftsman table to fasten to the T-slots; sometimes it’s nice to use a router (table) at chest height.

3 comments so far

View hairy's profile


3359 posts in 4870 days

#1 posted 03-25-2021 02:24 AM

Nice work!

Post your pictures right from your computer to lumberjocks, you don’t need anything else.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View hairy's profile


3359 posts in 4870 days

#2 posted 03-25-2021 02:28 AM

click on img, choose an image, open, insert

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View WoodAbuser's profile


12 posts in 1140 days

#3 posted 03-25-2021 03:39 AM


Thanks for the photo instructions!

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