First Router Table #1: Table top

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Jeff posted 06-20-2009 04:13 PM 10263 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of First Router Table series Part 2: Cabinet »

I kept having the need for a router table to use bigger bits, so I decided to make a table. After much review of other projects, I designed what I felt would work best for me. The top is made of two 3/4” mdf sheets cut 22 1/2” x 34 1/2”. They are glued with regular titebond wood glue and screwed with coarse thread 1 1/4” drywall screws. I laid out the areas where the insert and miter track would go so as to keep from putting screws in those areas. At this point I made a template to use to cut the rabbit and hole for the insert. I just used 3/4” mdf and 4 pieces of mdf butted against the insert. I clamped the pieces and used a flush trim bit with the bearing at the top to cut out the hole.

Then I placed the template on the table and used the same flush trim bit and only routed just over 3/8” deep into the table top. Then I used my jigsaw (bad idea because the lines are not straight on the bottom, oh well another lesson) to cut out the inside of the hole. Now I have a rabbit for the insert to sit on and enough room to insert the leveling system. The leveling system consists of 6 brass inserts that have threads on the inside and spurs on the outside.

This is a view of the top that you can see the rabbit and the top of the leveling screw(and the blue tape).
I should have made the template hole a bit smaller than it was or at least tested it on a scrap piece, but we’ll just call it a lesson learned. The blue tape was put in place to keep the insert from moving because the hole is a little too big for it.
The edge is trimmed with 3/4” oak ripped to the same thickness as the mdf sheets. I went to the local “countertop shop” and bought a partial sheet of laminate. Unfortunately they didn’t have any boring solid colors, so I ended up with a “stone” pattern. I realize a solid color would be a bit more functional and look a little cleaner, but at the point that I bought it, I didn’t want to wait any longer to order it. The local box stores in my area don’t carry just the laminate, it has to be special ordered. I will be keeping an eye out for a different place to get it for the next project. I digress.
I made a small mistake of cutting out the hole for the insert before installing the laminate. The main problem with that was that the ledge that the insert rests on is only about 3/8” deep and it’s difficult at best to get a flush trim bit into that space. I had to buy a cheapy one piece laminate bit where the end is smooth and the cutter is built into it.
The next item to finishing the top was to mount the router to the router plate. There were some things to consider. I really wanted to have the ability to fine adjust the router from above the table without having to pull the insert out. This would be especially painful if I had the fence in place and then had to move it just to take the router out to adjust it 1/64”. I realize I could also just reach under the table and do it, but the solution I came up with was very cheap. I have a Bosch 1617 EVSPK and the fixed base has a fine adjustment knob. The current model can be adjusted through the plate, but I bought mine about 3 years ago. I noticed there is actually a hole partially through the aluminum base directly above/below the adjustment screw.

I drilled through the hole as shown.

I bought a 3/8”(size really wasn’t important because I only needed it for the hex insert) set screw and used JB weld to fasten it to the bottom of the adjustment screw.

You can see all the pieces here:

I also bought a dedicated tool for this purpose, a hex wrench. So the total investment was less than $5.
So here is the top with the tool in place.

-- - In the end, everything will be okay. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end yet.

4 comments so far

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 3874 days

#1 posted 06-20-2009 04:37 PM

Hey Jeff,
Cool router table…....and cheap too… should do the job nicely…...well done.

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4089 days

#2 posted 06-20-2009 05:14 PM

It looks great

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4070 days

#3 posted 06-20-2009 05:34 PM

Looking good. You have all the basics figured out. Keep up the good work.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 3932 days

#4 posted 06-22-2009 01:17 PM

Very nice!
Simple is good! Let’s see more good stuff built using that new tool.


-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

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