Inexpensive But Very Functional Shop Made Router Table

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Blog entry by gfadvm posted 02-06-2012 05:55 PM 21119 reads 13 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this 3 years ago and it gets almost daily use so I decided it was worth posting as I’m sure there are others out there who can’t afford an expensive router table with all the bells and whistles. I have less than $100 invested in the whole thing (including the router). The top is 48”x22”. The table sits on my bench and is ‘locked’ to the edge with a cleat. The fence is square to the table, has stop blocks, a feather board, and good dust collection. The top has no sag as the span between drawer is only 11”. The table is made of 1/2” Baltic Birch Ply with dry erase board covering on the top. Inserts are made of same materials and held in place with magnets. The hex driver goes through a hole in the top to allow router to be raised and lowered easily. Bit changes are quick and simple above the table. The drawers store bits and accessories. I added holders for frequently used items on the back of the fence. Access to the router is either from the opening on the front or via the door on the back side. That little Ryobi router is 4 years old and has handled all the tasks I have asked of it. The largest bit I use is a 1/2” roundover and I don’t do raised panels so I’m very happy with this cheapo router! If I were to build it again, I would cover the top with laminate as the dry erase board is showing some wear but I couldn’t find a partial sheet of white laminate when I built this. The entire unit is light enough that I can pick it up and move it when I need the additional space on my bench. This is the second router table I built and I think it will last me a lot more years. The T track is made from an aluminum picture frame I got out of my daughter’s dumpster (you can buy these frames cheaper than you can buy T track). I hope this helps some other frugal woodworker.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

16 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3692 days

#1 posted 02-06-2012 06:10 PM

Nice table.

The table I made was a “Down & Dirty” temporary table, that is now 6ish years old. I built it so as to make a “REAL” router table (yeah, that never happened). It’s time to build a table like yours. At the same time I built a similar fence, minus the T-track. It is also time to modify that fence and add T-track.

Great job and thanks for the “Motivation”!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4594 days

#2 posted 02-06-2012 06:23 PM

This table is great ,shop made router tables are better than most ready made router tables because they can have larger tops ,cost less and can be made to fit where you want to use them or store them. Good job Randy.


View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3642 days

#3 posted 02-06-2012 06:43 PM

I like the way you have your fence set up. I just through together a table a couple of days ago, with plans to tweak it a bit once I have a little spare time. I think I will be coming back to look at yours as I make my improvements.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4014 days

#4 posted 02-06-2012 07:12 PM

Nice table. Customized and functional !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4320 days

#5 posted 02-06-2012 08:15 PM

nice set up andy, nothing like making your own tools for your own needs, very cool, drawers for bits and dust collection…i learned a long time ago, that router are and do some amazing things, and if you learn how they can do more then what you think….thanks for sharing it, i might build me one someday meself…....grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3821 days

#6 posted 02-07-2012 01:40 AM

wow! that’s a long router fence & tabletop.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View woodymays's profile


106 posts in 4289 days

#7 posted 02-07-2012 05:27 AM

Nice router table, a plety of working area.

-- Behind every great man is his wife with rolling eyes.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4705 days

#8 posted 04-03-2012 08:28 PM

That’s huge , but set up very well. Nice features : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3707 days

#9 posted 04-04-2012 12:32 AM

Thanks Dusty, I route a lot of long thin pieces and it works well for those. It’s hard to make a 6” long dowel on a small router table.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4705 days

#10 posted 04-04-2012 12:41 AM

I hear that : )
Have a great night !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4544 posts in 3578 days

#11 posted 04-15-2012 07:20 PM


Wonderful job and it looks awesome to use. I also like your shop.
Is everything OK after all of the Tornados?


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3707 days

#12 posted 04-16-2012 12:54 AM

Tornados were a long ways from us, thankfully. But thanks for worrying about us.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2441 days

#13 posted 09-09-2014 02:19 AM

The router table has become my favorite tool in the shop over the years.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Matthew's profile


97 posts in 3653 days

#14 posted 11-05-2014 01:04 AM

I just saw this and wanted to ask how the dry erase board top has held up, I had the same idea for a table I am planning to build, and wanted to see how yours has weathered. Thanks

-- Matthew, Columbia - South Carolina ----- Jesus was a carpenter...

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3707 days

#15 posted 11-05-2014 01:40 AM

It remains perfectly flat but some of the white finish has worn off right around my insert hole. I’m still happy with it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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