First Router Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by paxorion posted 08-19-2015 03:22 AM 2523 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After a few years debating the buy or build question (and several near misses with a Bosch RA1181 router table ), I finally built my router table. I tried to minimize the cost as much as possible, scavenging material where I could for the project. Most of it was made from random boards from IKEA furniture that was to be culled.

Top – Measuring at 24×27, this top is larger than any benchtop router table, and one of the reasons I settled on building my own router table. The top is 1.5” thick, and made of a surprisingly flat piece of melamine coated MDF, doubled up with a particleboard backer with screws. I edged the board with a mystery wood board that I picked up. It had the color of cherry but was way lighter and had the most atrocious tear-out.

Insert – I wasn’t convinced I wanted to buy an aftermarket insert plate (yet), and decided to make my own. The material I could find was a 1/2” piece of MDF, which sparked some debate. To provide myself an opportunity to rectify any regret, I sized the insert to be 9.25” x 11.75” (like the Woodpeckers or Kreg insert plate). I roughly centered a hole, cutting a rabbet for 3/16” hardboard inserts. To minimize the rate of sag, I don’t store the table with the router installed. A recessed a tee nut, and use a bolt with a nylon sleeve as a starter pin. I also added a few flat head screws for leveling, and 2 bolts on either side of the router insert to screw the insert down.

Router – The router I am using is a Bosch MRC23EVS. I have 2 from a pricing snafu/blow-out sale from the orange guys. Works out that I can keep each router outfit with a difference size collet.

Fence – The main body is made of 3/4” plywood leftovers I had from a cabinet project. I added a few supports and a dust collection attachment. I decided to cut a square opening that was wide enough to accommodate the dust collection fitting. The adjustable faces are made from a piece of melamine coated particleboard I salvaged from some piece of IKEA furniture.

Base – Made of a few reclaimed IKEA solid wood (i.e. heavily painted #2 common pine) cabinet doors. I joined everything with glue and dowels. The top is attached to the base with pocket screws.

Thanks to my careful hunting of scavenged or salvaged material, I think I have under $90 sunk into this project (mostly taken up by the ~$60 router and re-usable hardware itself, but that is a fluke). The router table has served me well thus far, and I figure if it doesn’t pan out, I can always make a new one with better material next time. One last addition that I have yet to do is add a miter channel. I already have, but haven’t had a need to install it yet. I figure I’d wait until the need arose before I went about putting it in.

-- paxorion

5 comments so far

View lumberboss's profile


28 posts in 2203 days

#1 posted 08-19-2015 03:52 AM

Great build! You should be proud of your creation, and it should serve you for many years to come!

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 08-19-2015 04:18 AM

That is really cool. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Shuja's profile


287 posts in 2679 days

#3 posted 08-19-2015 02:57 PM

Great professional build
I am as hard pressed for Material
I was thinking of.using an aluminium flat frying pan as table insert.

-- shuja

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 4183 days

#4 posted 08-19-2015 09:14 PM

Looks great; nice work! Good call on building your own instead of buying the the RA1181. It’s a piece of junk.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View CaptnJoe's profile


16 posts in 2583 days

#5 posted 08-20-2015 01:34 AM

Nice work there.

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