Horizontal Router Table

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Project by PaulfromVictor posted 08-07-2009 03:32 AM 17683 views 27 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I never imagined how much I would appreciate a horizontal router table. This table is essentially a poor man’s multi-router. The fixed base of the router is attached to the blue half inch phenolic board. The router motor is inserted from the back side. There is a crank on the top to raise and lower the router. The router bit (not in photo) protrudes from the hole in the blue phenolic. There are two trays that control the movement of the work piece. The bottom tray moves the whole mechanism toward/away from the router bit acting as a plunge, and the top tray slides back and forth on top of that. On top of the top tray you see a board with a toggle clamp attached. This holds the wood in place. Sometimes it is neccessary to customize a new clamp piece depending on what is being worked. Once you have 2-3 made, they will handle almost everything.

I use this to rout all of my mortises. You can set stops on each tray to limit travel and plunge. Once the stops are set, cuts are easily repeatable. The fingerboard you see is not being used as a fingerboard. The reverse end is being use as a stop for the the bottom tray.

This also makes the tenon end of sliding dovetails quite easily. First you need to cut your mortise side however you would usually do it. Then, you can use the piece you cut to set the depth on the router bit in the horizontal table. Just hold the piece over the router bit and set the depth by adjusting how far it protrudes through the hole. Once you do this you can cut the tenon end by making gradual cuts to sneak up on your exact fit. It is neccessary to flip the workpiece after each pass to cut evenly on each side.

23 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35270 posts in 5411 days

#1 posted 08-07-2009 03:36 AM

I have a purchased version made by one of the jig companies. I love it. It’s not a multi-router but it is handy.

Nice job on the creation. A friend of mine made on from the plans at MLCS.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View PaulfromVictor's profile


231 posts in 4356 days

#2 posted 08-07-2009 03:42 AM

Thank you Karson. This was also from a plan, but I made several tweaks that suited me. I don’t recall where I got the plan, but if anybody wants to know, I will go dig it up.

View cwdance1's profile


1163 posts in 4269 days

#3 posted 08-07-2009 05:21 AM

I would like to have a plan for that, if you find it.

Great job

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4587 days

#4 posted 08-07-2009 05:49 AM

Before I bought my multi router I made a jig similar to this but didn’t look anywhere as nice as yours


View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 4319 days

#5 posted 08-07-2009 10:40 AM

Great job Paul. I would love to have a plan as well. Thanks for posting.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


231 posts in 4356 days

#6 posted 08-08-2009 02:59 PM

How do I attach a PDF file?

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4475 days

#7 posted 08-08-2009 05:00 PM

This looks quite do-able. Thanks for the idea. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4896 days

#8 posted 08-08-2009 05:08 PM

Nice build!
I’d like to know more about it and if you send me a PM with your email address I’ll send you mine and you could email me the PDF file of the plan. I don’t want to post my email adx on here I get enough spam already. ;-)

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View kweenbee's profile


40 posts in 4222 days

#9 posted 08-10-2009 04:19 AM

I have been thinking about building a horizontal router table for a couple of years now. Seeing the great set-up that you have created may be the nudge I need. A set of plans would be great, if at all possible. I would like to go the PM route as well if you are unable to upload a link to the pdf.

-- "The Artful Bodger"

View RouterManiac's profile


96 posts in 4291 days

#10 posted 08-10-2009 10:31 PM

Sweet job, want to sell one?

-- Ken, Florida,

View cabinetmaster's profile


10873 posts in 4568 days

#11 posted 08-11-2009 01:45 AM

I’ll PM you with my email address. I’d like to make one too.

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

View Laurent's profile


41 posts in 4356 days

#12 posted 08-11-2009 09:45 AM

Has anyone ever retrofitted a MLCS horizontal table with similar sliding trays? I like my MLCS but cutting deep mortises w/out tray is not as safe as I’d like to.

If you don’t mind, I’ll PM you to get your PDF to see how can I adapt my table.


-- Laurent

View daveintexas's profile


365 posts in 4886 days

#13 posted 08-17-2009 06:25 AM

Looks like you have a winner there.

Would you be able to route raised penels with your set up ?

Also- If you are interested in building another one to sell, PM me with info and a price?


View PaulfromVictor's profile


231 posts in 4356 days

#14 posted 08-19-2009 12:17 AM

Ken and Dave

If I were to make you one you wouldn’t have the pride of ownership as you would if you made it yourself!

I suppose you could raise panels on it, but you would need to use the vertical style bits. I think you would be better off raising panels on a traditional router table where the base is stationary.

View witch1's profile


5 posts in 4199 days

#15 posted 09-02-2009 05:08 AM

Hi, Paul from Victor,
Is it possible to send me plans, too, for the horizontal router table? I can’t see the back of it in the pictures.
I am new to woodworking and need all the help I can get, and this horizontal arrangement seems much safer than trying to keep wood pieces sliding across a madly spinning sharp bit at an upright angle.
Thanking you in advance,
Which witch? Witch1

-- witch1

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