Mobile Router Center for the Small to Medium Shop………..with lots of GIZMOS!

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Project by Jim Bertelson posted 07-04-2016 07:57 PM 3825 views 10 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK, this better be the last router table variation for a while.

Rationale for Project
I found that my last modification of a rather inadequate router table had issues. Mostly related to the size of the table, excursion of the fence, and poor clamping facilities. I made it in 2010, 6 years ago, just as I was getting into woodworking more seriously as a hobby. It did function, but I began to find its limits. So recently, I got busy and made another router table. Again, a modification of a purchased item, in this case a Bosch table, but it is markedly better than the previous one, I was able to save time by purchasing the table top and fence pre-made and drilled. I added a couple of items to it over time to solve minor issues.

My shop, is somewhat cramped. I could not put the router in the saw extension area, because the access in my shop was inadequate for that space. I needed something mobile, and it needed to serve another function when not in use, not just take up space. The new one serves as an extension for the radial arm saw table for long material. To make it efficient, I made a base with drawers to store all the router equipment.

The dedicated router for the table is a Bosch 1617EVSPK.
I had used it in my previous table as well. It allows height access from the top, and I liked that feature. I made my old one a dedicated router for the table, and bought another one to serve as a plunge router. My reasons for sticking with this router are many, but suffice to say it is the right size, has above table access, and I had accumulated practically every accessary sold for this router……….and that means I don’t even know what some of them are named, let alone understand what they do……….(-:

As you can see from the pictures, this table has rather complete access to the underside of the table. In fact, the table top will open a full 90 degrees and stay there on its own, even with the router in place. The partial opening supported by a rod is more convenient, though, especially if the lamp is on the fence mount, and the fence is connected for dust collection. The front opens a full 90 degrees as well, and is supported by the oversized mobile base.

The underside of the table has been leveled with wood inserts around the edge to allow a good clamping surface.

The fence can be detached from the table, just by removing the front to rear adjustment knobs. Then it can either be removed entirely, or placed in an unusual position. Or allow the use of an auxiliary fence of some sort. The lamp can be located on the fence or on the side of the table.
The pictures also illustrate the drawers and contents, including ½” bits for the 1617, and ¼” bits for the Colt. The drawers contain the Colt, the 1617 dedicated plunge router, and all attachments.

*Now, that is the overview, but for the fun part, the gizmos and gadgets. I considered just appending it here, but it was going to be a very, very long project description. Therefore, I decided to make a blog companion, and it is here:

Router Table Blog

In the blog are descriptions of the following:

Lamp and mounts
Access Design
Dust Collection
Unique Cord Keeps
Shop Built Elevation Crank
Work Light
Electrical Wiring
Construction techniques
Front Levelers and Stabilizers
Tool and Parts Storage
Skewer Lock

Again, here is the blog link:

Router Table Blog

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

22 comments so far

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4767 days

#1 posted 07-04-2016 08:19 PM

Sweet! I added more in the “Blog” section.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Roger's profile


21051 posts in 3816 days

#2 posted 07-04-2016 08:22 PM

All thumbs up

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5064 days

#3 posted 07-04-2016 08:23 PM

Very good, Jim!

Were you ever able to watch The Router Workshop TV programs?
They were very good… Showed many tips, techniques, and nice projects.

I learned a whole lot about routing from their programs…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4315 days

#4 posted 07-04-2016 08:31 PM

hey there jim, how goes retirement, have you started to catch up on some sleep…lol…i love the way uou made this, and im sure it does everything a router can do and more, im baking a cheesecake right now, would your new table spread the blueberry topping for me…how do you lower and raise this one.

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

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#5 posted 07-04-2016 09:27 PM

Thanks for the view, the blog section has the real meat. I’ll comment more there.

Appreciate the view. I still have another project to go, but it will be easier to present.

And Happy 4th of July to you, Joe. Didn’t have time to respond to your blog post earlier. I need to watch some videos and stuff. I usually do that sort of thing on a as needed basis, but I have to get more organized now.

Hey Buddy, glad to see you are up and kicking on the 4th. Check out the blog for the raising and lowering stuff. This particular router can be adjusted from above the table, so I made a classy (if I do say so myself) crank for it. Sherie was out for a few days at a quilting retreat, and brought home the fixings for hamburgers, beans, and potato salad, so will be barbecuing tonight….........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View sras's profile


5878 posts in 4141 days

#6 posted 07-05-2016 04:11 AM

Excellent build Jim!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View oldnovice's profile


7700 posts in 4379 days

#7 posted 07-05-2016 05:31 AM

Nice work Jim, that looks like it could be one of the best I have seen (including Norm Abrams version)!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Ivan's profile


16626 posts in 3879 days

#8 posted 07-05-2016 06:35 AM

Beautiful work and organzation. You gave me an idea with that lamp which I miss on my router.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3878 days

#9 posted 07-05-2016 01:44 PM

Jim, congratulations on one of the nicest mobile router tables that I have seen in a while. It is well thought out and designed and has a lot of great features. You’ve done a wonderful job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View SuperCubber's profile (online now)


1171 posts in 3296 days

#10 posted 07-05-2016 01:49 PM

That’s a great router table. Very well thought out design and looks more than functional. Nice job!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#11 posted 07-05-2016 04:08 PM

Thanks Steve. I put some thought into this one….........have to admit though…......that I had done something similar with another old table twice, and so when I did this one, I pretty much knew what had to be done. The internal work light and cord keep are actually from the old table, so I salvaged those two parts, and not much else.

Appreciate the comments Hans. This one fits my shop well…...I couldn’t just build some big hunker of a thing. It could be done from scratch, meaning not using a prebuilt top and fence. But this did give me a leg up on the work, and the fence is more compact than I probably could have made it. When you start counting up all the things I would have had to buy, including the feather boards, knobs (could have made those) and such, the cost was reasonable for the time saved. Thought you would appreciate the gizmos….....(-:

If you have T-track on your fence in back, or can mount some there, then you have a flexible positioning. The additional mount on the base for those times when the fence is off gives you light then as well. There are many lamps that would work, but I like this style. I have two much larger lamps of this type that are about 35 years old, and they provide a lot of light in the shop in strategic places. I have a shop at my vacation home that is like yours, meaning, I have to pull out everything after a car is removed. I will probably build something like this there, as well.
You might take a gander also at its….
torsion box bench
Thanks for stopping by from Croatia.

This project was a perfect putter project, just kept on adding things. The last was the drawer keep (“skewer lock”).
Your mobile base for your Tormek resembles my drawer section. Similar purpose leads to similar execution. Wish I had your 30×30 shop!!

Appreciate the view, Joe. We have a lot of SuperCubbers here in Alaska, as you might surmise. I am not one of them, however. My vacation home shop sounds like your shop. That shop is a slightly oversized double wide, but two cars reside in it. One has to come out for the shop to function. You might take a gander also at its….
torsion box bench

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View SuperCubber's profile (online now)


1171 posts in 3296 days

#12 posted 07-05-2016 08:17 PM

Sadly, I haven’t SuperCubbed in a couple years, but at least I’m flying something!

Luckily, I only have to keep one car in the garage, so not TOO bad when I start working in there. The problem is all the kids’ toys and bikes! 3-4 years from now I should have a dedicated shop. Looking forward to that!

I remember when you posted that torsion box workbench. I guess I didn’t have time to comment, but I do remember thinking it was a pretty awesome design.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4243 days

#13 posted 07-06-2016 01:27 AM

Very nice build! Looks like plenty of room in there! Is that the MLCS 66 piece bit set? I have that same set. Your rig is a LOT nicer than mine though. I keep my router accessories in a big tote for now…

It does look like a rework of a factory built table. Am I correct in that? The top looks to be aluminum or did you paint the top for some reason?

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4176 days

#14 posted 07-06-2016 02:44 AM

I have a more or less dedicated shop, although a couple of furnaces and a hot water heater are in the shop. Otherwise it is mine. In the vacation home, I will always deal with the cars. No bicycles…......(-:

Gather you fly for a living…. we all depend on you!! I was a professional for 47 years, with lives at stake, so I appreciate your work. Retired 6 months ago.

Thanks for the feedback….......

Yes, I think it is the same bit set.

Yes, it is a rework of a Bosch Table, bought with the intent to rework it. I actually started this before I retired, and time was of the essence, and money not so much. If time allows, read the description in the project, and do read the blog. I know, you are like I was 6 months ago, short on time and energy. So what ever works, whatever you can.

Again, liked the video, keep on blogging, like it ought to be done.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4346 days

#15 posted 07-07-2016 03:41 PM

What a great package Jim. Very well thought out and executed. The Bosch table top has all the features you need and I think it was smart to fill it with ply too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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