My New Router Station

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Project by Mean_Dean posted 02-20-2010 01:18 AM 3274 views 7 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve wanted a good router station for quite awhile now, and so I decided to build one.

It has an MDF cabinet, to match the other cabinets in my shop, and a laminated top, with white Formica on the table-top and fence. It has a Woodpecker’s V2 router lift as well.

I got the plans for the cabinet out of Wood Magazine #192 (Sept. ‘09), and the plans for the fence system out of Wood’s “Best Ever Router Tricks and Jigs (2008 edition).

This project stretched me a little as a woodworker, learning to laminate Formica, and especially getting the router lift hole and rabbet done correctly. But amazingly, everything worked as it’s supposed to, and the table-top and fence came out exactly as they should.

The cabinet, however, seemed to have a mind of its own. For some reason, the MDF sides decided to curl up on me after I cut the dados in them. The plans called for 3/8” dados, though I’ve always heard that you should cut only 1/3 the thickness of the material, which would be 1/4”. Whatever the case, I had to fight with those sides the entire way through the cabinet construction process.

All-in-all, though, things went pretty well, and I’m the proud owner of a router station!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

19 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4937 days

#1 posted 02-20-2010 01:22 AM

Very nicely done : )

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26819 posts in 4355 days

#2 posted 02-20-2010 01:23 AM

Very nice. I know what you mean about wanting a good router table. I did the same thing and I love it

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 4306 days

#3 posted 02-20-2010 01:26 AM

Great Job! I’m sure it will serve you well for many years.

-- Glen

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 4500 days

#4 posted 02-20-2010 01:44 AM

good build dean

-- -erik & christy-

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


408 posts in 4271 days

#5 posted 02-20-2010 01:48 AM

sweet! Congrats

-- Greg, Severn MD

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4922 days

#6 posted 02-20-2010 01:59 AM

Nice router table.

View bigike's profile


4058 posts in 4538 days

#7 posted 02-20-2010 01:59 AM

good work!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5072 days

#8 posted 02-20-2010 02:25 AM

Great looking station and should produce some nice product as well, looking forward to see….thanks for sharing BC

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 4553 days

#9 posted 02-20-2010 02:26 AM

It looks great. I sure need to do something for mine.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View JasonWagner's profile


566 posts in 4429 days

#10 posted 02-20-2010 02:52 AM

Great looking router table. At first I thought you added a store-bought table to the cabinet. Weird, I have never had a problem with any MDF (all from HD) warping or changing after I cut it. Was there a humidity issue…I see you’re in a garage? Anyway, looks like something that will last you for quite a long tim.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Gotwood1962's profile


30 posts in 4268 days

#11 posted 02-20-2010 03:50 AM

I agree with Jim. I put off building mine for a long time. I put wheels on mine and built a large drawer in the bottom to store all my routers. You will really enjoy having all your cutters and collets close at hand. Good job!

-- Gotwood1962, If sawdust were valuable... I'd be a millionaire

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7170 posts in 4444 days

#12 posted 02-20-2010 04:00 AM

Greetings Dean: I’m on the other side of this conversation. I wouldn’t of made the cabinet out of MDF, beacuse of the problem you ran into. If it gets wet, or exposed to a lot of humidity, it’ll warp more. The top made out of MDF with laminate on both sides is great, cause it keeps the moisture out. A good grade of plywood, like Baltic birch would have been better, to me. Also… if you have dust collection hooked up to the cabinet, you need a door with holes to pull the dust out of the box and top.
These are just my assessments, and not meant to be critical… I just call it like I see it. Good-looking table, and a good job all around. Hope it serves you well for many years… just put a lot of paint on it…. lol.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4558 days

#13 posted 02-20-2010 04:02 AM

A good router table makes all the difference in the world. You did a nice job. The woodpecker v2 lift is an excellent choice also.
Have fun!

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4397 days

#14 posted 02-20-2010 04:10 AM


I’ve never had a problem with MDF curling up until this project. When I got the sheets at the store, they were perfectly flat, as MDF usually is. I stored them in my garage for a week or so prior to cutting them, and we did have a fair amount of rain during that time, so maybe higher humidity was a factor. But it rains quite a bit here in Oregon, and I’ve never had that problem before. So, I’m not sure it’s a humidity problem.

The one thing that was different, however, was the depth of the dadoes. Usually I go by the rule of thumb, which is to cut no more that 1/3 of the thickness of the material. So 3/4” MDF would get 1/4” dadoes. The plans for this project called for 3/8” dadoes (which is 1/2 the thickness of the MDF.) And since they were all on one side of the MDF, that could have contributed to the problem also.

This curling problem doesn’t detract from the perfomance of the router table, so I guess it’s not a big deal. But I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, and I don’t like flaws of any sort in my work!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4397 days

#15 posted 02-20-2010 04:38 AM


I hear you on MDF. But I’ve made all of my other cabinets out of MDF, for several reasons, including that it’s fairly stable. I’ve never had a problem with it curling up on me until this project—and the only thing I did differently is cut the dadoes (as per the instructions) deeper.

Nonetheless, I guess it’s a perfectionist thing with me; but in the future, with MDF, I’m going only 1/3 of the thickness!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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