Router Station Cabinet

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Project by Lenny posted 03-13-2011 10:43 PM 5579 views 26 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I posted four blogs covering my build of this router station. This is to post it as a finished project and also to follow up on what I opted to do for dust collection. See my blogs section if interested in the series of posts. I fashioned the basic cabinet after one built by Blake. He did a wonderful job designing and executing his cabinet build. I added some personal touches, most particularly the accent stripe on the doors and drawers and the drawer pulls. The primary wood is maple and prefinished maple plywood. The accent woods are purpleheart and yellowheart. I had some fun fashioning the draw pulls, opting to craft them into the names of my family. I used a scroll saw for most of this work and a Dremel tool for details and areas I couldn’t saw all the way through but needed to “cut”. An example would be, between the two “N”s in my name. Again, my blogs will provide the specifics on joinery, etc. but I used mostly pocket holes and biscuits. The finish is three coats of Minwax wipe on poly with #000 steel wool sanding in between.

The cabinet is built under a Porter-Cable 7518 router (3 ¼ hp) attached to a Pinnacle v2 router lift and sits in a Woodpecker offset table outfitted with an Incra LS Positioner fence system. The Woodpecker table measures 43” by 27” and I made the cabinet dimensions 41-1/2” by 25-1/2”. The finished height is 36-1/2” including the casters and tabletop. Originally, the cabinet incorporated a lower chamber that housed a small shop-vac for dedicated dust collection both above and below the router. The Kreg switch would simultaneously turn on the router and vac. When I tried it out, I found the 2.5 hp vac to be grossly insufficient. One might say it “sucked”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I used a wye adaptor to capture dust both below and above the router table. With two sources from which to draw, the suction was severely reduced. Here are a couple of “before” photos to show the set up and DC plumbing.

To fix the DC issue I opted to employ a combination of suggestions offered by LJs. I scrapped the idea of dedicated dust collection. I resolved that any vac I could fit in the lower chamber would not have sufficient horsepower to be effective. I covered the hole in the shelf between the two chambers as well as the one at the back of the lower chamber, where the DC hose exited. I cut a 4” hole at the back of the router chamber and installed a 4” chute. Four inch hose goes from the chute up to a 4” blast gate, followed by a 4”X4”X2-1/2” wye adaptor. The 4” side of the adaptor continues up to more 4” hose connected to the blast gate at the central DC drop. The 2-1/2” side of the system is as follows. A 2-1/2” hose connects to the port on the router table fence. The other end of the hose is attached to a 2-1/2” blast gate which in turn is attached to the 2-1/2” side of the wye adaptor where it meets up with the 4” side of the system. See photos above.

While routing, I will close the 4” blast gate and only have collection at the fence. When I finish, I close the 2-1/2” blast gate, open the 4” side and vacuum out the router chamber. The vent (floor register) in the door of the router chamber provides take up air for that process. I tested the system last night and it works like a charm. I opened the door while the DC was on and I heard and felt the loss of suction. As I closed the door, the suction actually pulled it closed. I think I am in business. The only two issues are: 1. I have a 2.5 hp shop vac that I have no use for and 2. I have cabinet space (lower chamber) that I didn’t expect. The latter is not a bad thing!

Thanks to Blake for answering all my questions, to all who followed my progress on this build and to those stopping by now. Special thanks to the following LJs for their input and/or suggestions regarding the dust collection issue: Rick Dennington, HokieMojo, SPalm, Dusty56 and John Gray. I hope I got everyone.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

31 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4394 days

#1 posted 03-13-2011 11:20 PM

Hey Lenny. That looks super.

Extra space is always handy, and I would believe that a small vac has got to come in handy for something. And besides, the way it is now, you never have to empty the little sucker.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View ellen35's profile


2742 posts in 3945 days

#2 posted 03-14-2011 12:10 AM

Very nice, Lenny.
I like your new dust collection system better.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4185 days

#3 posted 03-14-2011 12:25 AM

Lenny, thats a neat router table.

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4589 days

#4 posted 03-14-2011 12:40 AM

really impressive…have not been on the LJ’s much…but have been watching…what a great result…

How do you find the time to do all this??? LOL…So—-ENJOYING RETIREMENT!!! Looks like it…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View gblock66's profile


58 posts in 3419 days

#5 posted 03-14-2011 12:43 AM

Lenny. . . That came out Great. . . .and for those of us that have been in your shop . . .it’s a perfect fit. . . .

View Lenny's profile


1639 posts in 4039 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 12:51 AM

Good point Steve! Thanks Ellen. They say, it takes a village to raise a child. It took a village to get the DC right on this project. Thanks CJ. Matt, thanks and yeah, retirement is quite liberating when it comes to time. Thanks Gary. Good luck as you continue on yours.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4334 days

#7 posted 03-14-2011 01:27 AM

Lenny, this is one of the best looking router tables that I have had the pleasure to see. It is not only functional but it also looks pretty good as well. This is a table any of us would be proud to have in our shop. I have been meaning to update mine and this one is an inspiration to get started.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6664 posts in 3707 days

#8 posted 03-14-2011 01:28 AM

Hi Lenny,

Stellar job on the d.c. hook-up…..Glad you got it all worked out, and everything is sucking fine….lol.
I just knew it would work so much better than the little sucker you were using… Like you said….it looks like you’re in business…. Now go route something…... Rick.

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View JL7's profile


8752 posts in 3477 days

#9 posted 03-14-2011 02:08 AM

Beautiful Table Lenny! You are going to love having a good flat table, same one I used on my table and the quality of the joinery and general accuracy has improved.

To further improve the the dust collection in a square box, I added some baffles, you can see here if you scroll all the to the bottom of the comments.

The handles are really killer, btw…..

Enjoy the new table – and thanks for sharing.


-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4387 days

#10 posted 03-14-2011 02:26 AM

Came out great, Lenny. Glad I could help!

-- Happy woodworking!

View Lenny's profile


1639 posts in 4039 days

#11 posted 03-14-2011 02:31 AM

Scott, thanks so much for those very kind words and best wishes to you start yours. Hey Rick. I liked the concept of dedicated dust collection. I wouldn’t have to fuss with which blast gate is open, where’s the DC remote, the louder noise, etc. But, I do that when I use the other tools in the shop so, no big deal. Thanks again for your help. Thanks Jeff. I took a look at the baffles. I will give this some consideration. Thanks for stopping by again Blake.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3435 days

#12 posted 03-14-2011 02:37 AM

Looking good Lenny. I’m fixing to redo my router cabinet/table and you have given me some good ideas.
(p.s. luv my Incra LS-25)

-- Life is good.

View Lenny's profile


1639 posts in 4039 days

#13 posted 03-14-2011 02:48 AM

Thanks Howie. The 25” LS Positioner huh? You got the stretch limo edition!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3201 days

#14 posted 03-14-2011 09:12 AM

excellent cabinet

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4200 days

#15 posted 03-14-2011 04:13 PM

Now that’s a real beauty , my friend !!

I’m glad that all of our thoughts helped you to solve the suction issues.
Thanks for the honorable mention as well : )
Have a great day and enjoy your newest creation : )

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

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