Cheapest Router Table Ever

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Project by Don Tikander posted 03-19-2012 10:30 AM 5094 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a total of $2.47 in my router table. I live near a modular manufacturing plant. The top is the counter top cut out of the sink area. They usually throw them in the dumpster. It’s perfect for the top. “Free”. I couldn’t bring myself to pay $40.00 and up for a router plate top insert. So I found a Lexan type cutting board at the local Walmart for $2.47!!! They have many sizes and colors. It’s slippery, and very ridgid. No flex at all.

Once I decide which router to mount I will simply cut the mounting holes on my drill press. I have a kitchen cabinet that I never used, so I will mount the top on that and put casters on it. Then I will hinge the back of the top for easy access to the router for adjustment and changing bits. I made a nice fence out of scraps from around the shop.

Are there any awards on Lumberjocks for the “Best money saving idea of the year”?? LOL.

-- Wood glue residue doesn't take a stain well.

14 comments so far

View flintbone's profile


213 posts in 4206 days

#1 posted 03-19-2012 10:39 AM

Good job.

-- If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. - Albert Einstein

View T. D. Reid's profile

T. D. Reid

275 posts in 3394 days

#2 posted 03-19-2012 10:55 AM

Great job! I recently told another member about counter top cut offs as router tables “on the cheap”. This is what I used for my first one in 1992 and it worked like a champ. FYI Sam’s Club sells cuting boards without the hand hold opening in them. Thanks for the building one and I agree that this is “Best money saving idea of the year”. Cheers

-- Head to the shop its calling you – Todd

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3987 days

#3 posted 03-19-2012 10:55 AM

Cheap is best…...................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View Skylark53's profile


2862 posts in 4110 days

#4 posted 03-19-2012 12:10 PM

Nice work and very frugal work on a project you can use for many years. Congratulations!

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View Roger's profile


21053 posts in 3853 days

#5 posted 03-19-2012 12:55 PM

I would say, that’ll work very good. Manufactured tops are priced way too high in my opinion

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

View MakerofSawdust's profile


45 posts in 3665 days

#6 posted 03-19-2012 01:25 PM

That was my first router table too!! The only difference is that I used some lexan instead of a cuttiing board. The sink cut-out was the perfect size.

-- - Kevin from Cincinnati. All my work is guaranteed: Three minutes or three feet; whichever comes first.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7922 posts in 4402 days

#7 posted 03-19-2012 01:34 PM

Good Job! If it works, Why Not! Saving money is the way to go! More money to spend on tools!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4046 days

#8 posted 03-19-2012 01:43 PM

Excellent !
My first table saw extension was from cabinet shop I worked at. Counter top cutoffs that were thrown out. I used it for many years !
I never thought of the LEXAN idea, I LIKE that .

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Green_Hornut's profile


186 posts in 3669 days

#9 posted 03-19-2012 02:06 PM

Like the idea of the countertop. should be plenty flat and smooth for the purpose. I would caution about the Lexan. My last table I built I used a sheet of 3/8 acrylic for my insert and while it worked fine in the beginning with the weight of my PC 3 HP plunge it began to sag until I got noticeable poor results. You might get by and I hope you do. Just saying, watch it so it doesn’t sag.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View ChrisK's profile


2053 posts in 4131 days

#10 posted 03-19-2012 02:22 PM

Great find on the counter top. The cutting board is more of a HDPE, milk bottle plastic. If you can support it might work well. I have a 1/2” acrylic holding my 3hp and it works well. Good Luck.

-- Chris K

View DocSavage45's profile


9043 posts in 3892 days

#11 posted 03-19-2012 04:12 PM

I have a top from a small desk waiting for a similar treatment. Thanks for sharing. Have you cosidered installing a metal track in the slot for a miter gage?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View ChrisMc45's profile


117 posts in 3909 days

#12 posted 03-19-2012 09:42 PM

Nice to save the money for router bits. FWIW, I believe the cutting board is likely polypropylene; not as rigid as Lexan (polycarbonate) but easier to cut. You may wish to reinforce the span after you choose your router; perhaps some aluminum L-profile extrusion, close-set to the router hole, extending past the plate to secure to the underside of the table…
Good to be frugal.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3355 days

#13 posted 03-19-2012 09:51 PM

Good use of inexpensive and free materials, better in your shop than a landfill somewhere.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4737 days

#14 posted 03-19-2012 11:42 PM

Use caution with plastics…they are not all the same and some can become brittle and shatter without warning.
If that board was Lexan , you would have paid a lot more than $3 for it : )
Nice way to save money though !! Keep up the good work .
I’m a re-purposer myself

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

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