Router Table and Fence

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Project by Rex B posted 04-24-2012 07:44 PM 28358 views 64 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This router table extension has been a work-in-progress for quite some time. I built the table extension first.

It is made of 3/4” Baltic Birch plywood, joined with glue and pocket hole screws. It is attached to the table saw by 1/4-20 bolts through holes I drilled in the end of the extension wing and the rear rail. The front of the tabletop slightly overhangs the front rail for support. For more info on how I mounted the extension go here and scroll down to my comment. I used an aluminum insert plate and leveling hardware from Rockler and hogged out a recess for the plate with my router. I was a bit concerned about weakening the tabletop by cutting this recess, so I first laminated a large scrap of 3/8 Baltic Birch to the underside. The leveling hardware brings the plate up even with the tabletop. I also installed a switch from Grizzly and wired it to a dual plug so I can connect my router and shop-vac.

I used the table without a fence for a few months, mostly with a bearing-guided roundover bit. I knew I eventually wanted to build a split fence for the router table, but what really pushed me to do it was the realization that it could be used as a jointer for small boards (until I get a real jointer). I came up with a simple design with sliding faces that clamps to the tablesaw fence to lock it down. The fence is also 3/4” Baltic Birch, with the face covered with formica left over from when my parents built their house (hence the nice pink color). The sliding faces can open up to 3”, and are clamped by threaded studs going into T-nuts that are concealed by the formica. For edge jointing, I use a shim that I cut from the same formica (.06” thick) behind the outfeed face of the fence. Then I set the fence so that the outfeed face is even with the cutting edge of a straight bit.

I tested this yesterday with a piece of pine, and the results were beautiful. I haven’t tested it with hardwood yet, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t perform just as well. Obviously it wouldn’t work well for very long pieces, but it will be enough to tide me over until I can afford a real jointer. Finally, I added a small angled box with a hole for my shop-vac hose. The angled plate with the hole in it is attached only by screws so I can change it out if I get something with a different size hose. Both the table extension and fence are finished with 3 coats of Varathane Floor Varnish.

In all, I am very happy with this project. Having the router in the saw wing works perfectly for my small shop, and it increases the size of the saw table for use as an assembly/finishing surface. The fence works great as a jointer, and the dust collection is really good when the fence is close to the bit. Below is the solid model I created showing joinery and dimensions.

-- Rex

17 comments so far

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3039 days

#1 posted 04-25-2012 12:39 AM

That fence is beautiful.. I wish I had one that well made…..

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View eruby's profile


79 posts in 3386 days

#2 posted 04-25-2012 01:39 AM

Very nice. I need to build a better fence for my table. I like your design because there is space to store router bits, wrenches etc…
You may want to add a couple of legs under the router table. I almost tipped my table saw over once after I put too much weight on the extension wing.

-- Eric - Baltimore MD

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3225 days

#3 posted 04-25-2012 03:12 AM

great set up.saves room to and looks good ,there is never to much flat area mine seem to collect thing though like its a magnet

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View Vince's profile


1226 posts in 4041 days

#4 posted 04-25-2012 06:01 AM

That is nice…another project added to my list.

-- Vince

View mloy365's profile


446 posts in 3742 days

#5 posted 04-25-2012 11:17 AM

Great piece of work!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View AspiringWoodworker's profile


72 posts in 2917 days

#6 posted 04-25-2012 11:32 AM

This looks great, its something I want to do to my saw. Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Jeff W., Boston, MA area,

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3478 days

#7 posted 04-25-2012 11:40 AM

It’s very well designed and an excellent job; it will be a nice addition to your shop.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 2862 days

#8 posted 04-25-2012 12:10 PM

Thank you for the kind words everyone.

-- Rex

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4591 days

#9 posted 04-25-2012 12:19 PM

Hi Rex;

You really did a great job on this. I’m sure you’ll find it to be very handy.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View PaulHWood's profile


459 posts in 2864 days

#10 posted 04-25-2012 12:19 PM

how did you come up with the cuttout pattern, not the routed pattern

-- -Paul, South Carolina Structural Engineer by trade, Crappy Woodworker by choice

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 2862 days

#11 posted 04-25-2012 12:32 PM

Paul, I think you’re talking about the odd-shaped hole in the router table for the router body to pass through? Most of the time people just leave a small ledge around the edge to support the router plate, but I wanted to remove as little material as possible since I don’t need clearance for a router lift. After I figured out the angle it would hang at I just traced around it to come up with that shape. I can always cut the hole bigger later if my router changes.

-- Rex

View eatsawdust's profile


35 posts in 2874 days

#12 posted 04-25-2012 07:45 PM

I love the design and clearly you are far more talented than I, but from looking at the pictures I would be concerned about the front fence rail causing a safety issue. I know I would probably bump into that rail while using it and loose a finger in the router table. It does look really nice I just had to comment on the one thing that worries me about it.

-- Why does everything I enjoy doing have to be bad for the environment, I work in the oil industry and enjoy working with exotic woods from rain forests

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23778 posts in 3717 days

#13 posted 04-25-2012 07:58 PM


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

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3300 days

#14 posted 04-26-2012 03:12 PM

Very nice job, it will serve you right for many years

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

View TheHarr's profile


122 posts in 4150 days

#15 posted 05-23-2012 01:01 AM

Rex, I just upgraded from the Rockler plate to the Jessem FX II lift. The Rockler is excellent, however, the pin in the Porter Cable base fell out (thanks Porter Cable), so I upgraded the the Jessem FX. I came up with some innovative ideas for the table and fence. You may find them interesting.

-- Wood is good.

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