Yet Another Horizontal Router Table

  • Advertise with us
Project by Praki posted 04-06-2008 08:51 AM 22983 views 27 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Judging by the recent projects with HRTs, I think this is the season of Horizontal Router Tables. Here is another one that I built a few weeks ago. The ideas came from Jigs & fixtures for the table saw & router / from the editors of Woodworker’s Journal and Yeung Chang’s Classic Joints with Power Tools.

It is constructed from 3/4” MDF. In hindsight, it would have been better to construct it with melamine backed board rather than MDF. I simplified the construction by choosing not to build a router sled. The vertical board to which the router base is fixed is pivoted at one corner with a heavy duty hinge I got from Rockler. At the other end, the grove swings around a 1/4” bolt.

I also built an X-Y table which rides in the groves. I ripped some HDPE strips for runners. The XY tables have T-nuts in them to which I can bolt fences. I waxed all sliding surfaces.

With easy access to the router and excellent visibility, this lets me do a lot of router operations with safety and convenience. I get very good accuracy and control. The cost to build it was minimal and taught me some more valuable skills.

One thing I miss sorely is a mechanism to adjust the bit position. I plan to add a screw to make micro adjustments to the bit position.

Another thing I worry about is with the stability of MDF in the presence of moisture. I am hoping all that waxing will help keep the moisture out . I will probably protect the edges with hardwood. (I am also wondering if I can coat the whole thing with thin epoxy of some kind, any thoughts?)


-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

11 comments so far

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 4312 days

#1 posted 04-06-2008 09:01 AM

Looks like an item you’ll get a lot of use from in the workshop.
You need to be careful with dampness creeping in to the mdf.
I had a router fixture which I didn’t use for some time, so I stored it in my garden shed – dry but no heating.
When I dug it out some months later, I found that it didn’t fit any more because the dimensions had changed slightly due to the mdf increasing in thickness – only very slightly, but it turned it from useful to a scrapper.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4495 days

#2 posted 04-06-2008 03:28 PM

Looks pretty nice. What kinds of things would you use it for?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4306 days

#3 posted 04-06-2008 03:41 PM

looks good and useful. can you show us some work as a result of having it?

-- making sawdust....

View Yettiman's profile


163 posts in 4244 days

#4 posted 04-06-2008 09:51 PM

Hi there,

can you tell me the advantage of a horizontal table over a vertical one.

I am still trying to learn :)


-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

View Grumpy's profile


25623 posts in 4358 days

#5 posted 04-07-2008 12:56 AM

I get the concept Praki. i am also interested in the advantage over a horizontal table.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Praki's profile


201 posts in 4503 days

#6 posted 04-07-2008 03:31 AM

davidtheboxmaker – I am afraid of a similar fate. I hope it survives long enough for my real wood working projects!

GaryK – I started on this to make slots for mortises. But I am also using it to make tenons after discovering that the tenons I cut on my table saw are hopeless. My table saw blade is not perpendicular to the table top at all and I have been unable to adjust it. I just feel more comfortable with table mounted routers. In addition to M-T joints, I will try loose tenon joints.

motthunter – sorry, I don’t have anything built with this yet beyond test mortise and tenon joints I made. I also used this to cut groves and form beads for shaker style panel. Most of my usage so far has really been more of a study than work that can be shared :( Wife is anxious to see things that she can use in the house than all the tools, jigs and fixtures and I working furiously towards that goal :)

Yettiman and Grumpy, – this setup makes routing on the edge easy (at least for me). I also like the fact that bit adjustments are easy and the whole bit is visible. The X-Y tables are turning out to be really good at sliding. There are some things that this can’t do – route dados. The books I mentioned earlier claim a lot more but I haven’t reached that stage yet.

Thanks for looking and your comments.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 4319 days

#7 posted 04-07-2008 01:06 PM

Nice design and performance.

-- Jiri

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4389 days

#8 posted 04-07-2008 02:35 PM

Good job. I love these sorts of things. You can oil MDF. It soaks it up, but will really control the expansion. Just brush on heavy and wipe off after it soaks in. Repeat. Try to oil the inside also.

I modification I could see is to add a long threaded rod running vetically between the router and the curved route on the back. Attach this to the back and add a knob on the top. Now you can loosen the lock knob you have, and dial in the height you want before retightening. You can count the turns to get a precise movement.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View David's profile


211 posts in 4222 days

#9 posted 04-28-2008 03:03 AM

Nice Table. I like your slideing table setup and grooves. I like my verticle adjustment better but agree that a fine adjustment needs to be added so am modifying mine.
I saw a photo of one somewhere that a fella had added levers to move the table on either an X or Y axis; not sure about height adj. Worth looking into.
Nice job.

-- [email protected]

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4101 days

#10 posted 04-21-2009 09:49 PM

nice table

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View gjonesLR's profile


1 post in 3431 days

#11 posted 01-14-2011 12:42 PM

Praki hello. I am looking for a horizontal router plan. Yours looks great. If you still have the plan I would love a copy. Thanks

-- gjonesLR

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics