Quick & Cheap Router Table

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Project by Sam posted 12-11-2012 01:38 AM 7744 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Necessity, being the mother of all invention, and Christmas approaching fast, I had to get creative for a router table extension for my table saw. A few days and $20 later, I have a quick and cheap router table. Eventually I plan to build Mathias Wandel’s tilting router lift and a nice split router fence to complete the setup.

  • I measured and cut the melamine top, then epoxied and screwed two runners to the bottom to attach to the table saw.
  • Diagonal lines gave the the center of the table and I drilled a 2 1/4” hole for the router bit.
  • I traced the outline of my fixed router base and using a straight cut bit, routed a 3/16” deep recess into the bottom of the table. This was 1/16” less than the height of the base’s thickness.
  • I cut some spare pieces of wood and attached them to the table to clamp the base into place (the 1/16” difference in the base and table height made the blocks clamp the base naturally).
  • I removed the handles and made some blocks that attached to the base and secured the router base laterally.

I have yet to try it out, but it’s already a major upgrade from my $40 Skil benchtop router table.


-- -Sam

13 comments so far

View grub32's profile


215 posts in 4125 days

#1 posted 12-11-2012 01:48 AM

I would strongly suggestions mounting that to the top with the pre-threaded holes in the router base.

Just my two pennies!


-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4370 days

#2 posted 12-11-2012 03:35 AM

Looks good. Definitely a nice upgrade from what you had and saves some good space on the benchtop.

-- LAS,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20796 posts in 4752 days

#3 posted 12-11-2012 04:54 AM

That is what I intend to do to my old saw ;-)) Good job!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Mike's profile


409 posts in 3764 days

#4 posted 12-11-2012 08:26 AM

I did something very similar for my saw. I put two strips of aluminum 90 degree angle stock to allow the melamine to sit between the rails using the rails as supports. I then used recessed screws to hold the router base. Afterwards I realized there is a reason that the router insert plates are so thin. It allows for the router to sit higher up towards the work piece.

I recommend you put a piece of sacrificial board on your fence before using it as a guide fence.

Looks great and well done!

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View HorizontalMike's profile


7915 posts in 3990 days

#5 posted 12-11-2012 04:09 PM

Way to go! I should have gone this route as it would have saved me many $$$, instead I forked for the cast iron version. Very nice job!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3325 days

#6 posted 12-11-2012 08:16 PM

I used an insert for my router table in the R4512 but will be redoing it soon. One suggestion I have (that may be too late) is to mount the router as far back as possible. I find I need a lot more room than I have often times (especially for feather boards)


View Sam's profile


30 posts in 3432 days

#7 posted 12-11-2012 08:29 PM

Thank you all for the great comments, suggestions and replies.

Mike, yes, a sacrificial fence is on its way, along with split fence sections, t track and the ability to shim one side for edge jointing. :)

Lumberjoe, that’s a good point. I am in the process of building the tilting router lift and will most likely rebuild the table at that time too. I will have to remember this when I go to mount it.

-- -Sam

View ralbuck's profile


6743 posts in 3343 days

#8 posted 12-12-2012 12:06 AM

I have never seen a “commercial router table” that was as useful as a HOME-MADE one!

Iprefer a melmaline table for router work. I had an aluminum table and replaced it with a home made maelmanine one. The aluminum would leave marks on some of my projects.

I am sure you will be thrilled with your addition!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4764 days

#9 posted 12-12-2012 12:30 AM

Can you change your bits from the top , or do you need to remove the router from the base ?

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

View Sam's profile


30 posts in 3432 days

#10 posted 12-12-2012 01:18 AM

Dusty56: It’s possible to change the bits, but a little tight. I could route a larger hole to accomidate this if needed, but I doubt I will. I will probably couple the tilting router lift with an aftermarket insert and build it into this table top if I keep it. This really was a quick solution to an immediate need, but I tried not to do anything that would mess up my eventual goals for a router table.

-- -Sam

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4764 days

#11 posted 12-12-2012 03:38 AM

Thank you : )

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

View linjay's profile


115 posts in 3700 days

#12 posted 12-28-2012 04:53 AM

I’ll have to send this to my daughter. She claims you can only have any 2 of good, fast and cheap. You’ve proven her wrong. Good job.

-- It's easy when you know how - but that's the hard part. Ontario, Canada

View Sam's profile


30 posts in 3432 days

#13 posted 12-24-2014 03:58 PM

Just a quick update, two years later and the same setup is still going strong. No adjustments or repairs needed—everything held up fine and been stable. :-)

-- -Sam

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