Router table and lift

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Project by Douger posted 04-09-2013 07:18 PM 7410 views 27 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve only had one router for years, and I have grown weary of moving it back and forth between the makeshift router table clamped to a Workmate and the plunge base. So I snapped up a good deal on a basic Porter-Cable router at the Wood Show this winter, with the intention of building a new router table. Then I decided a router lift would be nice, too. So I just finished (more or less) my new router table, and a router lift. The lift was built from Matthias Wandel’s tilting router lift plans (which are really quite good, by the way) available at The table is based on a design by Rudolf Baumeller, published on Matthias’ site (

The frame for the table was made from construction-grade pine (2×4s milled to about 1-7/16” square stock); the sides and back (not visible in the photos) are 5mm underlayment left over from a remodeling project; the drawers are cobbled together from various scraps of plywood (and a bit of OSB here and there) and 5mm underlayment for the bottoms; the table top is cut from a piece of kitchen countertop left over from a kitchen remodeling project many years ago. The router lift and fence are made from 3/4” birch plywood, solid birch and maple scraps left over from various projects. About the only thing I bought new for this project was the bearings and some of the hardware for the router lift.

The router lift works quite well, even though it was my first attempt at making wooden gears (with beveled teeth, even), and I didn’t do a great job—a testament to a fine design by Matthias.

I still need to rig up a switch and deal with dust collection, but aside from that, this project is pretty much done, and it cost me only $14 for the router lift plans, a few dollars for some hardware, and a fair amount time in the shop, which was a lot of fun. (Oh, and about $100 for the router :-)

—Doug in Kansas

-- Doug, Kansas,

19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4657 days

#1 posted 04-09-2013 08:30 PM

View SirGareth's profile


133 posts in 3280 days

#2 posted 04-09-2013 08:32 PM

Very nice, and a great price! ;-) Are you going to enclose the front of the router, or leave it open?

-- Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward. - Tim, Southern California

View Douger's profile


74 posts in 3766 days

#3 posted 04-09-2013 08:49 PM

@SirGareth: I haven’t decided whether to close up the front, but I’m thinking about it. Sort of depends on what I end up doing about dust collection—and that might be a while yet, because my current dust collector is a broom and a dustpan :-)

—Doug in Kansas

-- Doug, Kansas,

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8039 posts in 4433 days

#4 posted 04-09-2013 09:18 PM

Nice job on the router table and lift! It looks Great! I would love to see a pic whit the drawers open.

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

View nakedjoinery's profile


117 posts in 3038 days

#5 posted 04-09-2013 09:24 PM

Great build, I need to buy some of his plans. I tried the gear too and it obviously takes practice cause mine was horrible. I’d leave that front open as it’s a testament to a great build and really shows off a cool project that any buddy is sure to be jealous of.

-- mike c

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3155 days

#6 posted 04-09-2013 10:33 PM

Nicely done. It’s on my build list.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View gsimon's profile


1327 posts in 3193 days

#7 posted 04-10-2013 12:26 AM

very cool – nice job

-- Greg Simon

View Tim Christensen's profile

Tim Christensen

67 posts in 3538 days

#8 posted 04-10-2013 01:32 AM

Really cool table! I am thinking about building the same lift, one question for you, where did you get the bearings? I haven’t looked to hard yet, but I didn’t see them at Lowes.

-- Tim C., Sgt. Bluff, Iowa.

View Douger's profile


74 posts in 3766 days

#9 posted 04-10-2013 02:14 AM

@timtimc: The bearings Matthias recommends are from inline roller skates—I didn’t have an old pair of those lying around. I checked at my local Ace Hardware and they wanted about $12 each, and that wasn’t going to happen. I looked online, and found some for a lot less, but then I remembered a skateboard/skate shop that we have in our town, so I stopped by and bought a little tube containing 8 bearings for about $11. The dimensions are 8mm x 22mm x 7mm. These are easy to find on the ‘net—check Amazon.

-- Doug, Kansas,

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2974 days

#10 posted 04-10-2013 03:25 AM

Man I wish I could find a counter top like that. I’ve got a contractor neighbor and he says they trash every counter top when they replace them. I asked if I could come by and get one before they trash it and he said – nope. The mere suggestion of me getting one was out of the question. And he’s a nice neighbor, I don’t get it.

Anyway, fantastic table. I’ve been thinking about that lift myself.

View Douger's profile


74 posts in 3766 days

#11 posted 04-10-2013 03:33 AM

@ColonelTravis: When we replaced our kitchen countertops about 15-20 years ago, I had planned to build a small free-standing cabinet that would match them. I can’t really recall whether this was an extra piece or if I actually ordered this piece, but needless to say, that cabinet never got made, but I hung onto the countertop all those years in hopes of using it someday. Now I’m glad I was such a packrat :-)

I asked one of the associates at my local Home Depot about the possibility of getting some countertop sink cut-outs, but he said they do that cutting elsewhere, and never had scraps like that available. I’m still thinking maybe I know someone in the remodeling business who might help me find stuff like that from time to time.

—Doug in Kansas

-- Doug, Kansas,

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8039 posts in 4433 days

#12 posted 04-10-2013 03:46 AM

Maybe a Craigslist search in your area for some old counter tops might work.

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

View Ken90712's profile


17996 posts in 4269 days

#13 posted 04-10-2013 08:58 AM

This is really nice… great job!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View smitdog's profile


470 posts in 3185 days

#14 posted 04-10-2013 01:17 PM

Great build! Once I get a router this is going to be a definite build for me.

A good source for counter top is if you have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore near you. They always have 3 foot long pieces at our local one (some still have the Lowe’s sticker on them) for $4 per linear foot. I scored a couple nice pieces $12 each, used one for a bathroom vanity top and the other is waiting for a nice project… hmmm… time for a router maybe??

BTW I love Matthias’ site, having been schooled in mechanical engineering we always dealt with metal but wood is so much cheaper to fabricate with and you can make some great machines if you put your mind to it!

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View Willdoc's profile


32 posts in 3134 days

#15 posted 04-10-2013 03:05 PM

I can recommend the dust router for dust collection. I think there is a positive review of it here on lumberjocks as well….... here it is.

-- I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them ** Thomas Jefferson

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