New Router Table with dust router, Incra, and JessEm Lift

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Project by Willdoc posted 04-28-2013 01:27 AM 19243 views 20 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The fence is a 17” Incra with the wonder fence. Dust collection is with the Dust Router product which uses a flexible cup around the base of the collet. A T split sends a hose up to the fence, and another inside the case to the flexible cup surrounding the collet. With this combination, I run essentially dust free. I might get a teeny bit doing deep dados or the like. I’ll need to come up with a more pleasing plan for the tubing.
The router, a 3hp porter cable, is attached to a JessEm Mast-R-Lift II which I like very much. No slop. Above the table changes. I also use a new wrench-less collet which I like very much.
The insert plate sits in a top made of two layers of MDF and a bottom support of 3/4 birch plywood. The cutout area is reinforced with additional supports to prevent sagging. (I still need to put a coat of poly on the top edging.) The top is covered with a piece of laminate I got from home depot for 20 bucks, because a small part of the full sheet was cracked. Some incra miter channel will go in front of the plate soon.
The case is made out of birch plywood stained with a mahogany, as is the poplar face frame. The drawer fronts are poplar. Everything is covered in 3 coats of satin poly. The top two drawers are for bit storage (117 half and quarter inch bits per tray.) No, I don’t have that many. The other two drawers on the top half are on wood runners. The bottom three drawers are on full extension slides.
I had the big wheels, so used them. They lock well with no wiggle, so things work fairly well. It certainly is easily mobile.

-- 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

17 comments so far

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 4425 days

#1 posted 04-28-2013 03:00 AM

That is a router table to be proud of for sure! Really dresses the shop up I bet ! Nice work.

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View Bill_N's profile


238 posts in 3729 days

#2 posted 04-28-2013 03:53 AM

Talk about Over doing it. I love it.
If I had room this would be the way to go

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View hoss12992's profile


4181 posts in 3343 days

#3 posted 04-28-2013 05:20 AM

Awesome job!!

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View JL7's profile


8793 posts in 4415 days

#4 posted 04-28-2013 12:21 PM

Really nice….you got all the details down…enjoy it…

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 4264 days

#5 posted 04-28-2013 01:30 PM

Sweet table.
If you don’t mind the advise, take the door off the router compartment and let that router breathe. One of the biggest mistakes that hundreds do all the time is enclose that router; not good. There won’t be much chips falling down there anyway and what does will get picked up by the dust collection, sort of. I use a routers daily and hardly any chips fall; they stay on top of the table where the action is. Air is a good thing.

I posted a blog on this very thing :

Nice design. Thanks for posting.

-- " 'woodworker''s a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View mbs's profile


1720 posts in 4390 days

#6 posted 04-28-2013 01:53 PM

Very nice cabinet and setup. I need to make a cabinet similar to yours.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View Willdoc's profile


32 posts in 3505 days

#7 posted 04-28-2013 01:58 PM

Woodworkerscott—you’re right if I was just letting the chips drop down the hole, pulled by whatever suction / airflow a 2” tube can pull from the box. Air in = air out, and all that.
However, as noted in the write up—I’m using the dust router product. This device runs the air tube up to a flexible cup around the collet and pulls its air directly from the area around the spinning bit. The only time I need to open the door in this configuration is when I need to use a tight zero clearance insert, which is almost never. A zero clearance, with the bit raised high enough to push the dust router collection cup up against the insert plate, would indeed limit the air flow. Opening the door in this case helps some, but not dramatically, due to the necessarily small gaps around the dust router collection cup.
I’ve read about the air flow issue several times on line or in wood working magazines. Definitely good advice in situations where a dust router device is not used.

-- 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

View glen's profile


175 posts in 4003 days

#8 posted 04-28-2013 02:43 PM

Great looking table – it’s definitely beefy in all it’s parts! I am planning on making a table myself, and I have the same lift. How much clearance did you leave below the router and lift (ie. what’s the height of the router component)? I always see router tables with these huge compartments for the router, with 6+ inches of space below the router, and it seems like wasted space. I might be missing something about airflow requirements, but I was thinking on leaving my router compartment open anyways. Thoughts?

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12581 posts in 4879 days

#9 posted 04-28-2013 03:43 PM

Very nice cabinet and RT.
Jessem makes a great lift. Pricey, but bomb proof and always accurate.
Mine is holding a PC 7518 under a Jointech table and fence. The whole thing is mated to my Shopsmith and acts as saw table extension. Consequently, the router hangs in the air with no cabinet. The Jointech fence is hollow and a shop vac is connected at the out feed end of the fence. Works very well.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 3528 days

#10 posted 04-28-2013 05:20 PM

Great job on this table. Nothing more exciting than a dust free router!

-- Jay -

View NiteWalker's profile


2743 posts in 4027 days

#11 posted 04-28-2013 10:24 PM

Amazing job.
I’m not a fan of the incra system as it takes up to much space IMHO.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View Willdoc's profile


32 posts in 3505 days

#12 posted 04-28-2013 10:26 PM

Glen – I’ve got a Porter Cable 75182. There’s a bit over 13 inches from the undersurface of the plate to the lowest point of the hanging router when the router is lowered as far as it will go. I’ve got about 2 inches below that to the floor of the router cabinet. I suppose I could have designed another drawer in there. If I was starting the process on sketch up, knowing this information, I probably would adjust things a bit to maximize my storage space. Also, since my cabinet is so deep, because you essentially have to mount the incra along the longest dimension, I could have put a divider up just forward of the router, and put a stack of small drawers where the current hinged door is.
Actually, I could still do that… and might.
Overall, I think you’re fine to make the router compartment as small as you like, so long as it can hold the lift and router throughout its range of movement. If you use the dust router dust collection device, you don’t have to worry about air intake other than that there is sufficient inflow just above the collet. If however, you’re going to slope the router compartment floor down to a dust collection opening, you’ll just need to be sure you have sufficient air intake. Most designs I’ve seen simply gap the doors by a few inches on bottom or top or both.
Hope that helps!

-- 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

View Willdoc's profile


32 posts in 3505 days

#13 posted 04-28-2013 10:38 PM

NiteWalker. I know what you mean. But boy oh boy that easy to achieve 1/32 of an inch spot on repeatability is very nice. The ability to sneak up on cuts or fits by 0.001 with no tap tap tapping is nice too. As always though, there are a bunch of ways to accomplish these things. I certainly grumped to my self about the distance required for the mounting.
I’ve found that the digital scales just aren’t precise enough to do repeatable joinery.
However, I think that a regular fence with a micro-adjusting device would be just fine. Set up blocks and other rules or tools can work very efficiently as well.
The original INCRA jig did a very nice job and was compact. I think a version of that with a bit larger range would have been very useful. I think Blue Collar Woodworking did put a router table together, quite compact, using this sort of device….. I think.

-- 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

View Margerydb1's profile


74 posts in 3928 days

#14 posted 05-04-2013 05:56 PM

love it. Thank you for sharing

-- Margery

View VirtualGent's profile


1 post in 2900 days

#15 posted 06-11-2014 04:13 AM

Where can we see the plans for this table. I like the looks and functionality of the Incra system. Great job on putting it all together in an attractive package.

-- Virtual_Gent

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