"Built In" Router Table with under table dust collection

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Project by Marv88 posted 09-16-2013 06:50 AM 5057 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally took some time over the long weekend to start my new router table. I do a lot of template work as well as other router table tasks daily so having multiple tables is nice however I decided to consolidate 3 router tables (Jessem lift with PC 7518, Rockler table with PC 890, shop made portable table with Bosch Colt palm router) into 1 very flexible router table to save some room. To quickly change between tasks I am using 3 PC 890 motors in the Porter Cable base with above table locking/unlocking/height adjustment capabilities (forgot to drill the holes for that so I’ll have to take it apart again!) along with “quick change” inserts I made from UHMW plastic. One motor will have the spiral flush trim bit for template work, one will have a 1/8” roundover bit that I use almost daily and the 3rd will be used for other bits when needed so I don’t have to remove the 1/8” or spiral bit. Also, you’ll notice there is no miter gauge slot as in over 20 years of woodworking I have yet to find a use for it other than holding feather boards ( I use “Board Buddies” or a long feather board clamped to the front of the table and I use a sled for narrow end grain work). In my next installment (hopefully next weekend) I will show the modified Jessem stand along with the under table dust collection set up. My main goals were..

1. solid/flat table with direct router mounting (I originally planned to use 3 separate plates with routers attached for quick change but this plan worked out better and I didn’t have to buy 3 plates!)

2. quick/easy change of motors/inserts for different bits/tasks

3. easily converted fence for different tasks

4, excellent dust collection above and below the table

5. use materials I already had

With these goals in mind I started by laminating 2 pieces of 12mm multi ply birch together and stacked about 250 lbs of MDF on top to keep it flat. After curing over night I covered the top with some white laminate and treated the edge with 1” plastic T molding.

I made a template from 3/4” MDF sized to the removable insert and drilled a hole a bit larger than the biggest bit I would use. I centered it on the top using a jig made of 1/2” MDF clamped to the table so I could easily remove the block for the next step and enlarged the pilot hole with a template bit. After removing the block from the jig I routed the square recess a little deeper than the thickness of the insert leaving about 3/16” of material on the bottom for leveling screw platforms.

I made several different size hole inserts from 3/4” UHMW plastic with a 1 3/8” counter bore to clear the collett and tapped 1/4”-20 threads directly into the blocks for 1/4” leveling set screws (took the idea from how table saw inserts are made)

With the PC 890 motor/base installed you can see that even with a 1” thick top the bit comes up high enough to change from the top however since I’ll be switching motors more than changing bits I don’t think this feature will find much use.

This is the basic fence base that will be used for free hand template work (I will be adding a plexi guard) and I plan to drill mounting holes so I can quickly install the Peach Tree Router Table Uni-T fence sections as seen below when needed.
With the slots in the fence and 2 sets of holes drilled for the cam clamp bolts I have about 7” of travel from the center of the bit which is more than enough for what I do. Also, the 4” hole seen inside the fence opening leads to the under table dust collection and my next installment will show more detail on that.

Stay tuned for the dust collection and Jessem stand modifications coming next week if all goes well!

Spent a little time this evening pretty much finishing everything up….

The bit guard from Hartville Tool came with knobs and threaded inserts making for a simple install and it can easily be swapped over to the Uni-T fence when needed.

For the under table dust collection I am using a 4×4x2 1/2” Y along with a Porter cable GripVac router base that has through the handle dust collection. The suction is not that great being choked down to 1” at the port however the plastic shield captures dust under the bit so it easily gets pulled out making this setup nearly dust free.

Had a change in plans and decided to mount this table in the bench where the Rockler table was instead of using the Jessem stand (I re-purposed the stand to the planer so I could easier park it between my table saw and dust collector) however I’m not sure I like the change in switch location so I may move that back under the table. BTW, this used to be part of my radial saw/miter station however I ditched both of those as well and cut the cabinets down a few inches when I originally added the Rockler table.

All in all everything worked out pretty well however I may end up getting a cast iron router table extension for the table saw and put the lift there.

-- "Post count on a forum does not denote level of knowldege, skill nor experience"

8 comments so far



197 posts in 3222 days

#1 posted 09-16-2013 09:23 AM

Great router table with a rare under the table dust extraction. I am in the process of building a router table for my shop and your idea is very timely. Thanks for sharing.


View waho6o9's profile


8947 posts in 3464 days

#2 posted 09-17-2013 03:21 AM

Clean work Marv!

View Marv88's profile


95 posts in 2786 days

#3 posted 09-18-2013 04:46 AM

Thanks guys!

-- "Post count on a forum does not denote level of knowldege, skill nor experience"

View prospector45's profile


150 posts in 2617 days

#4 posted 09-19-2013 12:49 AM

This is very carefully designed. The plan is one that should be considered when thinking of a router table.
If I understand the plan, you mounted the router base on the bottom of the glued up boards. The bit would have to extend beyond the base by an 1” before the bit starts to cut wood. Some bits do not provide that much cutting length.
I really like your plan of not using plates, plates never seem to be completely smooth like the top you just fabricated. Very nice.

View Marv88's profile


95 posts in 2786 days

#5 posted 09-19-2013 04:17 AM

Thanks prospector45! One of the main reasons I chose to use the PC 890 base/motors was that the collet extends nearly an inch past the bottom of the base so I don’t lose any cutting length even with the bit fully inserted and I am also able to change bits from above the table!

-- "Post count on a forum does not denote level of knowldege, skill nor experience"

View Jacob C. Heffelfinger's profile

Jacob C. Heffelfinger

32 posts in 2620 days

#6 posted 09-30-2013 03:59 PM

This is absolutely beautiful work and I like how you did the dust collection so you could use a larger 4” hose rather than the usual 2.5” hose.

-- ~Jake

View Marv88's profile


95 posts in 2786 days

#7 posted 09-30-2013 05:09 PM

Thanks Jake and you are welcome to stop by anytime to check it out!

-- "Post count on a forum does not denote level of knowldege, skill nor experience"

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 4984 days

#8 posted 09-30-2013 05:28 PM

Great build.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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