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I wanted to build a horizontal router table, and I found a bunch of different plans with all kinds of vertical adjustment mechanisms, but I wasn't thrilled with any of them. Then I came across a commercial table from MLCS that used a handwheel directly above the router to slide a square router plate up and down, and decided I liked that solution.

Unfortunately (in my opinion), most commercial and shop-built horizontal tables suffer from one design flaw: the four lock knobs used to secure the router plate at the correct setting.
  • Four knobs to lock it down? Four?
  • If they stick out the front where you can get to them, they could potentially be in the way of an odd-size/shape workpiece
  • Seems like a pain to get to the two below the table

I wanted to lock my height with a single knob, which I did by putting a jam knob on the adjustment screw. Unfortunately, this led to another issue: getting the baseplate flush with the fence and keeping it there. Turns out, the four lock knobs serve this secondary purpose, too. I dealt with this problem by building a carriage that rides on sliding dovetails (some of my friends may recognize a trend here). If built carefully, the dovetails can be very tight and still slide smoothly and easily when waxed. I purposefully left a gap between the carriage and the router base, then used screws through the base and jack-screws through the carriage to adjust the baseplate to perfect alignment with the fence. You can kind-of see the jack-screws in the third picture.

Since I don't have to access lock knobs under the table, I was able to make a channel for dust collection directly under the cutting area. This does a great job of clearing the debris. You can see the wind-tunnel in the fourth picture.

The adjustment screw is 3/8"-16. After adjusting the wrong direction several times, I labeled the hand-wheel. It's pretty bad when you have to leave yourself notes about which way is up!

The cross-member can be adjusted up and down, but I never move it. Probably wouldn't do that again.

I'm thinking about building a mortising attachment for it, but that's not very high on my list right now.

Materials are PB Melamine, Baltic Birch ply and soft maple, as well as various hardware.

If you're planning to build one of these, check out this horizontal router table for more ideas.

--- EDIT 02/02/2012---
I just wanted to add a couple of points about safety with a horizontal router:
1) The router bit should be below or in the workpiece, not above it
2) The workpiece is fed from left to right - the opposite direction from a standard router table

Gallery

Comments

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18,411 Posts
Nice job! Looks to be as "relatively" simple as it could be. That just means you did a GREAT job engineering it. I'm sure you're going to enjoy using this machine.
 

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This thing looks pretty good. Very well done and i think it does a great job for a long time.
Thank you very much for sharing, this gives me new inspiration for maybe a future project!
 

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49 Posts
nice build, ive got notes on several machines and most of my jigs look like graffite on a railway car
 

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47 Posts
The finished result looks great! I need to queue this one up in my list of things to do…
 

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19,715 Posts
Wow this is really nice ,this should serve you well for a very long time.
 

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Well done, should serve you well for a long time!
 

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moment comes when I am too ready to make horizontal rasspolozhenie ..
thanks for the reminder!
good job!
 

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Peter,

We really like your idea with the sliding dovetails. We never seem to route anything thicker than 2" on our horizontal router table so the knobs don't get in the way. I didn't bother putting the knobs on the bottom since the acrylic is held in place by the table.

Thanks for sharing. If I ever make another one, I'll be sure to incorporate your sliding dovetails!

L/W
 

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Nice work! And billy, you win the 'random post of the day award', haha.
 

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lightweightladylefty mentioned and linked to a similar table that she built.

If you're looking for ideas for your own table, you should check out her project as well!
 

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That is really cool, nice work. Kinda reminds me of this guy I saw on u-tube, he invented this thing called the panto-router. you should check this thing out, he's got a router on it's side but it moves all over the place pretty wild.
 

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Sir Peter Oxley,

I am looking about a router table that can help me very much and I Find your Horizontal router table on the internet on The LunberJocks Forum.

I am living on the other side of the globe I am retired and I am working for my family only for my pleasure and burning time. I have a very small shop, Workbench, small 3 axis cnc router table builds DIY, Makita Medium band saw, A Metabo table thickness thinner machine, miter saw 12 inches, Bosch table saw 10", routers Makita, Bosch and DeWalt, trimmers (I like Routers).

I want to build a Router Table and when I see your article in Lunberjocks forum I was very impressed and It is exactly what I need, more important than a Vetical Router Table (Take less Place).

Can I use the Bosch 1617 set router for that I have not so much choice in my country. Most of the time I bought from Rockler, MLCS, INCRA Workcraft etc. Although the price of shipping cost.

I want to build a Router Table and when I see your article in Lunberjocks forum I was very impressed and It is exactly what I need, more important than a Vetical Router Table (Take less Place).

Can I use the Bosch 1617 set router for that I have not so much choice in my country. Most of the time I bought from Rockler, MLCS, INCRA etc. Although the price of shipping cost

Is there a possibility to buy the Horizontal Router Table plans you make? I will be appreciated that very much.

Sorry for my poor English languish.

Yosi
[email protected] or [email protected]
 

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Yosi - Sounds like you're putting together a pretty nice shop! I would imagine you could use just about any router in a table like this. You might have to make some minor changes to the carriage to accomodate your router.

A word of warning: a horizontal router does some things really well - better than a vertical router - but there are some things that a horizontal router isn't good at, and even some things that you can't do at all with a horizontal router. I love this thing, but if I could only have one router table, it would be a vertical router.

I'm sorry, I don't have plans for this table. I've been meaning to put some plans together to share, but just haven't had the time. If I do get some plans drawn up, I'll let you know.
 

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Well, Peter,old friend, I came back to LJ today and found mention of this. Pretty darn nifty. Just built myself a new work bench. The other went with the machinery. Had to build a new kitchen table, it went with Carleen. We got a divorce. Well, all the furniture went with Carleen. It's OK, I got the shop. I bought the house in Jordan Valley so am now home part of the year. Maybe I'll get to Emmett this winter.
 
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