Router Table Insert Cutout: Rabbet or Straight w/ levelers?

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Forum topic by Alan S posted 09-01-2010 05:42 PM 3117 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Alan S

181 posts in 3828 days

09-01-2010 05:42 PM

Up until recently, I thought the only way to cut for a router table insert was by making a rabbeted shelf that the insert sits on. The depth of the rabbet had to be exactly the thickness of your router plate. Recently, I saw someone route out a straight-through hole the exact dimensions of the insert. They then attached some levelers to the bottom of the table that stuck up through the cutout and could be adjusted to correctly position the insert vertically.

How have you guys made your router tables? Do these levelers work and hold up over time? Thanks!


5 replies so far

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3671 days

#1 posted 09-01-2010 05:51 PM

Yes, very well. Leave a gap in the very corner behind your levelers though so it can’t get filled up with sawdust.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4159 days

#2 posted 09-01-2010 05:53 PM

if you can easily attach brackets under the table top and put levers – I think it’s a MUCH easier way about it.

I actually routed a rabbet on my table – because the material I was using was phenolic and I didn’t want to deal with gluing anything to it. however, I still routed the rabbet lower and AM using leveling feet to perfectly align the insert with the top of the table.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3585 days

#3 posted 09-01-2010 05:56 PM

I’m with Alan. I have made a router table and I cut the insert with a rabbet. Recently, I was watching an episode of the WoodSmith Shop and they cut the insert straight through and used a lever system in the corners. When I make my next router top (if ever) that’s what I will do. It looks much easier.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6662 posts in 3705 days

#4 posted 09-01-2010 06:45 PM

Greetings Alan,

I’ve built about 4 router tables, and I’ve did it both ways. Lay the plate down on the top where you want to mount it,draw the outline of the plate, then move in about 1/2” all the way around, and cut a rabbit the depth of your plate. You can use a straight bit, or a spiral bit to get the cutout. But…. the easiest way I found is to lay your plate where you want it, draw the plate outline, and cut the hole all the way through… Then… make some 3/4x

3/4” cleats (2 short ones for the ends, 2 long ones for the sides), measure the thickness of the plate, and glue and screw the cleats in. Drill a hole in the corners of each cleat to fit your leveling screws (all router plates come with these), then when you put the plate in you can make the final adjustments for the plate to be level with the top…. piece of cake…. always more than one way to skin the old cat…...

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View jussdandy's profile


157 posts in 3718 days

#5 posted 09-02-2010 01:26 AM

having done both and both work well, I really like the inserts, the ones im using now are kregs, they sell for about 15 bucks, I would use again.

-- Randy I have the right to remain silent, just not the ability ; )

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