Introducing My Router Table

The sound of the router running made me smile.  Tonight I attached the table, using a piano hinge, and installed the safety switch.  The table is now in working order.  Is it done?  Not yet.  I still need to design a device to hold up the top when I am changing or adjusting the router.  I have a few other small details which I may add.  I haven’t decided.  The important thing is that if I need have a router table, I now have one.

If one thinks they I am unbiased in my appraisal of the router table, they would be sorely misinformed.  I think it is the most beautiful router table ever.  I remember the week after I decided to take up woodworking.  I was visiting my parents and mom saw an ad for the Woodsmith store.  After a breakfast, which included eggs, an English muffin, and some turkey bacon, expertly combined to create a sandwich.  I programmed the address into my iphone.  The maps app got me to the store.

Walking into a place like the Woodsmith store, for a neophyte, was like a kid in a goat food store.  There were table saws, band saws, Japanese hand saws, and other things that were not saw at all.  All of them were shinny and called to me.  They said, “You have found your destiny.  Here in this place, you may trade legal tender for tools, and when you do, you will feel joy.”  It was a delight.

After wondering around for a bit I started to chat with one of the helpful people working.  I was told that investing in a router would be helpful in beginning to learn about woodworking.  He also showed me a very sexy Kreg router table.  For many months I lusted after this table, but there was still a part of me that thought I might like to build my own.  The Kreg table with the goodies I wanted is around $500.00. I spent around $100.00 on wood, $40.00 on the Rousseau 3509 Deluxe Router Base Plate,  $30.00 on the Shop Fox template, around $80.00 on various Rockler products, $40.00 on the safety switch and probably $20.00 on sand paper and other miscellaneous stuff.  So in the end, I have spent close to $300.00 building my table.

If I were to assign a value to my table, I think a reasonable number would be $11,237.15.  I love my router table.  I love it so much I can barely stand it.  I am going to enjoy building jigs to use on it.  I am going to enjoy using it.  The best part about the whole project is that I learned valuable lessons each step along the way.

Today I realized that using an awl to mark the spot where I would drill a pilot hole for the screws, makes it easier and saves time.  Before this project, I would have just tried to screw in the screws without the pilot holes.  Adding the awl step makes starting the pilot holes more accurate.  After I had connected the hinge to the underside of the table, flipped it over, and fastened it to the legs, I looked at the top.  There were several dents in the wood, which I had caused when I flipped it over.  Little imperfections can be found on this table, and I have grown to accept them, but these final blemishes were quite simply frustrating.

I considered sanding them out, but that would leave the table less flat.  I worked really hard to get it flat, and I wasn’t willing to tear everything apart to sand the entire top down.  Then, a tiny voice, perhaps the one who told me about the joy I would receive buying tools, said, “Try putting a few drops on the dents and maybe they will soak up the water and look a bit better.”  I read that this works somewhere, but until one tries it, it doesn’t really seem possible.  I moistened the dents and when I checked a little while later, the dents were completely gone.  Of course, I had raised the grain, so I grabbed some 220 grit and gave the area a quick touch up, and the blunder was gone.  Up until the very end my little router table kept teaching me.  I would write some more, but I think I want to go downstairs and hug my router table.

25 comments
Jeppedy
Jeppedy

You mention a ShopFox "template".  What is it and how do I use it on this project?

Brian Ford
Brian Ford

Bandsaw, huh? I've seen that suggestion on some other sites, and I have been thinking about it. I'm just getting started, and just about every set of plans I have looked at requires at least a table saw and a router. Maybe I can substitute the bandsaw? I haven't made anything yet, even a workbench. I was thinking of making that first and then the router table, thinking that maybe practice on shop projects would be a good idea. The only tools I have are a circular saw and a miter saw. I used the miter saw to install crown molding, and it looks great. My contractor was impressed. That gave me the confidence to take the plunge and stop watching Norm Abrams wishing I could do that! I also finally have a house and some money, but don't want to over do it. I was thinking table saw then bandsaw, but maybe I'll rethink.

Brian Ford
Brian Ford

Bandsaw, huh? I've seen that suggestion on some other sites, and I have been thinking about it. I'm just getting started, and just about every set of plans I have looked at requires at least a table saw and a router. Maybe I can substitute the bandsaw? I haven't made anything yet, even a workbench. I was thinking of making that first and then the router table, thinking that maybe practice on shop projects would be a good idea. The only tools I have are a circular saw and a miter saw. I used the miter saw to install crown molding, and it looks great. My contractor was impressed. That gave me the confidence to take the plunge and stop watching Norm Abrams wishing I could do that! I also finally have a house and some money, but don't want to over do it. I was thinking table saw then bandsaw, but maybe I'll rethink.

Brian Ford
Brian Ford

Hey Brian, thinking about making a router table myself. Don't have many tools yet, in fact I'm looking into table saws and routers at the moment. I'd like to make a router table and spare myself the expense of buying one. Stupid question, how do you adjust the fence? I couldn't really see from the pictures. I guess with a t Track?

Brian Ford
Brian Ford

Hey Brian, thinking about making a router table myself. Don't have many tools yet, in fact I'm looking into table saws and routers at the moment. I'd like to make a router table and spare myself the expense of buying one. Stupid question, how do you adjust the fence? I couldn't really see from the pictures. I guess with a t Track?

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Grover,

You are welcome. I quite like your site and the link share idea has led me to several other good sites too.

Heather,

I am sure that day will come. I know that I really enjoyed the experience of making it. I spent a lot of time just thinking about various details in my head, there were at least a dozen mistakes I avoided by plodding along in my progress.

Brian

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Grover,

You are welcome. I quite like your site and the link share idea has led me to several other good sites too.

Heather,

I am sure that day will come. I know that I really enjoyed the experience of making it. I spent a lot of time just thinking about various details in my head, there were at least a dozen mistakes I avoided by plodding along in my progress.

Brian

Heather
Heather

This looks fantastic!!! I'm dreaming of the day that I have the space and money for a router table!!! Enjoy it!!

Bob Easton
Bob Easton

CONGRATS Brian! Yes, it looks fabulous and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

For future dings. If a few drops of water don't work, take the nuclear route: Use a wet cloth and a steam iron. If that doesn't do it, it's time for a cookie and some Bondo.

Bob Easton
Bob Easton

CONGRATS Brian! Yes, it looks fabulous and I'm sure you will enjoy it.

For future dings. If a few drops of water don't work, take the nuclear route: Use a wet cloth and a steam iron. If that doesn't do it, it's time for a cookie and some Bondo.

Scott
Scott

Brian, I can well understand your love affair with the router table. It is gorgeous and should be a nice addition to your shop.

Have fun with your new tool.

Scott

Scott
Scott

Brian, I can well understand your love affair with the router table. It is gorgeous and should be a nice addition to your shop.

Have fun with your new tool.

Scott

OutPutter
OutPutter

Hey Brian, congratulations on the birth of your new baby. When will you be naming her/him? I have tried to understand that dust collector thing but can't so can you maybe take a picture of the innards so I can see it?

I know the frustration of knicking a project after putting the final sanding on it and the finish and then while attaching the hardware, the screwdriver slips and now I've got a scratch or I drill a hole for a hinge in the wrong place and a hole is left showing or a screw breaks off in the hole and now I have to drill it out and glue a scrap piece into the hole and sand it off and refinish the stupid thing and aaarrgggg..... oh, about that ding drop of water thing. I hope the wood had dried completely because if you have my luck, after I sand it flush again, it'll shrink back and leave a little crater. Ooops, sorry about that.

Beautiful project and blog.

Best,
Jim

OutPutter
OutPutter

Hey Brian, congratulations on the birth of your new baby. When will you be naming her/him? I have tried to understand that dust collector thing but can't so can you maybe take a picture of the innards so I can see it?

I know the frustration of knicking a project after putting the final sanding on it and the finish and then while attaching the hardware, the screwdriver slips and now I've got a scratch or I drill a hole for a hinge in the wrong place and a hole is left showing or a screw breaks off in the hole and now I have to drill it out and glue a scrap piece into the hole and sand it off and refinish the stupid thing and aaarrgggg..... oh, about that ding drop of water thing. I hope the wood had dried completely because if you have my luck, after I sand it flush again, it'll shrink back and leave a little crater. Ooops, sorry about that.

Beautiful project and blog.

Best,
Jim

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg moderator

@Jeppedy I'm so very sorry. I'm afraid I don't remember. It's been years since I did this project and I've been away from woodworking for a while.

The blog about woodworking led to me writing a few mystery novels, then I added some other books, and yesterday I just released my 7th novel.

I've been all about writing and not woodworking for a couple of years.

I'm sorry I don't remember.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Brian,

Yes, there are two t-tracks. I will look and see if I can find a post with a better picture.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

Brian,

Yes, there are two t-tracks. I will look and see if I can find a post with a better picture.

Brian Ford
Brian Ford

Hey Brian, thanks for the extra photos. Just went to the Rockler website and found the hardware I need. I think I can make the entire router table for about 1/4 of what it would cost me to buy one.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

As for buying a table saw. A few people suggested I consider going with a bandsaw first, and after much research and looking around, I decided to take their advice. I love it. Much safer, and incredibly flexible. I have been able to figure out how to do everything I want, between my router table and my band saw, which I have named Jeff.

Brian Ford
Brian Ford

Hey Brian, thanks for the extra photos. Just went to the Rockler website and found the hardware I need. I think I can make the entire router table for about 1/4 of what it would cost me to buy one.

Brian Meeks
Brian Meeks

As for buying a table saw. A few people suggested I consider going with a bandsaw first, and after much research and looking around, I decided to take their advice. I love it. Much safer, and incredibly flexible. I have been able to figure out how to do everything I want, between my router table and my band saw, which I have named Jeff.

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