Router table cabinet help and ideas - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 45 Old 03-14-2017, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question Router table cabinet help and ideas

I have purchased a Kreg Router table Top and Fence and I am wanting to build a cabinet for it to sit on. Since I'm new to routers and router tables I wanted some ideas / suggestions to put this top on as I'm not very familiar with a lot of the needs or desires when working with a router table.

I will link to the items I have to better help everyone understand what I'm working with, but I do not have much space in my work area so really I need something about the same size as the top itself. I have a small table saw, miter saw, jigsaw, drill & impact drill, circular saw, and brad nailer. If anyone has plans for this top or for a 32in x 24in top feel free to share.

I have a full 4x8 sheet of 3/4 MDF ready for this project, just need to best understand how I should lay this stand out.

The main reason I'm asking is so I don't build something then realize too late I should have done something differently, IE overhanging edge for clamping.

I could also use some ideas for a miter gauge for use with this, Kreg wanted $100 for theirs and the one that came with my table saw is pure garbage.

Router Table Top
Router Table Fence
Bosch Router - 1617EVSPK

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post #2 of 45 Old 03-15-2017, 02:34 PM
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you can start out with the basics. what work height you like, I personally have mine higher than a table saw. I like an overhang so you can stand up close to it with out leaning. most are built to include: storage (maybe a drawer to house the router bits), electrical outlet/switch to control the router, dust collection, and a well built support structure for the new table top. some folks put locking casters on theirs for mobility.
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post #3 of 45 Old 03-15-2017, 03:46 PM
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I agree, start simple. Once you start using it and see what you need for it to do for the type of work you do and your work style, then you can build another one to better fit your needs. And since you are using MDF for this one, no big expense lost when you build another.


As for basic features, yes, build the cabinet so that you have at least 2" of overhang all around for clamping guides, etc. Then you can go as simple as a large box with some shelves for storage of routers and bits and an internal box for the running router, for sawdust collection. Or you could move on up and try your hand at building drawers, etc.


Depending on how tall you are, you can design the height to fit what is comfortable for you, otherwise I would make it the same as the tablesaw for an outfeed table.


I am in the process of building my own router table right now, to fit the Rockler top, so I understand all the thoughts you are having. I designed my setup to incorporate an adjustable height, so I can store it under a workbench, as well as being able to sit when doing many small operations. Haven't taken any photos yet, but have just been getting parts cut, will start documenting the assembly. And if it works like I hope, THEN I'll post it! Got the idea from a plan posted on Wood Magazine: http://www.woodmagazine.com/wood-rou...ompact-storage

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post #4 of 45 Old 03-15-2017, 04:39 PM
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I made mine too sit on a table, ends up almost chest high. Height works good for me, especially when doing big runs. Also made my top to flip up for easy access. Hope that helps.
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post #5 of 45 Old 03-15-2017, 07:40 PM
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Mine is nearly 39 inches high. Sure makes it nice on the back (I am 5'10"...or, at least, I used to be that height!)

My personal opinion is you don't need a miter gauge. Maybe others will chip in with their 2 cents worth. Just push your work along the fence.

Since the router spins round and round, it doesn't make any difference where the fence is positioned. I clamp mine on each end. Not special tracks needed.

If you are using a bit with a bearing on the end, you don't need a fence at all. Or you can use a straight edge (steel ruler) to line up your fence with the bearing to get more support as you pass the work piece passed the spinning cutter.

There are all sorts of videos on You Tube about how to use a router. Go take a look-see.

Good luck. Post some pics of your cabinet when you get it built. We like pics.
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post #6 of 45 Old 03-15-2017, 09:02 PM
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Router table cabinet help and ideas

All the searching and reading I did on routers and tables, I found Norm Abrams work station a really nice design. You can see him build it on YouTube.

I did something very basic with a cabinet base. I wanted room to work so kept the table big.

Router table cabinet help and ideas-img_1948.jpg

Router table cabinet help and ideas-img_2050.jpg


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post #7 of 45 Old 03-15-2017, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
you can start out with the basics. what work height you like, I personally have mine higher than a table saw. I like an overhang so you can stand up close to it with out leaning. most are built to include: storage (maybe a drawer to house the router bits), electrical outlet/switch to control the router, dust collection, and a well built support structure for the new table top. some folks put locking casters on theirs for mobility.
I'm 6ft so I think I should think about height since I will need to apply pressure from the top and side while routing and don't want my back hurting after routing for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodis View Post
As for basic features, yes, build the cabinet so that you have at least 2" of overhang all around for clamping guides, etc. Then you can go as simple as a large box with some shelves for storage of routers and bits and an internal box for the running router, for sawdust collection. Or you could move on up and try your hand at building drawers, etc.

Depending on how tall you are, you can design the height to fit what is comfortable for you, otherwise I would make it the same as the tablesaw for an outfeed table.

I am in the process of building my own router table right now, to fit the Rockler top, so I understand all the thoughts you are having. I designed my setup to incorporate an adjustable height, so I can store it under a workbench, as well as being able to sit when doing many small operations. Haven't taken any photos yet, but have just been getting parts cut, will start documenting the assembly. And if it works like I hope, THEN I'll post it! Got the idea from a plan posted on Wood Magazine: http://www.woodmagazine.com/wood-rou...ompact-storage
I built a mobile workbench with my small table saw at one end to act as an out feed table and a miter saw recess in the center on one side to accommodate longer material, so this will be for routing only. You mention drawers, it's funny how intimidating they can be starting out like I am. I specifically didn't want a bench top type of routing solution, I just want to roll it into its storage spot and have it out of the way.

I'll check out the link though, thank you.

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Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
Mine is nearly 39 inches high. Sure makes it nice on the back (I am 5'10"...or, at least, I used to be that height!)

My personal opinion is you don't need a miter gauge. Maybe others will chip in with their 2 cents worth. Good luck. Post some pics of your cabinet when you get it built. We like pics.
I wish I knew a good way to tell what height would be comfortable to work with, but I was thinking a minimum of 36in for the top to be at when finished (with or without wheels)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OutdoorSeeker View Post
All the searching and reading I did on routers and tables, I found Norm Abrams work station a really nice design. You can see him build it on YouTube.

I did something very basic with a cabinet base. I wanted room to work so kept the table big.
I love Norm's work, I watch a lot of This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop videos on YouTube trying to get an idea for how things might work best. My only concern with the table you pictured is that I would worry about the overhanging top sagging or breaking the wood over time.

Some of the ideas I've had overall for this, including this post.

Full size cabinet to stand and work at (not fond of benchtop tool working)
Will likely have locking caster wheels so it can roll out of the way when not in use.
I'd really like some drawers, but I'm not sure if my novice skills would produce a solid drawer or a square one lol
I think I would like the surrounding area of the router to be enclosed to minimize dust/debris and maybe think of some way to hook up my shop vac to it, not sure on that yet.
I will design for at the very least 1in overhang on all edges, maybe two.

I found a bunch of free plans for routing tables but the issue is that some are too simple, some are too complex and above my current skill level, or simply don't fit my size/need requirements. Google works great until you already have some base ideas in your head and go trying to find something that fits into that idea.

Thanks for the help, more feedback is always welcome.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

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post #8 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techsniffer View Post







I love Norm's work, I watch a lot of This Old House and The New Yankee Workshop videos on YouTube trying to get an idea for how things might work best. My only concern with the table you pictured is that I would worry about the overhanging top sagging or breaking the wood over time.







Thanks for the help, more feedback is always welcome.

I'm not finished with the table and plan to add support to the overhang. I agree that it would sag. Have plans to mount a shop vac under the router.

I'm a novice as well and get what your saying about making the table to be user friendly from the beginning.

I think you should build your drawers just like you imagine because there is no better way to learn. If something doesn't end up square, then who cares it's a shop bench. You can do it again and learn from your mistakes.

I had never used a router prior to building that table. Routing the plate into the top was the first time using a router. I had watched a video explaining how to use the plugs base and it's depth gauge prior to buying. That was very helpful as I don't read instructions and I probably would have been trying to make the cuts in one pass instead of several passes at lower depths each time.

And like MT said show us pictures later on because I like seeing how others make stuff. I like taking ideas from several builds and making one grand idea.

If you notice in MT's table, he uses a car jack. I think he is raising his whole table height up and down with it.

Good luck!




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post #9 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutdoorSeeker View Post

And like MT said show us pictures later on because I like seeing how others make stuff. I like taking ideas from several builds and making one grand idea.

If you notice in MT's table, he uses a car jack. I think he is raising his whole table height up and down with it.

Good luck!

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Yes. Raise it up for routing, lower it when working on other tasks.
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post #10 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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I found these plans which seem to be a variant of Norm's router table, I won't have to worry about the top / fence as I have those arriving today. If you look at the cut/parts list it calls for 2 sheets of 3/4 Birch plywood, since I already have 1 sheet of 3/4 MDF would it be ok to just get a second and use MDF for the build? I'm not experienced enough to know what the 'real' differences are between the two items, I am aware of how they are both made but I don't know what structural differences they have.

Creston Wood Router Table

And I got some inspiration from
at time index 49 minutes 0 seconds, installing 2 lid stays it will give me quick and easy access to my router to remove it from the table or to quickly change bits, if I'm correct I see a piano hinge which is plenty strong enough for the 45ish lbs of combined table/fence/router/base weight.

The only part I'm not sold on is the dust collection, not because I don't think it works, but more because I only have a single small shop vac and I'm not sure if I want to blow through a vac filter every time I route something.

The upside is that I do have a pocket hole jig and a case of screws for it, so I'm good there.

Please keep the feedback coming, my idea of what I want to do is coming together!
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post #11 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 12:36 PM
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I think the pros of mdf are it paints well.

The cons are screws don't hold very well. Mdf will deteriorate when it comes in contact with moisture.

Personally, I think plywood would be a better choice.
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post #12 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 12:48 PM
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I have found the miter gauge to be very useful - it really helps if you're routering thru a short pc - like tweaking a lap joint or tenon....

as for height - the adjustable design by (sorry, don't recall the user, but it is genius) is pretty much anything you could want. for a fixed height (my back creaks as well.....) stand erect, stick your forearm out parallel to the ground, measure bottom of elbow to floor, deduct 2" - that's an easy working height for me - the 2" is a soft number - could be a bit more or a bit less.

human bodies are not all the same - short legs long legs long torso stubby arms . . . . so some magic number for X inches of height is not the best guideline.
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post #13 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 07:19 PM
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I like the cabinet you have chosen. Here are a few things I like in a router cabinet:
1. Wire your on/off switch into a an outlet mounted on your table. This will allow you to plug-in your shop vac and every time the switch is turned on, it also turns on the shop vac.
Wire the cabinet up directly to a wall plug-in with an 8' cord and plug the router into the outlet inside the new cabinet.
2. Consider casters if you want to easily move the cabinet.
3. Make your overall height of the cabinet to match your table saw height.
4. The door to the router will need to be vented. The router needs air for cooling and the vacuum needs air flow to work well.
This will be a great addition to your shop.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #14 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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I think the pros of mdf are it paints well.

The cons are screws don't hold very well. Mdf will deteriorate when it comes in contact with moisture.

Personally, I think plywood would be a better choice.
Ok, so if I go with plywood, I will get 3/4in, but what 'type' would be suitable? I see things like birch, sande, RTD Sheathing Syp and a few more at the local HD. I don't care about looks I just want something thats going to be strong and stable, and since MDF is weaker to screws and with all the lateral movement/forces on a router table it makes sense to go with a stronger material, but some of those sheets are $50+ for a 4x8 sheet and I'm not trying to spend $200 in sheet goods.

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post #15 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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I like the cabinet you have chosen. Here are a few things I like in a router cabinet:
1. Wire your on/off switch into a an outlet mounted on your table. This will allow you to plug-in your shop vac and every time the switch is turned on, it also turns on the shop vac.
Wire the cabinet up directly to a wall plug-in with an 8' cord and plug the router into the outlet inside the new cabinet.
2. Consider casters if you want to easily move the cabinet.
3. Make your overall height of the cabinet to match your table saw height.
4. The door to the router will need to be vented. The router needs air for cooling and the vacuum needs air flow to work well.
This will be a great addition to your shop.
1. I bought a paddle switch and I will wire it up to an outlet, it wouldn't be hard to do as you suggest.
2. Casters are a part of my plan 100%
3. This really isn't necessary as I have plenty of out feed area for my table saw
4. Yeah I've seen a few videos that show the airflow system and how it works

Thanks for the feedback

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

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post #16 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 09:18 PM
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I built one very similar to the one in your video, but perhaps a little bit larger. I actually based my design on that same video. It's great having the drawers to organize bits, fixtures and router tools.
I picked the Jessem router lift and love it. I haven't made the 'final' fence yet, and I usually use a shopvac and cyclone for dust collection. It works okay, but I'm hoping that the new fence will solve most of the issues I see.

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post #17 of 45 Old 03-16-2017, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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I might need to re-think the table I chose to build, I started pricing out everything I would need and I'm running about $300 for basically a wooden box, which for that kind of money I can buy pre-made options with most/all of the same features to some degree.

I love the design, but really the cost is killing me right now.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

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post #18 of 45 Old 03-17-2017, 09:24 AM
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I have the Kreg bench top router table. I built a stand like MTStringer's but didn't make it adjustable. I used 2x4s and a sink cutout for the project. BTW, you can get sink cutouts from the local cabinet or countertop shop. Mine are free as they would only wind up in the dumpster, according to the owner.

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post #19 of 45 Old 03-17-2017, 09:29 AM
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So you don't have the funds, and you don't know what you want? Did you need a router table cabinet, or were you just excited to make something nice for your shop?

Maybe for now, you simply set the table on some sawhorses until you know what you really need.
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post #20 of 45 Old 03-17-2017, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
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I might need to re-think the table I chose to build, I started pricing out everything I would need and I'm running about $300 for basically a wooden box, which for that kind of money I can buy pre-made options with most/all of the same features to some degree.

I love the design, but really the cost is killing me right now.

I think everyone is doing what I do to myself, overthinking and the project grows out of hand... I often have to step back and start over.


To get something built so you can use your router table-top, use the sheet of MDF you have. Build a basic box, put casters on it, and start routing. The construction can be simple, use plenty of screws and glue, space screws 4"-5" apart down all sides of the box, fairly long coarse threads, and for this temporary box, plain drywall screws will do, maybe at least 2" long. The front of the cabinet can have a door cut in it, if you feel comfortable making plunge cuts with a circular saw or use a jig saw. Leave at least 3"-4" all the way around the front when cutting out the door, to keep the front side stable. Attached the hinges before you finish the corner cuts and the door is already centered. Then you can store items inside the box, or if you don't build a smaller box to go under the router for dust collection, then you can just vacuum out the bottom of the box as needed. Unless you plan on climbing on the box, MDF should be strong enough to get you started. Then as many said before, figure out how you want the next cabinet to be built, save your spare change, and get some good plywood.


And from my experience, in my area, the best plywood I can easily find locally is the Columbia Pure Bond from Home Depot. It is $50 for a sheet of 3/4", but pretty consistent. I have used the sande ply from Lowe's (more conveniently located for me) but their thin layers delaminate fairly easily (in my cases), warps easily, and the paper thin veneers pretty well force you to hand sand, if you want to give it a nice finish.

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