Benchtop Router Table


Immortan D
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I'm in the process of converting my full size router table into a benchtop one. Still in the planning stage though, so suggestions are more than welcome.

The reason for the conversion is that the big table never gets used. It requires a lot of assembly steps before being able to use it, including but not limited to retrieving the table from storage, setting up the Incra fence, etc.

Here's an old video of my table:

It remains pretty much unchanged, I only added a t-track in front of the router plate.

The plan is to remove material from all four sides, reducing its size by a considerable amount, get rid of the Incra Positioner, install t-tracks for a fence and make a new fence. I'm also considering riding the Incra fence on the new tracks, without resorting to the positioner. I think that might work and I will benefit from the built-in dust collection of the fence and all the accessories I already own. The problem is the length of the Incra fence, I will get a lot of overhanging and that will pose yet another storage inconvenience...

The router plate will remain unchanged. I will make a box for the top to stand on.

 

 

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On 12/6/2021 at 9:37 AM, Immortan D said:

The problem is the length of the Incra fence,

It being aluminum excursion it should be easy enough to cut some off both ends, even if you had to do it with a hack saw with a new blade it shouldn't take to much effort.  Or maybe you could get a local machine shop to take some of both ends for you. 

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On 12/6/2021 at 2:51 PM, Chet said:

It being aluminum excursion it should be easy enough to cut some off both ends, even if you had to do it with a hack saw with a new blade it shouldn't take to much effort.  Or maybe you could get a local machine shop to take some of both ends for you. 

I don't think I'm ready to make that decision, but if it comes to that I'd probably use my bandsaw. Perhaps selling the whole thing and getting a new fence for half the price would be a better choice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was ready to start with this project but noticed that my router table top is not flat anymore. I blame the MDF, the weather and especially the woodworker, who didn't laminate both sides with melamine, just the top. I put some weight on it and will wait a couple of days, but I know it's no go. I guess I will have to make the new table from scratch.

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The only fiber material I allow in my shop is the 1/8" hardboard stuff. I'll gladly get baltic birch and not ever have to deal with MDF or PB dust ever again. It could be the best material in the world but the dust and mess it make would still prevent me from using it.

MDF used to have some cost savings but at $60 a sheet it's more expensive than BB ply now. I'll gladly pay less and get the weight savings from BB ply.

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At the present time I do not do it as a living, it is now a hobby. I will always continue to use MDF, PB, masonite and any other material if the project calls for. 

As I believe Chestnut said one time, I bought a Domino because I don't always have time. I sometimes use PB, MDF, masonite, etc because I don't alway have money for the most expensive sheet goods. You can question the materials used, but you won't question the skill and joinery of its build..

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I used two layers of 3/4" Baltic birch laminated together and covered with Formica top and bottom. I also added a couple of stretchers, one in each side of the cutout for the lift. Even with the weight of a Milwaukee 3 ho router and the router lift, it hasn't sagged. However, given my choice, I would have a cast iron table. Sawstop has an extension table for under $300 that may find its way into my shop soon.

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