Bob's Free Woodworking Plans

How to Build a Benchtop Router Table

Basic Benchtop Router Table

These plans: Benchtop Router Table

Basic Benchtop Router Table

Free Router Table Fence Plans

Introduction

All woodworkers know that a router is one of the most important tools in shop. But when we mount our router in a good router table, the versatility of this tool increases dramatically.

Using a router without a router table is much like using a hand held electric saw instead of a table saw. Both a table saw and a router table are indespensible for those that are serious about woodworking.

This router table surface features a strip of Miter Gauge track to enable you to use a miter gauge. You can also mount a feather board on it to ensure your work piece remains flush against the fence.

Our Router Table Plans are divided into four sections.

First are images of parts you will need to make.

Next are the Assembly Instructions. Looking through the assembly process first will give you a good picture of what is involved in building this project.

Detailed parts drawings are shown next. You can see all the details you need to make the parts for this Router Table Fence.

Finally, you can see a list of the parts and hardware needed.

Parts You Will Need To Make

Page Top   Assembly    Parts Drawings   Items Needed

Parts Needed - Top Parts
Parts Needed - Frame
Parts Needed Legs and Feet
Parts Router Bit Holder

Router Table Assembly Instructions

Page Top   Parts Images    Parts Drawings   Items Needed

Attach Miter Gauge Track

Assembly Drawing - Attach Miter Track
  • If Miter Gauge Track does not already have mounting holes in it, drill and countersink holes in it for 1/2" #6 flat head screws. The location of the screw holes in the Miter Gauge Track is not critical.
  • Place the the Miter Gauge Track on the SubTop so it is 3 1/2" from the front edge of the SubTop. Mark the locations for the screws and predrill the screw holes with a 1/8" drill bit.
  • Apply a coating of wood glue to the screw threads and secure it with 1/2" #6 flat head wood screws as indicated by the red arrows in the image above. MDF board does hold screws quite as well as wood and the glue on the threads will make it stronger.

Assemble the Top

Assembly Drawing - Assemble the Top
  • Apply wood glue to the bottom of Front Top piece and position it on the SubTop so it is flush with the front edge of the Miter Gauge Track as shown above.
  • Apply wood glue to the bottom of Rear Top piece and position it on the SubTop so it is flush with the rear edge of the Miter Gauge Track as shown above.
  • Secure the two Top pieces to the SubTop with clamps so they cannot move until the glue is dry.
    Tighten the clamps just tight enough to keep the pieces from moving.

Assemble the Frame

Assembly Drawing - Assemble the Frame
  • Apply glue to the mating surfaces and assemble the Frame with 1 1/2" finishing nails as shown in the image above.
    You should predrill the holes with a bit slightly smaller than the nail shank in the Frame Front and Frame Back pieces. Otherwise the nails will probably split the wood.
  • Note: You should either attach the Frame to the SubTop right away, (shown in the step), or clamp the Frame so it remains square and flat until the glue dries.

Attach the Frame to the Subtop

Assembly Drawing - Attach the Frame
  • Position the Frame on the bottom surface of the SubTop so that it is centered from side to side and 3 1/2" behind the front edge of the Top as shown above.
  • Secure the Frame to the SubTop with pocket hole screws as shown above.
  • Personally, I would not use glue for this step as you may want to take it apart at some time in the future

Attach the Stiffeners to the SubTop

Assembly Drawing - Attach the Stiffeners
  • Place the Rear Stiffener on the SubTop so that it is against the Rear Frame and centered side to side. Secure it with 1 1/4" #8 wood screws.
  • Next, place the Front Stiffener on the SubTop so that it is against the Rear Frame and centered side to side. As with the Rear Stiffener, secure it with 1 1/4" #8 wood screws.

Attach the Legs to the Feet

Assembly Drawing - Attach the Legs to the Feet
  • Cut a piece of scrap wood 1 3/8" wide and at least 5 1/2" long. This piece will be used to prevent the Legs from moving toward the back of the Feet while tightening the pocket hole screws. The 1 3/8" width will ensure the Legs are centered between the edges of the Feet.
  • Place a Foot on a flat surface with the countersunk side of the screw holes dacing down. Place the piece of scrap wood on one edge of the foot as shown in the image above. Ensure the edge of the scrap wood piece is flush along the edge of the Foot and securely clamp it to the foot.
  • When the scrap piece is securely clamped in place, position a Leg on a Foot so it is centered on the Foot from end to end.
  • When you're sure the Leg is properly positioned in the center of the Foot, secure it in place with 1 1/4" pocket holes screws, (indicated by the red arrows), as shown above.
  • Assemble the remaining Leg and Foot the same way.

Attach the Legs to the Frame

Assembly Drawing - Attach the Legs to the Frame
  • Place the Router Top with Frame and other parts already attached upside down as shown above.
  • Attach the Legs to the Frame with 2" long 1/4" diameter bolts with washers, lock washers, and nuts as shown above.

Assemble the Bit Holder

Assemble Bit Holder
  • Apply glue to the mating surfaces and attach the Bit Holder Top to the Sides with 1 1/2" finishing nails as shown in the top image above.
  • Apply glue to the mating surfaces and position the Bit Holder Bottom between the Sides and flush with the bottom edges of the Sides as shown in the bottom image above. Secure with 1 1/2" finishing nails. Turn the Bit Holder over repeat with the other side.

Attach the Bit Holder to the Feet

Attach the Bit Holder
  • Position the Bit Holder so it is centered between the ends of the feet and touching the Legs on each end as shown above.
  • Secure the Bit Holder to the Feet with 1 1/4" #8 flathead screws, indicated by the blue arrows.

Insert the Leveling Screws

Insert the Leveling Screws
  • Insert a 1 1/4" long #8 flat head wood screw into each pilot hole in the SubTop as indicated in the drawing above. These screws should be screwed down until the top of the screw head is about 1/8" above the surface of the Subtop.
  • These screws will support your router plate when you are ready to place it into the Router Table. You can adjust these screws to get the router plate flush with the top surface of your Router Table.
  • Insert your Router Plate into the opening and check to see if it is flush with the Router Table Top. Adjust the leveling screws until it is flush.

Completed Router Table

Completed Router Table

Congratulations, Your Router Table is complete! Now, all you need to do is mount your router to your router plate and place the router plate into the cutout in the Router Table Top.

Your Router Table Needs a Fence

Router Table with Fence

When you are finished building your router table, we also have free plans for a router table fence that is designed specifically for this router table.

A link for the Free Router Table Fence Plans is at the bottom of this page.

Router Table Parts Drawings

Page Top    Parts Images    Assembly    Materials Needed

The top of the Router Table is made from three pieces of 1/2" thick MDF board. After the proper cutouts are made, the two Top pieces and SubTop will be glued together to form a 1" thick completed Top. Note that Top Rear and Top Front sections will be separated by the Miter Gauge Track during assembly.

MDF board is typically very flat and resistant to warping. However, if not properly sealed, it will asorb moisture, and swell up and become deformed if liquid is spilled on it

I highly recommend that, when the project is finished, you coat the MDF material with two or three coats of polyurethane finish to seal it. This will prevent it from becoming swollen and distorted by moisture absorption.

Top (Rear Section)

Router Table Parts Drawing - Top (Rear Section)
  • First, cut a 22" by 12 1/4" piece of 1/2" MDF board for the Top Rear Section.
  • Next, cut out an opening that is the size of your router plate. The router plate I used was 11 3/4" by 8 1/4" If your plate is a different size make the cutout to fit your plate.
  • The opening is centered from side to side and is 1" from the front edge of the Top.
  • Note that the opening in the drawing above has rounded corners with a 3/8" radius.

Top (Front Section)

Router Table Parts Drawing - Top (Front Section)
  • Next, cut a 3 1/2" by 22" piece of 1/2" MDF board for the Top Front Section.
  • No cuts need to be made to the Front Top piece.

Subtop

Router Table Parts Drawing - SubTop
  • Now, cut a 22" by 17" piece of 1/2" MDF board for the SubTop.
  • Cut out an opening in the SubTop that is 1 1/2" smaller in height and 1 1/2" smaller in width than the opening in the Top. This will provide a 3/4" wide flat surface to support the router plate on all four sides.
  • This opening is centered from side to side and is 6 1/2" from the front edge of the Top.
  • Again, the cutout dimensions in the drawing above is based on a router plate that is 8 1/4" by 11 3/4".

SubTop Holes

SubTop Leveling Holes
  • Now, you will need to drill eight 1/8" diameter holes for the leveling screws as indicated by the the red arrows in the image above.
  • Each hole is 3/8" from the edge of the cutout.
  • The four corner holes are 3/8" from the corners of the cutout.
  • The remaining four holes are centered between the corners of the cutout.

Front and Back

Parts Drawing - Front and Back
  • The Front and Back are made from 3/4" wood and are 18" long by by 2 1/4" wide.
  • Drill three pockets holes as shown above. There should be one hole about 1 1/2" from each end and one in the center of the work piece. The exact location of the pocket holes is not critical.

Frame Ends

Parts Drawing - Ends Dimensions
  • You will need two Frame Ends that are made from 3/4" wood These parts 10 1/2" long by 2 1/4" wide.
  • Each Frame End needs two 1/4" diameter holes for mounting the Legs to the Frame Ends, (indicated by the red arrows).
    These holes 3 1/2" from the ends and 3 1/2" between centers. These holes are 1" from the top edge.
  • Each Frame End also has two pocket holes. These pocket holes should drilled towards the Top because they are used to attach the Frame to the Top. The exact location of the pocket holes in not critical.

Front Stiffener

Parts Drawings - Front Stiffener Dimensions
  • The Front Stiffener is made from 3/4" wood. It is 15" long by 1 3/4" wide.
Parts Drawings - Front Stiffener Holes
  • Drill three 3/16" diameter holes in the Front Stiffener as indicated by the red arrows. The holes are placed 1" from each end and one in the middle. All holes are centered from top to bottom.

Rear Stiffener

Parts Drawings - Rear Stiffener Dimensions
  • The Rear Stiffener is made from 3/4" wood. It is 15" long by 1 1/2" wide.
Parts Drawings - Rear Stiffener Holes
  • Drill three 3/16" diameter holes in the Rear Stiffener as indicated by the red arrows. The holes are placed 1" from each end and one in the middle. All holes are centered from top to bottom.

Legs

Parts Drawings - Legs Dimensions

  • The two Legs are made of 3/4" thick wood and are 12" long by 5 1/2" wide
Parts Drawings - Legs Holes
  • You will need to drill two 5/16" Holes at the top of each Leg, (indicated by the red arrows). These holes are 5/16" diameter, 1" from the edges, (3 1/2" apart), and 1" from the top.
  • These holes are for attaching the Legs to the Frame with 1/4" bolts. The reason the holes are 5/16" diameter is to allow for a little movement so you can make sure the feet sit flat on the work surface when you tighten the bolts.
  • You will also need to drill two pocket holes at the bottom of each Leg as indicated by the green arrows. These are for attaching the Legs to the Feet.

Feet

Parts Drawings - Feet Dimensions
  • The two Feet are made of 3/4" thick wood and are 16" long by 3 1/2" wide
Parts Drawings - Feet Holes
  • Each Foot requires two 3/16" diameter holes. Each hole is 6 1/4" from an end and 1" from an edge of the foot.
  • These holes are used to attach the Router Bit Organizer during the assembly and must be counter-sunk because the screws will come up from the bottoms of the Feet into the Router Bit Organizer.

Bit Holder Parts

Parts Drawings - Bit Holder Top Dimensions
  • The Bit Holder Top is made of 3/4" thick wood and is 15" long by 4 1/4" wide.

Parts Drawings - Bit Holder Bottom Dimensions
  • The Bit Holder Bottom is made of 3/4" thick wood and is 15" long by 2 3/4" wide.

Parts Drawings - Bit Holder Sides Dimensions
  • You will need two Bit Holder Sides. The Bit Holder Sides are made of 3/4" thick wood and are 15" long by 1 1/4" wide.

Bit Holder Top Holes

Parts Drawings - Bit Holder Top Holes
  • You will need to drill several holes in the Bit Holder Top for storing your router bits in a handy location. The drawing above shows the layout for the bit holder I built.
  • The seven large holes at the top are for 1/2" shank router bits. These holes should be slightly larger than 1/2" in diameter so the bits are easy to remove and replace. I reccommend using a 9/16" bit for the large holes
  • The 1/2" bit holes are 1 1/4" from the top, 1 1/2" from each end and 2" apart.
  • The nine smaller holes at the bottom are for 1/4" shank router bits. Again these holes should also be slightly larger than 1/4" diameter so the bits are easy to remove and replace. A 5/16" diameter bit would be a good choice.
  • The 1/4" bit holes are 1 1/4" from the bottom, 1 1/2" from each end and 1 1/2" apart.

Tools and Materials Needed

Page Top    Parts Images    Assembly    Parts Drawings  

Tools You'll Need

Table Saw Scroll Saw Electric Drill
Pocket Hole Jig Sander Screwdrivers

Hardware You'll Need

Item Name Size/Length Qty
#8 Flat Head Wood Screws 1 1/4" long 18
#6 Flat Head Wood Screws 1/2" long 6
Pocket Hole Screws 1 1/4" long 14
1/4-20 Hex Head Bolts 2" long 4
Flat Washers 1/4" ID 8
Lock Washers 1/4" ID 4
1/4-20 Hex Nuts 1/4-20 4
Finishing Nails 1 1/2" long 20
Threaded Knobs (1/4-20) 2
Miter Gauge Track (1 1/4" wide) 25" long 1

Parts You Will Need To Make

Item Name Size Material Qty
Top (Rear Section) 22” long by 12 1/4” wide1/2" MDF 1
Top (Front Section) 22" long by 3 1/2" wide 1/2" MDF 1
Subtop 22" long by 17" wide" 1/2" MDF 1
Frame Front-Back 18" long by 2 1/4" wide 3/4" Wood 2
Frame Ends 10 1/2" long by 2 1/4" wide 3/4" Wood 2
Front Stiffener 15" long by 1 3/4" wide 3/4" Wood 1
Rear Stiffener 15" long by 1 1/2" wide 3/4" Wood 1
Legs 12" long by 5 1/2” wide 3/4" Wood 2
Feet 16" long by 3 1/2" wide 3/4" Wood2
Bit Holder Top 15" long by 4 1/4" wide 3/4" Wood 1
Bit Holder Bottom 15" long by 2 3/4" wide 3/4" Wood 1
Bit Holder Sides 15" long by 1 1/4" wide 3/4" Wood 2

Your Router Table Needs a Fence

Router Table with Fence

When you are finished building your router table, we also have free plans for a router table fence that is designed specifically for this router table. Click the link below for our free fence plans.

Free Router Table Fence Plans

Our Router Table Fence features:

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RouterTable.htm (01-14-2023)