Router Table and Fence | DIY Router Table Build – Part 1


hi there I’m Marie from DIY Montreal today I’m going to show you how to make this DIY router table and fence system the dimensions of the router table I’m making are 36 inches by 24 inches which is a bit bigger than most commercially available tables I cut down one piece of melamine that I’ll use for the top and one piece of plywood that I’ll use to reinforce the top I’m using the Pro Lift from Rockler that has a couple of really cool features it has a button that allows you to eject the throat plate so you can easily access the bits the other cool feature is the lift itself has one gear allows you to micro adjust the bit height while the other allows you to fully lift the router so you can easily change the bit I started by measuring the insert plate then roughly marking it out in order for it to sit dead center of the top with the lift positioned upside down on my markings I traced out the contour the insert plate needs to be countersunk so it’ll sit on a lip so I’ve traced out a smaller box inside the first one I made sure to leave some room in the corners where the insert plate will be screwed down to the table here I’m making relief holes so I can get my jigsaw in and cut out the inner box looks like it turns out I needed bigger holes there we go to countersink the router lift I’m using a flush trim bit with a top bearing that will ride along a fence I made these makeshift fences and apply some double-sided tape so I could stick it down right up against the lines I have traced I set the bit to the right depth then one around in a clockwise direction and then just cleaned up those two corners and voila before removing the fence guides I put it in the router upside down and remove just one guide to check that I got the depth right feeling pretty confident I removed all the fences and did a test fit in the upright position it’s looking pretty good but using my ruler I can see that it’s just below the surface which is okay I’ll just add some leveling feet later on to raise it up a bit okay so I want to insert a T- track on the front side of the table a lot of commercial tables have a miter slot here but I’ve never used a miter gauge with my table and besides I’d rather have a T-slot for feather boards and such I’m marking it out so the T-track will be about one and a half inches in front of the insert plate I went ahead and clamped another makeshift fence up against the line then use the T-track as a spacer and clamped another fence on the opposite side making sure not to over squeeze it so that the track could still slide out freely once again I set my flush trim bit to the right depth and went to town just a little note here it’s not the best idea to use your trim Rooter like I’m doing here you’ll need something much more powerful to cut a dado into melamine unfortunately I learnt the hard way next up I’m marking out the tracks on the backside that will hold down my fence and I’m positioning them about six inches in from each side I was a little scared to cut the aluminum track but in the end it cut really smoothly I repeated the same process clamping down my fences and use a piece of tape to mark a stop so I wouldn’t go too far after doing a dry fit I used some weld bomb glue to glue down the tracks this is a glue that’s supposed to stick to both particle board and metal I then use a dowel to help clamp it down and did the same for the rest of the tracks and let it dry my idea here was to laminate the top with plywood to make it more solid and dead flat I lined up both pieces and transferred over the cut onto the plywood and use my jigsaw to cut out the hole I flipped over the tabletop and laid the plywood on top aligning both holes I then clamp them together and screw down the plywood I should have mentioned that my plywood piece was cut a little oversized so I could use my router to square off the edges nice and flush as I mentioned earlier my inserts it’s a little below the tabletop so I’m using these furniture glides as leveling screws so I can get it perfectly flush it’s pretty simple just make holes in the corners tap in the plastic inserts and screw in the feet from underneath now I can just reach down underneath and adjust the screws as needed they’re perfect to finish off I decided to add some hardwood trim around the sides of the table to protect the fragile edges and simply to give the table a more polished look I marked off where the tracks hit the edges of the table and cut a dado into the trim to make sure I could still slide in my tea bolts once the trim was in place I didn’t want any visible nails so I only used glue and mostly painters tape to hold the trim in place okay a lot of painters tape alright next I moved on to the fence for the fence you’ll need a five inch strip of plywood a three inch strip of plywood and you’ll also need a five inch strip of melamine just as I did for the table I’m inserting a T-track into the fence so I can easily use feather boards i spaced the track about one inch from the top of the melamine strip and just as before i clamped down one fence and use the track as a spacer so I could clamp down the second fence this time around I use my more powerful router which made the job much easier and I didn’t get any tear out like with my trim router after a dry fit and checking that the track was below the surface I used some weld bond glue to secure the track you could also use epoxy or screws which would probably be faster since you wouldn’t need to wait for it to dry but in any case I use my dowel trick to help clamp down the track and let it dry for 24 hours okay the basic fence assembly will look something like this I’m using this dust port made specifically for router table fences so I need to make a hole in the fence to allow the dust that pass through both the upright fence and the piece that’s flat against the table I just use a hole saw for this and then finished off the cut with my table saw I’m assembling the fence with some glue and some Brad nails my main goal here is to make the front of the fence perfectly flat and square for that reason I added these little triangles and check for square as I went I secured the dust port using well bond glue which is supposed to adhere to both plastic and wood you could always make this dust port using wood but I found this one for only a few dollars on Amazon so I skipped that step I carried over the hole to the melamine fence then took it all over to my table saw and use the sauce fence to make sure my fence was both flat and squared of the table I added some screws in from the back careful not to hit the T track with any screws and after a quick chick with a level it looks like that worked out perfectly alright the last step is to mount the fence on to the table with the fence in position I made a mark in line with the tracks so I could drill the holes and I made the hole slightly larger than the bolts I’m going to use so it could have a little wiggle room I’m actually using toilet bolts just because you can pick up a pack at pretty much any hardware store you can use the washer they come along with and just get some star knobs just make sure they have the same threading which in my case was 5/16 ok so that completes part 1 of this build be sure to watch out for part 2 in which I’ll build the base cabinet address dust collection and we’ll get to see this router table in action and don’t forget to hit that thumbs up button if you like this video until next time thanks for watching you

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Reader Comments

  1. Poor OL JC

    I love your video, I use triton routers, they have the lift built with in.. I also didn't trust myself with the fence so I found online.
    Thanks for the information.

  2. Rob Spotts

    I'm in the process of making a router table in a similar fashion using melamine shelving (both sides) from HD. Did you find that the 1.5" distance between the t-track on router plate was a good position?

  3. Chad Wicks

    Nice work! If you are going to make it make it good. Started saving my pennies for that really nice lift. I happen to have the same router table that you had, picked it up for 40 bucks at a resale shop. It was really a sweet deal since it had a practically new router attached.

  4. GunHolsters

    I love the design of this router table. I plan to make one in the near future. To keep the cost down, Iโ€™m planning to use a router plate rather than lift. Great table, great video!

  5. darrin westerfeld

    Just found this vid. You did a very nice job on the table and fence! Using the dowels was a nice touch.
    I want to try my hand at building this, but I have a question. I have some very wide bits and very narrow bits. Is there anyway to make the front of the fence adjustable to the size of the bit?
    Thanks for your great example.

  6. This Old Guy DIY

    Any advice for keeping your melamine from chipping? I tried multiple passes to minimize the amount of material taken at each pass. Maybe a better router bit?

  7. Ken Bruner

    How did the table fair over the long haul?ย  Did the material hold up ?ย ย  I'm looking to build my own table for my router and am curious as to what material you would "now" recommend to use as the tabletop base ?

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