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Thread: Build a router table cabinet from scratch or start with a shop stand?

  1. #1

    Build a router table cabinet from scratch or start with a shop stand?

    Any in-obvious advantages to building a router table cabinet myself over purchasing a rolling tool stand and adding storage to it (or vice versa) other than cost?

    Iíve been making due with one of those little trim router clamp-on tables for a while (which has worked remarkably well, btw) but I really need to graduate to a full sized one. I have enough mdf & laminate scrap for the table and plan on purchasing a lift. On the fence (pardon the pun) on whether to build or buy a fence.

    The ultimate goal is to have a dust collection box for the router/lift and storage under the table. Iím leaning towards buying a tool stand just to get up & running quicker as work, other projects and a tendency for analysis-paralysis might stall a ground-up build.

    Thanks, in advance!

  2. #2
    First, just build the case (top, bottom, sides and back,) and hang router from plate. Then customize it to suit your needs. Pocket screws allow you to add / remove partitions as needed or desired. Most router tables are a "work in progress." As soon as you say "well that's done," something else comes along that would be nice to have on your router table.
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 02-18-2021 at 9:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    Most folks who work the trades would rather build new than remodel. I don't see any benefit in using a shop stand that wouldn't be nullified by the restrictions it may place on your design.
    I always forget . . . Is it the letter "S" or the letter "C" that is silent in the word scent?
    - Glenn (the second "N" is silent) Bradley

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Lebanon, TN
    I initially bought a Woodpeckers router stand, table and lift, fist picture.

    I realized how much dead space was beneath it, plus dust collection was so so.

    I removed the top and built a cabinet. The cost of the frame was probably a little more than the cost of the plywood for the cabinet and drawers.

    Last edited by ChrisA Edwards; 02-18-2021 at 10:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Los Angeles, California
    That's really nice Chip. Good work. Something to be proud of.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    I built something similar to ChrisA, but used the Incra stand, LS-17 positioner, Mast-R-Lift II, and a AUKTools router motor. I took the design from Guy Dunlap's build videos, but made changes to suit me. The router table is stored in another room when not being used and had to fit through my shop door. If I built another table, I would use the LS-25 positioner and make the table longer, but with the same door-friendly width.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Perth, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Morimoto View Post
    The ultimate goal is to have a dust collection box for the router/lift and storage under the table. Iím leaning towards buying a tool stand just to get up & running quicker as work, other projects and a tendency for analysis-paralysis might stall a ground-up build.

    Thanks, in advance!

    Based on my experience, a dust collection box is unnecessary for excellent dust collection.

    I recently completed a from-scratch-build with the router table in the outfeed of my slider (Hammer K3) ...

    Although I built all to keep costs down, including the fence, I did not want to skimp on the dust collection. This is enormously important to me.

    Instead of a box, my plan was to use the Milescraft system ...

    However, this did not fit my Elu router (same as Dewalt DW 625), and I sold it. The woodworker who purchased it gave me feedback that it worked wonderfully for his set up.

    My system was similar to the Milescraft, based on the Festool hose ...

    The Elu has a modified Dewalt collector ...

    Dust extraction is via the fence and via the dust spout using the Festool Router Table twin hose system, and into a Festool CT 26E.

    The twin hose (from Festool) Ö

    To test this, I ran a rebate along four edges of this Black Walnut offcut, to see how much dust remained on the table.

    Below is the result. Four edges rebated. Two grains of saw dust evident on the table. Nil on the floor.

    The full build is here:

    Regards from Perth


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I've gone from the Craftsman little table top router stand and router, to a Freud in the extension wing to a Norm'ish cabinet build. I agree with ChrisA that the cart seems like a waste of space underneath.......but I never did that iteration so that's just my thoughts on that. Guess you could add a cabinet(s) to it, but you are limited in the layout based on their cart structure. Bruce has a good idea, just build the case open and modify/adapt to your needs as you figure out what works and what doesn't.

    Here is my Norm'ish version. For the most part I like it. I wish, maybe, that I had gone with the wider Woodpecker table only in the sense I could of built a bigger cabinet underneath. That bottom drawer houses my two PC 690's and their multitude of bases, a corded Ridgid trim router and a battery Ridgid trim router, plus all the little odds and ends. It's a heavy drawer. The 3 drawers on the left are for Ĺ" shank bits, which I only use 1 so far. The right top drawer is for wrenches and the current height adjuster for the Triton. The one underneath it is for ľ" shank bits. It would be nice to have a little more storage. It's also a taller than normal router table. Not sure if that was a good idea or not, but I am 6' 3".

    I will be replacing the Triton with a Milwaukee (outta stock everywhere) soon and a Woodpecker Lift (already here). The Triton is just too cumbersome and not very smooth to adjust the height.

    Photo Feb 19, 8 43 38 AM.jpg Photo Feb 19, 8 43 44 AM.jpg Photo Feb 19, 8 43 51 AM.jpg
    If over thinking was an Olympic event, I'd win Gold every time!

  9. #9
    I also have a Norm pattern table with 1/2 inch bit storage on the right and 1/4 on the left. The 1/2 side is a lot more full. I built in a router lift that hangs from the 3/4 plywood back and is based on a design in an old American Woodworker article. I recently put in a big PC 15 amp router motor which just made a good table even better. Top is a sink cutout backed with plywood and edged with maple. Top pivots up for bit changes. I have ZERO desire for any other router table. I have had several others. My fence is several inches wider than the top and is secured with very short pipe clamps. It does not slip. Easy to make slight adjustments by pivoting it a little.

    I have in cabinet suction and fence suction. The cabinet suction is piped up to pull from the router chuck area. I think that is important for the router. If you pull from the bottom of a box your DC fights your routers fan cooling.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Orwell, NY
    I made a folding router table out of a piece of 18" square by 3/8" aluminum, and bought a router with a burned out motor on eBay so I could use the base. This way I can swap the router motor unit from the table to the handheld base in seconds. I don't have dust collection, I'd like to figure that out someday. The table can be folded down when not in use or folded all the way up to install or remove the motor or adjust the height. I don't need a fence or a miter slot for what I do with my router table, it's all bearing guided work.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
    I got the Kreg steel stand, added casters and used 3/4" plywood to make a cabinet under the table. I already had the Woodpeckers fence/lift/fence. Woodpeckers, Infinity, Kreg and even Grizzly sell the steel stands which is bolted together and makes for a sturdy infrastructure.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    If you just want a simple enclosure around the router, then using a bolt-together stand can certainly make for "fast", but as has been noted, there's a whole bunch of wasted space and a lost woodworking opportunity. A full cabinet on double-locking casters will provide much more utility.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Millstone, NJ
    I kind of did both. Jessems stand has slots for 1/2" ply. I added a box to house the router a couple of drawers and a door up front to access router for speed control

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Northeast Ohio
    My router table was built from Normís plans. It is heavy and provides some assurance it will not move while using it. I do not have a stand so cannot attest to their stability during operation. Not knocking them, simply do not know. Iíve often thought about buying one to use as a second router station so a specific setup could be made ďpermanentĒ, so to speak.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Black Oak Ark.
    You can spend as much or as little as you want , really . My starting point was an old parts washer station , adapted and customized into a router table w/ lots of storage . Table , lift , fence all purchased new .

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