Compact Router Table

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Having a router, but no router table, is akin to owning a Ferrari that never leaves the downtown streets. You’re simply not using your tool anywhere near its capacity. A table-mounted router is capable of all sorts of operations that would be difficult or impossible to perform with a handheld router. And it’s often safer, too. (So much for the Ferrari analogy.)

A good router table doesn’t have to be fancy–just accurate and friendly to use. Here is a solid, compact version that will serve without flinching in any space-challenged shop. The H-shaped understructure ensures that the top stays flat, and offsetting the insert plate toward the front of the table prevents user back strain and increases accessibility for router adjustments. (When more support surface is needed for panels or other wide pieces, you can work from the rear of the table.) A generous overhang allows for easy clamping of the fence, featherboards, and stop sticks. I omitted a miter gauge track because I seldom need one and prefer to keep the tabletop free of recesses that trap chips. That said, you can certainly add one if you like.

Finally, the no-frills fence shown here is accurate, easy to use, and quick to build because it doesn’t have an adjustable split fence or a dust port. If those features are important to you, see the Router Table Fence article in Issue #3


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