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Shop-Made Router Table (2004)


  • Inspired by Nahm’s New Yankee Workshop “Deluxe” router table.
  • Used a Rockler router table for the top.
  • Rockler router plate is very stiff – zero measureable sag.
  • The 3 bottom drawers are great. They provide ample storage and work well with full extension slides.
  • The bit drawers work extremely well, and they’re simple to build. It’s great to have all my router bits in one place and organized.
  • Dust collection works fabulously. I upped the cabinet and fence ports to 4”.
  • Fairly easy to build. Just watch out for the stack-up effects of undersized plywood thickness. That can create the need for shimming the drawer glides if the widths of the drawers are not increased to make up for the undersized ply. Most everything else about the construction is straightforward.
  • The Hitachi M12V is dedicated to table use, and works great. Plenty of power, the soft start is nice, and the adjustable speed is great for spinning large bits.


  • I should have chosen better plywood. I used $30/sheet “whitewood” ply from Lowes, and it’s absolutely horrible. The ply glue is delaminating in spots, many many voids, and it splinters very easily.
  • Full extension slides are expensive.

Router Lift Upgrade: In the summer of 2004 I added a PlungeLift from Woodpeckers, and I absolutely love having the router lift. It works seamlessly with the plunge mechanism of the Hitachi router, it allows for above-the-table height changes, and the lift rod is finely threaded to allow very precise and fine adjustments. I also purchased bent collet wrenches from Woodpeckers that let me tighten/loosen the bit in the collet from above the table. What a convenience! Here's a pic of the table after the Plungelift was added:

Update 10/16/06:  Just a shot to show how the thing's wearing wiith use (pretty good I might add) and to show the recent change to the ductwork for the DC.  I wanted to re-do the ducting because the original setup took up a bit to much space with the 6" pvc on the back of the cabinet.  This version with 4" flex takes up much less space:


© Copyright 2006 Chris Billman