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A benchtop router table is a must if you are a DIYer, working on a job site, or off of a truck. I love my full-size router table, but they can get costly. With the benchtop router, you can connect it to the top of the bench or to the side of a worktable. In this post, I’ll show you how easy it is to build one on your own.
Keep in mind this is built for a cordless trim router, but it could be used for a 1/4 trim or even a full-size router. This is a compact router table that is lightweight and stable.
- Table Saw (optional)
- Circular saw: https://homedepot.sjv.io/Vyyejj
- Router: https://homedepot.sjv.io/mgg317
- Drill: https://homedepot.sjv.io/jWW34Z
- Speed square: https://homedepot.sjv.io/jWX1aP
- Clamps: https://homedepot.sjv.io/oee3gW
- 3/8’’ Forstner Drill bits: https://homedepot.sjv.io/DVVgmb
- 1 -3/4’’ Hole saw: https://homedepot.sjv.io/jWW34Z
- (1/2) Sheet of plywood 3/4in X 48in X 48in
- (10) 1 1/2in wood screw (assembly)
- (4) 1in brackets
- (8) 3/4in wood screws (for the brackets)
- (2) 2in 1/4-20 screw (for router fence)
- (2) 1/4-20 wing nuts
- Optional: 4 (1 1/4in) machines screws for the router base
- Wood glue: https://homedepot.sjv.io/ORBPxP
- Furniture finishing wax
This is a budget friendly project, I managed to use leftover plywood from previous projects. You need less than a half sheet of plywood.
Build the benchtop router table sides
Countersink the holes and install the screws securing the bottom to the sides. Be sure to apply wood glue and use two to three screws in this location. Repeat this step twice.
Apply wood glue to the legs and line them up to the back. Then clamp the parts.
Add the back to the benchtop router table
With the back clamped to the legs, mark the location for the screws. Countersink the holes deep enough to plug after the screw has been installed.
How to the plug screw holes
Now, plug the hole using a dowel rod that’s appropriate to fit the holes drilled. Then use a flush-cut saw to cut the dowel off.
Make a bit holder for the benchtop router table
Adding the bit holder is optional, but I felt it’s pretty convenient for your most used router bits. To make the bit holder cut a small piece of wood with a 45-degree miter on both ends. Then, space the router bits apart to your liking, drilling a hole straight down while holding the bit holder at an angle. Next, apply wood glue to the top side of the bit holder and the sides. Finally, fit the bit holder within the opening and let the glue dry.
Transfer the holes from your router plate to the router tabletop
Remove the base plate from the router, then use it to mark the hole for the tabletop’s router base. You can use a Forstner bit or a paddle bit to drill out the center hole. Next, mark the mounting holes for the base, then countersink the holes. I did this in two stages. I drew the larger hole first, so the head of the screw sits below the surface of the table. Then I drilled a smaller hole. Chances are your existing screw in your router may be too short to go through the plywood and into the base. So you will more than likely need to replace these screws.
Route the slots for the benchtop router table
This benchtop router table will have a fence to go along with it. I figured you could go about this one of two ways. Option 1 build a fence and clamp it to the top of the router table. Option 2 route in a slot, use a screwing a nut and keep the table and the fence as a self-contained setup. To do this, you need to route in two places, one on each end towards the back of the router table. To route the slots, it depends on the screw you choose to use. I used a 1/4 -20 (2) inch screw in this case paired with wing nuts. On the first pass, I used a 1/4 router bit of or one that’s the size of the screw. This went all the way through. Then I made a second pass making a larger slot for the head of the screw. Once routing is done, the screw should sit lower than the surface of the plywood. Keep in mind these holes are routed from the bottom of the router tabletop. These screws need to face up.
Attach the tabletop to the base
To secure the top to bottom, you can use one-inch brackets. Keep in mind; you can glue these parts as well.
Building the benchtop router fence
Building the router fence is quite simple. I cut two pieces of wood the length of the tabletop—one for the back of the fence. The taller one for the front of the fence. I cut off the corners on the face of the fence for aesthetics and glued the parts together, as shown above. I notched out the section for the bit and dust collection. Yep, it’s best to cut this out before gluing the parts. Initially, I was not going to address the dust collection, and then I added it after gluing the pieces.
The dust port is relatively simple. I glued a couple of plywood pieces together and drilled a hole in it to fit the vacuum attachment that I have. This was glued to the back of the fence.
Under the face of their art offense, I routed a chamber to avoid a collection of dust between defense and a tabletop.
Finally, set the entire router table down and apply whatever finish you like. I kept it simple and used finishing wax on the top and the fence.