Router table cabinet build
I want to build a dedicated router table so that I would have a place to mount my tilting router lift to again.
I drew up a simple drawing in SketchUp to work out the dimensions.
The overall construction of this router table will be similar to a number of other cabinets I built before, such as this workbench or this workbench on wheels or this tool stand or this 7-drawer dresser
As usual, I'm using construction lumber. I started with some 2x6 material and ripped that down the middle and planed it on all sides. I ended up with wood that was 65x36 mm. I then identified the nicest edge of each and put that face down, marking "in" for "inside" on the other sides. The nice surface will be my reference surface.
Cutting box joints into the ends of the pieces for the top corners, with the reference surface against the fence (on the left side of the jig in this picture). I'm cutting 1/4" wide slots, each made with three cuts with a regular saw blade. Each turn of the big gear advances the jig by 1/4", and I have the positions for the tree cuts marked on the gear from the last project, so I didn't need to tweak the setup.
Then using my slot mortiser to cut the mortises. Four mortises side-by-side.
I cut the tenons for these mortises on my box joint jig the same way that I cut the top corner joints. But the mortises don't go all the way through, so now I need to shorten the tenons to fit the depth of the mortises. I measure the depth of the cut mortises...
That left some burrs on the corners, which I cleaned up with my strip sander XL.
The frame has an opening at the bottom for a drawer and a large opening at the top for where the router goes. I want to make the router table be it's own dust collector, so I will need room for a filter to fit in here. Also lots of room for sawdust to accumulate before it gets sucked into the router.
I have two cheap 7 1/4" saw blades stacked in the table saw to cut the grooves for the 4 mm thick plywood into the front-back connecting pieces. The connecting pieces already have the floating tenons glued in. The panel will go in off-center, so the groove just barely misses the floating tenons.
I'm using some long bar clamps to push the joints together. This slow and steady pressing is more effective against the highly viscous resistance from the glue than hitting them with a mallet.
These panels fit a bit tight, so I sanded the edges on my belt sander to make a better fit.
I had the idea of also gluing it to the side wall to make that connection airtight, but then realized if I did that, and it wasn't perfectly aligned in the vertical direction with the mortise that the other end goes in to, it would be impossible to mate it with the frame that goes on the other end. So I only glued in the mortise side. Disaster averted.
For this sort of thing, I used to just place the lighter part on the bigger part, but it's better to have the mortises on the bottom when mating the parts. It's easier to see that way and glue squeezeout won't run down the wood as much.
I decided to carve all these square. Although, if I had routed the bevel just far enough, the rounded end doesn't look bad either. But I was inconsistent in how far the bevels extended. In two places I had routed too far.
And now for a demonstration of the strength of the joinery. I clamped the cabinet to a post in the basement, but elevated off the ground so the legs nearest me aren't supported by anything. I then put my weight on one side of it. With no bracing, the only thing resisting racking in this cabinet is the strength of the joinery.
My guess is this would fail at about six times my body weight, so I had plenty of margin for pushing up on it. But I wasn't going to jump test it because the impact load of landing a jump could easily be six times my body weight. And my estimate is only a rough estimate. I didn't want to take the chance.
This cabinet will be for my tilting router lift, which I'm unscrewing from the wooden table saw wing that I made for it. I haven't had this mounted on my old table saw since moving in early 2017. So it will be nice to be able to use my tilting router lift again.
Gluing in a closely fitted plywood bottom. The plywood is only 4 mm thick, which is why the cabinet frame has a support in the middle. I used my long reach clamps to clamp it down while the glue dried.
I want to integrate dust collection into this cabinet, with a filter and blower on the back, and an access door on the front. The idea is that even if a dust collector is hooked up to a router table, wood chips accumulate in the box where the router is. So I might as well make that compartment the place where the chips are supposed to go, and suck air out of it through a filter on the back to capture find dust particles from routing.
Tilting router lift (2012)
Rudolf's router table
slot mortiser (2009)
box joint jig (2012)
Similar cabinet builds:
workbench on wheels (2016)
Mobile tool stands (2017)
Dolly movable workbench (2018)
7-drawer dresser (2014)
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