By dave | June 20, 2017

Hand-built router table for the workshop

Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of wood and metal work, including quite a lot of router work. For some tasks, I think a good router table is really needed, so I’ve took a bit of time out from my other projects to build a good router table.

After much looking around, I came up with a hybrid, based partly on this multipurpose table in a youtube video and party on a book I’ve been reading on kindle Complete Guide to Routers by Lonnie Bird. I’m not going to describe the basics of building the table here, the above youtube video will show you all that you need to know, and if you need more, the above book if very good, and covers usage of the tool too.

However, the video above is based on US power outlets. For UK use, you can change the electrical outlet for a UK single 13A plug socket with suitable back panel. Below is a diagram of how I connected an easy access switch and outlet to the design. I’ll get a few extra photos and add them here.

router switch wiring

Router switch wiring

Working with 240V mains - caution

Before proceeding, ensure that you are confident in your ability to proceed and complete these tasks. Mains voltages are extremely dangerous and even with an RCD, you are not protected against L - N shocks. Do not connect anything to mains power until you are absolutely sure that all wiring is correct and nothing is exposed. Further, ensure that the tool connected to the power is in a safe state before applying power.

Make absolutely sure that where the mains cable leaves the router table, it is properly secured to avoid live mains ever being exposed should the cable become snagged or similar. You can see below how I achieved that using a couple of small 15mm pipe cuttings and some plywood. Using a similar approach, I also added a cable tidy for when it’s not in use.

It is also very important that a minimum of 13A mains cable is used, some power tools will draw in excess of 2500 watts and that is over 10A of current!

Tracks and guides

I created both a track for the fence and a guide for jigs to run in. They can both be seen in the photo just above.

For the guide, I routed a 12mm wide x 8mm deep groove into the top of the table, this will allow jigs to operate easily on the table. This was achieved using a router with the inbuilt fence - I just took out about 2-3mm each pass.

For the track, I found that T track and bolts can be sourced from Axminster tools in the UK. I used this to provide a track for the fence and also as a second guide for jigs. I’m sure the amazon ones in the video would also work absolutely fine, but I also wanted to install a feather guard onto the fence, and Axminster had a good range of those too.

The fence

After quite some delay, the fence has finally been added, the fence is of my own design, and as such I show it at various points of construction; this is so you can see how I assembled it. Both the fence and bottom guide are made from 12mm ply and the mitre triangles from 24mm ply (as that’s what I had readily available).

router fence parts - not assembled

Router fence parts before assembly

In order to allow for routing where the router bit would be partly in the fence (IE: beyond the end of the work piece), I’ve cut out a small semi circle around where the cutter is. In addition a small piece of thin ply over the centre area allows me to attach a vacuum hose.

router fence parts assembled

Router fence assembly - click for larger image

When attaching the fence, it is imperative that it is an accurate right angle to the front of the bench, notice the square in the diagram below - to ensure this was the case before screwing the fence to the track runner.

router fence parts - fully assembled and attached

Router fence attached with vacuum attachment - click for larger image


If you’re thinking of building a router table, I hope this page has helped you out. More important than anything else, at every stage of the build think about safety. For me, the table has allowed me to take routing to the next level, hopefully, this can help you do the same!

Router table

Router table from above

Router front showing switch & plug

Power switch front, plug on the side

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