Router Table Revisited

Sometimes you just have to do it. For the past few months, whenever I walk into the woodworking shop in my basement and see the router table I built for my book Cutting-Edge Router Tips & Tricks, I say to myself, “I should paint that table and organize the router bits that have been tossed in the drawers.”

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t abuse my tools, but my router bits need a place to live in comfort. The drawers on my router table are too small and the lower drawer is too big. (Yes, too big. It doesn’t lend itself to storing much more than a couple feather boards and some dust. Putting router bits in there doesn’t work as well as I thought it would.)

On the plus side, the table has a really neat router carriage that adjusts the height of the router by simply turning a wrench while the top is closed. The carriage is housed in the cabinet. The top is hinged and opens up to reveal the carriage, which makes changing the bits as easy as grabbing a couple wrenches.  

As I was walking around the table a few weeks ago, I thought, “You know Jim, this could be a good-looking router table. All you have to do is rebuild it.” Ah ha! Rebuild it! I’ve got plenty of time. I only have four guitars in various stages of completion, a travel trailer to finish (I’ll say more about that in a future blog , it’s been a great project to make.), a toilet to fix, a blog to finish…¦.

So, I made the only decision I could make , I will redesign then build a new, improved router table with drawers that hold tons of router bits, collets, bearings, wrenches and featherboards. I want to keep the router carriage; it works so well I don’t see the need to mess with it.

It took some time to get the redesign to a point where I felt it was what I wanted. Google SketchUp has been my friend through that process.

This week’s newsletter from Popular Woodworking has my first installment of three that will show you how to build this new router table. After the third one, I’ll fix my toilet.

- Jim Stack, editor, Popular Woodworking Books

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