In Projects, Shop Blog, Shop Projects

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This isn’t the simplest project you’ll ever make ,but it may be one of the most useful. It involves making mortise-and-tenon joinery and raised panels, fitting a drawer to its cabinet, using mechanical drawer slides and setting them up to work in tandem rather than side by side in the usual manner. You’ll make miter joints by folding and gluing them together and learn about “mechanical” woodworking.

My revised router table is, at least in my opinion (and at this moment it’s not a very humble opinion), one of the best router tables out there. It has room for almost 100 router bits and cutters, an awesome dust-collection configuration and, my “proudest” part of the table – the router carriage. The router isn’t just attached to the top insert. It’s held securely in the body of the table, in an inner box that is glued and screwed together, which is then screwed to the rails of the table.

The router can be adjusted up and down by simply turning a wrench – while the top is down and the router bit is in place. Adjustment is precise to little-bitty fractions of an inch. To change bits, you flip the top up and the router is sitting there in its carriage, just waiting to be outfitted for another job.

Dust collection is in the bottom. The collector pulls air through the front vents, which serves to cool the router while directing dust and chips into the dust collector. There is also a dust-collection port on the fence, which pulls dust and chips away from the cutterhead and into a shop vacuum. When this system is up and running, dust and chips don’t stand a chance of escaping.

If you’ve been following this three-part build, or this is your first time seeing this project, visit the Popular Woodworking web site to download the final PDF. It includes the complete project from start to finish. I’ve included detailed instructions about making and fitting the carriage and how to wire up the switch and outlets , which, by the way, makes it possible for you to turn on your router and dust collector simultaneously.

Rout on.

– Jim Stack

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