Author Topic: Router Table Cabinet Build  (Read 1174 times)

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Offline lunchman

  • Posts: 123
Router Table Cabinet Build
« on: August 04, 2018, 04:13 PM »
I'm still in the middle of finishing the basement workshop, but after a lot of construction there comes a time when construction takes a back seat and projects need to get underway. The shop isn't huge (12 ft x 18 ft) but it beats having tools all over the garage and mostly unavailable, especially in the Winter. First order of business is a cabinet in that big empty area underneath the JessEm router table. The table is much better than the portable Bosch RA1181 benchtop table it replaces. The JessEm router lift is a treat to have.

The design is loosely based on the Kreg cabinet plans with mods from a YouTube video (Backyard Woodshop). I pretty much just measured, drew out some plans by hand and fit the cabinet parts in the space allowed within the JessEm table. There are two drawers on each side instead of the Kreg router bit holder pull outs from their plan. They're narrow at under 4" wide, but are 21" long. All construction is 3/4" and 1/2" Maple ply, drawer fronts are Poplar. I won't bore you with build details but will mention that the DF500 and TS55 got lots of use.

Since this is shop furniture, no dovetails, no fancy joinery. Butt joints with glue and brad nails. It ain't pretty but it's functional. There's a platform which the cabinet sits upon to bring the bottom up to the height of the lower frame member. The two drawer boxes were built with Dominoes. Pic of the cabinet innards:

(Yep, some burning with the TS55 so it got a new blade and the original was sent out for sharpening.)

And after fitting on the Poplar drawer fronts (yeah, I remembered to match the grain) :

And fitted with handles:

There's a 4" dust collection port in the upper compartment connected to a T for DC from the router fence. I've not had enough time with it to see how well it works, but it's got to be a lot better than sweeping sawdust off the floor.

The drawer fronts will be finished with some light stain, tbd. I'm making use of a blotch control from Charles Neil Woodworking since this is Poplar and in the past it's stained poorly. We'll see. I'm hoping the blotch control does its job.

Thanks for checking out this post.


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Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 412
Re: Router Table Cabinet Build
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 06:24 PM »
Great work. I especially like the clean and functional design and the excellent use of the space below the table.  It looks like it will be a joy to use, so have fun.  That table and frame look solid. Oh, and nice work matching the grain on the panels, I usually think of those fine details too late in the process for shop cabinets.

I built a Norm/NYW style router table many years ago and it is so handy being to have all of the bits organized and right at hand.   It incorporated a 4" dust port under the table with a wye spilt to a 2.5" port on the fence.  It worked pretty well, however depending on the operation and bit profile, sometimes the upper port needed more suction so I added a gate to throttle or even close off the 4" port sometimes.  I had to add holes in my front door to allow sufficient make up air to flow around the router body.  Your design may not need it, but I found those mods to help.

BTW...if you are concerned about stain and blotchiness, IMHO a simple clear coat lacquer would look great on that nice contrast of materials.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 08:35 PM by Dick Mahany »

Offline SouthRider

  • Posts: 153
Re: Router Table Cabinet Build
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 07:41 PM »
Beautiful! Nice, clean, efficient!
"We, the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, that we are now qualified to do almost anything, with nothing at all."

Offline lunchman

  • Posts: 123
Re: Router Table Cabinet Build
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 09:03 AM »
And finished! I'd say the blotch control did its job, the color is quite uniform across the faces. Whew! I'd never used this product before, but am glad I purchased it.

Minwax Early American stain, followed by a few coats of satin poly (hand applied). The Pro5 sander did a nice job between coats with 360 Granat.

Depending on how well the dust collection works (it's hooked up with a Rockler DustRite connector to my Jet Cyclone), I may need to add some 1/4" ply over the front top and rear of the router compartment since it's open to the router table, just to seal it a bit better.

One project down, time to get moving on others and finishing up the shop. I still have sanding and spackling to complete, not my favorite task.