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The router table is a classic wood shop project, and if you’re as thrifty as I am then there’s no question that you’re going to build your own. Though, cough cough, our associates at Amazon have a fantastic array of prebuilt router tables… like this $719.99 Jessem 02140 Mast-R-Lift, for example :D
Ok, enough drooling. Let’s get back to the free router table plans ;) So I dug through free woodworking plans from sites I wrote about recently to hand pick these free router table plans for you.
This article is designed to be a great starting point for your router table project, and to get you thinking about all the possible options out there. So browse the plans, and let your imagination run wild. And check out the links to forum discussions at the end of the article for more insight :)
I organized the best plans I found into three lists:
- Space Saver and Bench Top Router Tables
- Full Size/Professional Router Tables
- Router Table Accessories
- Router Table Building Forum Threads to Read
- Router Table Building Resources
- More Free Woodworking Plan Collections
Some of the plans link directly to PDFs and those are indicated (surprise!) with the letters PDF.
If you’ve built any of these, have pictures or tips, or would like me to link to your free router table plans send me an email to GFrench@ToolCrib.com.
1) Space Saver and Bench Top Free Router Table Plans:
Are you space conscious? Ultra thrifty? Seeking portability in your router table? Check through these free router table plans and build yourself exactly what you need.
- Minimalist Router Table – Good, small, cheap. Decent drawing but no numbers on them.
- Bench Top Router Table – Excellent! Includes diagrams and shopping list.
- Fold-Away Router Table (pdf) drawings. great space saver!
- Router Table-Mate – This little beauty should give you the functionality of the full-sized tables, but will fold up quite easily… and the author made it for under $50. NICE.
- Table Top Router Plans (PDF) HIGHLY DETAILED! These are phenomenal plans.
- Simple Router Table (workmate topper) – Just what you’d expect. Economical in space and price. Fence plans too. Good drawings and material list.
- Mini Router Table – Turn your dremel into a router? Forgive the pop ups on that page… neat idea, great drawings.
- Quick and Easy Router Table – A little weak as far as plans go, but could help you round out your ideas.
- Benchtop Router Table – Good descriptions of how to, no drawings or materials though.
- Making Your Own Routertable, Easily! – Very basic – easy to follow descriptions and drawings.
- Router Table – Looks like a nice, standard router table. Great descriptions.
- Free Plan and Video: Stow-and-Go Router Table – FWW raises the bar – videos AND free plans? NICE!
- Minimalist Router Table (by Fine Woodworking) – FWW lowers the bar… how minimal can you go, seriously? No-router router table?
- How To Make a Folding Router Table – smooooth. There’s something really nice about these foldable router tables…
- Making a Bench Top Router Table the Easy Way – if you’re gonna do it, do it the easy way like Mr. Demos says!
- Vertically Tilting Router Table – for those vertical tilt applications…
- A Trash Can Router Table Base – this one might actually beat fine woodworking for “minimal…”
2) Full Size/Professional Free Router Table Plans:
Are you ready to upgrade from your bench top model… or starting out on your very first full-size router table? Check out some of these incredible free router table plans!
- Professional Router Table – good pictures, good descriptions, six pages but no actual detailed plans.
- A Router Table for Woodworkers – Excellent design and plans, with complete MTO (material take off) and hook in to a dust collection unit.
- Rolling Router Work Bench (PDF) – SWEET! The Cadillac of router tables… Great and detailed drawings.
- Router Table – A little weak on the plan side, but good details of the build that should give you some ideas
- Floor Standing Router Table – Great Diagrams, great descriptions. NICE PLANS!
- Jane’s Router Table Project – No drawings, great pictures and descriptions. More useful for ideas and tips.
- The Rolling Router Table (made from big electrical wiring spool… COOL!)
- Build a Router Table: American Woodworker Feb 1992 – gorgeous, full size – you can’t beat this bad boy from 1992. Now officially “retro…”
- Quick & Easy Router Table Upgrade – these upgrades should help you make additions to your router table project.
- MOTHER’S ROUTER/SHAPER TABLE – this ain’t your mama’s router table… oh wait, yes it is…
- Router Table Option: Door & Back – more updates/upgrades for router tables…
3) Router Table Accessories and Router Mounting:
You’re done with your router table? Check out some of these free router table accessory plans… and the router mounting guide :)
- Router Table Indexing Jig
- “Making a Router Fence for Incra TS III”
- Router Table Fence
- Mounting a Router in a Bench or Table Top
- Home Built Router Power Feed
- Sliding Top for Router Tables
Router Table Building Forum Threads to Read:
If you don’t have a forum you participate in I highly recommend WoodNet, FamilyWoodworking and LumberJocks. Here are some router table building threads I found in woodworking forums.
- Homemade vs. store-bought router table tops Woodnetters offer advice and tips.
- Router Table Quest Saw Mill Creek – some good nuggets buried in this thread.
- Router Table and Lift – Designs and ideas for a smoothly functioning router workstation from WoodWeb.
- Challenge to Create the Ideal Router Table – Australian woodworking forum – metric alert ;)
- What router and router table – Australian again. Good tips here too.
- Router table design
Router Table Building Resources:
There’s more than one way to rout a cat! These resources stood out as extra special – in a good way.
- Time for a Router Table by Stu Ablett
- Router Table Tips for Building or Buying
- 3 Router Jigs and Fixtures: American Woodworker Jun 1999
- Router Table Tips: What Kind of Router Table Do You Need?
WoodShop Plan Ultimate Guide Series:
Hurry, before they’re sold out… See all our Free Woodworking Plans Collections!
Nice, I’m looking for a good router lift.
Once upon a time I needed a router table, and ran out and bought one. This story has no happy ending. Sure, I’ve got a 500 dollar piece of equipment that holds both the router and workpiece, but I have been fighting with the design of it ever since it arrived. As a woodworker, I take great joy at the end of a project, and shouldn’t have cheated myself of both the experience and the joy of having it built my way. Let’s be honest, woodworking requires spending quality time with all of your machines. Why not have a machine designed exactly how you like it? The price of buying a router table can go a long way for making one, and you get to decide what features it does and doesn’t have. Given that some router tables you can buy cost more than my 500 dollar version, you can probably make one with a router lift, dust collection, miter slots, and a new router for the same price or less. Also, in avoiding to build my own I eventually bought one that came unassembled anyway. So don’t cheat yourselves. Enjoy crafting something that you won’t avoid using. Now, if I can figure out how to make my own table saw. Stay safe, and enjoy.
P.S. In designing your router table give some thought to supporting the router’s weight with something more than just the work surface. This will help avoid table sag over time.