I apologize for not having photos of the router lift and my in-progress router table…I’ve had so little time in the shop recently that I’ve just been working feverishly in there and not thinking much about documenting the projects. But the router lift is pretty much done! I haven’t put a finish on it, and I’m debating what to do about that–there are clearly some parts that shouldn’t receive a finish, but I’m thinking that finishing the other parts might keep the wood from being quite so subject to dimensional changes with humidity (or the lack thereof). So I’ll probably take it all apart and spray on some polyurethane at some point.
The router table is coming along, but taking a long time, it seems. Our weather here in the midwest has been so crazy this spring. As I write this, I’ve just come in from my garage shop, where the temperature was around 60 degrees (aided by a small electric space heater); outdoors it was only about 45 today. On Easter Sunday (two days ago), it was in the upper 50s or lower 60s. On Palm Sunday (just one week earlier) there was a 4-6″ blanket of snow in the morning. Just a few days before that we had temps in the 70s. But for the most part, it’s been sort of cold and snowy in the past few weeks. (And I’ve been busy with some other stuff, so shop time has been all too scarce.)
I modeled my router table after Rudolf Baumeller’s design (featured on woodgears.ca), though I didn’t pay that much attention to his dimensions. There are eight drawers in this design (four small ones, four larger ones), surrounding a central space for the router (and lift). As of tonight, all eight drawers have been constructed and fitted, but I still need to make and attach drawer fronts. There’s a ton of sanding to do, as well, and I still need to make the drawer pulls.
I haven’t decided how to construct the top yet. I have some 3/4″ MDF, but I’ve also got some 3/4″ birch plywood that would work. One more idea is a surplus kitchen counter top, left over from a kitchen remodeling project. It’s already got the laminate on it, and all I’d have to do is figure out how to cut it down to a useful size.
The materials I’ve used for the router table (and the lift, for that matter) are all just scraps I’ve had around the shop for a long time. Some of it is pretty crappy material, but I don’t have a lot of money to invest in the project, so I’ve had to make do. The main frame of the table is made from 2×4 pine studs; the side panels are left over 5mm underlayment (from a bathroom remodeling project). The drawers are pieced together from various scraps of 1/2″ plywood (some old stuff that really is 1/2″ thick, and some that is really nasty sheathing or BC plywood, at best–about as flat as a potato chip. There are even some bits of 7/16″ OSB left over from my shop walls (and more of that 5mm stuff for the drawer bottoms). I’ve never had so many splinters from one project (hence the need for a LOT of sanding coming up).
I modeled the frame in SketchUp (with very little detail), then added a drawing of the corner post joinery, just for reference. After I cut and milled all the parts and established the overall dimensions, I pretty much made the rest up as I went along. A bit of an adventure, but fun, and pretty cool to see it all come together.
The toughest part of this project will be figuring out where to put this table in my small, crowded, one-car garage shop. My old three-wheel bandsaw and stand can go away now that I have my new bandsaw, so that will help.
The spring is really my favorite time to be in the shop–it’s not beastly hot yet, and the bugs haven’t gotten bad yet, so I can work with the garage door open…