A router is a fantastic tool on its own even just used by hand. But did you know that with a cleverly designed table, you can use a router to do all sorts of creative work? You can mount a router to these neat tables to give you more access to working with the tool at different angles or even upside down. A diverse router table helps you make cuts that would be awkward or even impossible by hand.
Once you try a router table, you might never take the router back off again. Let’s look at how a router table works and some of the best plans you can follow to DIY your very own router table for your workshop.
Table of contents
Picking a Router for Your Table
Most hobbyists will tell you that it doesn’t much matter what router you select for your router table as they all tend to perform similarly. There’s some truth to this, but like many things in your workshop, you get what you pay for. You want a router that will last you a long time and handle even the toughest jobs.
Get a router that’s relatively lightweight, as many DIY router table plans are lightweight themselves so that they’re easier and more accessible for the home workshop. You’ll want one with a long cord so that you can move your table around with the router mounted on or in it. Additionally, it can be advantageous to select a router that’s easy to assemble, disassemble, or creatively mount, but it’ll depend on the specific goal or use of each router table. Read more to learn about the different types of router tables and how to pick a router.
Best Router Table Plans
This small-sized and easy-to-build router table is a great first-time table for any DIY-er working on a budget. All you need is a half a sheet of plywood, some solid wood lumber, basic hardware, a mounting plate for your router, and a router with above-the-table adjustments.
The Stow-and-Go router table can be hacked together for under $100 and doesn’t take up very much space. Each part is cut from the plywood and is easy to assemble. They’re also then easy to disassemble for easy portability and storage, making this the perfect router table to take with you to small job sites. Check out the step-by-step plans for the ultra-compact Stow-and-Go router table by Fine Woodworking.
The 3-in-1 multi-tool is another highly compact router table you can make in your own workshop. It’s really a router table, a mortiser, and an edge joiner all in one build. Making use of a palm router, it packs a whole lot of power in a very small table.
This diverse table lets you work with smaller pieces and more narrow moldings while also making it easier to set up for the entire series of cuts. It features two workpiece supports that give you more direct control when using longer boards. You can also connect an edge-joining fence so you can cut square edges onto very small wooden parts. You can even insert the router plate vertically to rout mortises easier than ever before.
Check out the 3-in-1 Multi-Tool by Woodsmith Plans.
This simple featured Instructables table is user-submitted and offers one of the simplest and most affordable DIY router tables you can make. It uses chalkboard and MDF for the surface material, a simple router base plate (which you can purchase or fashion yourself), a fence (also made of chalkboard and MDF), and a built-in vacuum for easy cleanup.
Simple supports are built with 2x3s to provide a strong base while keeping the surface level. Optionally, this plan even details adjustment screws that give you more granular control over the height of the router plate. Once you level the table and glue the chalkboard surface in place, all you have to do is cut the tracks into the base of the fence and drill holes for your hardware. A few more steps and you’ve got a simple DIY router table for an affordably low price.
Check out the Cheap and Easy Router Table at Instructables.
If you’re lacking square footage, then a wall-mounted router table is the perfect solution for your woodworking needs without stealing all of your workshop space. Many DIYers are working out of their humble garages, and with wives and families to appease, they can’t necessarily transform an entire corner of the house into their dream shop.
Spouses will be pleased to see you instead hunker down in the corner of a single room with your wall-mounted router table that protrudes a mere 12 inches from the wall. This design has clever storage spots to minimize its size and save as much space as possible. Even the router itself tucks neatly into the build.
Check out the wall-mounted router table by Rockler.
A simple router table plan is the best router table plan for an inexperienced DIYer looking to get into more advanced woodworking. A few of the plans listed above are more complicated and require a little more know-how to set up, but the Woodsmith Simple router table is the perfect project to get your feet wet while you learn how powerful a router table can be.
The most complicated part of this router table plan is the materials list. There are a lot of small pieces and parts, and if you forget any of them, you’re left with an incomplete project until you make your next trip to the hardware store. However, once you have everything you need, the process of cutting and assembling the pieces for this table is a breeze. This plan even includes an attractive closed base you can build as a weekend project if you’re ready to step up your woodworking game.
Check out the Simple router table by Woodsmith.
If you want to minimize the cutting, drilling, and routing behind building the router table itself, the $100 router table is a great choice. Obviously no DIY project is going to get done without a little elbow grease, but this extremely-affordable build makes it simpler than ever to hack together a router table with as few pieces and parts as possible.
Conveniently, you can buy most of the lumber you need at the right size, as this plan is written for you to cut as little as possible. Mostly, you’re clamping and gluing pieces into place until you have the structure built and ready to screw together. This makes the $100 router table the perfect choice for a brand new hobbyist who’s just beginning to get their workshop together. The table is simple, and the instructions are simple for even an amateur to follow. If you’re worried that a custom router table might be too big a project for you, this is the plan for you to start with.
Check out the $100 Router Table by Popular Woodworking.