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I'm making a table to hold my router. The surface will most likely be plywood but I'm wondering how to make the legs and attach them so that they're strong enough and the table is stable.

Router Table V0.01

The table is 1m high. From the drawing it's looking like the legs will snap off with any weight.

I don't have space to have a permanent table so I need to be able to take it apart for storage when it's not being used. I thought that being able to screw the legs in/out would be the solution to this but now I'm not convinced that a single screw would be sufficient.

  1. How do I know what thickness legs I need?
  2. What sort of joint should I consider for the legs such that I can take them off (or fold them up)?
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    Hi, welcome to Woodworking. How thick the legs need to be is impossible to answer definitively, but you would definitely not want them this skinny for a table anything like as pictured even if you built with a good hardwood! I strongly recommend redesigning this completely. Have you looked any of the existing designs for router tables to see if there's anything you could just basically copy outright rather than trying to design your own? I know there are some potentially suitable options out there. And in fact you can ditch the idea of a router table entirely if your setup allows.... [contd]
    – Graphus
    Apr 19 at 3:17
  • ...the simplest 'router table' is just a piece/lamination of plywood, particleboard or MDF with a hole in the centre clamped to the edge of an existing surface. See Patrick Spielman's Router Handbook on Archive.org, p. 146.
    – Graphus
    Apr 19 at 3:27
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    @Graphus it can indeed be totally redesigned. It only exists as a drawing so far. I had an epiphany this morning. I already have a collapsible workbench so I only really need a thing to fit on top of that.
    – BanksySan
    Apr 19 at 8:41

2 Answers 2

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I'd be hard pressed to trust those spindly legs to hold anything more than tea service attended by the most discrete butler.

  • 2x4" lumber, screwed together into 4 L-shaped legs would be good.
  • Triangular pieces of plywood, glued & screwed together into L-shaped legs would be better.
  • A top and a couple of clamps to hold it to an existing workbench might be even better than that
  • Depending on the height of your existing workbench, a "table top" router table might be the way to go
    • Plywood legs would be easier to make at a short height
    • You can put the work surface to a more comfortable height for you to work with.
    • It could have a leg design specifically to clamp to your existing workbench. Flats across the bottom for clamps, pegs to fit into holes in the work surface, whatever you need for your bench.
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Since you're open to the idea of a complete redesign to give you the functionality you require without having to have a permanent footprint, here are some options for you. There are some folding or collapsible designs with merit but I'll concentrate on those that don't require any additional floorspace.

The simplest 'router table' is just a piece/lamination of plywood, particleboard or MDF with a hole in the centre clamped to the edge of an existing surface, or, bridging two trestles/sawhorses/boxes/stools. This very basic setup is described by Patrick Spielman in the cornerstone Router Handbook, page 1461. Obviously something like this can just be hung on the wall when not in use.

Spielman goes on to illustrate a slightly more elaborate setup on the facing page, simple enough it could be made in a single afternoon. Here are a few alternatives:
Free Portable Router Table Woodworking Plan on Wood Magazine.
Fold-Away Router Table on Woodsmith.
Simple Router Table on Popular Woodworking.

For small benchtop router tables2 here is a selection (all on YouTube):

Benchtop router tables

Mini Router Table from Patrick Sullivan.
I Can Do That! Benchtop Router Table, from Popular Woodworking.
The BEST DIY Router Table for Beginners. #woodjigs21, from DIYForKnuckleheads.
Mini Router Table / trimmer table from JSK-koubou.


1 For anyone whose local library system doesn't have a copy, you can read this for free (after you sign up) on Archive.org.

2 Note these are generally built around trim routers, but could be made taller to incorporate a larger router within reason.

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    Thanks Graphus. There's some good ideas there. Thanks for finding some examples too, it's really helpful. There's definitely ideas there I can take.
    – BanksySan
    Apr 20 at 8:58

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