Router Table Cart

Router Table - Concept, Design, and Construction
Router Table — Con­cept, Design, and Construction

I pur­chased a Bosch router table as it had essen­tial­ly every­thing I need out of a router table at a cheap­er price than buy­ing com­po­nents indi­vid­u­al­ly. It’s a “bench­top” mod­el, but when placed on a stan­dard bench the table top then sits at about armpit lev­el, which is prob­a­bly not the safest method to use a router. Also, as I’m col­lect­ing router bits and acces­sories, I find myself need­ing some ded­i­cat­ed stor­age for those items. So I decid­ed to built a cart to sit the table on with some draw­ers. I had plen­ty of extra ply­wood (3/4″, 1/2″, and 1/4″) for the project with­out hav­ing to pur­chase any­thing specif­i­cal­ly for this.

My design just start­ed off as a set of rough mea­sure­ments for the tar­get height and the table width & depth. I then sub­tract­ed out the height for some cast­ers. This gave me the over­all dimen­sions for a cab­i­net car­cass. I fig­ured it was time to try to make some rab­bet joints for this car­cass. A rab­bet is a chan­nel cut along the edge of board to accept a per­pen­dic­u­lar board. You’ve prob­a­bly seen it before even if you did­n’t know what it was called. This allows for two planes of glu­ing sur­face at the joint, which makes the joint remark­ably stronger. I recent­ly got a dado blade set for my table saw and fig­ured this was a per­fect time to try this join­ery method out.1

I cut the 3/4″ x 3/8″ rab­bets along all top and bot­tom pan­els. I then cut a 1/4″ x 3/8″ rab­bet along the back edge of the top, bot­tom, and side pan­els to accept the rear pan­el of the cab­i­net. The oth­er nice thing about this method of join­ery is that it real­ly requires only glue. No mechan­i­cal fas­ten­ers are nec­es­sary. I will say that I was able to get the car­cass most­ly square just by glu­ing up the top, bot­tom, and side pan­els. I real­ly should have glued the back at the same time and that would have ensured the entire box was square, but I just did­n’t have enough large clamps. It’s square-ish and func­tions fine, but I can see the gap around the draw­er faces isn’t consistent.

Pocket Holes for Drawers
Pock­et Holes for Drawers

I built a cou­ple of draw­er box­es out of 1/2″ ply­wood. These were joined with sim­ple pock­et holes. The 1/4″ ply­wood bot­toms were glued and brad nailed into place. I removed one of the draw­er fronts from my drill press cart to trace the hand cutout onto the new draw­er fronts. I quick­ly cut these on the band­saw and then sand­ed them down to a smooth shape. Even though it may let some dust in, I like the sim­plic­i­ty of using these cutouts instead of draw­er pulls.

The draw­ers them­selves are only 4″ deep but the draw­er space for each is about 9″, which allows me to store jigs, router bit box­es, etc. along with my trim router. I got some 2–1/2″ flex­i­ble hose and a split­ter so I can hook up my 4″ dust col­lec­tor quick-con­nect to the router table. I still need to get the quick-con­nect mount­ed to the side of the router table. I should prob­a­bly also do a quick sand­ing and add some fin­ish to the out­side of the cart. But it’s entire­ly func­tion­al and already has helped orga­nize my routers, bits, and accessories.

Sketchup Mod­el of Router Table Cart (cut sheet data includ­ed here as well)

  1. I did actu­al­ly use dados and rab­bets on a small mark­er stor­age box for my daugh­ter sev­er­al years ago, but that was all done with a stan­dard blade rather than a dado stack. []

So Much Storage

We moved to our new home back in late June. The irony of hav­ing so many projects to do at a new house is that there’s not quite as much time to write about them after­wards. And there have been a lot of projects. Most­ly around stor­age and orga­niz­ing. That means a lot of shelves need to be built.

Attic Shelves

We have non-insu­lat­ed attic space off of one of the bed­room clos­ets. While it’s not awe­some hav­ing to car­ry loads and loads through our son’s bed­room, it’s cer­tain­ly a lot more con­ve­nient than the attic over our old sep­a­rate garage space.

Sketchup Model of Attic Storage
Sketchup Mod­el of Attic Storage
Bottom View of Shelving Units
Bot­tom View of Shelv­ing Units

Since part of this area has no floor­ing (and those por­tions of the roof truss­es aren’t designed for stor­age loads), I want­ed to add some dry­wall. This would pre­vent us from push­ing any­thing off the back of the shelves and into this space where it could get lost or, worse, fall through the garage ceil­ing onto our vehi­cles! I did a rea­son­able job of hang­ing the dry­wall and mud­ding the joints and screw heads. I did­n’t real­ly do much in the way of sand­ing, as it’s going to all be cov­ered by the shelves (you have to pick your bat­tles, folks). I also replaced the ter­ri­ble light­ing with four LED strip lights, which is more than enough for this 24′ by 6′ space.

Attic Drywall
Dry­wall in the attic — the wet area was a small roof leak that was fixed

The design of the shelves is pret­ty sim­ple and mod­u­lar. The shelves are 15″ deep, sup­port­ed by the truss mem­bers (you can think of these as wall studs real­ly) along the back and then some 2x3 posts in the front. Those are spaced at 4′ on cen­ter. The shelves them­selves con­sist of 2x2 frames and 1/2″ OSB. The 2x2s are ripped down from 2x4s and screwed togeth­er. The OSB was ripped into 4′ long by 15″ wide strips using a track saw.

Breaking Down Sheet Goods
Break­ing down sheet goods with the track­saw on the trail­er. Note the 1 1/2″ foam insu­la­tion boards for support.

I built all the 2x2 frames in my shop and then car­ried them up to the attic space. There I could use the laser lev­el to set the bot­tom shelf height (at 18″ above the floor) and use 3″ screws to secure it to there truss members/studs. I then lev­eled the shelves front-to-back and secured them with the 2x3 front posts. Last­ly, I placed the OSB (smooth side up, which is real­ly upside-down for OSB) down. I screwed it down to the frames every 24″ or so using some 1–1/4″ deck screws.

Attic Storage System
Com­plet­ed attic stor­age sys­tem with full shelves

The mod­u­lar­i­ty of these 2x2 frames made it very easy to vary the lengths to form the “gal­ley” like design I had for this small area.

Last­ly, my dad was vis­it­ing when we were work­ing on some of our stor­age projects. He jumped right in an helped out with some of the attic shelves and it was real­ly great get­ting to do this project with him!

Garage Shelves

Suf­fice it to say, we have a lot of stuff. We’ve gone through and got­ten rid of loads and still have a lot of stuff. So, while the attic shelves were great we knew they’d be no where near enough. So I also had planned on mak­ing some “loft” style shelves for the our garage. We want­ed to have every­thing sup­port­ed from the ceil­ing to max­i­mize floor (aka, car) space. 

While there are some met­al frame kits avail­able, I real­ly liked the method that Jay Bates and John­ny Brooke used for their garages. So I adapt­ed it to our garage. Basi­cal­ly, these are 2x2 ledges along a wall and ceil­ing, with 2x4 hang­ers to sup­port ply­wood shelves. These shelves are about 30″ deep, again with sup­ports (in this case, the hang­ers) every 4′. The hang­ers are glued and screwed in place for added stiff­ness. The shelves them­selves are 1/2″ sand­ed poplar ply­wood from the home center.

These go up rel­a­tive­ly fast once all the dimen­sion­ing is in place. Locat­ing the wall studs and ceil­ing joists is crit­i­cal here, though. Our garage ceil­ing actu­al­ly has a fram­ing change so I had to accom­mo­date for that. Basi­cal­ly, this amount­ed to switch­ing the 2x2 ceil­ing ledge to the oppo­site side of the hang­er. I end­ed up still miss­ing the ceil­ing joist so I swapped it out for a 2x4 to make up the extra inch or so. It’s not very pret­ty, but what is is sol­id. I made the hang­ers and ledge at a height so that I could eas­i­ly stack two large bins. With 32 lin­ear feet of 30″ shelves so far, we have a ton of stor­age out here now. 

Still More to Go

The real­i­ty is that we’re still not done. Most of what we have left to sort through are box­es of books. Some we’ll keep and put on book­shelves inside but a lot of them are out-of-date ref­er­ence books or even tech­ni­cal books from col­lege that we just no longer need. 

I also want to add some of the garage loft stor­age over the shop area garage door. This will be for stor­ing paint­ing, tiling, dry­wall, etc. sup­plies and tools that we need less often. It’s easy to pull them down with a lad­der but there’s just no need for these to take up floor or shelf space in the shop or garage area.