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. []

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.

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