My old router table badly needed replacing. It was way too low, since it started as a table-top and later a frame was added under it. There was no dust collection, unless you count all the dust that collected in the two drawers. The top was too small to adequately use my Join-Tech fence positioner system. And, it was difficult to roll around.
Correcting those issues was the main criteria for designing a new table. The table height went from 29″ to 34″. The top size grew from 24″ x 32″ to 27″ x 42″. Dust collection was added, both a downdraft under the router, and a branch to collect behind the fence. And, a partially concealed wheel system was used.
The top is made from baltic birch plywood, with a 3/4″ sheet glued to a 1/2″ sheet, resulting in a 1 1/4″ thick top. The top is supported on maple “rails” which are attached to the top by wooden “buttons” riding in routed slots to allow for movement. The case is mostly red oak, with some white oak panels. The dust collection area where the router hangs has plexiglas panels, and a light that comes on when the router is switched on, so you can watch the dust get whisked away down the 4″ pipe.
The area under the dust collection box houses the dust collection pipe, and also some hidden casters which are deployed by use of the hand crank at the bottom of the case. These casters raise that end up enough to engage the wheels at the other end of the case.
The Join-Tech positioner mounts to 3/4″ stock which must be clamped to the table securely. I drilled a couple holes in the top and used very short pipe clamps to hold the positioner in place. The slots will allow for movement of the unit as needed.
The top has yet to get its miter channel, and I plan to work on improving the fence which attaches to the positioner. My old table had a Formica laminate surface, and perhaps this one will get that treatment in the future. For now, the top is baltic birch plywood, finished with 5 coats of poly-acrylic, and a coat of wax. The rest of the piece got a Danish Oil finish.
The dust collection works even better than I had hoped. It is a night and day difference from my old set-up. The larger surface will come in handy, and working at a better height makes it much easier to use.