See how Drew put together a DIY bench-top router table out of scrap wood and simple hardware, complete with a fence and dust collection, for less than $25.
With the number of wood projects happening in our garage these days, the scrap wood pile tends to get a little out of control every now and then. When this happens, it’s time to get creative and see what masterpiece Drew can come up with using what we have. Kill two birds with one stone. Get the scrap wood corner back into shape, and hopefully come out on the other side with a fun new build. Bonus points if the end product is something useful!
After purchasing a few hardware odds and ends, this project came out under $25. Not too bad for something I know Drew will use over and over again on future wood builds. Especially not bad when I see the $200+ price tag on manufactured router tables that serve the same purpose. Make sure to check out the video to see the process unfold!
Cost Breakdown For Scrap Wood Router Table
Scrap Wood – FREE! But even if you had to buy some or all of the wood for this project, you could still come out on the cheap around $10 to $15.
2 pack – 24″ Universal T Track with Predrilled Mounting Holes: $18.99
Wood Screws to fit router: ~$0.50
Wing Nuts and Washers: ~$1
Pocket Hole Screws: FREE! Drew already had some of these, but if you had to purchase them, they’d be about $6.
Flathead screws for T Track: ~$1
Dust Collection Port: FREE! Drew used an old unused shop vac attachment we had on hand, but you could buy a new shop vac attachment for around $7.
Drew’s Grand Total: $21.49
Grand Total If You Purchased Everything New: ~$45
Tools and Materials Needed for Building Scrap Wood Router Table
Router to be mounted on finished table
3/8″ Forstner drill bit
2” Hole Saw
Pocket Hole Jig
Circular saw or table saw to cut channels for the T track
Jig Saw (optional)
Screws for mounting your Router (Drew used 2” Screws)
2- 1/4” Hex bolts for T Track
2- Wing Nuts
2 pack – 24″ Universal T Track with Predrilled Mounting Holes
Pocket Hole Screws
3/8” Flathead Screws for attaching T Track
3- Small Sections of ¾” Plywood
Scrap wood for screw extrusions under T Channel (Drew used 2 scrap 1/4″ plywood pieces the length of the Router Table surface)
Scrap Wood for Fence- Drew used ¾” Red Oak cut to the width of the Router Table surface for the fence, with 4″ pieces for the two fence attachment pieces.
Scrap Wood for Dust Collection Assembly- Drew used a piece of poplar large enough to drill a 2″ hole in (3″ x 3″) and some 1/4″ plywood as the side supports.
Scrap Wood for Clamping Router Table (Drew used scrap 2″ x 2″ pieces)
Tite Bond Quick and Thick
Dust Collection Hose Attachment – Drew used an unused shop vac attachment he had.
Watch Drew Build His Router Table From Scrap Wood
How To Build A Bench Top Router Table with Fence and Dust Collection
Step One: Prepare Surface for Mounting Router (router will be mounted in later step).
1. Before you start, orient scrap wood board so that long edges are on top and bottom, and shorter edges are on the sides. Drew’s board was 22″ x 19″. However, if you’re using scrap wood it’s okay to adjust the dimensions based upon your scrap piece.
2. Next, find center of 22″ x 19″ board and make a pencil mark. Then from your pencil mark, measure about 2 inches toward the top long edge and make another pencil mark. This second mark is where the router will be mounted in a later step. Later on, the router will be mounted on underside of board once table is assembled.
3. Place router template piece with center hole over mark, then trace around the template piece with a pencil and mark location for mounting screws. Set aside router template.
4. Next, cut OPTIONAL inset into 22″ x 19″ board (you may choose to mount the router directly to the board surface without adding the inset; if so, skip to next step). For inset, use your router to cut out the area traced in the above step to 1/4″ depth. At this point, you may have to attach an extension piece to your router in order to get an even depth. NOTE: Drew chose to cut the inset to insure he could get full extension on his router bits.
5. Cut a 2″ hole in the center of your circle using a hole saw, and drill holes for screws with a drill. Now use a 3/8″ forstner bit to inset the screws on the top of the table.
Step Two: Install T Tracks on Table Surface.
1. Now, turn board over so that inset (or pencil markings if not cutting inset) are on bottom of board.
2. Cut channels for both T tracks by setting saw blade height to 3/8″ and making blade width passes, slightly moving the fence until reaching 3/4″ width. Alternatively, use a DADO Stack for your tablesaw to cut channels. The channels were cut 5″ from each side of the Router Table top (see drawing below).
3. Next, cut down the T track down to the length of your table surface. Drew taped the pieces together; this way, he could be sure to cut them the exact same length. He used a table saw to cut them down, and then he used his miter gage to perform cross cuts on the pieces. It did produce a lot of metal shavings, so he would likely use a jigsaw with a metal blade to cut metal in the future.
4. Glue strip of quarter inch plywood under each channel. This way, the screws wouldn’t be exposed on the bottom of table.
5. Finally, mount the T tracks in channels using small flathead screws.
Step Three: Assemble the fence.
1. First, cut wood piece for fence to width of table. Drew used a scrap piece of red oak and cut to 22″.
2. Next, cut attachment supports to attach behind fence to around 4 inches. Drew used the same piece of red oak for attachment pieces. Drill 1/4″ holes 1.5″ from the rear of these pieces for the hexbolts to slide into. This way, the fence can slide along the T track.
3. At this point, use the 2″ hole from the router table top to trace a semi circle centered on the bottom of the fence. Cut out the semi circle with a hole saw, then clean the edges with a jig saw.
4. Finally, line up the fence on the router table with the fence support pieces and hex bolts inserted into the T track. At this point, be sure the support pieces are sliding freely in the track. Then line up the fence with the support pieces and attach the supports to the fence using pocket hole screws. This way, by lining everything up before attaching to the fence, your fence will function properly once assembled.
Step Four: Assemble and attach dust collection port.
1. First, use a hole saw to cut a 2″ hole into a scrap piece of wood. Here, Drew used a 3″ x 3″ scrap piece of poplar.
2. Next, create the dust collection assembly. Drew used an unused shop vac attachment, and he used a handsaw to cut the neck off of the attachment. Then he glued the neck into the 2″ hole in the scrap piece of poplar. At this point, he filled in any voids between the wood and plastic neck using Titebond Quick and Thick and sawdust. This way, he was able to achieve a good seal.
3. Finally, cut down 2 quarter-inch scrap wood pieces to serve as side supports for the dust collection port. Here, Drew angled the hose attachment port to around 45 degrees and marked the scrap piece side supports at the angle and cut them down. Now, glue supports to port, then glue assembly to fence. Drew used Titebond Quick and Thick, which set up nicely.
Step Five: Attach Table Side Supports.
1. First, cut scrap ply wood for side supports of table. Drew cut down these side supports to the 19″ length of his table surface with a 12″ height. However, you may need to adjust the height of your side supports based upon the size of your router. You want to make sure you have enough clearance to drop your router out and change the bit easily. Drew also cut out some notches for handles with a jigsaw at this point
2. Next, attach supports to each side of the bottom of the Table surface using pocket hole screws.
Step Six: Attach Router to Assembled Table.
1. Mount router to underside of table using the screws sized for your router, making sure the router is secure to the bottom of the table surface.
Step Seven: Attach clamp supports for clamping router table to work surface.
1. Drew used scrap 2″ x 2″ pieces cut to the 19″ side length to create extrusion pieces for clamping router table to work bench/surface. This way, the router table won’t move when using the router.