My router table
(above) is based on an old design originally made popular by American Woodworker Magazine.
I borrowed much of the design from their original, along with design modifications
shown on the New Yankee Workshop television show, and some ideas of my own. In
particular, both of the previous versions used shop built fences made out of hardwood.
In my opinion a wood based fence is a poor choice and prone to distort. I
chose to purchase a commercial aluminum fence with sacrificial MDF facings. This is
rock solid and easy to adjust. The MDF facings are designed to adjust tightly up to
any size or shape of cutter, and can even be cut for zero clearance if desired. The
7 small drawers are storage for router bits and small accessories. The large drawer
at the bottom stores feather boards, dovetail jig, inlay jig, cope and stick sets, push
blocks, etc. A dust collection port is built into the back of the router gallery.
houses this router, a Porter Cable 3.25 HP plunge base with variable speed. Variable
speed is absolutely necessary when turning the larger bits. This router handles
panel raising bits of 3" in diameter with no problem. The router motor plugs
into a receptacle designed into the cabinet, which is interrupted by the external toggle
switch which you can see in the uppermost photo. The router plunge base is outfitted
with a Router Raizer lift system. This
system permits adjusting the depth of cut from above or below the table. If you
remove the router from the table for hand held use the RR still does the job. I
don't think there is a better system for the money.