If you don't have space in your shop for a floor mounted router table, or if you want a simpler route to a router table so to speak, consider this project. Remember, also, that at times it is handy to have two router tables and you certainly don't need to build two floor mounted units. This smaller model is easy to build, store, and use, and will function just as well for most routing purposes as any other larger model.
On this router table you'll make a heavy duty top, using stack laminations of hardwood. This takes time to make, but over the long run a top like this will hold up to crushing by clamps and other hard use. If you prefer, you can use a particleboard or plywood top to make it easier.
Begin by getting out all the parts. Note that they are all the same width, but most of the parts for the undercarriage are shorter than those needed for the top. This is useful for making efficient use of your stock. As you look for length combinations in your stock that will give you the numerous 20" long pieces needed for the top, often you will find combinations that give you, say, two 20" and one 18". "Darn," you think, "if only it were two inches longer!" Well don't go buy a board stretcher yet, just use that 18" piece for one of the 16" side rails.
As you get out the pieces, remember that you can use pieces with bad defects in the stack lamination. There is no need to cut out all the knots and rough edges, so long as each part has one clean edge that you can turn upward for the top. Glue together all the pieces for the top in one gluing operation. Use a lot of glue on the lamination faces, because you are gluing a broad area and much of the glue will be absorbed. If you lay down only a thin layer you run the risk of it all being absorbed so that the joint itself is starved. Keep hot water and rags close by to deal with the mess.
Keep a close eye on how flat your glue up is. Put your clamps onto a flat surface to begin with so that what is put on them will be relatively flat too. As you tighten the clamps on the laminations some of them will slide and shift around under pressure and with the slippery glue. Lay a straight edge across the top and correct any discrepancies greater than 1/8". Later you'll rout off that last 1/8", but for now just guarantee that they stay close.
Note that the whole thing can become twisted, like an oriental fan beginning to open. Conceptually this is a neat idea but it's devastating for your router table, so watch that the two end laminations stay parallel. To do so use winding sticks, which are two straight sticks, of uniform width, about three feet long. Place one on one of the end laminations (perpendicular to them), the other on the other end. Stand to the side and align your line of sight along the top edge of both sticks. If the two laminations are not parallel, you will immediately see the discrepancy along the winding sticks. A little out of parallel is not bad at this stage, but use the winding sticks to guarantee that things aren't real bad.
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