Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wood - Quick Project - Repurposed Bathroom Vanity Router Table

It is a complete buzz-kill when you are super excited about a new project only to realize that you don’t have all of the tools necessary to even get started.  Missing a key item or plan can not only completely derail your project but also your enthusiasm. 
With visions of black and yellow chevron dancing through my head I figured we would be able to start the laundry room remodel ASAP.  Unfortunately the husband informed me that neither of the 2 router tables he had would be able to handle the large router bit needed to make the cabinetry portion of the laundry room project. 


Most people would probably just go buy a router table at this point.  The husband found that option unacceptable.  Apparently we are both gluttons for punishment and both get frustrated when items that can most likely be made cheaply are overpriced at the store.  So instead of shelling out 100 bucks for a router table the husband build one for 17 dollars.

Inspiration usually hits at odd times…like when you are watching an episode of Criminal Minds and the killer ("unsub" for all you Criminal Minds junkies) has just finished chopping someone up into tiny pieces.  I am not sure what synaptic connection was made in the husbands mind but apparently watching the carnage unfold on the screen made him realize that he could build a router table out of an old bathroom vanity.  Don’t waste your time trying to figure that one out.   The human mind is crazy and the male mind doesn’t think in any logical manner that I have been able to decipher.
I digress... 

If you are looking for an used home item and have a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore we highly recommend you check it out.  They have a ton of items in relatively good condition for great prices.  Plus the money goes to a good cause.  Win, win.

We ended up finding the perfect piece for only 5 dollars.  When we asked the employee how much they were charging he tried to convince us that we didn’t want the beat-up old thing.  “It doesn’t have a door.”  “The top is missing.” “It is ugly.”  He actually seemed torn asking us for a whole five dollars.  One man’s garbage is another man’s router table...and as a bonus it had a small drawer for router bit storage.

As all routers and accessories are different this is not really a tutorial just a general description of the steps the husband took to make his 17 dollar masterpiece.

Project Ranking
Difficulty –Moderate
Frustration –Low
Makeability – 100% Worth It

Step 1: Cut board to desired size for the top of the router table.  The husband used an MDF board.

Step 2: Measure and cut opening for router as well as holes for anchoring and installing the router fence and guard. (Necessary for keeping all of the husbands fingers intact!)
Step 3: Mount the router guard on the top of the router table.
Step 4: Mount the router housing upside down underneath the table top inside the cabinet.

Step 5: In order to make the router easy to use it was necessary to install a switch for the power controls.  If you are familiar with routers you will know that if you are using your router unattached to a table (by holding it in your hands) you have to depress the triggers on the handles to engage the power.  So if you now have it mounted inside your cabinet you will not be able to depress the power triggers.  The husband used a power switch from one of his old router tables and rigged up the handles to always be in the “on” position.   This way the power is controlled through the power switch and not on the handles themselves.  The wife was pretty impressed with his thinking on this one.  She was also concerned that this may lead to additional finger cutting off opportunities….  After seeing the final setup it seems safe but as a disclaimer Wood and Cloth have no idea if this project will lead to your fingers getting cutoff so if you choose to do it and cut off your fingers it is your own fault for following instructions you found online from people that have no qualifications for giving instructions on how to modify fast moving sharp objects.

Step 6:  Finally the husband routed out a guide for a miter gauge. I had originally called this a wood pusher but apparently that wasn't the technical term. 

All in all a great cheap project and we are now one step closer to starting the laundry room redo!  Time to order some wallpaper.

No comments:

Post a Comment