There are lots of fancy full cabinet router table plans out there. I frankly don't have the space for one of those in my shop, unless I do some serious rearranging, and get rid of some tables or such.
There are also lots of commercial tables out there, priced all the way from (piece of junk) to (not bad) and right up to (sound of passing out). Some are portable, which would work in my current small shop.
But, as this is (so far) still a hobby, cost is an issue that cannot be ignored or claimed as an expense on my taxes.
Finally, I'm also trying to see how long I can get along with this old (ancient?) Rockwell router that I my Dad gave me when he retired. I've got a nice Hitachi plunge router for hand work, so I thought that this old D-handle router could live out it's life permanently table mounted. I could buy a new one, but do remember the previous paragraph.
So this is what I came up with as a cheap, simple, accurate, and portable, router table solution. It is a sort of a cross between an article in the April'05 Popular Woodworking magazine, and Pat Warner's basic design, and of course my own humble design skills round out the plan and bring it all together.
I call this a "Disposable" router table, as the cost is low enough to be practically free. Also, the effort to build it was pretty minimal, so if I only get some limited use out of it -- even if only enough use to find out what I want to change in the next one -- even then it will have been worth while.
I started with a Seven Dollar piece of half-inch MDF, 24x48" in size, from the local big box home store. Along with that I also picked up a short extension cord, and a few electrical bits. Net cost for the whole table, therefore, was no more than about Twenty dollars.
The MDF was cut down to 2'x2' to give a top, pictured here. (In the photo it was being used with some Woodline dovetailing jig parts.) A hole is drilled for access to the router bit, and some holes counterbored for mounting the router base. I removed the D-Handle, to make the base smaller for mounting.
The rest of the MDF was cut into a sort of horseshoe shape to fit around the router, and then glued and screwed to the top in a torsion box arrangement to keep the top flat and strong. I purposely made this smaller than the top, as I'll want the edge open for clamping.
This underneath photo shows the sub-top assembly. It also shows the electrical hookup. The extension cord was cut, fed through a switch, and out the back. The sides are some random scrap plywood, ripped to about 12" tall and fastened to the two sides of the torsion sub-assembly.
And here is the just mentioned back. A few curved scraps of wood give space for winding up the cord when I stash the router table away.
That brings us to the end. No fancy router raising gizmos, or above the table bit changing options. Just take the motor out of the base and do the work from above. The fence is a simple affair, which is clamped to the table for use. I will be making some adjustable sacrificial faces for sliding closer to the bit, but haven't gotten around to it just yet.
The top was finished with a quick coat of Tried-n-True "original wood finish", which is just a mixture of beeswax and Linseed Oil. Wiped on, allowed to sit, and buffed out.
That's all for now. More details after I've used it for a few months.
I know, it's hardly anything fancy. Let me repeat: Even if I only get limited use out of it -- even if only enough use to find out what I want to change in the next one -- even then it will have been worth while.