Adding a router table to your home woodshop could save you a lot of time, it’s just not worth the money to go out and buy one. Not to mention the amount of space it takes up for a tool that isn’t used even half as often as something like your table saw.
Many at home woodworkers are just freehanding it and taking twice as much time routing boards as they could be with a router table, and some of them even come out with mistakes.
But the solution here is much simpler than you might think. As woodworkers, most of the furniture in our homes were built by hand, so it’s surprising how often we don’t consider custom building our woodworking workshops.
Not only is it cheaper, but that way we’re also able to make the tools our own, thus catering better to our needs and more effectively working with the limited amount of space we have.
These are six simple, space-saving, free and, easy router table plans that can be put together in less than a weekend.
Here’s the list of DIY free router tables plans covered in this article:
- Fine Woodworking’s Simple Router Table
- Woodworking Tips’ Trash Can Router Table
- Fine Woodworking’s Stow-and-Go Router Table
- Rockler’s Wall-Mounted Router Table
- Woodsmith Shop’s Router Table
- Family Handyman’s Router Table
01. Fine Woodworking’s Simple Router Table
It really doesn’t get much simpler than this first router table: a piece of plywood, a 1×4, a router, and a router mounting plate. Ideally, you will have a miter saw and table saw to cut your lumber to size, but you could get away with using the right circular saw in a pinch.
But if your woodshop is lacking a miter saw, or table saw, you may want to invest in some of those before getting into streamlining the routing process.
This router table can go together in under an hour and is the perfect starting place if you decide to add some bells and whistles to it in the future. It does not take up much space so that it can be stored easily.
The only catch with this design is that you’ll need to build a router table stand for it if you don’t have somewhere to set it up already. But the next plan actually addresses that problem in a unique and clever way.
Find the free router table plan here: Fine Woodworking.
Make your own workbench following these simple plans: Free DIY Workbench Plans & Designs
02. Woodworking Tips’ Trash Can Router Table
This design should be introduced with the disclaimer that if you are a fashion over function woodworker, this router table may not be the design for you. However, if you have limited space and value functionality in your workshop, you’ll love this design.
Even though we have to admit it might look a little janky, this idea is one of those sort of genius ideas that you see and think to yourself “how didn’t I think of that?”
The idea here is to take the metal 30-gallon trash bin that is already lying around your woodshop and set the router table from the previous design on top of it or any other design you might like. It doesn’t get much more straightforward and functional than this.
The trash can works as a stand, and with a sandbag or something heavy in the bottom of it is very stable, despite how it may look.
Drill a hole in the side to route your wiring through, and that’s it. This design works like a charm, and it also cleans up the majority of the mess for you without having to run a dust vacuum. It’s a win-win!
Find the free router table plan here: Woodworking Tips
More creative diy projects here: 21 Simple DIY Woodworking Projects for Beginners
03. Fine Woodworking’s Stow-and-Go Router Table
Now, suppose you don’t want your router table set up on top of a trash can, a requirement you may not have known you had until now. In that case, this free DIY router table plan design may be a better fit for someone looking for all the functionality of the previous models, most of the simplicity, and less of the garbage can.
The table itself goes together incredibly simple, very much like the first plan. But the stand here is made of a collapsable system that makes the table’s storage easy but expands to be sturdy and easy to work with, which earned it its name: the stow-and-go router table.
The expanding legs on the router table work by having two pieces of plywood on each side sliding past one and other, allowing the legs to extend and be clamped down at an optimal height.
It’s worth noting that this router table is recommended to be clamped to another, more sturdy table or a wall while in use, as the plywood legs may not be strong enough to hold it up for extended periods. But for versatile router tables that packs down quickly, it may be worth the trade-off.
Find the free router table plan here: Fine Woodworking
04. Rockler’s Wall-Mounted Router Table
Rockler’s wall-mounted router table is the compromise between having a space-saving table that’s out of the way and a dedicated router table right where you need it. While installing this table into the wall may be a bit more tedious than some of the other designs, the convenience and space-saving gains from doing so really can’t be beaten.
Although we mentioned this project is a bit more tedious than the ones mentioned above, it doesn’t take much more complexity to be more work to put together than those. The router table itself will fold up into a cabinet on plain old door hinges.
On top of that, the cabinet can offer some options for a little extra storage space that we would recommend designing to hold all the router bits for your router table and other things you might use.
Even with this added complexity, a skilled woodworker could throw this router table together in under a day. And considering the endless possibilities for customization, for example, drilling a hole to mount your shop vac for effortless dust collection, you can make this router table your own.
By fabricating a dedicated spot for this table to fold into the wall, and allowing it to fold away when in use, this DIY router table plan is potentially the best marriage of space savings and dedicated construction on this list. Assuming you have the wall space for it.
Find the free router table plan here: Rockler.
Essential hand tools you may need: 13 Essential Hand Tools for Woodworking Beginners
05. Woodsmith Shop’s Router Table
This is the point in the list where our router table designs start to get a little more complicated and have some more features. But this one comes with a warning, carefully choose what features you do and don’t add to your table; there is nothing worse than spending extra time and money on an additional feature that you never use.
But even considering some of the extra features on this DIY router table, it stills heirs on the side of simplicity. The idea is similar to some of the previous plans.
Still, this one has a more customizable fence that allows for more woodshop accessories, has integrated wiring, and even includes a plan to turn the simple stand into a cabinet storage area.
Find the free router table plan here: Woodsmith Shop.
06. Family Handyman’s Router Table
This last DIY router table plan features just about all the features you can integrate into a router table while remaining simple and functional. On top of that, it also discusses in detail some of the options for purchasing table routers to fit the demands of your woodshop.
This plan includes options for dust collection, storage, bit organization, and just about every addition you could think of, and some you might not have. It’s the most functional and feature-filled plan that is simple enough to be completed by the average woodworker in under a weekend.
If you’re trying to prove a point about what a great DIY router table you can make, this plan might be the one to take back to your shop. With all the bells, whistles, and functionality of a high-end commercially produced router table, with none of the cost and all of the bragging rights that come with building it yourself.
Find the free router table plan here: Family Handyman
Safety tools & gears you must have: 11 Essential Pieces of Safety Equipment for Woodworking
Final Thoughts on Free DIY Router Table Plans
If you think having a router table in your woodshop might save you some time and grief, then one of these plans is bound to fit your needs. It’s also worth pointing out the similarity between many of these plans.
Of course, they are all building the same thing, and there aren’t that many different ways to create a router table.
Parts of each free router table plan may be interchangeable with the others. For example, let’s say you like the simplicity of the first simple router table on the list, but want the fence to have more options and customization.
You can easily integrate the fence Woodsmith Shop’s fence design to make your simple table fit your needs better.
Although the amount of DIY free router table plans on the internet is almost endless, if you are looking for an affordable and effective router table design, you can definitely find one to fit in your woodworking space on this list.