Make a tablesaw and router workstation

This mobile platform combines a tablesaw and router workstation—a handy companion for a small shop

By Gary Walchuk


Photo by Roger Yip

I should have built this tablesaw and router station years ago for its space-saving and efficiency qualities. Housing sawing and routine operations in one place doubles space efficiency, and casters on the station make the machines mobile, allowing you to position the unit exactly where you want it. Then there’s storage: five full-extension drawers create room for tablesaw accessories and router bits. Attach a simple dust port to a vacuum system and you have a dream–clean operation.

This workstation relies heavily on a rock-solid base cabinet. Before starting, measure your tablesaw, fence and blade and apply these specs to your plans.


Getting started

Begin by cutting the inner cabinet partitions to size, then prepare a 1 ½” x 3 ¼” notch into the top front corner of each one. Cut the shelf to size, then attach it to the partitions, 6 ¼” from their bottom edges. Cut the cabinet sides as well.

The two left-side drawers don't use metal slides. Instead, they move on ½" x ½" solid wood drawer guides. Cut and attach these with glue and nails while the sides and partitions are still open. Cut both the station’s top and bottom, and fasten the bottom to the underside of the cabinet. The left-side edge should be eight inches from the outside face of the left partition. Set aside the top for now.

This project includes three stiffeners for the unit's right and left sides and front that fit into the bottom of the cabinet, adding weight, rigidity and a thick caster base. Cut all three stiffeners to size and install them with glue and screws.

Now install the all-important front top brace/front face pieces. Cut the brace from hardwood and the front face from particle board, then glue and clamp them together to make the strong, 1 ½"-thick top-front cabinet face that nestles the partitions and acts as a support beam for the top. Glue and screw the assembly in place, with the front surface flush with the edges of the shelf and partitions.

Add the left cabinet side to the assembly, then cut and fasten the back panel to the back edges of the shelf and partitions. Install the right-hand side and cabinet top. I added style by capping exposed particleboard edges with ¾" half-round maple moulding. Cap all visible edges and mitre the corners. Secure the wood strips with glue and one-inch brad nails. Cut the drawer boxes to size using ½" Baltic birch plywood for the box sides and ends and ¼"-thick veneered ply for the bottoms. The drawer fronts are separate pieces of ½” Baltic ply with laminate-covered fronts. After installing the drawer boxes, install the drawer faces and knobs.

Tuning up

The right-side tabletop extension simply replaces the one that came with your tablesaw. Start with some ¾” x 27” x 32” ply, then apply laminate to its surface and cut a hole for the router base-plate. After removing your tablesaw from its stand, set its base on top of the cabinet and centre it over the middle drawer section. My Delta 10” contractor’s saw is set about an inch from the back edge of the cabinet. Align the front edge of the fence parallel with the side of the cabinet, then trace the outline of the base and cut an opening for it in the top. Set the saw in place and screw or bolt it down.

Your saw should now be sitting on a box with nothing around it. Build the enclosure to surround the router and support the extension top. Measure from the top of this extension to the cabinet top, then build an L-shaped base for this space. Position this so it encloses the router. Fasten the bottom edges with screws from beneath the top and angle brackets above. Use hardware with slotted holes to adjust the extension top.

Finishing up and special features

Plug all screw holes, fill nail holes, then finish–sand and apply three coats of semi-gloss polyurethane. Mount the casters and you're ready to roll.

Special features:

  • -On-board storage keeps bits, blades and accessories organized. The drawers' full-extension runners are smooth and strong.
  • -A convenient safety switch makes for easy control.
  • -No more stooping or dangerous fishing for the router switch below. Handy features include a router fence and a featherboard.
  • -The linkbelt reduces vibration for more precise cuts.
  • -A built-in dust collection system keeps the workstation clean.
  • -Casters make it easy to tuck the station out of the way.

Tools & Materials

Part Material Size (T x W x L*) Qty.

Partitions 3/4" x 22 3/4" x 13 1/2" 2
Sides 3/4" x 22 3/4" x 13 1/2" 2
Shelf 3/4" x 22 3/4" x 13 1/2" 1
Drawer guides hardwood 1/2" x 1/2" x 22 1/4" 4
Top and bottom 3/4" x 22 3/4" x 16 1/2" 2
Left-side stiffener 3/4" x 22 1/4" x 7 1/4" 1
Front stiffener hardwood 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 27 1/4" 1
Right-side stiffener hardwood 3/4" x 5 1/2" x 16 3/4" 1
Top brace hardwood 3/4" x 3 1/4" x 52 1/2" 1
Front face 3/4" x 6 1/4" x 52 1/2" 1
Back 3/4" x 13 1/2" x 52 1/2" 1
Moulding maple, half-round 3/4" 40"
Casters Lee Valley 00K20.10 4
Plastic laminate Formica in "Stop Red" 48 "x 48" 1
Note: all parts are 3/4" birch-veneered particleboard, unless specified


Top-left drawer box 3 1/4"-h x 7 3/16"-w x 22"-l 1
Top-left drawer face 3/4" x 3 7/8"-h 7 1/8" -w 1
Bottom-left drawer box 5 1/4"-h x 7 3/16"-w x 22"-l
Bottom-left drawer face 3/4" x 6 1/8"-h x 7 1/8"-w 1
Middle drawer box 5 3/4"-h x 15 1/2"-w x 22"-l 1
Middle drawer face 3/4" x 6 1/8"-h x 16 3/8"-l
Top-right drawer box 3 1/2"-h x 26 1/4"-w x 22"-l 1
Top-right drawer face 3/4" x 3 7/8"-h x 27 1/8"-w 1
Bottom-right drawer box 5"-h x 26 1/4"-w x 22"-l 1
Bottom-right drawer face 3/4" x 6 1/8"-h x 27 1/8"-w 1
Sets of drawer slides, self-closing Lee Valley #02K16.22 22"-long 3
Drawer knobs Lee Valley #00332.50 8
Note: drawer boxes, fronts are 1/2" Baltick birch; bottoms are 1/4" birch-veneered ply

Table top extension

Right-side top extension 3/4" x 27" x 32" 1
Base front 3/4" x 11 1/2" x 12 1/8" 1
Base side 3/4" x 16" x 12 1/8" 1
Brace 3/4" x 4" x 12 1/8" 1

* Length indicates grain direction

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Make a tablesaw and router workstation

Illustration by Len Churchill

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