Professional Tips on Using and Building Router Jigs

Building a wood router table requires a good set of router table plans -- a set of router table plans that will be concise enough to guide you without missing those small but important step. But what should you look for when trying to choose a set of plans?

Go straight to the router table plan

The first thing I make sure is that the plans come with a cutting list. To me this is very important since it will save me a ton of time when I get started building my router table. The cutting list will tell me exactly which piece I need to cut and how many of each one I need. This can be read off the plans but it simply takes longer. Some plans will even come with a materials list as well so I simply take that with me when I look for lumber.

Second thing I look for in a good set of router table plans is plan views of all sides of the table and the top. Often the right and left views will be the same so one will be left out. Plan view is simply a 2-dimensional view of a particular face of the table. With these view I can determine anything I need.

Views I look for when choosing a set of plans:

I also want the drawing to be dimensioned and have notation. This way I can find information that is not included in the written directions or comments that come with the router table plans.

Often a set of plans will come with a photo or two of what the table looks like when complete. This is very useful when you are trying to find certain features that you want to incorporate into the table you build. If there are specific details that make a certain router table different from others this may also be shown with a photo.

Some need additions to plans are exploded or dis-assembled views of the router table. When each piece is identified so you can find it in the cutting list you will almost not need the rest of the things that come with most plans. These kinds of views will provide plenty of great information.

I try to avoid low budget plans that really only consist of 6 or 7 step with no other images of plan views. These types of plans generally lack certain details you need. If the router table you are building is complicated and has many added features you may get stuck somewhere along the way. I also try and avoid plans that are a series of photos with some text and arrows on them, again they just don't provide enough info.