How to Set Up a Router Table

Unless you are a professional carpenter, you probably don’t know how to set up and use a router table, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t learn and get one at home. To make things simpler for you here is a quick setup guide so you can have your unit running in no time.

    • When setting up a router table, you first need to decide on the router bit you want to use since most routers available on the market use a ¼” and a 1/2” shank bit with the correspondent ½ and 1/2” collet. The collet is the piece that keeps the router bit in place. Once you decide that, you need to make sure the router will be securely positioned on the table and for that, you must push the bit into the collet to the maximum to make sure it won’t come out while handling the router.
    • Given that the router bits heat up quite a lot while cutting the wood, they will likely expand from the heat, so you need to leave a small area at the bottom of the collet by pulling the bit ¼ of an inch to the back. Then, you must tighten the bit firmly but with caution, so you won’t damage the router, just enough so it won’t come out or spin inside the collet.
    • After the router has been secured to the router table, you will have to adjust the fence that goes to the middle of the table but doesn’t necessarily have to be parallel to the bit. It can be positioned askew of the bit and still allow the router table to deliver perfect cuts because every piece of wood you will cut will be centred on the bit.


  • The next router table setup step is to check the mitre gauge slot which is similar to the ones found of table saws and band saws. However, you should never use the mitre and the fence at the same time so if you need to attach the mitre, you must remove the fence first. If you keep the fence on, the mitre gauge slot can be used as a featherboard slot so you can keep a wood piece in place by pressing it from the sides.
  • Last, adjust the height of the bit so that you will be able to cut through wood pieces of several thicknesses. To adjust the bit, use the height controls or the router lift if your router table has one. After setting the right bit height and once the fence is in place, your router table is ready to work.
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