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I'm looking at getting a Bench Dog "Pro Max" cast iron router table extension for my TS3650. They're about $325, so its a big investment. Can anyone give me insights about it?
It is a big investment but I can almost 100% guarantee you won't be disappointed if you decide to pull the trigger on the ProMax. I bought it via Amazon on one of their promotions and I think it was about $275. A lot of companies could take a lesson from Bench Dog on how to package heavy components for shipping. It arrived in perfect condition.
The fit and finish is absolutely top notch and it bolted up to the TS3650 without any problems at all. It does have square edges whereas the 3650 has chamfered front and rear table edges, but if that bothers you it can be filed to match the chamfered profile of the 3650's extension. It has no effect on performance. Just a cosmetic issue.
The fence that comes with it is of equal quality to the table, very adjustable with MDF faces and includes two spacers that can be used for edge jointing stock. Dust collection port and adjustable bit guard are also included. I didn't use the router mounting plate because I got the BenchDog ProLift at the same time, but it looked quite sturdy and was predrilled for many mounting options.
I gave the 3650 to my son when I stumbled across a new Craftsman 22124 for <$600, but the router extension stayed with me and is built into a separate router cabinet. I wouldn't part with it for anything; it's truly a quality piece of equipment and that's rare these days with some of the junk you see being sold.
No relation or interest in Bench Dog other than as a satisfied customer.
I had it on the left side. I didn't check to see if there would be any clearance issues with the bevel handwheel on the right, but I don't think it would be a problem. You might want to do a search on the forum as I know the ProMax has been discussed here before. IIRC one poster also included photos of their finished installation.
I have seens others post here before with having installed on on the right side. I think the only issue that most people brought up was any concerns with too much stress on the rails if you added the table in rather than replace one of the wings.
Mulecab also offers some solid options that are a little less expensive. I dont have one, but have seen good reviews of them here. I have seen them on amazon for about 20 or 30 bucks cheaper, but mulecab has them for 170. http://www.mulecab.com/RouterTable/
I'm on the verge of pulling the trigger with this router table option. I've been giving serious consideration to the Bosch free-standing model at the orange box, but this is just so compact and has such solid reviews... Also, with the new magnetic switch featherboards cast iron has a whole new attraction!
Thanks to HotDiggity for taking the plunge and posting such nice pictures of the router extension installed. I, too, plan on a left side mount, replacing the left wing. Adding 60 pounds to one side, that far out, just seems like trouble. Now, the mulecab version seems OK to do that, since it's not cast iron.
I just received this a few days ago. Precisely 5 days after ordering it from ToolKing on eBay. It arrived undamaged and they even included two (free) Bench Dog Feather-Loc featherboards. $299 and free shipping!
This thing is nice. The craftsmanship is precise and I honestly can't think of a single thing negative to say. I was shocked to find "Bench Dog" cast into the underside of the table. Something no one will ever see, but put there as a stamp of quality.f
Worth the money? At first glance, I'm pretty sure. After I finish up the various molding and furniture projects I have coming up... I don't doubt I'll have an enthusiastic 'heck yeah!' to report.
I needed the serious support of KenM's design, as not only did I daisy chain the cast iron Bench Dog "Pro Max" off the right wing between the rails, I also went with the beefy Bench Dog "Pro Loft" & installed the Porter Cable 7518 3.25 horse power router.
That's just too much load without the support.
If you go that route, just make sure when you drop the Pro Lift in, you have the above table adjustment nut to the left. Otherwise your router fence covers it.
I've got the Incra 5000 sled as well & with the Pro Max daisy chained off the right wing there's so much clearence I can leave the router fence on while using the sled.
I'll post some pics of how it's configured it when I get a chance.