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Router Table Insert Height

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  • Router Table Insert Height

    I know the insert in a router table is suppose to be dead flush with the table top. On my home made router table (installed on the ts2400) I'm having trouble getting and keeping the insert flush using leveling screws. The insert is made from 3/8ths polycarbonate and it flexes somewhat and/or dust builds up under it to cause it to shift around. Typically part of the insert ends up high and part low. The height differences aren't much (a few 0.001's at the most), but enough to catch the edge.

    I'm wondering if I would be better off setting the insert a little high to avoid catching those edges, probably less than 1/32 high. My concern is potential tipping of a work piece longer than the insert plate (11"). I started thinking about doing this when I saw a professional demonstration of box joint jig and the insert on that router table appeared to set a little high.

    Any one have some applicable experience in using a table with the insert set slightly high. What problems do I need to be ready to address, is it a dumb idea or what?
    Dick

  • #2
    Re: Router Table Insert Height

    Not quite addressing your question about setting the insert slightly high however as long as your insert flexes I think you will continue to be disappointed with your table. If it were me, I'd replace the insert with something better so using your router table won't be so frustrating.
    Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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    • #3
      Re: Router Table Insert Height

      I've had the same problem. I solved it by putting some Lock-Tite on the threads in the leveling screws and then leveling the insert dead flat with the table. When I raised the insert slightly I had a problem with the work piece hanging up on it. If flexing is a problem I might suggest a smaller insert or maybe a thicker polycarbonate. My problem was entirely solved by keeping the levelling screws from vibrating out of position. Dust under the insert didn't seem to be the problem. I remove it every so often now and blow the dust out but only to make me feel like I'm doing something.
      Good luck!
      Blind Bill
      Last edited by blind bill; 06-30-2007, 11:55 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Router Table Insert Height

        Thanks for the help. I was particularly interested to find out if problems would be encounter with the work piece catching/hanging up if the insert were set a bit high. Apparently that is the case. Well, back to leveling screws.

        I'm going to try to fix/control the flexing by adding a couple of stiffeners under the plate, running parallel to the long dimension. I should be able to make them out of some of the left over polycarbonate and glue them in place, just out board of the router's base. If that doesn't work I guess it will be the Rockler Al insert or one of the other available metal plates.
        Dick

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        • #5
          Re: Router Table Insert Height

          Go aluminum!! ;-)

          My phenolic router plate had a very slight crown that drove me buggers. I probably could've solved that by hanging a 10 lb weight onto the router to pull the center lower, but who the heck wants to do that silliness in a workshop with tools rotating at 28,000 rpm!?

          Got the aluminum insert from Bench Dog, and couldn't be happier. I've relegated the phenolic plate to very rare duty as a large panel-flattening sled.

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