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Router Table - Ideas?

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  • Router Table - Ideas?

    Becasue everyone was so helpful with their router recommendations, I figured I should call on the same advise about either purchsing or building a router table. I plan on using it mainly for making raised panels, but also for everything else. I've seen a number of different types and manufacturers; any suggestions?. Or, is custom building one a better value?

    I did see a really nice Freud router fence, that can adjust both sides to different depths. As I do not have a jointer (yet..) an adjustable fence seems like a good idea with a straight bit and two diffent fence settings(am I correct in this assumption??).

    In any case I appreciate your thoughts about router tables and their fence systems.


  • #2
    I've bought/tried/returned-sold 8 router tables, and I can only say what worked for me.
    The JessEm table top because it's made of phenolic. I looked at about a dozen plans for making your own, and even drew several of my own versions using what I looked at, and wasn't comfortable with anything.
    JessEm's fence, in my opinion is better than Frueds, but that's my opinion. JessEm's table top is 24x32, nice size.
    All I can say is look at what people suggest here, and look into all the suggestions and decide what you think will work best for you. and do a search for JessEm. That's where I ordered mine from, and it was delivered quicker than I had planned on.
    The guys n gals here are a world full of knowledge, I'm sure you'll find what works for you through suggestions.
    Good Luck Casey.
    John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


    • #3

      Was looking through some mags just now for something I had seen and come across and article I think you would be interested in reviewing, 8 router tables. If you can get your hands on the Oct 2002 vol.26 no.5 issue of Woodworkers Journal it's on page 62. I seriously looked at 3 and was able to try out 2 of the 3.
      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


      • #4
        I'm in the same boat as woody. I baught the jessem Mastr-lift and after what seem an impossible search through a sea of different possibilities and options I went back and baught the Jessem table just because it fit my lift and because it was made of solid phenolic.

        I don't have the experiance of as many different tables as woody so I can only tell you what I got. I'm only in it for the fun and Joy of WW So wether it's necessary to have a table that is 1.5" thick, made of cast iron, white, red, purple or within .0001" of being perfectly flat didn't make much difference to me because I'm not a professional and my shaking creates much bigger variations than that.

        IMO and only my opinion I would buy what you can afford. If you can buy something like the Jessem or better do it but if not I have friends that can't afford much so they built their's out of old counter top material and 2x4's and it works great for them. I made a cabinet base for mine.

        Hope it helps and here is the link to the site where I got mine. The owners name is Mike and he has been very helpful to me. Just type jessem in the search

        NO NO NO- I engineered it to look like that!! Crooked-HA!


        • #5
          I built one of these,

          and I mounted one of these,

          Eastchester, NY
          "The memory of bad quality lasts longer than the shock of high prices." ~ Anon. [img]smile.gif[/img]


          • #6

            I bookmarked Mikes Tools! I could have saved almost 100 bucks!
            I'm sure I'll be sending him some gold in the future!
            Thanks for link !!!
            John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


            • #7
              Woody- no problem on the link. The only problem with Mikes is his prices make me want to spend more. He also has a frequent buyers program which is nice.
              NO NO NO- I engineered it to look like that!! Crooked-HA!


              • #8
                What's with buying a table? You guys are woodworkers. I built mine using the plans from Woodsmith Magazine. It is absolutely the best because the top piece is portable and the bottom cabinet is useful storage (can't have too much storage). Norm also has a good plan for a router table too but I like the Woodsmith one better.


                • #9
                  I'm pretty much in the same boat as Casey. I'm in the market for a router table, and i've looked at all options - making my own, buying the top & making the cabinet, or just buying the entire unit. Having said that, I've been leaning towards the Benchdog RT100. It seems to have all the basics, is somewhat compact (which is good for me with limited shop space), has got several editors choice awards, and goes for $207 (unless someone can tell me where to find it cheaper). Since it is a benchtop style table/cabinet, i do plan on building a lower cabinet for it to sit on. Of course my first choice was to look for a Ridgid table (as that is what all my other shop tools are) but there is no option there. Any feedback or advice would be appreciated!


                  • #10
                    Last year, I think it was Am. WW'r, did a review of commercial router tables---which I read with interest, as I was planning on building Norm's version. From the tone of their review, there was no single RT that had all the good features---in other words, it was a compromise.

                    I've been very happy with Norm's style, but also, was considering the Woodsmith version. I think the biggest pluses are: excellent dust collection, large top to work with (i.e. good support for stock) and great storage for bits, accessories, and all my hand-held router equipment---everything is in one place.

                    If you didn't feel comfortable making the top---you could buy it---same goes for the fence. BTW----there are very simple ways to turn Norm's RT into a multiple tool work center---easy to mount small/bench tools and also, look at the accessories in the Rockler catalog, regarding interchangable inserts for the handheld PC OSS, jig saw---they even have a marriage with the Kregg pocket hole jig---sounds like a wooden Shop Smith


                    • #11
                      I think Daveferg summed up my conclusions very well. It definitely looks like a copromise. After looking at all the models and reading all the reviews, I'm going to put one together myself.

                      I plan on buying the aluminum router plate from rockler and then building the rest. I have the Ridgid work stand from the MS1250 (that's now flush mouted inbetween my work benches, which give me plent of in and out feed support)that I plan on converting to a router table base. I think I'll make the table top out of MDF and maybe get the Freud adjustable fence. This seems like the best way to save some cash and get what I'm looking for.

                      Does anyone have any experiance with the Freud Fence or the Rockler router plates?