I've been plauged with looking for the "perfect", "ultimate" router table design for a year. I drew up several plans of my own, taking ideas from everything I've looked at.
Then I really decided. There is NO perfect/ultimate router system. Everyone does different things, and does things a little differently. Plus, it has to fit into you shop!
Along my journey, I looked at alot of tops and fences and plates.
When I sat down and decided what I wanted a router for, what I was going to do with it, I decided building one wasn't the answer for me.
I do alot of routing, and this is what I purchased.
I got the JessEm Rout-R-Lift plate because I wanted top bit changes and easy heighth adjustments for all the different kinds of cuts I'd be making. I chose the JessEm Table top to fit the plate because of it size, the material it was made of and it had a T style miter track. Most table tops designed to fit that plate don't have miter tracks, rockler's included. And of coarse, I got the JessEm Mast-R-Fence to go along with it. And when it arrived, I was even more impressed with the fence than seeing all the pics of it I had seen on the net. And it was so easy to assemble it all. I was going to build a moble base for the thing, but when I read some reviews on the JessEm leg stand, and seen how it was designed, I went with it. It's a darn solid piece of equipment. And the bottom braces have a lip on it. I built a small cabinet that slides up between the legs and sits on the lip of the bottom braces without being attached machanically in any way. It's 12" tall, 9" thats above the bottom braces. Leaves more than enough room for the router to be dropped all the way down. It has 2 drawers, basically 20" deep by 22" wide and 4" high, and it holds everything. I bought the Ridgid Gutter Vac attachment to use the vac system on the fence. Works as good as anything on the planet. I wired in a recepticle and a switch and mounted to a plate and mounted that on the right side of the front leg just under the table top. I also plug in one of the 4 Ridgid Vacs I have so when I flip the router on with the swich, the vac comes on and off with the router.
Now granted there is nothing like showing off your home made router table, but this piece of equipment is high quality, and less expensive than some I looked at. Plus, it does show off the home made 2 draw cabinet I built to hold all the bits, insert discs, wrenchs, and god knows what I stick in the drawers. I took a piece of 3/4" plywood and drilled 1/4 and 1/2 inch holes to seat loose bits in, still leaving plenty of room for the boxed sets.
You can look at all this at www.woodcraft.com just do a search for JessEm.
Another thing, JessEm has released, but haven't found a place to purchase it yet, a miter system that mounts directly to the Mast-R-Fence which elimates the need to perfectly align the fence with the miter track! Looking forward to adding that to the router table.
Good luck in your journey for the router system that fits you and your needs.
John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>