That's the background, in a nutshell. Now I have 3 questions:
1. Do I even need a router table right away? I don't want to get into this project and wish I had one. I plan to get one anyway. Future plans include a table, a desk, a guitar display cabinet.
Before you go too much further, take a look at the Oak Park stuff at oak-park.com. Particularly, look at the box joint jigs (spacer fence). Now take a very close look at these. They're a rabbet with I stick stuck in it and a hole where the bit comes through. The secret of all of this is the router table. For that, you've got to watch The Router Workshop. You can see old episodes at: http://www.thewoodworkingchannel.com/
Poke around, you'll find it eventually.
It is simple. The baseplate is a piece of plastic that the router is suspended underneath from. The bit sticks through the middle and the jig goes on top of that. My first version of this was a piece of MDF suspended between 2 2x4s and clamped to the bench with the baseplate inset into it.
2. Is the Keller Jig and a more bare bones table a good idea or would I appreciate some other feature in a table or jig.
I use the OakPark/Router Workshop philosophy. It's simple enough and frugal enough for me.
3. Is the incra system, (or some other fence/jig design), a better investment.
I really don't want to build a router table. I have enough projects to do. I definitely don't want to make a fence. I don't mind making a stand or cabinet. (I don't mind paying $50 or so for a stand, but I certainly would not pay over $100 for some strips of metal screwed together.
Thanks for any advice you have. As you can see I am a bit overwhelmed. I was hoping to find the deal of the century, considering the state of the economy, but the dealers don't seem to have embraced that philosophy.
Router table is easy enough, a chunk of plywood/MDF/anything wide enough to support the baseplate at 11"x11" and 1/4" deep. The Fence is any piece of wood that you can either joint straight or is reliably straight clamped to the table. You'll see it in the TV episodes above. You don't need the sides etc. Just the top and some method of supporting it. Search for the "ugliest router table" on this site and you'll get some idea of what works.
As for deal of the century, well, I needed a bit of machining done on a piece of aluminum. I called one place and they said come by and they'll take a look at it. I go in and we're talking huge bucks for the machines in this place. I'm talking CNC, the whole bit. There must have been 20 machines there in various stages of sophistication. All of them idle. He even had an old fashioned lathe, sitting idle. Three guys standing around nothing to do. Ok, they had a minimum charge of $80. I was told it would be at least an hour's work. Sorry, I just had four of these done, the guy screwed up the job, corrected it and it still took him 1/2 an hour and he charged $40. Now, I figure any job at a reasonable price will help the cash flow. Get enough little jobs and the cash flow improves. They went to a different school of economics.
It's like the government. The backbone of the economy is the small business. It employs 70% of the workforce and generates 80% of the gross domestic product (I'm not sure about the numbers but they're something like that) Who get's the government handouts? Try the multimillion dollar a year presidents of GM, Chrysler and Ford and all of the other welfare corporations and we begrudge a single mother trying to raise a couple of kids alone with a deadbeat husband on the loose creating other problems!