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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-07-2011 02:55 PM
dutchman 46 Welcome Dale! I think that You will be happy You didn't The Oak Park is one of the finest tables out there! If You can afford the Router Workshop tapes, or the on line program, You will marvel at what You can do!
06-06-2011 09:34 AM
Boss Hog
Thank you one and all

Your responses have been very helpful. I don't think I'll get a cast iron table.
06-01-2011 10:58 PM
Mike Justin, I take this view on most tools: There is no reason to pay for something you do not need. Why pay extra for a cast iron table when it will not improve your routing? Add to that the extra time to prevent rust, even if it is only an hour every couple months for waxing or oiling. I feel this is time better spent on a project. Here is my way of using the money effectively: Buy a Router Workshop table for under $200. Buy a set of the Oak Park box joint jigs for about $50. Buy a set of 1-3/4" guide bushings for $29 from Lee Valley. Buy a 15 piece bit set from MLCS for $40. These products together will let you do many jobs for about $320 which is still $30 cheaper than the least expensive cast iron table I have seen, and then you only get a table. And no rust.
06-01-2011 09:39 PM
papawd I have a iron table called "the Rebel" built on a homemade table w/casters a few accessories for sale make Ya a good deal if not too far from Baton Rouge ,La.
06-01-2011 09:39 PM
JustinHoffmann Thanks for the clarification, Mike. I didn't realize that Dale's location is in Florida.

A quick question about humidity swings - is that the real issue behind rust problems and cast iron? I assumed that since we have periods of sustained, high humidity here in Philadelphia that the paste wax was providing the protection I need. I just figured that since we can go weeks in the summer with 80-90% humidity that I should see the water and rust problems that folks talk about with cast iron. As I mentioned previously, I haven't had problems with my cast iron and simple wax protection. We get relief from the high humidity every once in a while, but over the long haul the humidity is pretty consistent. Very interesting....

I'm waiting for our relief from the early heat wave. We got up to 95 today, but we're expecting storms overnight and a high of 80 tomorrow. That will be a relief.
06-01-2011 03:56 PM
Mike Justin, Dale is in Florida, a different situation than Philly. Even here in Detroit we get big humidity swings at the drop of a hat; yesterday was 94 and dropped to the 60's last night. The resulting condensation can be a big problem. Proximity to water on a peninsula is a valid consideration with cast iron. According to a U.S. government study the best rust preventative for unpainted metal is WD-40 allowed to soak for 5 minutes and then wiped dry. (Our tax dollars at work) The photos convinced me to stick with this for my saw and joiner tables.
06-01-2011 01:24 PM
JustinHoffmann mlcswoodworking dot com has the one that I personally own on sale for 349.99, including shipping (Heavyweight Router Table & Fence). If you were to go with that router table I would recommend building your own base for it. The included one is pretty flimsy and I did not trust the tilt mechanism at all. The add mentions that it now includes a gas filled lifting spring, so maybe it is better than when I bought it. It still looks like dust collection would be problematic with the base being wide open.

As far as maintenance and care goes - Johnson Paste Wax just like your table saw. I live in Philadelphia and our summers are hot and humid. I've had no problems with rust as long as I keep the top waxed. I can't recall having any problems with finishes on my projects that went over the waxed table saw and router table.
06-01-2011 01:36 AM
Originally Posted by Boss Hog View Post
I am not familiar with the Oak Park table. I will Google it and take a look. I originally planned to build a table but decided the cast iron tables might be superior to anything I can make. Any thoughts on the quality of the cast iron tables?
Hi Dale - I might suggest you make a list of what you liked about the Rockler table and, maybe more importantly, what you disliked.
I haven't really paid much attention to the cast iron stuff myself. I have a tendency to try to modify things I don't care for and modifying cast iron would seem to be a bit problematic.
05-31-2011 11:04 PM
Mike Dale, when you say cast iron I think of two things: rust or some type of oil to prevent rust. I wouldn't want either contaminating my wood projects. I also don't want to spend time having to care for my table top that I could spend routing. Most of the better router tables have two layers of Formica covering the top and bottom of the table; this design was introduced by the Router Workshop. Oak Park is a sponsor of our forums and there is a link on the left side of our home page.
05-31-2011 04:23 PM
Ralph Barker
Originally Posted by Boss Hog View Post
I am not familiar with the Oak Park table. I will Google it and take a look. I originally planned to build a table but decided the cast iron tables might be superior to anything I can make. Any thoughts on the quality of the cast iron tables?
Making your own is actually quite easy. Give it a whirl.
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