When I decided to add a router table to my mostly automotive hobby (ghetto) garage, I started by playing around with an old Wolfcraft MDF table top router table I had. The table had warped from age and was not repairable, but I did scavenge the legs and power switch from it and have kept the fence and other parts for future use like maybe making a drill press or bandsaw fence/table top.
The primary purpose of my woodworking tools setup is for making panels and enclosures mostly out of mdf for the new interior and monster sound system I'm building for my resto mod Mustang project. Along the way, or once that is done, there will be some real projects like making my kitchen drawers and cup boards more useful, make/mod some cutting boards and perhaps a wall unit/work station. Also going to pull a bunch of crappy carpet out of the main floor and do laminate flooring.
This got me into the entire woodworking realm of thinking about higher precision, squareness as well as the inlayed rails and T tracks etc used for clamping and movement. First purchase was a V27 Incra miter gauge and their table saw sled. All the same inclinations and design theories about precision and repeatability. Wrestled with the idea of building a table, but decided against it, in part, due to lack of space for a second table, and thinking....if I have one, it better be the best, durable/precise etc.
After lots of surfing, reading and spending some time looking at the Jessem table in our factory (used for milling plexiglass/acryclic parts) as well as visiting various stores (Busy Bee, Atlas Tool, Rockler, Woodcraft, etc), I formulated a plan incorporating the following primary considerations.......
1) Had to be a convertible 32x24 table top design, in order to fit on top of the parts washer, due to lack of additional floor space; will be movable and eventually get a real stand with wheels........and be movable outside to sit on a Workmate for example, if needed.
2) Since the garage is heated but not air conditioned, mdf and cast iron were out, hence a phenolic table top was the only way to go for a lifetime purchase.
3) Space wise, an external fence mount design was a no go; this left out Kreg, Jesem etc and rear mount despite already owning an older Incra model
4) Already had a mint condition barely used 20 yr old Porter Cable 690 (with 1/4 AND 1/2" collets), so that would be the motor for now
5) Alum router plate at the very least, a decent extruded alum fence with top rails etc for growth
6) The Canadian made Felisatti was everything except phenolic and included the micro adjust split fence and integrated fence rails and T slot, and was cheap $400 CAD incl a stand..........but......
Ended up with a Woodpecker 32x24 Phenolic table top: https://www.woodpeck.com/routing/rou...-phenolic.html
their Super Fence: https://www.woodpeck.com/routing/rou...per-fence.html
and their (much superior) router lift: https://www.woodpeck.com/routing/prl...uter-lift.html
Spent more than double what I had thought was reasonable; for sure it's more than I'll ever need/use but.......it's a thing of beauty and precision and will never have to be replaced. Not everyone's cup of tea cost wise, but doing things twice pisses me off more than anything else, so......here I am. Did save some bread by making my own dust box, variable speed control and making it fit in my small space. Also picked up a Freud micro fence and 3 other used routers so i should be all set. Once the garage is rewired and the dust collection system is completed, I may spring for a 3.25hp router motor, but for now the PC seems to be more than adequate.
Here is the link to the entire ensemble: https://www.routerforums.com/new-mem...-phenolic.html
Picked up and rebuilt a 10" Rikon table top band saw and built a temporary shop vac based dust collection system since then; but will start utilizing the table soon.
About to start building a heavy duty sound system for a custom Harley Road King. Then the car will see some more activity.