Rockler Phenolic Top and Router Stand - Opinions - Router Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-03-2020, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default Rockler Phenolic Top and Router Stand - Opinions

Fortunately over the last few years I have found many good pieces of WW equipment on Craigslist. However, I don't have a router table. I know a lot of folks here have built lovely and functional router cabinets but right now I don't have time to do that.

I have a small shop so all of my equipment is on mobile bases and the router table will need to be mobile also. So whatever I get must have casters/wheels. I took a good look at WoodCraft. I thought the Kreg table was pretty sturdy as was the basic Jessem table. However, I was kind of thinking I want a phenolic top. After some research it looks like Rockler makes a router stand and a phenolic top that is pre-drilled to fit.

I had been leaning toward the Kreg stand - I figure I could build some drawers into the metal Kreg stand pretty easy when I get a bit of time. The Kreg stand seemed solid - and is supposed to be made of 12&16 gauge metal.

Looking at the $130 Rocker stand description it states it is made out of 1/8" steel - which I believe would be like 11 gauge. So that would be heavier that the 12&16 gauge steel on the Kreg. The only odd thing about Rockler is the 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 router plate requirement - seems a bit odd. However, they do make an affordable FX lift which looks like it would work fine - when I am ready for that down the road. I think I could build storage in it as easy as I could the Kreg.

Do any of you have experience with the Rockler Router Stand and how it compares to the Kreg? Is the Rockler stand a good choice for the foundation of my router table system?

Is the Rockler Phenolic top a good solid choice for the table?

Is the FX lift a good choice down the road?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 09:31 AM
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I have the Kreg table and can confirm that it is quite stout. Very heavy and stable.
I mounted a Triton router, so I don't need a separate lift.
Great setup overall.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 10:49 AM
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I was in the same scenario a year or so ago Compared the Looked at the Kreg table at Woodcraft and was impressed by its beefiness. However I went with the Rockler table and the Rockler phenolic top. The small opening you mentioned worked because i also went with the Incra lift sized for that top. This was the best decision i made in the whole package. My biggest concern was long term flatness so i also installed adjustable angle under both sides of the lift (dust box).

I later built in drawers and finally have the setup i always wanted. That said, though i think the Kreg table is built a little better.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 10:52 AM
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I can thoroughly recommend the Incra router table/trolley with their phenolic top. There are various options, including casters and a lift/lower mechanism to help when moving it. I also have the Incra lift and their multi-positioner. I have the magnalok plates and the dust extraction box which takes almost every last spec of dust to the dust extractor. It's a great combo and I wouldn't be without it.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 11:16 AM
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My first table was the Rockler and i would recommend it to anyone,it was heavy gauge metal frame and a sturdy top. I had a Miwaukee router that had its own lift in mine. I lost it in the fire. I now have the MCLS sliding table with a cast iron top and the rockler FX lift which is a great combination. I had to cut out the top for the lift, which I did a thread on.
https://www.routerforums.com/tools-w...ter-table.html
Also I have a Jessem lift in a Jessem table and they are top of the line in my opinion. I think the Incra lift is made by Jessem, so it should be very good. I would recommend the Rockler FX lift to anyone for an inexpensive lift.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 11:46 AM
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Have a Rockler table and the undersize mounting plate worked fine, but I had to cut a new opening and rebate when I went to a Woodpecker plate (thicker than the rockler). This was a minor procedure that took a few minutes.

I changed plates to accommodate the Triton TRA001, which has its built in lift. All you do is remove a spring (put it safely away). I had a Rockler lift, which I sold because I could never get it to lock in place. The guy I sold it to likes it. However, the cost of the 3.25 hp Triton is less than one of the higher quality lifts alone. So I suggest you get the Triton and if you want a steel top table, that you get one with a full size plate, which excludes the Rockler. My Rockler table is wood (like mdf) with a laminate top. It is excellent and I'm still happy with it and it is still flat as heck. A steel top is nice sounding, but you will have to live with it because you won't be able to mill it in the future.

That's my quarter's worth.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 03:59 PM
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Attached is my Bosch/Jessem Rout-R-Lift II setup - They may sell it under other names. It has a phenolic top, which I had to trim down 1/16” on all slides to fit into the Bosch table. Works great!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstrom View Post
Attached is my Bosch/Jessem Rout-R-Lift II setup - They may sell it under other names. It has a phenolic top, which I had to trim down 1/16” on all slides to fit into the Bosch table. Works great!
Jessem and Bosch, what a combination, Top Shelf all the way, don't get better than that.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 05:01 PM
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Forgot to mention the Rockler stand, very solid and easy to enclose if you wish.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-04-2020, 06:19 PM
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I put a new router top table together a couple of months ago. My old table was a Bosch 23 router in a Bosch bench table.
I used a Jessem lift in a Sawstop cast iron top with a Porter Cable 7518 router motor. I mounted the cast iron top on 2 inch angle iron with 1 ¾ inch square iron tube legs. I made the legs short (16 inches) so I could everything on a wood roll around cart with drawers and so on.

The whys of it:

I went with cast iron because I like the solid feel of it. I talked to a Wood craft salesman and he was pushing phenolic for the top but when I asked what he used, he said tried phenolic tops but they all sagged over time with a heavy router; (yes I know those are fighting words on this forum but that is what he said). He had made his own now but had to use 2 inches of reinforced plywood. He had been using it for about 2 years without issues yet.

My Bosch motor had to be un-clamped to make height adjustments. When it was new, I could count on it re-clamping to the same spot plus my change. As it aged though, it was all over the place. The Triton router from the literature on their web site say the Triton motor has to be unclamped to change height. I did not want to have to deal with the same issue with it that I had with the Bosch so I chose to buy a lift. Triton has a lot of people that like it on the forum so again I am opening myself up to a lot of slings and arrows on my feelings on Triton.

The cost of Triton versus the Porter Cable plus Jessem lift makes the Triton look really good. In my defense though, the Jessem lift is great. If I need to make a 0.010 change, I turn the dial to make the change, make my cut and I get a 0.010 change.

One last thing, I went from the 18x27 Bosch table to the 24x32 Sawstop table. If you have the room, choose a bigger table. The extra support for your work piece is a real plus.

There are craftsmen and there are artists and then there are guys whose wife says “That looks nice dear but it doesn’t match anything in the house.”


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