Which table to replace a shaper? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Which table to replace a shaper?

I'm kinda new to routing in general, about 4 months, and brand new to this forum. I have an old Craftsman Router/Shaper that just ain't cutting it with what I want to do so I have been shopping for a router table. I've seen plans for building one but I'm not comfortable enough with my skils yet to go that route.
My requirements are that it be a benchtop as I have a very small workshop. My workbench is 78x30 and the shaper and mitre saw sit on platforms and get lifted on and off. I have a small Ryobi portable table saw that gets folded up and rolled in a corner. About the only thing I have less of than space is money.
Probably 24x16 or 18 would be about as large as I can go. I am also on the short side so it needs to be high enough to get the router under it but not much more.
I would like to have a fairly high fence as a lot of the projects I see coming will require running vertical.
Mitre guage would be a plus.
I have been shopping for a router to put in it and picked up a reman Frued 1700 for 80 bucks. I like the Frued because of the above the table bit change and height adjustments and also the location of the speed control, top middle of the machine. Should be fairly accessable regardless of where it eventually mounts.
Budget for the deal looks like about $200 +/- $50, more minus than plus I hope.
The two I am looking at are from MLCS

Tried to post a URL but got chastised.... not enough posts

Both are 24x16, one aluminum with a clamping system for the router and the other is MDF with a router plate. The aluminum is $145 and the mdf is $140 with a phenolic plate. I would likely opt to upgrade to the aluminum plate, probably plus $30. The aluminum one sits a bit high at 19" and has a short fence but includes a mitre guage. The mdf one would require drilling the plate. I would likely have to drill the aluminum one to achieve access to the above table height adjustments on the router but those wouldn't have to be nearly as precise as the locating screws for the router. The MDF table is billed as a portable table which may or may not be good. Picture shows a guy walking around with the table in one hand and the router and plate in the other. Does that say that the plate is not fastened to the table with any more than gravity? Would definetly mean ya take the springs out.

I dunno guys any comments, suggestions, opinions? I'm open to any or all.

John Schaben

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 03:09 AM
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hi John,

my next router table i have will be along these lines, that way i can take it outside, clamp it to 2 sawhorses and make all the sawdust i want. i do prefer a phenolic plate. ive had no experience with aluminum,but have heard some complaints about them making black marks on wood

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 05:49 AM
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John, there are two methods of routing. One way we call whistles and bells. This features aluminum T tracks everywhere, digital dog polishers, the whole buy it for a lot of money and you can build things approach. The other way is the way Bob and Rick teach from The Router Workshop... Keep it simple. The table in the photo may look very spartan at first glance. It will do anything the expensive fancy ones will, usually easier and faster. I have tried both ways, and I am a convert who is happy to say simple is better. The table you see has the Vac-u-plate system for collecting dust under the table top. It is on sale right now for $199 from Oak Park, the home of the Router Workshop. Another good table choice would be the Kreg bench top model. I am not much impressed with the quality of other tables.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 10:36 AM
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You mentioned needing a high fence to do vertical routing. Have you looked at the MLCS Horizontal Router Table? With this you can do your panels laying flat on the table. Just another option.
MLCS Horizontal Router Table

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