Best option for Router table accessories? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Best option for Router table accessories?

My Bosch EVS1617 router came in today, and I have my bench top router table about 80% built already. So far it's going better than I expected, the frame is sturdy, and should last a long time. Right now I'm trying to locate accessories for my table surface. I saw an earlier post that suggested Harbor Freight for inserts, so I headed over to the closest one to see if I could find it. No such luck, seems like it's online order only. I also tried to find a miter track, and a t-track so I'll be able to use featherboards and such, though the only parts HF carried were some old t-track lock downs, and no tracks.

There's a Woodcraft store on the other side of Kansas City from me, seems like they have everything I want, but no $20 insert plates like on HF's website Are there any recommended stores online that will have what I'm looking for? I looked around Rockler's website and saw lots of nice stuff, but not exactly budget friendly either.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wathman View Post
My Bosch EVS1617 router came in today, and I have my bench top router table about 80% built already. So far it's going better than I expected, the frame is sturdy, and should last a long time. Right now I'm trying to locate accessories for my table surface. I saw an earlier post that suggested Harbor Freight for inserts, so I headed over to the closest one to see if I could find it. No such luck, seems like it's online order only. I also tried to find a miter track, and a t-track so I'll be able to use featherboards and such, though the only parts HF carried were some old t-track lock downs, and no tracks.

There's a Woodcraft store on the other side of Kansas City from me, seems like they have everything I want, but no $20 insert plates like on HF's website Are there any recommended stores online that will have what I'm looking for? I looked around Rockler's website and saw lots of nice stuff, but not exactly budget friendly either.
Well, you might look at the MLCS plates. They have a phenolic "universal mounting plate" for $35 or they have a, what looks like an 11" square hunk of plexiglass for about $18. I got their aluminum version of the universal plate and it was pre-punch marked for several different routers, none mine
but it was flat and came with a couple of small inserts. I made 3 more from 1/8" plexiglass.
Here's a link:

Router accessories

If you elect to go with the solid piece of 3/8 plexi you will likely need to center and drill the center hole. I've never attempted that and plastic that thick is tricky to do with any accuracy. At least in my experience. In addition you can get bunches of plastic at estreetplastics.com. Difference being that MLCS offers free shipping but you can get a lot more plastic from estreet. Seems I picked up a 12" square piece of 3/8 Lexan a few months ago for about $12 including shipping. $3 for the plastic and $8 for the shipping
Good Luck

John Schaben

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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So 3/8 Lexan is rigid enough to use as an insert plate? I have some Lexan scraps, though they're only 1/8 thick so probably too flimsy to use. As for making a center hole, I can see the challenge in trying to do it with Lexan. I've successfully drilled smaller holes in it, though I did it with a drill press on the slowest setting. Lexan likes to melt instead of cut, and tends to make ragged edges that will not be router table friendly. Might be able to work up some kind of circle jig to etch a groove, though it probably would take a while to get through 3/8 Lexan like that.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 11:23 AM
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You are best off using a manufactured plate to get started. At $20 the HF plate is the least expensive. If this is your first table I suggest you purchase the Rousseau installation template kit and the Rousseau mounting kit for your router. Your obvious question is why? Using the template installation kit will allow your first effort to be perfect. It also teaches you how to use guide bushings with templates and builds confidence. The mounting kits give you a perfectly centered router and are easy to use. It is important that your first effort turns out right. Many have trouble and get discouraged. This is the way I built my first table and as I was putting the finish on the red oak trim a friend came by and bought it on the spot. I did not want to sell but he was impressed enough with the quality that he insisted and paid me enough to build another table and buy a few bits. Having this first effort kind of experience is a very strong motivator. The template kit and mounting kit came in handy for the second time.(Not the last) Forget about installing T track for now. You can clamp any accessories directly to the table or onto plywood positioning jigs. Get the table operational and start enjoying it. You can always alter the table later if you feel the need to. Who knows, you may have the same experience I did and be working on your second table before your first project.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Mike,
I just looked up that installation template kit, I do certainly need to learn and practice using guide bushings and templates, I was planning on using the edge guide that came with my router along with the the plunge base to make the rectangular cut and rabbet. Will I not get a good result this way? If not, I'll go with the template.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by wathman View Post
So 3/8 Lexan is rigid enough to use as an insert plate? I have some Lexan scraps, though they're only 1/8 thick so probably too flimsy to use. As for making a center hole, I can see the challenge in trying to do it with Lexan. I've successfully drilled smaller holes in it, though I did it with a drill press on the slowest setting. Lexan likes to melt instead of cut, and tends to make ragged edges that will not be router table friendly. Might be able to work up some kind of circle jig to etch a groove, though it probably would take a while to get through 3/8 Lexan like that.
I made 3 table inserts out of 3/8 Lexan and it wasn't pretty.
I used a circle cutter on a drill press and finished the edge on the table. They were for the old craftsman shaper that I was trying to convice to act like a router table. Actually ended up with a reasonable facsimile of one.
I think Mike is right about springing a few extra $$ for a good plate and template, the payback will be phenomenal.
I think I would modify his statement about "You can always alter the table later if you feel the need to." to "You can always alter the table later WHEN you feel the need to."
I bought a table and was planning changes before I had it put together!! Next table will be from scratch so I'm not spending $$ on what someone else thinks I want. But, I needed a little experience to know what I did want, or think I want now.
Good Luck with the project and keep us posted.

John Schaben

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 02:03 PM
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the $20 HF plate and the $35 MLCS plate are exactly the same. only difference is the packaging, one says harbor freight and the other says MLCS
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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So in my quest to find a router table insert plate, I found a place that carries Rockler stuff and thought I could finally finish my table. Seems like they were out of stock on the plate that had the correct mounting holes for my Bosch EVS1617. The store carried Rousseau products too, though they were out of stock on the Rousseau mounting plate also. I spoke with the guy some, and he recommended going to Rockler's website and ordering that one, he said the Rousseau one can be a pain, and that I might have to drill mounting holes in it to get it to fit. Is that true, or should the holes on the Rousseau plate work with my router as is?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 04:06 PM
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Hi Mike

" exactly the same " almost,, the HF has a 1/4" thick lip on it as well and some extra holes on the 4 corners

The 1/4" lip is handy when comes to mounting it to the top or using it for the Horiz. router table

=======


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Gager View Post
the $20 HF plate and the $35 MLCS plate are exactly the same. only difference is the packaging, one says harbor freight and the other says MLCS


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 07:15 PM
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Rockler has a sale on a t-track kit, $19.99 and the last time I was in there they still had a half-basket of the discontinued aluminum insert plates, $15 at my local store.

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