best router table (buy or build?) - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
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Default best router table (buy or build?)

hello, just wanted to say hi and if anywone has any recomendations as to brand, accessories. Is it best to build a router table from baltic birch. Or should I just buy one with all the trimmings. Thanks, John
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:14 PM
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Hi John, and welcome.

Ultimately, I believe it best to build at least the cabinet, as you can build it to suit your needs. The New Yankee Workshop one is a good one to base one on, though if you wish you could build it a lot cheaper.

I am not real familiar with all the offerings for sale out there, but there are definitely some good ones, with the biggest advantage that you are up and running quickly. I have been building a cabinet for 4 weeks now in what I can find for spare time, and am near done. I would estimate I have at least $200 in materials with the wood, plywood and hardware. On top of this is the cost of the Bench Dog table and fence I bought. It will be a sweet setup though.

Very few pre-built ones have good dust collection, something easy to build in.

JIM
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2010, 10:19 PM
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John... Buy vs. Build is a commonly debated topic here. Others will disagree with me on this but I'd recommend looking at a lot of table designs, reading what people have written about them and then deciding for yourself. Here's a link to about 100 of our members tables. Feel free to ask questions about what you see; many of the people are here frequently and you may well get feedback from the owner on how well it works and whether or not they'd choose that feature again.

http://www.routerforums.com/table-mo...our-table.html

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 01:12 AM
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Hello John and welcome to the RouterForums. Glad you're a member.




Dave
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 05:13 AM
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Hi,

I prefer a self made table, At this adress you will find many table with lift, dust colection, micrometric adjusting fence etc..
It is in french but with pics you can understand
Association Les copeaux

Cheers
Daniel

Member of the french site for woodworkers
www.lescopeaux.asso.fr
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 06:35 AM
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I am going through that process right now myself (have been for months...), and I am jumping back and forth between building my own and buying a top. For sure I am building my own cabinet, utilizing the new (for me) techniques I am acquiring.

In any case, there is no short answer to your question. I would strongly recommend reading up on the matter to get a better idea about what it is that you want to get out of a table. What you intend to build determines to a large extent what kind of table you may want. There is tons of info here on this site and a myriad of other places on the web, but it's scattered and not always easy to get to. Thus I would suggest you invest in a good book or two. Bill Hylton's "Woodworking with the router" is an excellent example. It does contain detailed instructions for building various tables, fences and jigs, and - most importantly - the rationals behind their designs. There are other books like that. Also check out the commercial vendors.

If you have the tools, I'd recommend building your own table. I don't have a table saw, so it's difficult for me to get certain things done. That's why I recently decided to get a commercial top, plate and fence (Rockler), although I knew that it wasn't really the design I wanted in the end. Consequently I already regret it, and I may send it back and continue the work on my own top.

If you want to get going quickly, then get a commercial top. Maybe I can send you my pristine Rockler setup After a while, you'll likely know what you want in a table, and then you'll probably build it yourself.

Cheers! MM
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoodworker View Post
hello, just wanted to say hi and if anywone has any recomendations as to brand, accessories. Is it best to build a router table from baltic birch. Or should I just buy one with all the trimmings. Thanks, John
Hi John:

Go here:

http://www.routerforums.com/table-mo...tml#post182364

and read.

The first thing that you have to appreciate is that using a router is very much dependent on what you want to build. There are 22 ways to use a router. Which one(s) are you going to use? It's easy to say that you want to make mortise and tenon joints but do you want them at 90 degrees, 45 degrees or 67 1/2 degrees? 90 degrees requires a stock router. 45 degrees requires a jig and 67.5 degrees requires an angler (or angle ease) but Santé's version is appears more effective.

What I'm trying to say is take some time to absorb what's happening on this forum and ask questions. Then, consider a table. You might find that skis suit your purposes better.

Allthunbs
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoodworker View Post
hello, just wanted to say hi and if anywone has any recomendations as to brand, accessories. Is it best to build a router table from baltic birch. Or should I just buy one with all the trimmings. Thanks, John
Hmmm, a topic that has NO right or wrong answer.

I always recommend purchasing a relatively cheap table first. Why? Once you have one, this will now give you better idea's on ways to improve what you have. Right now, do you know if you need all of those "bells and whistles" that many have? Take a look at the Oak Park table. It's a simple table that does exactly what any other table will do. No, I'm not saying purchase this table, just take a look at it. Again, this option will atleast give you idea's on what you need.

Building your own is a very good way. But, again, do you really know what you really need? No point in placing a miter track, (T-slot), in your table if you will never use it. No point in spending money on something you'll never use.

Lastly, as others have said, browse these forums. Study the pics of others tables. Have questions about them, don't be afraid to ask them. This is why we're all here.

BTW, welcome to the forum.

Ken

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 08:46 AM
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Build. You'll learn exactly what you want without spending a ton. Your router and a circular saw is about all you need. Plus a drill. Table saw is a definate plus, but can certainly be done without.

Much cheaper than buying, too. I estimate my first one cost $55.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-29-2010, 09:02 AM
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The one advantage to buying a top and fence is that you can use it right away on sawhorses, something I have done for the last two months now.

I find the T-slot is more of advantage for using featherboards then a miter gauge. For a miter gauge I prefer to us one that parallels the fence, not the table, anyway.

JIM
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