Is insert plate necessary? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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I'm planning to mount a router directly to my 3/16" thick cast aluminum table saw extension to serve as my router table. (Inca 2100) It has a "rib" network under the top which serves to strengthen it. In the center is a 7" circular rib section where I'll mount the router... without a plate. Is this advisable?

Which routers should I consider? I'd like to be able to change bits and adjust height from the top of the table. Is there a router with 2 easy-attach bases so I can dedicate one base to the table and easily/quickly pull the motor portion and use it in the alternate base for hand routing?

OR, for $500, I could buy the Freud Router Table System which INCLUDES their 3-1/4 HP router, FT2200E. (No above table controls on this model.) I'm sure it's an excellent router but does anyone have experience with their table/fence, etc? Looks a little small and flimsy to me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 09:04 PM
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[QUOTE=joel74;220400]I'm planning to mount a router directly to my 3/16" thick cast aluminum table saw extension to serve as my router table. (Inca 2100) It has a "rib" network under the top which serves to strengthen it. In the center is a 7" circular rib section where I'll mount the router... without a plate. Is this advisable?

The only way I can think of for doing this is to take the baseplate off the router and use it as a drilling guide from the underside of the table and using the original screws, or a little longer version of them, to mount the router to the table. Then you'll have to drill a hole in the table for your bits and you'll have to countersink the holes for the mounting screws to get them flush with the table. Bit changes will be difficult, I would say you'd need a 2 wrench type collet and you'll have to lift the bit all the way up to be able to get at the collet. When you adjust bit height, you'll have to go under the table unless you pick a router with above table adjustment capability.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joel74 View Post
I'm planning to mount a router directly to my 3/16" thick cast aluminum table saw extension to serve as my router table. (Inca 2100) It has a "rib" network under the top which serves to strengthen it. In the center is a 7" circular rib section where I'll mount the router... without a plate. Is this advisable?

Which routers should I consider? I'd like to be able to change bits and adjust height from the top of the table. Is there a router with 2 easy-attach bases so I can dedicate one base to the table and easily/quickly pull the motor portion and use it in the alternate base for hand routing?

OR, for $500, I could buy the Freud Router Table System which INCLUDES their 3-1/4 HP router, FT2200E. (No above table controls on this model.) I'm sure it's an excellent router but does anyone have experience with their table/fence, etc? Looks a little small and flimsy to me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice.
Hi Joel - I can't see any reason it wouldn't work. Most aluminum plates are 1/4" thick so I don't know if there would be a concern about stress cracks forming around the bolt holes. Remember countersinking the heads further thins the material in a stress area. Would probably be better to use an end mill or forstner bit to get a flat bottom countersink and use pan head fasteners. I'm pretty sure a tapered countersink would invite cracks.
As far as routers go, I think PC, Craftsman, Bosch, Ridgid and Triton offer above table features on their 2HP class routers and for larger, 3+ HP, Triton is the only one I'm aware of at this time.

John Schaben

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 11:07 PM
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Joel, If you are looking for a router there are several Freud FT1700 2 1/4 hp (fixed base) at about $139.00 and also FT1702 (c/w fixed and plunge bases) at about $169.00 right now on Ebay. Unless you are swinging big bits to do cabinet door panels in one pass, these units are very good, with bit change and hieght adjustment above table. I have a FT1700 and am very happy with it, and I paid $279.00 for mine.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kenrg View Post
Joel, If you are looking for a router there are several Freud FT1700 2 1/4 hp (fixed base) at about $139.00 and also FT1702 (c/w fixed and plunge bases) at about $169.00 right now on Ebay. Unless you are swinging big bits to do cabinet door panels in one pass, these units are very good, with bit change and hieght adjustment above table. I have a FT1700 and am very happy with it, and I paid $279.00 for mine.
+1 on the 1700/1702's for table use. I have had the 1700 in a table for about a year and a half and have been very satisfied with it. I didn't mention it before as it's not in current production (that I'm aware of) so I wasn't sure of the availability.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 11:25 AM
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Some Woodcraft stores are still sellng the Freud FT3000 for $199. I think this is the best deal anywhere. Above table bit change and adjustment, 3 1/4 HP, full speed range, etc.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 12:38 PM
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Hi Joel,
To get above the table bit changing you will have to drill a large radius hole to fit the bent wrench into. Most router plates have a provision to use different sized inserts. You will have to machine for this if you want this feature. It is an unsafe safe operation to run small bits in a large hole that's the reason for the different sized inserts.

I don't know what sized bits you intend to run in the future but you will be limited as to the size hole in your table. If you use a smaller center hole you will probably have to take the router out or reach under the table if you have room to change bits. If you use your router table frequently or different profile bits this can get old after awhile.

James
Whittier, CA.

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 04:53 PM
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Are you going to incorporate some kind of inserts? The Triton is a nice router with a above table crank.... autolocks....
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 05:39 PM
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Hi Joel

No big deal, just get the item below, than cut a hole in your table top so the insert rings will drop in the hole, you will need a 1/4" thick sub plate under the top with a rabbit on to support the rings..sub plate the same size as your router base now..

Aluminum Replacement Rings & Guide Pin

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...ate_kit_anchor


I have one setup like it now and it's a 1/8" thick steel router mount plate, works great for me and it's on some hinges so I don't need to get under table top to change out the bits, or you can do the same thing for a 6 1/2" plate, just need to cut down a standard router mounting plate to 6 1/2" x 12" , very easy job to do .

===========


Quote:
Originally Posted by joel74 View Post
I'm planning to mount a router directly to my 3/16" thick cast aluminum table saw extension to serve as my router table. (Inca 2100) It has a "rib" network under the top which serves to strengthen it. In the center is a 7" circular rib section where I'll mount the router... without a plate. Is this advisable?

Which routers should I consider? I'd like to be able to change bits and adjust height from the top of the table. Is there a router with 2 easy-attach bases so I can dedicate one base to the table and easily/quickly pull the motor portion and use it in the alternate base for hand routing?

OR, for $500, I could buy the Freud Router Table System which INCLUDES their 3-1/4 HP router, FT2200E. (No above table controls on this model.) I'm sure it's an excellent router but does anyone have experience with their table/fence, etc? Looks a little small and flimsy to me.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice.


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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas.

John's cautionary reminder about countersinking the screws weakening the already thin 3/16" top has given me pause... Thanks John.

How about this for Plan B?:
The 3/16" cast aluminum top is strenghened by a network of 1/8" x 1" vertical ribs under it. In the center of the ribs is one circular rib of approx 7" diameter. (Looks like it was designed to be a potential "knock-out.") I could cut out the whole 7" circle, then rout-out an additional 1/2" x 1/4" deep area around it giving me a rabbet to catch a 1/4" "store bought" insert plate. (Hard to explain... this means that the 3/16" table top, and the uppermost 1/16" of the ribs would be gone in the rabbet area.) The rabbet would then consist of the ribs only. I'd probably then dedicate a 2-1/4 hp router or at least it's base to the table. (I have a shaper for large-bit work.)

Would the ribs alone support the plate and router?

Anyone have this kind of setup now? Any thoughts/advice on Plan B"?

Thanks again for your much appreciated input.

Joel74
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