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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Default New guy with some questions

Posted this in the wrong forum a couple days ago while in a hurry to leave for work ..

Howdy from Texas, name is Dale. I saw this site referenced on another woodworking site and have been lurking and researching for a week or so. Seems like a nice group here so decided to join. Got a new Grizzly hybrid table saw from the lil woman for Christmas and after tuning it decided that a router table was next and maybe even my first project, though I have never used a router before. Forgive me if these questions have been asked over and over.
The top...what is the best material to construct it from and how thick should it be? I found some 3/4 phenolic impregnated baltic birch ply at Woodcraft that looked pretty slick...but at 59 bucks for a 24 x 48 sheet is should. Maybe use it for the top and bond it to some MDF under it, or just use MDF and formica all the way? Also...it seems that just buying a top will be about as cheap as purchasing materials and hardware. But just something I like about doing it myself and taking pride in workmanship.
The router plate. I got a Freud FT3000VCE plunge router on sale at Woodcraft and plates seem somewhat hard to find for it, but drilling shouldn't be too much of an obstacle. 3/8 aluminum or phenolic? Is one any better than the other or just personal preference? Woodpeckers looks to have some nice ones and they also have the inserts to fit.
The fence...build one or buy one? Peachtree has some at a decent price. But after looking several over and studying, it doesn't look too hard to just build a functional fence.
Am planning on constructing a cabinet style stand with a hinged top. I like the look, extra storage and the plywood will be cheaper than buying a commercial made stand.
Many thanks in advance for any help or advice that can be offered.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 06:34 PM
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Incra makes the MagnaLOCK Plate MLPFT3000-AL specifically for the Freud FT3000. Until a few days ago, Woodcraft was selling them for $79 which included 2 or 3 plates. I can't find that listing anymore as they only list it in conjunction with the table, positioner and stand. Perhaps, if you call your local store they may have more information.

I know you can get them for about $99 on line if you search. Then, no drilling.

I have a Harbor Freight (since discontinued) plate that I drilled. I used the Freuds baseplate as a guide. The included drawing template was of no help to me. If you go that route make sure you angle the plate so the router can go in and out of the table at an angle. Otherwise, the handles will get in the way.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-28-2011, 11:46 PM
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As with everything, it comes down to cost. Double thick MDF with laminate on it will hold up very well. The phenolic covered stuff would be great, but as you can tell pricy.

Unless you find a good deal on something commercial, start cheap on the top to figure out what you need and then go from there.

You can build a fence, but this is one area that I believe it's worth the money to buy commercial.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurt View Post
Incra makes the MagnaLOCK Plate MLPFT3000-AL specifically for the Freud FT3000. Until a few days ago, Woodcraft was selling them for $79 which included 2 or 3 plates. I can't find that listing anymore as they only list it in conjunction with the table, positioner and stand. Perhaps, if you call your local store they may have more information.

I know you can get them for about $99 on line if you search. Then, no drilling.

I have a Harbor Freight (since discontinued) plate that I drilled. I used the Freuds baseplate as a guide. The included drawing template was of no help to me. If you go that route make sure you angle the plate so the router can go in and out of the table at an angle. Otherwise, the handles will get in the way.
Hi Burt, I think it's more important to make sure the above table adjustments don't get buried under the fence. I used the Incra plate and they still are pretty close but rotating any further would have put the speed control around the back to far. As it is, if you have the fence closer that about an inch from the bit centerline, the adjustment tool won't fit. I just went to a 10mm socket anyway and use an extension bar.
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John Schaben

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 06:01 AM
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Amazon have an mlcs router plate for $35
Amazon.com: MLCS 9338 All-In-one Router Plate Kit: Home Improvement

Mdf for top, make a fence.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 07:39 AM
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John,
I'm glad you pointed that out. I was considering that plate for my next table. My HF plate has the speed holes on the left side front, well away from the center line of the bit. I did this without thinking; was just a stroke of good luck. Perhaps, in compensation for the horrible hole I drilled, the router gods put it on a good side.

I'm also considering just using the rings, as per Cassandra.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 10:01 AM
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Here's a picture of my plate in all of its beat up gory...er...glory. Also note my version of a speed crank. This works very well for me as it fits above any extended bit. Cheap too. Got a set of hex nuts from Sears for under $10. Individual bits were about $7 so for a few more dollars I got a set.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 10:05 AM
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Hey Burt...

a speed wrench might work pretty nice on that setup.??? just a thought...

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 10:30 AM
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Bill,
I thought about the speed wrench but I'm too cheap to spend $20 for something I might not like. I had the wrench and extender so getting the hex nut was no big deal. Plus, I have a few other uses for it.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurt View Post
Here's a picture of my plate in all of its beat up gory...er...glory. Also note my version of a speed crank. This works very well for me as it fits above any extended bit. Cheap too. Got a set of hex nuts from Sears for under $10. Individual bits were about $7 so for a few more dollars I got a set.
Hi Burt - I like that better than my setup. The height adjustment is furthest from the fence. Speed control should be pretty easy to get to also. Only thing is the router is facing in....... Who cares....

BTW, cordless drill beats a speed wrench. Just get a 1/4" hex to 3/8" square adapter, overpriced at about $5 from any auto parts store, Sears or hardware store.

John Schaben

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