I'm still weighing my options for buying vs. building a router table.
Option 1: The Veritas steel plate Router Table Top has caught my eye and peaked my interest. Do any of you have first-hand experience with this product?
It's a little smaller (16" x 24") than I'd like my table to be so I'd probably drop it into a home-built larger MDF top. Would this pose problems with keeping the surfaces flush over time? Does this rather thin (3/16") top remain flat over time? I'd be clamping a heavy 3-1/4 hp Makita router to it. Would the steel top benefit from a few wood struts under it?
Option 2: Another option I'm strongly considering is to use the Veritas round Insert Plate in a home-made table due mostly to their quick router-clamping system. Seems that it would be easy to remove the router for hand held use and not have to dedicate it to the table and buy a second router. Also, this way I'd be able to use the Woodpecker fence – my favorite – with T-Tracks I'd install in my own top.
Any info/thoughts on these options will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Joel
JOEL, G'DDAY FROM WESTPORT NEW ZEALAND.
I purchased the Veritas steel table top complete with their clamp 2nd hand on our "Trademe" down here a couple of years ago now and made my own 'furniture' to hold it. I have a Hitachi M12V router which is much the same hp as your Makita.
The plastic inserts were a bit 'used' so I e-mailed Veritas to get the price for a couple of new ones and also asked for a copy of the manual. I was very impressed with their service as by next morning they had replied with a pdf of the manual and that they had popped a couple of inserts in the post .. free.
Even more impressed with the plate and clamps ..... I assembled a whole cabinet to take the plate. Used a thick bit of MDF faced with 'Formica' for the top which I sank the Steel plate in. The top is hinged so I can adjust the Router for depth and removal. Either side are sliding drawers to hold Router hardware. Safety switch is attached to one end and the whole is mounted on castors for shoving around the Workshop.
I can take the Router out in less than half a minute and put it back, perfectly aligned in a minute.
Adjusting or replacing the Router bit caused pause for thought as to whether to put in a remote lift unit but at the end of the day I didnt and have found little problem in adjusting the bit. I dont do an excessive amount of work as its strictly hobby stuff so 'quick' isn't really needed.
The Veritas Square plate top, with Clamps is absolutely first class stuff as is my wonderful Hitachi M12V ...
Then it comes to jigs ...... made those myself too. Attached a channel bar across the front of the table and just slot in the sledge which extends full width across the table top. For jobs which require 'clear height' another channel bar attached to the top of the 'Fence' allows another jig to slide parallel to the fence. Sure I would love to have the "Manufactured" items but what I have made does a satisfactory job and all in all the table has cost me NZ$ 600 including the Veritas gear....and great satisfaction cobbling it together ... a nice simple job.