Which table should I buy? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-06-2004, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Default Which table should I buy?

Hello everyone, I am in need of some good advice please. I just purchased my very first real power tool, a Porter Cable 895PK router!!! The salesman at WoodCraft said this was the best tool for a novice woodworker who wanted to make tables and other furniture pieces. Now I need a router table. I have never even used a router before but I am determined to learn SAFELY how to use this tool and eventually to master it. Can I buy any table or must it be a PC table? And does PC make more than one table (I could only find one table on the PC website.)? And do I need to purchase the Tru-Match Sub-Base or will that come with the table? Also, are there any other items I should purchase now, my first project is a 3'X9' oak desk/table. Please forgive my ignorance. And thanks in advance for any advice. Denise
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-06-2004, 06:42 PM
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Hello and welcome to the world of routers, I'm sure you'll love it. You can go to oak-park, link at the top of the page, and purchase a nice table for your router. They also sell plans and parts to build your own.

On a side note, if you take any classes at the WoodCraft store can you share your views on how they are. The nearest WoodCraft store to me is about a 2 hour drive and I would like to know if the classes are worth the drive.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-06-2004, 08:12 PM
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I just ordered the PC 895PK and am waiting for it to arrive via UPS. Here is my take on router tables. I now have a 2 Craftsman routers, one is mounted in a Craftsman router table. Not a very expensive set up at all and it does a pretty good job. Now take a look at all of the $300 to $500 set ups in the catalogs and then watch what Rick and Bob use. Do you see where I am going here? You do not have to spend a lot of money and buy a lot of gizmos to make great furnature. I also have on order the Vac-U-Plate from Oak Park and I am going to make my own table. Peter
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-06-2004, 09:14 PM
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Once you have started with routers you will never stop!!! Oooohhh the humanity!!

Anyway, what I did was just got used to my router over a few weeks and looked at different tables available (not much over here at all) and then made my own (actually got the directions off the Dewalt website). I used that for about a year and then made another with the modifications I wanted (and also my skill level had increased!!) If you do end up making your own don't go to overboard on the first one as there will be things you want to change when (not if) you want to make the second.


The speed of light travels faster than the speed of sound, that's why people appear intelligent until they open their mouth ...
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-06-2004, 09:26 PM
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Recommend you look at the video that came with your kit. It's a great video of B&R building the router table they use on their show. Oak Park carrys the parts/pieces that you could use. In fact - they carry the assembled table. You can decide how much you want to build (if any) and order the difference through Oak Park. The VAC-U-Plate that pmspirito mentioned is on my Christmas list... I currently have my 895 attached to my table saw extension.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2004, 08:35 AM
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I agree with Aaron. Build your own simple one first, then find out what you want. My first router table was made with the sink cut out when I made my kitchen. My second table was a big cabinet, miter slots, the whole bit, but was just too big in my small garage. I'm on my third set up now, which is basically just the Oak-Park top on a steel frame. Simple works best sometimes.

Save some of the extra cash you might spend on the "ultimate router table system" and buy a couple of books and videos. I always like to recommend a trip to the library to check out Patrick Speilman's New Router Handbook, which is a great resource for the router novice.

I also use an 890 series router now, and you got yourself a great tool.

1 John 1:9
Fredericksburg, VA

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2004, 09:02 AM
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I agree with making a simple top also. I am in the process of making one from scraps and cut-offs from a local cabinet shop. So far there is only one piece of wood included that I paid for , which is the 1/2" Baltic Birch top.


There are a number of things that will change when I build my next table (or modify this one), but it gave me some ideas just building this one.

If you have any cabinet shops near you, they can be an excellent source of scraps for smaller projects like this.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 09:24 AM
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Looks very good to me. How did you do the cut out. Is there an edge to support the plate? Are you going to use a fence and miter? Thanks for posting the photos.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 09:51 AM
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I'll fourth, or fifth, the making a simple table first, my first table made with scraps of wood for the base and a small 18" x 20" scrap of countertop I found in a shed after we purchased our house. Now I am building a big fancy-schmancy Norm-like table that I will be keeping in my Dad's shop. There is nothing like trying to route long pieces, form tenons, cut grooves and mortices, etc. to show you exactly where your current table is lacking or not. Good luck.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-20-2004, 10:02 AM
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The cut-out was done with a jigsaw, cut the top piece of 1/2" Baltic birch first, then used that as an edge guide with a trim bit to match the second layer of 1/2" MDF. The bottom layer is 3/4" ply and the hole was cut slightly smaller to create a 1/2" lip for the plate leveling screws.

Again, this project was done using cabinet shop cut-offs and 'found' items, with the exception being the piece of BB ply. The 3/4" plexiglass was an experience to work with, but I just found a local source for 3/8" Phenolic and will be making another top in the next couple days.

The first table built works much better than what I had before, but as mentioned above, a lot is learned from making a 'first' table, which will make the second and any following tables that much more 'personalized'.

Eventually I'll be purchasing a Vacu-Plate system, but I think this table and the next one will get me by for now.
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