Hi John,thanks for the reply,...your not the first to say i prob' had a lucky escape not buying the bench top ryobi! apparently they used to make a better one.I must have a look at the Bosch you mentioned(have always been a fan of Bosch power tools).I have been looking at the Kreg bench top,you guys (U.S.A) make kreg don't you?...the new full size kreg with the new fence looks very tempting,although a lot more expensive over here in N.Ire.In the mean time I think I will have A go at making my own.I've heard you really need A powerfull 1/2" router for A good table,is this true?.Thanks Philip
Making your own router table, IMHO, is the best way to go. Doing so allows you to design and build it to your own requirements. Take a look at the following thread for ideas: http://www.routerforums.com/table-mo...ter-table.html
The size (power) of the router used depends on what you may be doing, as does the physical size of the table. Larger diameter bits require more power to drive. I used a 2 1/4hp router in a table for years without problems, but I was doing mostly edge-forming operations with small-diameter bits. I now have a 3 1/4hp router (PC 7518 variable speed) for greater versatility.
Note that some operations are easier (and safer) to do hand-held. So, you should anticipate some switching between table-mounted and hand-held for that reason. Eventually, you may want to dedicate a router to the table, just for convenience.
One reason for building your own table is that most of the commercially-available bench-top models are under-designed. Some are almost useless and/or dangerous to use. All should be clamped to the bench - you don't want it sliding across the bench as you work, but some designs make clamping difficult. Also, vibration is your enemy. So, vibration-damping weight is your friend.