build or buy table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Default build or buy table

I am new to the process and I love a challenge, but I am afraid that building a table could be overwhelming. On the contrary if I could be successful I would be beaming with pride at every opportunity to produce something spectacular. My goal is to be able to produce a beautiful box using something similar to an incra jig. I have seen these boxes and I am captivated by their beauty.

My first step was to buy a router, since I have never used one I picked up a Ryobi at a pawn shop for $30.00. I figure that if I am not suited for this task I have not invested a huge amount of money.

My next step was to buy a cheep dovetail jig and see if I can figure out how to make the most basic box possible. I guess we will see how this goes.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 08:48 AM
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Start out small and get the feeling of woodworking if you try jumping in to deep you may become discoraged and miss the best part of working with wood, dovetail can be tricky till you get the hang of it, be sure to number your boards you will figure it out. Good luck with your project.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:16 AM
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:26 AM
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Hi Felix

welcome to the forum

Sydney, Australia

I don't mind if other members disagree with my comments.
I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:39 AM
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Welcome to the community Felix...

buy or build??? hmmmmmmm says I!! A not so uncommon question in these parts If you are just getting started. building would be IMHO the way to go. There are many, many skills that can be learned from building your own table. Design>as simple or as complicated as you may wish to build....Materials, constructions, use, building techniques, etc. etc...You can go keep it simple and straight forward, a fundamentalists approach or you can go overboard (which I did *S*, but I've been woodworking a whiile and just wanted a top notch table). I actually purchased my top and built the cabinet, then put on an Incra 17LS fence system. You can actually build your entire system from the ground up quite affordably and have a router table/fence that can handle just about anything you throw at it.

there are quite a few threads in here dedicated to building a table and an excellent thread that should give you many, many ideas of what you might be looking at..I would suggest you get an idea of where you would like to start,, and then just start asking questions as you go along. Alot of the folks in here are quite knowledgeable and quite willing if not eager to help you along...

a good table isn't a one size fits all kinda thing, you just have to decide where to start and if it works out, down the road, you can always apply what you've learned towards your next table. If you have not already found it, try looking at this thread to start...if it don't give you a couple of ideas, nothing will

Whatever you decide, just work safely...and work smart..

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Last edited by TwoSkies57; 07-23-2011 at 10:00 AM. Reason: added thread
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 08:21 AM
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Felix, building your own table is the perfect way to become familiar with your router. Many people are taken in by the fancy tables with micro adjusters and lots of gadgets. The truth of the matter is none of these "upgrades" are needed to enjoy routing. I built my first router table from the plans in ShopNotes #1; this is the shop built table you will see on the PBS show Woodsmith Shop. (They also use a Kreg table) It is an excellent table and easy to build, the plans include both an open stand and an enclosed cabinet base. Also included are the plans for a nice split fence with built in clamps to hold it to the table. As I was applying the finish to the red oak trim one of my friends stopped by and was so impressed he insisted he was not leaving without the table! A couple of dead presidents later he did... (meaning he paid me very well for the table) but this was not the end of the story. I worked with him, sharing as I learned so I got the use of this table and it performed very well. At this point in time I joined routerforums and Rick Rosendahl talked me into trying a Router Workshop table. I will never switch back; the "Keep it simple" methods Bob and Rick teach let you build projects with the minimum effort and great results. The no nonsense design of the Router Workshop table is the best I have seen. Plans are available from Oak Park, link on our home page. There is a Sticky thread showing how to get started quickly and inexpensively at the top of this section. By building the table top in this thread you have the first component of a Router Workshop table and can add the rest as needed.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 09:22 AM
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Hi Felix

I'm from the other side of the fence I would say buy your 1st one.
For about 119.oo then you have one to make the cabinet for it if you want one, for me it's the bottom line thing..

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 10:08 AM
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here are the one's that i have made and sold. the link their are 3 sections to look at thanks for looking i know that you will be able to do these or better. Their are lot's of jigs out their and some are junk and hard to use. My self i use the gifkin's but it is a few $$$'s but it work's evertime and work's good. My self i boutht my first one because i wanted a table and didn't want to build. I have been doing wood working for 50 or more yrs so building one wasn't a big deal. I bought this one with the dust colector and it work's very good. Lot's of tables have so much stuff that you will not use this table will do everthing you will ever do. the link also you buy the top part and build the botton part. My take on things are if you buy cheep than most thing's can turn out maybe not so good or to hard to use. I belive buy the best and learn to use them that way you will not have a learning curve when you buy again and why buy twice?? I don't have the most router's but all of them have a place and a bit in them that i use . I have 2 ryobi router's and 2 ryobi tables and with a dovetale bit in one and the tale in the other so that you don't have to change which take's time and set up 2 time's instead of once. I like to save time. Than the router work shop table is my most used table. I use every day for anything that come my way. Work's evertime and is easy to use watch the video on the table and you will see bob using it. good luck

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Last edited by del schisler; 07-24-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 11:47 AM
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Depends on the challenge you want to get into.

If building a tool before taking on your creative challenges is the way you want to go then put together the table.
It would be an excellent exercise in the planning and execution of a project but you’d need to weigh the cost (time and money) and the potential error factor involved against cost of a commercial product.

Presuming that you intend to do more than bolt a router to a piece of mdf, clamp on a 2x4 fence and set it on a pair of sawhorses, the hard cost of locally supplied materials alone might cost more than a commercial rig if you don’t already have stuff on hand.

If budget and time considerations shift the tide toward a commercial purchase then you end up with the tool ready to setup and go. You can then spend your time learning the tool and using it for want you actually want to do.

Last edited by TomE; 07-24-2011 at 11:50 AM.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-24-2011, 12:19 PM
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Default Router Tables

Greetings and welcome.

There are a lot of plans out there for building your own. Also, a lot that can be purchased of differing qualities. One thought for a beginner might would be as previously suggested, start out slow to learn the basics. After building some confidence in your abilities you may venture out.

Attached is a photo of my El-Cheapo, garage sale for $10. Horse and half router and a few bits were included. The nut that tightens the router height adjustment rarely works and has been replaced several times. I try not to let that discourage me and just block up under the router with shims to get close to the desired cutting depth. Built the fence out of scrap, works good with make shift dust collection. Someone may be williing to give you one of these. I don't know that I would buy one new.
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