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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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I want to purchase my first router table, which do you recommend ?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 03:43 PM
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Tables come in a variety of sizes, with a variety of options. There's a reason for that. People who rout come in a variety of needs.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 05:12 PM
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What type of projects do you want to do?

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Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 05:29 PM
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Welcome to the Router Forums Jimmy.

I have been trying to figure out what kind of router table I want to buy or if need be build myself. Three or four months into this 'quest' has brought me closer to the 'answers' I seek in most ways, yet oddly enough, I'm a little farther from making up my mind on a few of the choices that need to be made.

In my opinion the most important thing to account for first is a 'good match' between the 'motor' and the 'table'. The simplest way to account for this is to get them at the same time, from the same place, built by the same manufacturer. The reason I think this is the most important angle is safety. Avoiding accidents that hurt me is more important than the details of any 'style' of work I might want to do with the machine.

Secondly, I am considering both the kinds of 'cuts' I want to be able to do with the machine and trying to rank them in priority. This is important because 'specific' purposes that a 'multi purpose machine' may be able to accomplish have a way of conflicting with each other.

The 3 cut styles that interest me the most are:
  1. Dado Slots/Grooves (making shelves & simple slide mechanisms)
  2. Edge Contouring (making drawer faces & Cabinet Doors Look Better)
  3. Dovetailing (making drawer boxes stronger)

All of these cuts are well within the capabilities of a router table. They would use different bits to get the job done, and different 'Table Top Toys' to help guide moving material across a the 'stationary cutter'. Most stand alone tables are sold with some sort of fence. Everything else tends to be in the list of 'accessories'.

Table Top Toys as I call them include things like:
  1. Fences
  2. Jigs
  3. Templates (not part of the table itself, but must work well with it)

The Dado and Edge work is the simplest to account for. The Dovetailing can get so complex it's mind boggling to me. Odds are that I am going to settle for the simpler 'box jointing' technique and prolong the fancy dovetailing until I really need 'the superior result' that dovetailing gives.

These are just some of my thoughts when trying to pick out a table. Please don't assume they represent everything that should be considered before taking the plunge. There are a lot of crafting gurus hanging out around here that can channel their experience into expanding on this simple list that's only meant to be a start.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 08:22 PM
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Hi jimmy.

Welcome to the forum.

For your first table, I would make something very simple ( 1 1/4", about 20x30", of MDF covered on both sides with laminex [Formica] ) and work from there.

Fancy cabinets and fences with all the bells and whistles look great but are not needed to start table routing.

James
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2011, 01:36 AM
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Welcome , I also would have to say a simple table will probably be used more yhan a expensive fancy one... I would reccomend one with aluminum insert and a easy to operate fence

K.I.S.S.- Keep It Super Simple
For I Am Confussion at its Best
Don't fix it if it Ain't broken
Makin sawdust now in South Louisiana
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2011, 10:06 AM
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Build your own, it will be easier to modify when project interests change and will cost far less giving more money foe accessories. To start with you do not need all the fancy cabinets and other bells and whistles, just the basics and the rest will come along in time.

Wisdom: Where experience and knowledge combine and become one.

"We are all one decision away from Stupid!!"

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"How often we sacrifice the permanent plans of God on the altar of immediate solutions"

I have a very good memory, just short is all.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-27-2011, 10:35 AM
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My first table was 2 2 x2 sheets of luan glued together with a hole drilled in the middle. I did not even take the base off of the router, I just used 3 scraps of luan and 3 bolts to hold it to the base. The whole thing just sat on saws horses and I clamped a fence on it as needed.

The whole thing cost about 5 bucks and got me through a huge build. (Singing in the Rain)

I made it just to prove to my Technical Director that a router table was something we wanted for the scene shop at school. Needless to say I got to build a better one after that.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2011, 12:40 PM
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I was in Lowe's a few days ago and saw a display of cabinets an sale. I got to looking and saw a few bathroom sink cabinets that were priced from around $60.00 to $90.00 I thought would make an ideal base for a router table. Most of them had a door and three drawers and was about the right height. All that would be necessary would be to buy or make a top and fence for the cabinet as well as a few modifications to suit individual needs.

When something is advertised as being foolproof there is always a better class of fool that comes along to prove them wrong.
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