Why an insert plate - Router Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Default Why an insert plate

Hi all, I've seen a few router tables with various makes of insert plate and I've also seen tables that have a simple bit sizes hole in the top of the table. If possible could I get a few views for and against and why a plate at all. I have a home made table with an insert plate but cant really see the benefit of it as against a plain old hole in the table top.

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 06:35 PM
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i think one "for" is that you can have different insert plates with different sized holes for a closer clearance when using small bits

another "for" would be that you can take the plate off and get to the top of the router more easily, for things like changing bits

the 2nd one is more the reason why i have an insert plate. wthout a plate, i can't lift the router up enough to be able to change the bit from above the table. my "plate" is just a piece of 4 1/2" square 3/4" thick plywood. i currently have only one, but i can make others with different sized holes as need be
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Are you saying that your top is made of 3/4 inch ply with a square cut out of the top with a hole in it for your bit to pass through. This sounds like a perfectly simple set up that obviously works for you so why do people go for Freud and trend and all the other fancy insert plates. I'm nor condemning any of those I'm just curious as to why woodworkets bother with them.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiroma View Post
Are you saying that your top is made of 3/4 inch ply with a square cut out of the top with a hole in it for your bit to pass through. This sounds like a perfectly simple set up that obviously works for you so why do people go for Freud and trend and all the other fancy insert plates. I'm nor condemning any of those I'm just curious as to why woodworkets bother with them.

Jiroma
Hi - Well, the first difference that occurs to me is a 1/2" loss of cut depth by bolting directly to a 3/4" table vs. a 1/4" plate.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 07:24 PM
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Hi

I will 2nd.Chris's post and John's post BUT add a note,,,the big thing for me, it gives me a way to use the brass guides ( bushings) on the router table, once you do that it will open a new world..but without the plate you can't use your router table to the fullest ...

To me it's like building a car and not putting a transmission in line but by doing so it's a big plus.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 09:48 PM
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yes, that is what i am saying. a simple square cut in the top for a drop in piece of wood with a hole in it.

with my setup, i could use also 1/2" ply for the insert to get 1/4" more bit depth, or i could route a rabbet around the edge and shape a piece of lexan or something for it to get even more range if necessary.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 08:06 AM
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An insert plate gets rid of all kinds of Pain-in-the-arse situations.
Pop it out to change bits if you want.
More height available for the bits.
Removable hole inserts for safety.
And on, and on, and on.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 12:31 PM
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What are you using as a router, a Dremel Tool? 1/2 or even 3/4 inch ply isn't going to cut it as a router table top with a full sized router attached. I suppose you could attach supports under the table to possibly prevent sag, but I still wouldn't trust it to stay level from one day to the next. Using 2 sheets of 3/4 inch MDF glued together topped with Melamine is the standard. You could build a nice table top for around $50.00 which is probably $150.00 less than what you propose as a router table top. The benefits of a thick table top and a phenolic insert plate far outweigh using a 1/2 or 3/4 inch ply top fitted with a ply insert and will cost less over the same time span.

Spend a few bucks for an insert plate too. They can be had for less than $25.00 and along with that small investment you get peace of mind that your router will stay level if installed properly.

I absolutely do not take short cuts with my routers or accessories. As an example I just bought two base plates, one round and one offset, for a DeWalt trim router that cost $80.00 the pair. I have a $100.00 1/4 inch aluminum insert plate in my table that will out last me plus stay level, so it was a wise investment in that respect. The point I am trying to make is, it only takes a few more cents to go first class thereby preventing the hassle of re-doing something a few days or weeks down the road.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 12:36 PM
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Mounting plates were developed so you could pop your router out of the table to make quick and easy set ups and bit changes. This is still the fastest way to handle these things. Removeable inserts allow the use of bits from small to large with a safe amount of clearance and better cuts. Add the ability to use guide bushings and brass reducer bushings and it is a win/win situation. Make sense Jim?

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 12:41 PM
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Ken, properly supported 3/4" Baltic birch plywood that is laminated on both sides with Formica works great with even the largest routers. This is how the Router Workshop tables are built. The only disadvantage with aluminum mounting plates is if they get scratched they oxidize and can stain your wood. A coat of Johnsons paste wax helps prevent this and lets your material slide even easier.

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