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post #1 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Default first router table

Hello All,
I'm wanting information on the best router table to buy. This is my first table and i don't want to be throwing my money away on a table that wont last. I'm going to be making a little bit of everything that will require a table.

Thanks Tim
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post #2 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 09:16 AM
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Tim, this is a very difficult question to answer. Everyone finds different methods appealing so no one table is right for everyone. In addition to this some people want a furniture type router table and others just want a utility table that gets the job done. You should spend the time to browse through the sticky thread: Wanted, pictures of your router table. All of these tables have one thing in common; they best serve the needs of each individual.

Building your own table is a very good option. This helps you develop your skills and get familiar with your router. If mistakes are made it is not critical... it is a tool and function is more important than appearance. Many people opt to purchase their first table so they can concentrate on projects right away. If you are looking for the most bang for your buck the Grizzly Presidents special router table sells for about $130 and has everything you need; model #T10432 at Grizzly.com® -- Home

Another table that is cheaper to buy than build is the RT1000. Forum member Joe builds these quality furniture style tables based on a design from Fine Woodworking magazine. Six months after Joe started selling these tables Norm of the NYW built his version that most people have seen on TV. Look in our Bargin Bin to find special offers for forum members on Joe's table.

The table from Shopnotes #1 is the first table I built. Anyone should be able to build this table in their choice of a utility open stand or a closed cabinet. Shopnotes offers 5 different table plans available for instant download at Woodworking Plans for Immediate Download from PlansNOW.com and you will see the original on the first seasons of Woodsmith Shop on PBS.

My favorite is the Router Workshop table. It is not available for sale at this time but you can purchase the plans from Oak Park; link on our home page. The economy table top in the sticky threads is based on this design.

Kreg sells a couple decent tables; Marc Sommerfeld has a design he developed over the years that is popular. Bench Dog/Rockler, MLCS, Bosch and others have good designs too. You do not need to spend a lot of money on an expensive lift to get great results. Magazines get paid to promote these items so they are always included in the "Ultimate" router tables.
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Last edited by Mike; 05-09-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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post #3 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 09:48 AM
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For a first router table, you might also consider making a couple of sturdy, adjustable height horses and using a piece 3/4" melamine covered shelving from one of the big box stores, supported by a couple of 2 by 4s.

The pros to an approach like this are that it is inexpensive, it gives you experience making things, and you will find many uses for the horses in the future.


Then again, it sounds like you might be willing to spend the money for all the bells and whistles.
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post #4 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 08:22 AM
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IMHO buying any router table is throwing your money away. The top is all that is important and that can be made for around $100 dollars including the T-tracks, miter track, feather boards and base take a look at MLCS. Make the top big, you will need the support this will also give you a longer fence which definitely is a plus.
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post #5 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 07:44 PM
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go to Youtube and search.. DIY router table

or check this out... ..

http://www.woodsmithshop.com/downloa...outertable.pdf

it was my choice before i ran into this.. you get paper plans 2 sheets 18"x24" for $10 or plans and a step by step DVD for $25
Ultimate Router Table

i decided to make Norms Router Table, the table top first, put it on a platform i have till i can make the base.. probably with 2 doors like the first one i listed. i'm not too ambitious these days.. too many drawers.
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post #6 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wood2metal View Post
Hello All,
I'm wanting information on the best router table to buy. This is my first table and i don't want to be throwing my money away on a table that wont last. I'm going to be making a little bit of everything that will require a table.

Thanks Tim
Hi Tim,

Welcome to The Router Forums!

I have only been playing with routers & tables for about a year, so I don't know near as much about how to actually use them as most of the people who have already responded to your question.

During the last year I have picked up 3 different tables and three different routers. My personal philosophy on tools is to buy as 'low' as possible until you know exactly what you want and why. Pawn Shops, Craig's List and E-Bay are where most of the tools I purchased came from.

A post with more about the three tables I use (on occasion) is here

More on My Tables

I still think about designing and building my own custom router table from scratch, but current space limitations have me so bound up, I don't know where I will put it, which makes it hard to decide on the overall size it will be. The design process has ground to a screeching halt.

One of the reasons I picked up three different tables is to learn the 'dynamics' of the routing craft hands on, and to use them to create 'My Main Table'. I also doubt that I will ever get rid of any of them, one is built into a table saw, the other two are simple portables. I gave up 190 bucks for the TS (90.00 for the saw and 100 for the
options kit). The steel table cost me 30 and the bench top was 50 with a router and set of 15 bits.



Lots of the users here have more than router, and many have more than one table. I suppose there may be some that have only one router and move it across tables that have been customized for special purposes.



This thread can give you lots of ideas in what style table you want.

Wanted Pictures of your router table

One of the most impressive tables I have seen here is the one used by James (jw2170). It is a 'Shop Mate + Oak Park Top' basic approach that gets the job done!

jw2170's KISS brand Router Table!

Any extra frills, guides or whatever are 'clamped on as needed' when needed. I could have easily made do with Jame's approach, but had the opportunity to snag the tables found, so I did.

wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA

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Last edited by wbh1963; 05-09-2012 at 11:40 PM. Reason: Fine tuned my description of the KISS brand Table..:)
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post #7 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 10:43 PM
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Bill, James set up uses a Router Workshop table top. See the complete table below. Sadly these are no longer available.
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post #8 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
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Bill, James set up uses a Router Workshop table top. See the complete table below. Sadly these are no longer available.
Yep, he even commented that he wasn't 'embarrassed' that it was an OP top....

The fact that it has an 'insert plate' based is clear just looking at it, though perhaps not as obvious to someone who is just beginning their research.

I suppose I think of it as 'just a plank' or 'close to a plank' is because it doesn't bother with T-Track slots, fencing, bit guards or other forms of 'tabletop enhancements'.......so I kind of equate that to the 'flat surface on top of some legs' foundation all 'bit pointing up' router tables are based on...

wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA

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Last edited by wbh1963; 05-09-2012 at 11:38 PM. Reason: replaced 'ashamed' with 'embarrassed' to make the quote accurate.
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post #9 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 01:54 AM
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The Oak Park design seems very spartan at first glance. Once you learn Bob and Rick's "Keep it simple" methods you will be able to handle just about any table routing job. Some jobs are easier with ski jigs or other types of jigs; there is no one size fits all solution.

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post #10 of 64 (permalink) Old 05-10-2012, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
there is no one size fits all solution.
I didn't understand how true that is until I had been on this site for about a month.

It took me three days to make it all the way through Old Chipper's router table thread, and every minute of it was well spent.

The huge variety of table designs & add-on upgrades to them was both overwhelming and informative. After a while, I came to understand, that being able to completely clear the table top & "easily" attach whatever custom jigs/fixtures might be required for a specific job was my 'style' of table.

wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA

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