Headed back to the table
In an effort to make more space in my workshop, I ditched my router table and chucked the top onto my table saw. It hasn't worked out well for a few reasons. Now that I'm going through a very detailed revamp of my shop furniture, my plans call for the router table to make a return.
It won't be a big table, just 24x32. I am lusting over an Incra fence system so I am leaning toward the router being offset. What I'm here to seek opinions on is the router and the lift. My little Craftsman 17543 has served me well in the table, but I plan on retiring it to either light duty tasks in the table saw or bring it back to just plunge use. I am trending toward building things that will last me years, even through to a new workshop, so I am going to go big with the router.
I had my mind set on a PC 7518 and an expensive lift, like the Woodpecker. However I read a little about the TRA001 and it has me intrigued. What I liked most about the lifts I looked at was the thumbwheel for minute adjustments. How easy is it to do with the wrench? I don't see a lock. What I dislike most about the Craftsman is having to unlock the motor and make all the adjustments under the table. Above the table has never worked well. For my next router, I really don't want to go under the table at all if possible. For my plate, I'm going to go with one that has screwless insert rings, one of the few bad things about the Rockler plate.
The idea of saving about $500 on a router setup is very appealing, that would either pay for the fence system or go a little ways towards my emerging interest in Festool.