Headed back to the table - Router Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Default 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.

The 144 Workshop - Ambitious but rubbish woodworking
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 10:26 AM
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I'm fairly tall so a bench top router table works well for me. I especially like doing small parts on it. Bench top models are easier to reach under to turn on, lock/unlock, and adjust. I did have a floor model too but gave it to my son-in-law. However, I'll be building a newer version as I like it for larger pieces. You could build a floor model with the same folding steel legs that go on fold up tables. That would make it easy to store out of the way when not in use.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 04:58 PM
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I believe for the new TRA001, you will not have to use the thumb wheel for minute adjustments. The winder handle takes care of that task..

Just ensure you have the correct plunge mode selected.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 07:14 PM
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I love my Incra stuff, but do some looking at the mounting before you come to grips on the size of your router table...

I just got an LS with 17" range a few weeks back. The front of my Incra Pro (16" range) bracket was about 14" or so from the center of the plate. (table is 36" x 24"). I was looking at it last night, the 17" LS needs to have the mounting plate about 17 3/4" from center of plate--and my Wonder Fence adds nearly 5" of depth to the stock fence. I'd already added a 6" overhang on the back of the table, I'm thinking i'll remove it and build out 15", maybe a little less. I'm looking at it and wondering--the Pro was really functional and easy to work with, the only real advantage to the LS is the micro-adjust. I use that feature some on the TS-LS, but I don't know if i'll use it enough to expand the RT depth to 37"-40" from the current 30".

I'm waffling about which to keep. I may end up listing both on CL and keeping the one that doesn't sell first--might be the only way I make a decision!!!

Good luck!!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-20-2013, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a bit hamstrung by the size of my shop to be honest. Even putting a table back in is not what I really wanted to do space wise, but I want a full table again. I miss it. A table top unit doesn't do anything for me, because it wastes so much space when not in use. With a full table I can also use it as an outfeed table, which I desperately need.

With the full table I can also store my other routers and my dovetail jig, other items which need a better home. I think the tradeoff is acceptable. That size is about as big as I can comfortably go, however. I will be having to move it to access my lathe as it is.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-21-2013, 06:42 AM
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I have Incra LS and Triton TRA001 router, the raising of the router works well with the winder handle from above the table. I don't do much dovetail work but the Incra LS is brilliant for accurate placement of the fence and because of the template and ruler guide accurate repeatability is easy.
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