The right router table for me - Router Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Default The right router table for me

So I need a router table. Currently I have a bosch 1617 fixed base router screwed to a piece of MDF.
I have been, and will be doing a lot of template work (1/4" template, 1/2" workpiece) and then chamfering or rounding over all the flush-trimmed parts. I will occasionally need a fence.
So I'm just out to pick expert brains as what router table is right for me.

-I'll be using it a lot, so I want something easy to adjust, change bits, etc.
-I want long-lasting quality equipment.
-My shop is about 270 sq. ft., so space is a somewhat a concern. But a router table is an important tool that deserves the space it takes
-It needs to be accurate, the top flat and stiff.

Hopefully that covers most of the points... Now can someone point me to the right table for my application? Thanks
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:15 AM
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Most of us build our own router table and for good reason. First would be cost. Until you spend about $600 the table you build will be far better in quality.

The other reasons are prefferance and application to the work you like to do.

Have you looked at the thread showing router tables. This might be a good place to start without waiting for responses here.

Also router tables have advanced to the point where the best ones incorporate a lift. This is a sought after method as of late and has improved the ease of use and performance. Unfortunately they add weight which presents a new problem. Table sag. Some are better than others and some are quite costly. They also limit what you can successfully use for the top.

I have a lift and table that don't have this problem because the router doesn't hang from the table top. It's very easy to build and very easy to use. But I'm reluctant to show it here due to that fact that it's being evaluated for possible manufacturing and sales oppertunities.

Al
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 09:54 AM
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Hi Jeremy. Welcome to our little corner of the 'net.

As to what router table is best for you... that's an entirely personal choice. A laminate top is recommended.. your work will slide easily on it. Stay away from an all aluminum top as it will leave black marks on your work. An aluminum, or phenolic insert, to support the router. This makes the router easy to remove from the table for bit changes. And fence that clamps to the table... can be ANY straight edge, doesn't have to be fancy. And some form of dust collection to keep your shop, and more importantly, your lungs, clean.

Those are just the very basic of requirements. There are a lot of other options you might want to consider depending upon your needs and how much you want to spend.

Check here to see what people have built and are using.
wanted-pictures-your-router-table.html That thread has taken on a life of it's own... should keep you busy for a day or 3.

Brian


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or by imbeciles who really mean it.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 10:43 AM
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I agree with Brian that the easiest way to change bits is to lift router and plate from the table and lay the router on it's side. The router is also easy to make initial adjustments in this position. Gravity does a fine job of holding it down, i.e. no screws needed. Lifts are expensive, more than the cost of most routers, but they are quick to make adjustments and the users say changing bits is easy because they run the bit above the table to do it. I don't know how hard it is to hold the spindle lock or get a second wrench on the spindle in that situation as I don't have a lift.

Router tables are easy and cheap and to make and you get to learn what works for you in the process without it breaking the bank. I'll be starting on my 4th version soon and I think I've figured out by now what I want it to do for me. Some of the router tables I've seen for sale remind me of fishing lures. Fishing lures aren't designed to catch fish as much as they are designed to catch fishermen.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 10:59 AM
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Jeremy have you looked at Incra router tables and there accessories? I'm debating to buy there router table top and fence adjuster system and build from that point down for storage , dust collection etc.

http://www.incra.com



If you look at what Brad built you'll see what I mean . Pretty much the most awesomest router table I've ever seen!
The mans got Mad Skills and it's going to be hard to top

http://www.routerforums.com/table-mo...-table-91.html

Last edited by RainMan 2.0; 07-06-2014 at 11:11 AM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 11:32 AM
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I was concerned about space also but my table is 4 ft by 2 ft, I also have a rolling table that is 5 ft by 2 ft, the router table is on one side that I used hinges & attached to rolling table, there are 2 legs in the front of the router table to support it when in use, the other side I have a shelf for the chop saw, the short end has another shelf that holds my table saw & use the rolling table top as an outfeed. When done, all tools go underneath & shelves fold down & roll it in a corner.

Making sawdust & scraps all at the same time
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
I agree with Brian that the easiest way to change bits is to lift router and plate from the table and lay the router on it's side. The router is also easy to make initial adjustments in this position. Gravity does a fine job of holding it down, i.e. no screws needed. Lifts are expensive, more than the cost of most routers, but they are quick to make adjustments and the users say changing bits is easy because they run the bit above the table to do it. I don't know how hard it is to hold the spindle lock or get a second wrench on the spindle in that situation as I don't have a lift.

Router tables are easy and cheap and to make and you get to learn what works for you in the process without it breaking the bank. I'll be starting on my 4th version soon and I think I've figured out by now what I want it to do for me. Some of the router tables I've seen for sale remind me of fishing lures. Fishing lures aren't designed to catch fish as much as they are designed to catch fishermen.
Actually the best lift is one that doesn't hang from the top. I have such a lift and have yet to find one that bests it. Bit changes are much faster and do not require lifting the router out or raising it up.

Would love to post a pic but this program doesn't seem to allow IPad pictures.

Al
This also allows the use of other materials besides a thick laminated top.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianS View Post
Hi Jeremy. Welcome to our little corner of the 'net.

As to what router table is best for you... that's an entirely personal choice. A laminate top is recommended.. your work will slide easily on it. Stay away from an all aluminum top as it will leave black marks on your work. An aluminum, or phenolic insert, to support the router. This makes the router easy to remove from the table for bit changes. And fence that clamps to the table... can be ANY straight edge, doesn't have to be fancy. And some form of dust collection to keep your shop, and more importantly, your lungs, clean.

Those are just the very basic of requirements. There are a lot of other options you might want to consider depending upon your needs and how much you want to spend.

Check here to see what people have built and are using.
wanted-pictures-your-router-table.html That thread has taken on a life of it's own... should keep you busy for a day or 3.
While I don't recommend my table top which is aluminum. It does quite well due to the fact that I anodized the top. This makes the surface slick, very hard and leaves no black marks.

My lift doesn't hang from the top either. Which is truly the Cadilac of lifts.

Al
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!
As far as a lift, I really think it would be well worth the money for me. Probably get an Incra or JessEm.
From there, I'm still unsure. How do I build a a flat, smooth top?
I don't think the Incra top & fence are for me. I don't need a fence enough to justify such a big table and expensive fence.

I didn't mention that I already built one router table. Complete fail, so much so that I'm back to the fixed base screwed to MDF. That is why I'm quite hesitant to try building one again. But I'm willing to try again, so long as I'm sure this time that it won't be another fail!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azlogger View Post
Thanks for the replies!
As far as a lift, I really think it would be well worth the money for me. Probably get an Incra or JessEm.
From there, I'm still unsure. How do I build a a flat, smooth top?
I don't think the Incra top & fence are for me. I don't need a fence enough to justify such a big table and expensive fence.

I didn't mention that I already built one router table. Complete fail, so much so that I'm back to the fixed base screwed to MDF. That is why I'm quite hesitant to try building one again. But I'm willing to try again, so long as I'm sure this time that it won't be another fail!
Where did you fail on the last one?
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