Your thoughts on choice of a store-bought router table? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Default Your thoughts on choice of a store-bought router table?

I'm going to buy a router table but don't know anyone who has a decent one, so I'm hoping someone here has some experience with these routers. (I'm not interested in building one. My time and space are both limited.)

I recently returned a Ryobi A25RT02 router table. It has a lot of great features but I wasn't able to level the plastic table insert and the table top seemed slightly unflat.

I'm considering:
-- Bosch RA1181 ($168 at Amazon)
-- Bench Dog 40-001 ($209 at Amazon)
-- Rockler Portable Router Table ($190 from Rockler)

The first two from Amazon have free shipping. All look like solid choices and the first two have received a fair number of positive reviews. I'd need to buy additional accessories to complete the Bench Dog and Rockler, which is a disadvantage. I guess that means I'm leaning toward the Bosch.

If you've got another model to suggest, I'm all ears as long it's cost is about the same.

I'd be open to buying one used, but I've not seen anything available locally. And because buying one on eBay would rack up big shipping costs, it may make more sense to buy a new one with free shipping.

Last edited by azw; 12-04-2007 at 04:18 AM.
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 07:07 AM
 
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Me too, I saw that one at Home Depot and was considering it. Now not.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 08:44 AM
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I don't have any experience with it, but when researching them, I seem to remember that the Bosch RA1171 had a different, and better table (& plate) than the 1181. Might be worth a look.
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 09:08 AM
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I've had good luck with the oak-park.com basic router table top. I've taken their top and built my own cabinet, and it works great. It's worth a look, in my humble opinion.

It may not be quite as large as some of the other commercially available tables, but it has not been a problem at all for the projects I've done. I also have a couple of their baseplates, for flexibility.

http://us.oak-park.com/catalogue.htm...--&product=620

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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 12:26 PM
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There are many choices and I will post photos of several popular types. You do not need the whistles and bells that seem so impressive on many of them. What you need is a table that is flat and will stay that way; an easily adjustable and removeable fence; the ability to use guide bushings; and enough space to use jigs and templates. Dust collection is also essential, and it is nice to be able to store the bits and guide bushings in the table. Quality should be top notch. There are only two tables that fill all these requirements and they are the Router Workshop table with the Vac-u-plate from Oak Park, and the RT1000. Bench Dog makes many fine tables as does Rockler. The rest of the tables on the market fall short in different ways. Mind you a router can be mounted to any table and will be better than trying to freehand everything. There is a wealth of information on all these tables in the forums so I am not going into other details in this post. The New Yankee Workshop table is a design from Fine Woodworking Magazine and is virtually identical to the RT1000.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 12:50 PM
 
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Top center pic and second row extreme left look good to me because of the height and lack of need for an additional table stand. Do you know who mfgs them?
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Top center image appears to be a Bosch ($349 at Amazon).
Interestingly, Rousseau has something very similar for $309 at Amazon, although the accessories are different.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, everyone.

How does clamping the Oak Park fence compare with other ways of adjusting a fence? It seems like it might be hard to do work that is more vertical than horizontal.

Who makes the RT-1000? I'm seeing several different things with that model number online.

Last edited by azw; 12-04-2007 at 04:21 PM.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 04:27 PM
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azw,

Oak park uses the KISS method (keep it simple, stupid). Two clamps (c-clamps, F-clamps, your choice) and that's it. I use a piece of machined aluminum angle, others use polyethylene, some use a jointed piece of hardboard, others a built up right angle fence. It doesn't really matter, as long as it is straight and 90 degrees.

The best part about the system is that you're not worried about T-track slots, and you can quickly move the fence to any spot on the table you need it.

Only one time have I had the fence slip while making a cut, and I think I deserve 87.56% of the blame on that one.
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Last edited by kp91; 12-04-2007 at 04:30 PM.
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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The Super Bench from Router Table Depot (on sale now for $166) is tempting. It has a stand, but can be used as a bench top, too. It's gotten pretty good reviews.

All I'd need to make it complete, I think, is a set of featherboards and possibly a miter gauge. Of course, they come with the Bosch RA1181, but the RTD Super Bench seems a little more serious, although I don't know if it really is any better.

Last edited by azw; 12-04-2007 at 04:41 PM.
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