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Just moved to a new house with a large but completely empty 3 car garage. Not a shelf, a hook, a cabinet, nothing. I get 1 of the three bays for a shop and have to start building from scratch.

Right now I have a garage floor full of tools...table saw, compound miter, drill press, band saw, etc. However, I don't have the time or space to build a router table, something I have always wanted. So I have been reading about total packages. Table, fence, lift, router, complete. Having a hard time sorting them all out. If you had $1000 to spend on one which package would you get? Certainly, there are good solid but not perfect "can't go wrong" packages out there. My router is a Bosch 1617 EVSPK which I could put in and out if needed but would prefer one mounted permanently so hopefully a new 3+hp router will fit in the $1000. I believe it will. Above table height adjustment is a must.

Apologies for the basic, newbie post. Any suggestions appreciated!
 

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Welcome to the forum.
If it was me , I’d get an Incra lift and use their clean sweep inserts ,and buy the Incra router table and fence Dust collection is important to me , and I’m liking Incras from what I can see . Haven’t assembled mine yet , so I can’t confirm.


You have to assemble it though . They sell a base ,but my idea is to build a base with dust collection, drawers and storage spaces .

https://www.incra.com/

I edited my post and am going with Stick on his under table mounted router , although I’m going to try my 1617 under mine
 

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Hello Hal and welcome to the forums...
We're happy you found us...

We have some ''light reading'' for you...
We've gathered together a bunch of pertinent/relative information on routering in this here link ... You should find everything (at least most) quite useful, a lot of help and get you off to a running start in the world of routers... Enjoy...

Do take some time to read the safety PDF's... PLEASE!!!
Blood and trips to the ER, we find, are very annoying... Not to mention – expensive...

We do welcome all questions here on about any subject you can come up w/ also....
Not only that, we excel at spending your money...

Now about that table...

Hands down it would be a JessEm w/ a Milwaukee 3+HP motor...
top of the line...
bullet proof...
TS/CS is outstanding.....

and............
We have a wee bit more browsing for ya...
ROUTER TABLES
There's more here at this link on RT's than you'll be able to digest at one sit down (or many)... Ohhhhhh, so many ways and choices...
 
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Welcome to the Forum, Hal...

I have enjoyed using the Bosch 1181 table with a dedicated Triton underneath. The Triton allows for above the table height adjustment and bit change. You do, however, need to clamp/unclamp underneath for height and bit replacement. Bit change is one-wrench...

The 1181 is a "table-top" RT so you can store it when not using it.

...but I think you need to renegotiate the whole 1-bay deal...:grin:
 

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Welcome to the forum Hal.
 

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Welcome to the Forum, Hal...


...but I think you need to renegotiate the whole 1-bay deal...:grin:
Agreed, at least 1-1/2 bays......but 1 is better the outside....

I think you'll find that the router table can be a central tool and that there are many thoughts on who/what is better. I built my table ( I know you don't have time) and then bought the Jess Em table top and the Woodpecker's Super fence. Then I added the Jess Em router motor and external controller/switch.

Biggest difference is I built the table and included excellent sawdust control and the components to make it as I wanted, not a choice by others. Now I have storage under the table with 3 drawers and 5 small bit trays (drawers). If you decide to go this route look at Creston Wood Plans and you'll find the router table plans. If you're not building this what do you have time for?
 

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I am with Rick. Love Incra. You can find used Porter Cable 3hp on ebay and they can be good deals. Look for older ones. They are better than newer ones. The Incra lift is the same as Jessem (I believe it is made by Jessem) and you can sometimes find deals on Jessem. Infinity has some nice RT packages and there stuff is excellent. But I would only use the Incra fence system. It is amazing. As a newbie, it makes everything easier for me.
 

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Welcome to the Forum, Hal...

...but I think you need to renegotiate the whole 1-bay deal...:grin:
that's what the driveway is for... to park your vehicles on...
 

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One option for someone with limited space is one that folds up and is out of the way. A few members have used Workmates as router table stands and they just lay a sheet of some type panel material on it with a hole in it for router and insert plate and cleats on the under side that you open the Workmate against to keep the top from sliding around. Several routers are available that have above table adjustment so a lift isn't necessary.

That arrangement allows you to take the top off and slide or hang it out of the way when you aren't using it. Then you can use the Workmate for something else or fold it up and put it away too. With that limited a space you will probably want most of your tools on wheels.
 

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Like Incra Also

I went the Incra route with the PC 7518 router. Yes, the Incra lift is built by Jessem but to Incra's specifications. The difference between Jessem and Incra/Jessem is that Incra has metal throat inserts that are held in place magnetically; some of the inserts have an open design to yield better downward air flow. Dust collection on my system is the best of all my shop tools. With the LS fence/positioner, setup is very repeatable. If I were doing this again, I probably would build my cabinet from scratch instead of using Incra's extruded aluminum hardware. The Incra hardware is designed to work with 1/2" plywood. This is my favorite shop tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yep, and that's where my vehicle is parked. In the driveway. Others...who shall remain unnamed...not so much. :) Actually I have a reasonable space that I can make work. 29' x 10' or so with another 15' x 4-5' in the back of the garage in front of the parked cars for tools-on-wheels storage, cabinets, etc. Good enough for me. If I am working on something that needs more space then no one complains about keeping their car outside for a while. I think my record is 3 months. You wouldn't believe how complicated that child's step stool was. :)

We have an 1,100 ft2 guest house, with a full kitchen, that was used as a workshop by the previous owner. He had dust collection piping installed when they poured the foundation. 3 separate connections/ports in the floor. The shop was packed full of tools/equipment. I have an old picture and it was so full I'm not sure how he assembled anything. the kitchen area is finished and very nice, behind double doors from the main space. Someone who will still remain unnamed has an elderly relative who will be coming to live with us so we are remodeling that space and turning it into a family room and bedroom. I will have to fill in the dust collection piping so they are closed off before installing a floor (closing it up with spray insulation foam so it could be removed at a future date). There will be a memorial service before the floor is installed. I am asking that, in lieu of flowers, friends and family send donations to routerforums.com.

Thanks for all the hints and suggestions. Still looking and deciding!
 

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Welcome to the forum, and holy.....you have a great opportunity in front of you.

Having a decent unfettered and unspoiled space to work with is a dream......you may not know it.

I have renovated and organized shops and garages for years...the first thing to do is make a good scaled drawing of the space (the whole space!) as well as the cars, the tools and toolboxes etc you have in order to get a perspective on how much room you have and will need. I would put some / most things on wheels so you are flexible with the layout.

You also need a list of to do things, starting with lighting, electrical, dust collection and compressed air.

Insulation and finishing the walls, preferably in matte white so the lighting works properly and is diffused.
4" dust collection if at all possible, with the D/C unit in another space outside the garage - I put mine into the adjacent shed and ran piping, electrical and compressed air out there (so you don't breathe all the small particles that are blown around the shop (even with a HEPA filter).

Work surface heights are going to ideally be all at the same height..... table saw, miter saw, band saw and router table......concrete floor with sealer or maybe tiles / anti fatigue panels or mats.

Lots to think about in context with the router table.
 

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Whether you build or buy by all means go the Incra lift route with magnetic rings. Best decision i've made in the last ten years
 

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So is the Incrhttps://jessem.com/collections/router-lifts-and-plates/products/mast-r-lift-ii#tabs-3a PRL-V2 essentially the same thing as the Woodpeckers PRL-V2 except with the magna-lock rings?
I don't have VOE w/ either one...
after a run of shop builts and playing w/ different makes/brands I went w/ a JessEm fence... I did increase the the topside dust pick up...
boring out down draft holes in your plate rings is a stellar idea... (I couldn't find the thread on this)...

for a lift I went w/ a JessEm Mast-R-Lift™ II for a 3+HP motor... (PC 7518 which I regretted)...
TS/CS is outstanding at JessEm and their equipment is rock solid...

I've NEVER regretted either decision...

keep in mind, there's always talk of squaring the fence to the bit...
how can you possibly square to a round bit???
 
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