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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In 2011, in a RouterForum post, I reported fitting a "MLCS PowerLift" to my "RBI RouterTable".

http://www.routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/31897-x-y-router-table-rbi-mcls.html

The Hawk RBI RS-29 is a "Made in the USA" steel-plate Router Table, where, by tilting 1/2 of the hinged table, a medium-sized router can be positioned either horizontally, vertically, or at any angle from 0 to 90 degrees. The original company went out of business in 2009, but the RS-29 RouterTable is still available(1).

Now my RS-29 RouterTable has been modified such that I can now remotely adjust the position of the router bit in two (2) dimensions, by either: turning a handle for the Horizontal "Y" position; or using the installed MLCS PowerLift for Vertical "Z" positioning, all the while monitoring digital readouts for both directions.

On this modified RS-29 table, one can monitor router bit adjustments using the two digital readouts.

Until a better name(s) is suggested by RouterForum viewers, the "XYZ" controls for this RS-29 RouterTable are for now:

"X" - Right to Left - Router table "Work Flow" using a fence or ball bearing guides.
"Y" - Front to Back - Router bit movement using a 1/16"/revolution threaded bar with digital readout(3).
"Z" - Up and Down - Router bit movement using a MLCS Powerlift with digital readout(2).

The attached pictures show the additional construction to complete this project.
In future posts, I will also try to comment on "the good and the bad" of each of the individual components.:moil:

Source List:

1. ROUTER SHOP Model RS-29 http://www.rbiwoodtools.com
2. MLCS PowerLift Item #9450 MLCS Router Bits and Woodworking Products
3. iGaging Remote 0-6” DigiMag Digital readout Model 35-706* iGaging - Home
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Is the steel plate top flat ?

The Hawk RBI RS-29 is a "Made in the USA" steel-plate Router Table, where, by tilting 1/2 of the hinged table, a medium-sized router can be positioned either horizontally, vertically, or at any angle from 0 to 90 degrees. The original company went out of business in 2009, but the RS-29 RouterTable is still available(1).
Hi.
My question is about the steel-plate top. Is is flat enough to do good work, or do you have to put a piece of mdf over it to get a smooth surface"
:)
 

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Hi rout66

The original Hawk Router shop was made by a company named RB industries. They were based in Harrisonville, MO. Like you said, they went out of business and sold everything to another company called Bushton Manufacturing in Bushton KS. The Router Shop was one of a few inovative products from RB Industries. I came to know the product line as I worked for the video duplication service that mass produced their informational videos. I found their entire line of products to be quite intriguing. But it was the Hawk Router Shop that caught my eye the most. The idea is absolutely genius. A mounted router that goes from a normal flat table to any angle up to 90 degrees. Also, the router was mounted on a slide that allowed it to be moved either horizontally or veritcally in relationship to the work piece. I do not recall, but I think the mounting system was designed for a plunge router so you would also have tool depth adjustment. At the time (around 2001) I thought it to be pricy especially with also having to pay shipping. Hence, I never purchased one even though I could drive to Harrisonville to get it in about an hour.
However...a few years later I happened to see a comment on a web forum where the guy said the steel tabletop was rather flimsy and racked and warped easily. He was seriously unimpressed with the device. What he failed to mention, though, is what type of router he attached to it and what he was trying to do. But, in my opinion, he made a valid point. We all know steel plate will bend and warp if theit is either not thick enough or not suitably supported by some type of framing. Also, the center hinge is essentially a piano hinge design. Again, this will work if it is of suitable mass.
But since the table hinges in the middle and folds in on itself, I do not believe it would be possible to add or change the top in any way that would (if nothing else) be easy to do let alone accurate to the original indexing features. (But it would also not surprise me if one of you smart guy LJers is saying "Not so DR. Moto")
My whole deal is: knowing what steel plate does (and having a price tag of $800), I want more information either from the manufacturer or by driving there and seeing one in person. Don't show me pictures and videos...prove it works as stated. Again, I love the idea but something just don't seem right. Even their website seems rather vague. BTW...I do not know anybody or have ever heard of anybody that owns one. And you would think that in 12 years there would be at least 1.

KCRich

(My doctor told me after my last colonscopy that nothing was found. Now I REALLY have no idea what happened to the remote.)
 

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ShopCenter Tilting Router Table - "It does so much more!" - Page 1

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Hi rout66

The original Hawk Router shop was made by a company named RB industries. They were based in Harrisonville, MO. Like you said, they went out of business and sold everything to another company called Bushton Manufacturing in Bushton KS. The Router Shop was one of a few inovative products from RB Industries. I came to know the product line as I worked for the video duplication service that mass produced their informational videos. I found their entire line of products to be quite intriguing. But it was the Hawk Router Shop that caught my eye the most. The idea is absolutely genius. A mounted router that goes from a normal flat table to any angle up to 90 degrees. Also, the router was mounted on a slide that allowed it to be moved either horizontally or veritcally in relationship to the work piece. I do not recall, but I think the mounting system was designed for a plunge router so you would also have tool depth adjustment. At the time (around 2001) I thought it to be pricy especially with also having to pay shipping. Hence, I never purchased one even though I could drive to Harrisonville to get it in about an hour.
However...a few years later I happened to see a comment on a web forum where the guy said the steel tabletop was rather flimsy and racked and warped easily. He was seriously unimpressed with the device. What he failed to mention, though, is what type of router he attached to it and what he was trying to do. But, in my opinion, he made a valid point. We all know steel plate will bend and warp if theit is either not thick enough or not suitably supported by some type of framing. Also, the center hinge is essentially a piano hinge design. Again, this will work if it is of suitable mass.
But since the table hinges in the middle and folds in on itself, I do not believe it would be possible to add or change the top in any way that would (if nothing else) be easy to do let alone accurate to the original indexing features. (But it would also not surprise me if one of you smart guy LJers is saying "Not so DR. Moto")
My whole deal is: knowing what steel plate does (and having a price tag of $800), I want more information either from the manufacturer or by driving there and seeing one in person. Don't show me pictures and videos...prove it works as stated. Again, I love the idea but something just don't seem right. Even their website seems rather vague. BTW...I do not know anybody or have ever heard of anybody that owns one. And you would think that in 12 years there would be at least 1.

KCRich

(My doctor told me after my last colonscopy that nothing was found. Now I REALLY have no idea what happened to the remote.)
 

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Allbarknobite:

COOL! I'm glad to see someone has one. As I said, the idea is great if the thing worked. It goes beyond a vertical mortiser. So my question to you is now...do you like it and does it do everything the video demos said it would? I still have a hard time understanding why the technology didn't catch on, though. Thanks for the reply.

KCRich
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did it do everything the video demos said it did?

Allbarknobite:
COOL! I'm glad to see someone has one. As I said, the idea is great if the thing worked. It goes beyond a vertical mortiser. So my question to you is now...do you like it and does it do everything the video demos said it would?
KCRich
Hi Rick,
In answer to your question about video demos, probably not.

Once I modified the table in 2011 to uniquely accept a MLCS Powerlift, it has become my favorite GoTo router setup.
Setup options are many...:moil:...whatever you want the table to do, horizontally, or vertically.

I have even drilled pen blanks (wood) using the MLCS Powerlift, and HS German-made 7mm, 8mm, and 10mm Drill Bits.
I used 7mm, 8mm, and 10mm Porter-Cable bushings custom made by the Elaire Corporation, a US company.

I don't remember seeing any demos other than mortising ones.

Thanks for asking.
Mark
 

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Dredging up an old thread with this post, but I just found and bought an RBI Routershop router table at my local Habitat Store. I've wanted one of these since I first saw them at a woodworking show about 15 years ago, but the high price tag of $800 (originally $600) has kept me away. The capabilities of it just never seemed to me to justify the high price that they wanted.

The one that I bought yesterday was used and dirty, but for $150 this one was well within my acceptable price range. It came complete with most of the original options and it only seems to be missing a few of the smaller items that originally came with it, like the bit depth gauge, fence travel stops, feather boards, etc. This is no biggie, since I already have most of them. The original manuals came with it too.

Life got in the way, so it will be some time before I can clean it, get a router mounted in it, and try it out. I'll post some more about it when I can get the time to go back into my wood shop to try it.

Charley
 

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Coordinate Nomenclature

Until a better name(s) is suggested by RouterForum viewers, the "XYZ" controls for this RS-29 RouterTable are for now:

"X" - Right to Left - Router table "Work Flow" using a fence or ball bearing guides.
"Y" - Front to Back - Router bit movement using a 1/16"/revolution threaded bar with digital readout(3).
"Z" - Up and Down - Router bit movement using a MLCS Powerlift with digital readout(2).
Mark, you are SPOT-ON! I think I was first introduced to cartesian coordinates in the 3rd grade. X and Y were my GO-TO cartesian coordinates for many years, but then I was taught by my dad about the Z axis - and what a world was opened-up to me. Everything has a cartesian coordinate (3 dimensions), do you know what the 4th dimension is? It is time! AutoCAD is my choice drafting software and I've been using it since the late 1980's. AutoCAD reference manuals remind one of this convention with what they call the "Right Hand Rule". Turn one's right hand so that you're looking at the palm of the right hand, with the thumb pointing horizontally right, the index finger pointing horizontally away and the middle finger pointing vertically upward. In this manner you're basically looking at the X (thumb), Y (index finger) and Z (middle finger) axes. Those are the best known coordinates.

Now, if you're cutting mortices; there is what is called the "bounding box" - which is simply the coordinates of the X-variation, Y-variation and Z-variation. If you leave your morticing set-up the same and make another mortice, the fourth coordinate applies!

I am unfamiliar with the Router Setup you have described herein, but I can guarantee that when you are satisfied with it, it will have been tweaked to perfection!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 
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