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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for a router table and fence. Not wanting to make my own and not wanting to buy something only to want to upgrade it I am looking at the Bench Dog Cast-Iron top and fence and the Sommerfeld top and fence. I will be using a Triton router. Thought I ask the group for some feedback before I pull the trigger on one.
 

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The Sommerfeld top comes pre-drilled for the Triton router. It is a good sized table.
 

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Get the cast iron bench dog! I bought the $1400 package deal from Sommerfeld last spring. The quality control on the extrusions, forming the table, was horrible. The edges of the extrusions are less than 90 degrees so that when you bolt them together, the three pieces form an arc. I was told I could send it back to them, at my expense, and they would judge whether it was workable or not. For $1400 of my money it needs to be right, not jerry rigged! In less than a week I decided to take advantage of thier 100% money back guarentee and send every thing back. I did get a refund for it all less shipping costs. It was a terribly dissappointing experience. My understanding is that the extrusions are now coming from China and not ALCOA as once advertised.

I'm now looking at a woodpecker PRL2 and the cast iron bench dog.
 

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Greetings and welcome to the router forum. We are pleased you have chosen to join with us.
 

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Hi Matt

Don't give up on the sommerfeld router table, I'm not a big fan of the new one but the older model is great, I and other members have one :)
see a post by Ladd to see a review on one or two of them..

http://www.routerforums.com/table-m...strio-router-table-system-orange-cabinet.html

Amazon.com: CMT 999.500.02 Industrio Router Table System with Precision Fence, Phenolic Insert, Cabinet, Zero Clearance Inserts, Centering Tool and Insert Plate with 2 Aluminum Rings: Home Improvement


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Get the cast iron bench dog! I bought the $1400 package deal from Sommerfeld last spring. The quality control on the extrusions, forming the table, was horrible. The edges of the extrusions are less than 90 degrees so that when you bolt them together, the three pieces form an arc. I was told I could send it back to them, at my expense, and they would judge whether it was workable or not. For $1400 of my money it needs to be right, not jerry rigged! In less than a week I decided to take advantage of thier 100% money back guarentee and send every thing back. I did get a refund for it all less shipping costs. It was a terribly dissappointing experience. My understanding is that the extrusions are now coming from China and not ALCOA as once advertised.

I'm now looking at a woodpecker PRL2 and the cast iron bench dog.
 

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Thanks for the warm welcome guys. I'm sorry I didn't have a more positive post to put up but I felt like I had to share my experience before someone else wasted a bunch of money. As I alluded to earlier I really liked the system when watching the videos and reading up on it but the QC just wasn't acceptable. I would consider buying their package deal again, but only at a show where I can assemble the table and verify its flatness out in the parking lot before leaving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well the new one is for sale not the old one....glad you like it though ...dosnt do my much good on a decision though......grinz
 

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Just came back from the Fredericksburg, VA woodworking show. Sommerfeld says they have addressed the QC problem with their extrusions. The new extrusions are supposedly from a company near Chicago and have the edges ground so that they form a perfect 90 degree angle. The router tables they had on display looked to be good. I was told the new tables are now silver in color.
 

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I was considering the unit sold at Peachtree. It was large and seemed to be sold for a fair price.

Can't go wrong with the PRL V2.

Just make sure you get a table with the same size plate opening. Also make sure it isn't some Mickey Mouse attachment system for the plate.

Welcome.
 

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Just make sure you get a table with the same size plate opening. Also make sure it isn't some Mickey Mouse attachment system for the plate.
I must admit that I'm a little confused about the different plate attachment systems. What make a good system verses a "Mickey Mouse" system?
(Don't mean to steal the thread.)
 

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I must admit that I'm a little confused about the different plate attachment systems. What make a good system verses a "Mickey Mouse" system?
(Don't mean to steal the thread.)
Some vendors like Grizzly use a faily crude method of attaching routers to the cast iron router table. If you are incorporating a plate, then obviously width, length and height are concerns. As long as you keep these things in mind when researching, then you should have no problems finding the right combination of router, plate, fence, and router table.

Materials are also a consideration. Aluminum is always a good choice but phenolic plates may better suit your budget. Not all plates are equal so leveling systems, side play plungers, and interface with the table itself can be important.

Lots of good info on the internet. Just make sure you are comparing apples to apples.
 

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Bench Dog

I just bought the Bench Dog Extension wing to attach to my Jet ProShop TS. If I change my mind in the future and want to have a dedicated router table they sell an iron end-cap. So for sure, its a high-quality space-saving solution with future versatility. I paid $250 with a 15% off coupon at Rockler. I love it - Go for it.
 

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While I have only had my Bench Dog table/fence/lift for a short while, I can definitely agree on how well made it is. That sucker is heavy. I have it on a temp stand, still haven't got around to building the permanent base yet. I bought a PC 3 1/4HP motor to dedicate to it.
 

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I've been seriously thinking of getting the bench dog cast iron. Cast seems to absorb a lot of vibration. I have an old shaper, and that thing is smooth. A cast router table sounds like the ticket. I have an old homemade table, which is functional, just not as refined as I think it should be. A cast top would change that....I think?
 

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What about mounting a jessem fence to the benchdog? I like my jessem fence, and would like to mount it to the jessem. Let me know.
 

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Bench Dog vs Sommerfeld

Hello members,

I just joined the site after stumbling across it while researching router tables. I was wondering if anyone has purchased a newer version of the Sommerfeld table?

I really like the Bench Dog and I just purchased the add-on leaf for my table saw but it won't work with my particular model so I'm sending it back and I'm pretty certain I will purchase the Bench Dog 40-300 ProMax RT Complete, but I'm still considering other options before I pull the final trigger.

I heard there were some issues with the Sommerfeld tables but they are nice tables and have some features that I like. However I really liked the Bench Dog table saw leaf as it was just solid and well made.

I know this topic is a little dated but I didn't want to start a new one. Just looking for some current information which will be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
 
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