Mike, thanks for these thoughts. Actually I did mean "Alu" which I have access to from work (scrap from CNC machine).Aluminum is a better choice but it requires regular coatings of a paste wax that does not contain silicone. These are a couple of the reasons so many use phenolic plastic.
I think very similar, only a little better than 1200. Hmm actually 1200 has the same depth-fine-adjustment, just without the knob for adjustment.I have the POF1300ACE which I assume is pretty similar and I've had a quick check and I think you should just take off the base plate as it's not needed for table mounting.