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Louis, if you read any of the posts Woodendigits made the problem was not with the mounting plate, it was the fence. Tightening the sliding faces should not pull them off square and that is what the problem was. Phenolic plates are fine, as are aluminum plates. In the real world having your plate .005-.01" convex is fine since the bit height in relationship to the wood will remain constant. Flat is ideal. Problems occur when the plate is concave by any amount. This causes the bit's cutting depth to vary. The reason people use aluminum is to avoid the sag when mounting a heavy router. Phenolic will not sag if the plate is designed properly, even with a heavy router.(Rousseau plates are guaranteed not to sag) As far as clearance for a router in a table that has a base, 1" clearance is enough for good ventilation and for sliding your fingers underneath to lift.
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