Router Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
I just received my Bosch RA1181 router table and the first thing I did was to check for warping on the table since this was a common issue mentioned in the reviews of the product.
I only have a 16" square at the moment, so I didn't do a full cross-table check, but I did find high spots around the slots for the feather boards and I wanted to get a second opinion on whether or not to send it back.
I uploaded a video showing the warping on youtube, but I cannot post the link since I have less than 10 posts. The URL is youtu[dot]be/aVkS2KlORLc (change the [dot] part).
I called Bosch about it and they said I had to deal with Amazon to get it corrected, which means there's a chance that I'll end up with yet another defective table. I would've rather had Bosch correct the issue since they'd ensure the new top wouldn't be warped....

So, what's your opinion? Is this a minor issue where it's warped at or do I need to see about getting a replacement? Thanks!
 

·
Official Greeter
Joined
·
19,737 Posts
G’day

Welcome to the router forum.

Thank you for joining us, David.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,934 Posts
David, I am a big fan of Bosch routers but I would send the RA1181 table back. The RA1171 is a nice table; I had one with the Craftsman name on it. I suggest you consider the Grizzly 10432 table for $129 + shipping. If I was going to buy a table that would be my choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone!

Mike,
I'm new to woodworking, well, sorta. I researched several table options and did indeed come across the Grizzly one you mentioned. I even contemplated building my own, but since I have very little experience using router tables, I didn't really even know what I needed or where to begin and decided to settle with a pre-built one. Now I did give serious consideration to the Bosch RA1171, but what sold me on the RA1181 was it was the best priced table with a solid metal table top.

Everything in the "under $200" range tends to be MDF surfaced and that means it's prone to swelling/warping over time which I can't guarantee I'll have the best of places to store my router table since I live in an apartment. In addition to that, I figured if I decide to build my own table later, the metal top of the Bosch RA1181 could be used as a good insert piece to the new table since I'm guessing one of the main benefits of a "build your own" table is making it larger to support larger/longer boards etc.

That's my thinking on it all anyways, although like I said, I have very little experience working with table routers and can just go off of combining reviews and what seems most logical/practical to me. A MDF surface seems great if someone has a shop to store/work in, but I don't and may move a few more times before things are all said and done, so durability is a very appealing quality. I'm in no hurry for the table at the moment, but don't want to get caught in a game of shipping defectives back and forth either.

If I can get a good and true RA1181, do you think it's a good table or is there other drawbacks? I went into purchasing it knowing this was a known issue that has surfaced several times and I will try to get a true one if the RA1181 is a good table. It seems to have a good array of starter features too which would seem to mean it'll serve me well for quite a while before needing anything else.

But I'm not against advice/suggestions. The surface of this table is what I was sold on the most and figured if I needed taller legs later, I can add taller legs etc. but the table needed to be solid and offer some nice features....
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,934 Posts
David, If you look at the router tables on the market there are very few with metal tops. I have a hard enough time keeping the rust off my table saw and jointer, I sure don't want to deal with that on my router table. Take a tip from the pro's: The Router Workshop, Woodsmith shop and The NYW all use tables with high pressure laminate(Formica) tops.

After three RA1181 lemons in a row I got Bosch to upgrade a table for a member. I am surprised they are still selling them. I am not sure if Sears still offers them but both the models mentioned were available from Sears for less money with the Craftsman name on them. The RA1181 tables were made in China; Bosch blue, Craftsman black and Harbor Freight orange... all were identical except for the price.(In descending order, and the HF table came with a router) If that is the table you want then good luck with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again Mike for your help!
I tried one more RA1181 from Amazon.com and it too was warped just like the first one. I had first tried contacting Bosch since I figured they could send me one they would likely check first to ensure it wasn't defective, but they told me they couldn't do that and I had to get a replacement from Amazon, which I figured meant it'd likely come from the same batch as the first one.

It apparently did since it's warping was in the EXACT same places as the first. I've returned it as well and took your advice by going with the RA1171 instead.

And I did find the Sears Craftsman versions of both Bosch tables ... both are almost identical, just different colors/names on them. Too bad Bosch subs out the manufacturing of their router tables since their tools are usually made with impressive quality. No so on the tables, but the RA1171 works pretty good so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I just bought a RA1181 Bosch table from Home Depot.com and it is perfect, maybe try buying one from them. I also wanted more featherboards, and I found this website that sells every part for almost every tool and the are only $1.32 for a factory Bosch featherboard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Glad to hear you guys got good versions of that table ... makes me a little jealous. I went on to buy the RA1171, but it too soon disappointed me. The laminate on the top had a small chip in it near the miter gauge track, which I let it go at first. I got the mounting plate level and when I went to joint the edge of a board, it kept snagging on something.
I quickly discovered it was snagging on the edge of the plate opening that the router mounting plate goes in, so I figured perhaps the leveling screws had vibrated loose. I bought some locktite and re-leveled the plate and in the process of doing so, I realized the router mounting plate was warped, meaning it had a dip in it near the center left edge of the plate.
I gave Bosch customer service a call, hoping they could just send me a replacement and instead they told me I needed to take it back to my local store I purchased it from and exchange it for another.

That was the final thread! That stinkin thing takes quite a bit of time to assemble and they want me to disassemble it, then reassemble a new one just for a simple plate????

After the hassles with the tables, I've since opted to build my own which I realize in the process of picking the parts isn't the cheapest option, but will be the best quality and NOT junk when I'm finished. Oh, and the laminate on the table of the RA1171 ... another chip flaked off for no good reason before taking it back.

I wanted to use a pre-built router table and didn't need the extra work of building my own, but I'm not flushing nearly $200 on junk ... period!

stang8689,
Thanks for the tip on the featherboards! Wish I would've found those before I ordered the ones for the new table since that's definitely a good price and those featherboards worked just fine.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top