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choosing a base plate ...

5384 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MrZ
On my original router, a Craftsman, I made a base plate out of clear acrylic. It works great on that router for its intended purpose. I make flutes. Musical ones... hehehe... not like fluted posts. Anyways... I know the router isn't perfectly centered on the hole, but that base was never intended for using guides. I'm getting into more than flutes. Cabinet doors, beds, a sideboard... ALL things on my list of things to be made, BUT (and it's a big but) it looks like I really have to make a commitment to a specific brand of router plate. Can't mix JessEm and Rousseau and Oak Park and Rockler ... sizing issues. They don't make them a consistant size between manufacturers.

I know RouterForums has an affinity for Oak Park, but I'm wondering what (if any) advantage there is to the square plate versus the rectangular plate. That probably sounds like a really dumb question, but I currently use a clear plate and I think it's 9x11 (I'm at work, can't quite remember).

My feeling here is that I have to commit to a size or I'll be making a router table top for each different one. While not a BAD idea... I just don't have the space. I can get Rousseau plates for usually under $40. They're crowned as you know. Is that a big deal? Or I can spend more like $70 for a machined flat aluminum plate. The 11" plate from Oak Park is also in the "under $40" group but it's fixed at 1-1/2" so you wouldn't be able to swing a raised panel bit in there.

Again this is a space issue and while I know that will involve making compromises at some point, I still want to keep as many options open as I can and make whatever equipment I have as versatile as possible. My Router table, for instance, is 24" x 48". I can remove the fence, put in a blank plate, and then put a 1/4" piece of MDF on it and use it for plain old flat top workspace if I don't need the router table.

So... any thoughts on making a choice for a router plate will be helpful. It should be able to take the PC guides. The router itself in this case is a Bosch 1617. I have both the fixed and plunge bases, but will probably buy either another fixed base and take the handles off or just get the RA1164 undertable base if I can find one at a nice price and it looks like I can.

Thanks in advance!

-- Charlie
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Woodpecker( has a phenolic plate that comes with 3 inserts -1"-3" and one for PC guide bushings,comes with a brass starter (safety) pin for $49.95. This may meet your needs. They are a good company to deal with.

Good Luck
wow... I had been on their web site a while back, but forgot how I found it. I think the TLR Phenolic is just what I'm looking for AND it can come pre-drilled for the Bosch 1617.

I can get the plate, template, and the suggested bit for under $85. And I think their plate is actually just a tad bigger than the clear plate I have so I *could* possibly just expand the current recess OR I might be able to flip the table over and make another recess OR (and this is probably what I'll do) I could just go out and get another 2 slabs of 24x48x3/4 MDF and glue up another top.

Not really an answer for you here, Reiki. More like another question....

Has anyone tried the round (9" diameter) base-plate from Lee Valley that slips into the table from the under-side? If so, what do you think of it?

It looks pretty good to me, and I'm considering ordering one up. The base-plate accepts one and three quarter inch guides and inserts (as is the Veritas standard), and can be left on the router to be used free-hand. I only have one router, and switching between table and free routing .... hmmmph!
I haven't used their router plate or table,but I have purchased many of their products and have never been disappointed.

I use the Woodpecker plate & I'm very happy with it. Very well made. Plate even has leveling screws in case your opening isn't perfect.
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