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Discussion Starter #1
A few days ago I posted that my Stepfather was giving me a craftsman professional router and table combo. I can't remember which thread I posted it in but I said I would let you guys know how it was when I got it. It is not the MDF top that I had thought. It is the cast aluminum top with the composite one piece fence. The stand is very very tedious to put together but seems stable and sturdy when assembled.
The miter track is Sears specific though. Meaning it is shallow and only meant for the cheap miter gauge that comes with the table. The inserts do not sit flush or even above the table. They sit well below it. I suspect some duct tape shims will cure that problem though. the router is surprisingly strong though. It is a 1/2" shank stock with 1/4" adapter. The height adjustment is made via twist ring on the router body. Easy to operate. The chuck lock is conveniently located on the top of the motor housing. You simply press it in and move it to the right ( when mounted up side down in the table that is ) to lock the chuck for bit changes.
The extension wings require considerable fussing with to get them flush with the table though. I suggest lock tight'ing them in place once you find flush and never removing them again. The sub base that makes up the full sized stand brings the router table up to almost belly button height ( I am 6' so that's about 3' 3" or there about ). Its sleek looking and assembles with two shelves. One directly under the router and one on the very bottom. There are holes pre drilled so that the end user can enclose it if desired as well.

All in all it was good for me because I needed a router with a 1/2" chuck as well as a spare router to free hand and use with dove tail jigs and such. But I wouldn't go out and buy the table. The fence is uber cheesy, the table (while flat and square) is pre drilled for craftsman routers with no plate and the insert opening is shoty.

I am grateful for the gift of course, and I will get some use out of it. :D
I just wanted to share my take on it with you guys because I said I would ;)

I'll post pics of it soon.
 

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Hi Duane, I kinda guessed it would be AL. Sears was pushing the dickins out of those for awhile. I'll be surprised if the fence is square to the table.
The old Craftsman router/shaper I used to have was kinda like that, made my own inserts out of 3/8 Lexan.
I think my biggest problem with the whole thing was it being made out of cast aluminum and not very well made at that. I haven't got much in the way of metal working tools so trying to fix anything was a major production. Finally got to the point I was throwing good money after bad so I dumped it for a real table, well, sort of real. :sad: At any rate it is MDF so I could do something to it with tools I already had.
I did manage to get some work out of it, and a whole lot of education. I guess tuition isn't cheap, no matter how you get the lessons.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have the Ryobi intermediate table I modified with a rockler plate and rockler miter track that kicks some wooden butt pretty good with the mods I made. I'll use it for the more tedious jobs. Its not a bench dog but it serves its purpose.
I can use standard inserts and bushings with the new craftsman router though, and use it in the Ryobi table as well with 1/2" bits. That means I'll finally be able to use a frick'n dove tail jig because I will be able to use the correct template guide bushings LOL!

Right now the new table is making a good drill press / scroll saw stand LOL!
 
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