Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. First time poster here. I'm an amateur woodworker looking to up my game and make the transition to better tools that will stand the test of time. I'm very close to purchasing a Woodpeckers phenolic top, PRL-V2 lift, and Super Fence. I'm planning to build my own cabinet rather than use their steel stand. I like the idea of a phenolic top over MDF and iron due to durability and low maintenance.

For those who have an Incra LS setup though... am I going to regret not waiting the 15-18 weeks for an Incra instead? I called last week and they confirmed shipment likely wouldn't happen before the end of the year.

If it helps, I'm gearing up to build some built-ins so I plan to use it for dovetails and simple shaker-style cabinet doors. I've been building wooden cases for modular synthesizers too, and this would certainly help make those projects go faster. Is Incra so much better for that kind of work that I should hold out?
 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,182 Posts
I would say just make your own.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RainMan 2.0

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
Hello Jonas, welcome to the forums...
We're happy you found us...

Here is some recommended ''light reading'' of pertinent/relative information on routering that we've put together at this here link for ya...
You should find most everything there (at least most of it) quite useful and a lot of help to get you up and running in the world of routers...
Enjoy...
Do take some time to read the safety PDF's... PLEASE!!!
Blood and trips to the ER, we find, are very annoying... Not to mention – expensive...

You have question about something??? Anything???
We welcome all questions here on just about any subject you can come up w/....
Not only that, we love and excel at spending money... Lots and lots of money... Especially when it's yours....

Now about that table...
We have a wee bit more browsing for ya...
ROUTER TABLES
There's more here at this link on RT's than you'll be able to digest at one sit down (or many)... Ohhhhhh, so many ways and choices...

And while we're at it, let's not forget this vital function you won't be able to do w/o......
DUST COLLECTION
There is some, okay, a lot more than a wee bit of information, as in one size does not fit all when it comes to dust collection and your health in this here link...
Beyond a doubt it's a given, you will need it... Besides, who likes to wallow in a mess???...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
Hi all. First time poster here. I'm an amateur woodworker looking to up my game and make the transition to better tools that will stand the test of time. I'm very close to purchasing a Woodpeckers phenolic top, PRL-V2 lift, and Super Fence. I'm planning to build my own cabinet rather than use their steel stand. I like the idea of a phenolic top over MDF and iron due to durability and low maintenance.

For those who have an Incra LS setup though... am I going to regret not waiting the 15-18 weeks for an Incra instead? I called last week and they confirmed shipment likely wouldn't happen before the end of the year.

If it helps, I'm gearing up to build some built-ins so I plan to use it for dovetails and simple shaker-style cabinet doors. I've been building wooden cases for modular synthesizers too, and this would certainly help make those projects go faster. Is Incra so much better for that kind of work that I should hold out?
I used phenolic over an architectural aluminum torsion frame on top of a salvaged plywood cabinet...
no regrets...
the end space is for using a a bolt on Leigh D4R, FMT and a Lion Knife when needed...

as for the Incra... you won't regret not using it... thousands of RT's plus don't have one and some spectacular work is turned out on Incra - less tables...

.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Jonas, welcome to the forums...
We're happy you found us...

Here is some recommended ''light reading'' of pertinent/relative information on...
Thanks Stick486! I'll give all this a solid read-through. I'm definitely finding that there are so many choices it's easy to get stalled out choosing something, but I also really like to do my research first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
Thanks Stick486! I'll give all this a solid read-through. I'm definitely finding that there are so many choices it's easy to get stalled out choosing something, but I also really like to do my research first.
indecisiveness can make things go sideways...
some times, - ''I'm sure glad I didn't do that''....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Danman1957

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,032 Posts
Welcome aboard Jonas. I had built my router table long before I learned about the LS Positioner and haven't regretted it as I added a router table to my Sawstop and got the LS positioner for that. Now I have two options for router table use. With the LS I can attach the Incra Wonder Fence and do all the joint work on my larger pieces I can't do easily on the router table itself having the full table saw surface to work with. On the downside this is pricey but I didn't do that all at once but rather as the shop evolved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
Welcome, Jonas...I'm sure you'll be hearing from Incra owners soon...

When I shopped for the Incra, asked here and a couple of other forums, I decided that owning the Incra system is more a matter of "want" and not "need". The biggest advantage seemed to be in the templates that allow one to make all sorts of joints much easier than other methods. Its repeatability and fine adjustments is also a big feature. The length of the positioner is also a big plus as it allows for bigger pieces.

I finally passed on it and decided to eventually build my own cabinet and continue using a more simple fence system in the meantime.

Is it worth waiting for...? I would suggest that if you want the Incra system I would build a simple table and fence system for use while you wait for it or use what you have now. Do you have any immediate projects that only the Incra can satisfy...?

15 to 18 weeks is a long time but it will pass quickly...I wonder if people are hoarding Incra's too...:grin::grin::grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,815 Posts
A fence for a router is not the same as a fence for a table saw. A simple board clamped to a piece of wood will give you the same result (99 percent of the time) as a $200 dollar fence. The Incra system is great if you want to make fancy joints but for everyday routing, it's not necessary. When you set up the fence all you are doing is trying to keep the wood from shifting on the bit. For this, you need a set of feather boards to hold it tight. Most bits have bearings so that means your fence can't be placed any farther back than the bit. In very rare instances you may have to put the fence back a few inches but I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to do that in my lifetime. Put your money into a bigger top. If you are making doors a 4foot table would be ideal. Call some used office furniture stores and see if they have any old modular furniture (cubical) workstation tops. They are thick, smooth, and just the right size. And sometimes you can get one for free.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Hi Jonas,

I am a newbie, and my skills are terrible. Incra system is incredible. It helps so much. The repeatability, the precision is incredible. It lets me do things that I could never do using a regular fence. I am sure there are many, many people on this board that can do better than I without the Incra system because of their skill level. I just do not have the skills or experience. The Incra system helps me not be so frustrated. I would wait years for the Incra System. It is that good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,625 Posts
Hi all. First time poster here. I'm an amateur woodworker looking to up my game and make the transition to better tools that will stand the test of time. I'm very close to purchasing a Woodpeckers phenolic top, PRL-V2 lift, and Super Fence. I'm planning to build my own cabinet rather than use their steel stand. I like the idea of a phenolic top over MDF and iron due to durability and low maintenance.

For those who have an Incra LS setup though... am I going to regret not waiting the 15-18 weeks for an Incra instead? I called last week and they confirmed shipment likely wouldn't happen before the end of the year.

If it helps, I'm gearing up to build some built-ins so I plan to use it for dovetails and simple shaker-style cabinet doors. I've been building wooden cases for modular synthesizers too, and this would certainly help make those projects go faster. Is Incra so much better for that kind of work that I should hold out?

This thread might help a bit... https://www.routerforums.com/table-mounted-routing/51761-what-am-i-missing-my-table.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,516 Posts
Welcome to the forum. I suggest building your own Router table. There are many great plans on the forum from simple to elaborate. I have never found the need for all the fancy stuff. I always followed the router workshop series and Ricks basic methods but that's just me. There are many great ideas and folks to learn from on the forum . Glad you found us.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
If you need a router table right away and don't have any large projects you need to do with it you might consider building a bench top table for now. I like having a floor standing one and my bench top one. The bench top table is better for routing small pieces and it's up higher which puts those pieces at a more comfortable working height. I've also had times when I needed both tables set up at the same time for different jobs. If you have room for the extra table I think you will find it worth it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,509 Posts
Hi and welcome. Great question, by the way.

My 2 cents is to make your own table top. I prefer to make it in two layers, a thick chunk of MDF that is very flat, and a top layer of very flat Baltic Birch Plywood. Cut to size, and make it nice and wide so you can add the positioner later. Cut your opening for your router plate (there are many brands, but I prefer aluminum), an inch smaller than the plate, and through both layers. Then use your hand held router with a bit like the one shown to cut the opening for the plate. Some tricks to make that easier: Lay down the plate first and pencil in its outline. Use this to measure the first, smaller opening and cut it out with a jig saw. Then lay the plate back down and position four boards as in the pix below, clamp them in place, then use the router with a bearing to cut the plate opening just 1/8th inch deeper than the thickness of the plate. I'd slip playing cards between the plate and boards to give you a slightly looser fit so you can easily lift the plate and router out

I bought a Woodpecker mounting plate because it is slightly thicker and I have a big, heavy router attached to it. I paid another $10 for their mdf template for cutting the second opening.

You will need to get the plate perfectly level with the top surface, and Kreg makes a nifty leveler as shown in the picture. It is possible to just drill holes for screws to go up, through the MDF and ply, then round off the tip of the screw where it touches the plate. I prefer the commercial levelers which are pretty cheap for a set of four. If the plate is too high, the end of the workpiece can drop and your cut won't be straight, too low and the workpiece can catch on the edge, messing up your cut.

When you work on a table, the finished side goes DOWN, when working with a handheld router, the finished side goes up.

For a fence, some more of the BB ply. I prefer a taller fence so you can more easily cut the ends of your stiles (top, bottom) on your doors. This can be very simple and attached to a second board at right angle (exactly 90 degrees to the table surface). This also facilitates a method of working shown on the video link.

You can mount this top on a cabinet. Hint, make all your tool heights the same. My shop is small so I can use my workbench and the router table as infeed surfaces for my table saw. As you add tools, this same height will be very useful.

Method of work: Of all the videos I've watched, the most useful for using a router table is a series on YouTube by Marc Sommerfeld. He sells router tools and features his bits and table, but he was a cabinet maker before he started the router tools and bits business. Here is a starting link to all his videos: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=marc+sommerfeld+videos. I bought all his videos on disks and watch the appropriate one when starting a router project. His methods are simple, accurate and very direct. You don't have to buy a lot of stuff to produce great stuff, and note his use of chunks of MDF as push blocks that prevent tearing out at the end of cuts.

I'll post a little on sawdust collection without breaking the bank in another post.

You mentioned dovetails. With a table you can use one of the new dovetailing jigs and not suffer through learning to set up all the variants on the old Porter Cable design. There are several brands. I have the Sommerfeld one, but Leigh makes a wonderful one that you can get in either the 12 or 24 inch version. The difference between the PC and Leigh/Sommerfeld type is with the PC, you move the router over the wood, the other you move the wood and the jig over a fixed router. In my experience, the second is far easier to set up. There are lots of videos and I like the Sommerfeld video which includes a lot on how to avoid screwing up work pieces.

Whenever you make a face frame or rails and stiles using rough cut wood, you will be doing jointing and planing to get truly flat, same thickness boards to work with. ALWAYS make extras because if you are human, you will screw something up, and you'll need test pieces to set up your bits. If you do this process, try to use it fairly quickly because some wood will begin twisting and warping pretty darn fast.

On matched bit sets: This means on door sets, all the shanks or shafts, are exactly the same length, this means you set the first bit up and all the others can simply be dropped in and will match up with your previous cuts. Sommerfeld made the sets I own, but you can also order them from Freud, either way, Sommerfeld has a very handy star shaped jig for setting up the bits. They also make one for Freud bits sets. What makes them great is you can set them for the thickness of your workpiece. That will eliminate some of your trial and error waste. Yellow star in pix, red for Freud.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
20,509 Posts
Sawdust collection is very very important. I am a throat cancer survivor, cancer free for almost 12 years, but still feeling the effects of the radiation. Many varieties of wood are carcinogenic, and when you inhale the fine particles, you are also clogging your lungs with material you cannot cough up. Ever notice how many carpenters finish their lives with COPD and breathing from oxygen tanks?

To start out with sawdust collection, begin with a good mask. 3M makes a passive filter mask with a valve that's pretty much my minimum.

To get started without breaking the banks, here is a picture of a simple setup using the largest shop vac you can find. If you use the vac without the cone shaped Dust Deputy, the filter will clog quickly and as it clogs it will be less and less effective.

The Dust Deputy swirls the sawdust around and slows it down so almost all of it falls into the bucket or barrel below. This is the minimum for me, and is limited to a 2.5 inch hose. Larger tools really need a 4 inch connection, and the shop vac may not be able to handle it. But this setup will get you going.

The really nasty stuff gets airborne right at the tool and anything the DC setup misses will float around so in my shop, I seldom spend more than a minute in there without a mask, and I have a pretty good setup.

A hanging air filter unit is the way to clean up the shop air. the second picture. I am very happy with the WEN filter, which I can set to run for up to 8 hours. The air is completely different after it has been running, a beam of light shows up almost zero particles. Cost for this varies, but mine was on sale online from WalMart and was $99. It is a unit that is marketed under several other brand names, but the WEN company is pretty fussy about its reputation, and I have two that work like champs. Half the price of the larger case on the JET filter, but the motor stats and even the double filters are the same.

Finally, I've attached a pdf of the 18s-plus things that helped speed up my learning curve. It's kind of long, but has pictures and some details. Hope it saves you some of the time and often expensive mistakes I made. I think the prior version is in Stick's post, this one has been updated.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
I too love my Incra fence with the add-ons, It is so much easier to setup and accurate to .5mm. lock it in and rout away to your hearts content. You will need the extra deep table top to even accommodate the 17" LS but is worth it for even a hobbyist like me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,264 Posts
what is/are the width limitations of a DT joint on the LS????
anybuddy know???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks everyone for all the great advice so far. I'm starting to home in on my plan. I appreciate all the thoughts around making my own top, but I'm probably going to go with a phenolic top. My shop is in the garage, and given how my family tends to find my table saw a convenient place to pile their random stuff, another large flat surface like a router table is going to be too tempting for them to ignore. I also like the idea of phenolic's durability and resistance to warping over time (though I'm only trusting what I've read here).

I will absolutely build my own cabinet under the top. An open steel stand just looks like too much wasted space to ignore. I've been mocking up my designs in SketchUp and will be happy to share it once I'm finished. Until I have the cabinet built, I'm just going to set the top on a temporary stand made of 2x4's for the short-term. Those will later be repurposed into a rolling planer stand.

I'll probably start out with an aluminum plate and then maybe upgrade to a lift later.

I'm still on the fence about the fence... Sounds like I can easily build a simple fence to get started with, clamp it to the table, and then upgrade later. I like the idea of a fence that attaches to the side of the table rather than being restricted to having tracks spaced a particular distance apart in the table.

So for now, I'm leaning towards a Jessem phenolic top and plate, homemade fence, and saw horses. Once this pays for itself, I'll look into upgrades.

Thanks again everyone!
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
Lots of have used a board with a straight edge or one that we have machined straight to use as a router table fence. Lots of us have just bolted a router to a 1/2 piece of plywood in a pinch too. Jigsaw a cut out into it and you're ready to rout.

Here is a web page with images for lots of different fences but the one quite a few of us have built is from the diagram that is 5th from the left on the top line: https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=router+table+fences&iax=images&ia=images It takes roughly 4 hours to build. It's advantages are that:

The two face pieces slide back and forth so that you can keep the opening for the bit closed up almost to touching the bit which keeps the ends from diving in when starting or stopping and leaves very little room for your fingers to go where they don't belong.

The design allows a dust control port to be installed directly behind the bit. That will pick up 85-95% of all the dust produced. On mine I just drilled a hole with a Forstner bit that matched the diameter of my vac hose so the end of the hose fits and stays put with friction eliminating the need for any adapter port.

It also allows you to change the faces for various jobs. I have a set of tall faces I can attach when I want to run panels through standing on their ends. If you are using vertical panel raisers or trimming edge banding the tall faces are needed to keep the panels steady.

You can also add fences that have rails for stops or hold downs, something which isn't needed most of the time.

You can also add shims under the face on the outfeed side. This allows you to use the table as a jointer.

I just haven't come across another design that is as versatile as this one is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nickp

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
I used a Rockler introductory level router table/lift for many years before upgrading to the Incra system. The feature that Incra has is repeatability of setup. The fence moves in increments of 1/32" plus there is a micro adjust in increments of 0.002". I really enjoy using my Incra system. Only you can answer is it worth waiting.
 
1 - 20 of 24 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