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I built a router table extension for my Rigid 3650 out of Baltic Birch and found to my dismay that it isn't flat. I added stiffiners to nearly the entire back using glue and screws. Now, I have a really heavy, uneven table! :mad: So, at 1/64th" low at center (where the router lift is located) should I remove it and take to a furniture shop and ask them to run it through a drum sander to flatten it?
TIA for any suggestions,
Chiz
 

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Hi Ironhat

If you can get it done for free it's worth a try BUT if the under side is out of plum also well you may just want to start over and just use the one you have now for a work bench.
Most wood shops don't like to see screws in stock that they are going to run under a belt sander, big belts are not cheap.. :)

Bj :)
 

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Chiz, there is a simple solution that will work for you. Get a Rousseau mounting plate and install it in your table. Rousseau plates have a very slight convex surface that ensures the bit is at a uniform height as the wood passes it. Rousseau plates are also larger than some others, and this will eliminate some of your sag problem too. I know this sounds like it is compounding the problem but it really works.
The Shopnotes table I built uses 3/4" plywood topped with 1/2" of hardboard to help it keep it's shape. Wrap this with hardwood for stiffness, then a layer of laminate top and bottom to help prevent movement. My table has stayed flat. I installed a Rousseau plate which at the time was the best deal going, and I am very happy with it. Norm used a Rousseau plate for 10 years on the NYW in his origonal table. This is one way that works for solving your problem. Some people will tell you it doesn't make sense and that Rousseau plates are a bad idea. In fact, Rousseau sells more mounting plates than anyone else.
 

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chiz, you really need a flat table and using a fix in the form of a certain router plate isn't the best way to go in my opinion. Why not just make it flat to begin with? Start over and use MDF instead of plywood. I've yet to see any quality of plywood that is consistantly as flat as MDF is. Then laminate it with some Formica type material. On mine I used two 3/4" pieces of MDF along with laminating both sides. Then I made sure it would never warp or sag by using some 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/4" angle iron in sort of an, "H" pattern on the bottom. I was able to shim between the angle and the table to get the table top so that it's as dead flat as I can measure. I then put a frame of hardwood around the edge and stuck it between the rails of my table saw fence. It might sound complicated but it was really very simple and this way I was able to use a dead-flat router plate from Woodhaven and everything is perfect. I've kept a heavy Freud FT2000 router in the plate for several years now and the table and plate are still as flat as the day I built it. If it ever does change though, it's adjustable by either turning the appropriate angle iron bolts or changing the shims. The Woodhaven plate is a good buy and their method of supporting the plate and adjusting it's height is the best available in my opinion and it makes the install very easy too.

Bruce
 

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There are many ideas on what works best for a mounting plate. Here is a comparison of some popular plates:
Woodhaven: 7-3/4 x 10-1/4 x 3/8 phenolic. Max opening = 3-5/8; mounts 1-3/16 PC style guide bushings; Replacement and blank inserts available to drill to additional opening sizes. Note:You can't mount a Porter Cable 7518/19, or many other routers, to this plate. $49 @ Woodhaven.
Rousseau: 9 x 12 x 3/8 phenolic; Max opening = 3-7/8; mounts 1-3/16 PC style guide bushings; Replacement inserts available. Mounts all routers. This plate is slightly convex to allow for minor irregularities, all other plates are flat. $42 @ Woodcraft.
Router Workshop: 11 x 11 x 1/4 phenolic; Max opening 1-1/2; Mounts 1-1/2 RW style guide bushings; mounts all routers. Plate can be ordered with 3-1/8 max opening and/or with built in vacuum ports. $37.95-44.95 @ Oak Park.
MLCS: flat phenolic copy of the Rousseau plate = $34.95 @ MLCS
Aluminum plate same dimensions as Rousseau plate except 3-1/4 max opening = $64.95 @ MLCS.
Rockler: 9 x 13 x 1/4 aluminum; max opening = 3-1/4; Delrin inserts can be drilled to size needed. Mounts all routers. $69.99 @ Rockler.
 

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aniceone2hold said:
There are many ideas on what works best for a mounting plate. Here is a comparison of some popular plates:
Woodhaven: 7-3/4 x 10-1/4 x 3/8 phenolic. Max opening = 3-5/8; mounts 1-3/16 PC style guide bushings; Replacement and blank inserts available to drill to additional opening sizes. Note:You can't mount a Porter Cable 7518/19, or many other routers, to this plate. $49 @ Woodhaven.
You don't have all the facts regarding the Woodhaven plates. This Woodhaven plate http://www.woodhaven.com/detail.aspx?ID=21 is 9 1/4" x 11 3/4" and is about $55. You can mount any router you want in this plate. It's a flat plate and Woodhaven has the best plate support system in my opinion. I'm extremely satisfied with Woodhaven products and customer service. I don't know if they're available right now but I've seen the Woodhaven plates and many of their other products available on Ebay for great prices. One place I like is an Ebay store called Big Leroy's Tool Shack. They don't list everything they sell and will probably be able to make you a better deal on the Woodhaven plate.

Bruce
 

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HI, I'm new here but the way I set up my router table was all shop made and turned out flat.Better start at the beginning, my work bench is my saw outfeed table and router table combined, made out of 1" Issoboard ( a product made of straw and a lot of resin), very stable, the top is 1 3/4" lamated cedar topped with arborite, very stable, the router is mounted on 1/2" plexiglass, no vibration, using this there is very little limit to the size or type of routing that can be done with this type of set up.
 

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Bruce, Thanks for bringing this plate to my attention. I didn't spot it during my visit to the Woodhaven site. I see the plate levelers and they look easy enough to adjust. I dont understand why they are not included with the plate like Rousseau does. So the price is actually $55 + $13 for the levelers or $68. I also find their advertising claims interesting. " No molded plates - all plates machined from sheet stock for maximum flatness." followed by: "We do not mold our phenolic plates. They're machined from sheet stock for maximum flatness and strength." This concept is easy enough to grasp. The levelers feature this comment: "It's almost impossible to rout a precise plate rabbet in a table because of variations in plate thickness." I think their advertising department needs to rework something here. Dont take me wrong on this, I'm sure the plate and levelers work well. I am content to save the $26 and use the original design most of the above mentioned plates are variations of.
 

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aniceone2hold said:
Bruce, Thanks for bringing this plate to my attention. I didn't spot it during my visit to the Woodhaven site. I see the plate levelers and they look easy enough to adjust. I dont understand why they are not included with the plate like Rousseau does. So the price is actually $55 + $13 for the levelers or $68. I also find their advertising claims interesting. " No molded plates - all plates machined from sheet stock for maximum flatness." followed by: "We do not mold our phenolic plates. They're machined from sheet stock for maximum flatness and strength." This concept is easy enough to grasp. The levelers feature this comment: "It's almost impossible to rout a precise plate rabbet in a table because of variations in plate thickness." I think their advertising department needs to rework something here. Dont take me wrong on this, I'm sure the plate and levelers work well. I am content to save the $26 and use the original design most of the above mentioned plates are variations of.
I think it's safe to say we don't exactly see eye to eye regarding router plates and why anyone would want to use a plate that isn't flat. So with that in mind I think I'll withhold the details of my opinion on your favorite router plate. But you're certainly welcome to your opinion about my favorite plate. I think the Woodhaven is well worth the money and I wouldn't want the Rousseau for any price. Just a different preference so now that people have some of the plate facts, (I assume the other router plate specs are correct, I didn't check) they can decide for themselves. One thing I would add is that I really wish the major manufacturers would agree on one or two standard sizes, like one rectangular and one square, so people weren't so locked into one brand. I'm happy with what I got but if I ever wanted to maybe change to a special plate with a lift and wanted a different brand I would probably have to build a different table. So now whether someone chooses the Rousseau or Woodhaven or whatever, that's probably the only brand that will ever fit in the opening.

Bruce
 

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A very good idea Bruce, there should be a standard plate size. Some manufacturers are still selling small plates, most offer something close to 9 x 12". This size will mount any router so I would suggest against the smaller plates. Levelers are an important part to ensure proper fit. Your plate should be perfectly flat unless it is a Rousseau. Both styles work and it is a matter of personal preference which you use. Which ever plate you choose, plan on buying more of them. It is common sense to mount all your routers to the same sized plates, this way you can interchange them as needed. Make sure the plate you choose is compatable with the guide bushings you intend to use. Removeable centers are a good feature, you can always buy or make extra centers and size them for special jobs.
 

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Using MDF would most likely be your best choice of option(s) for your table.

I never did understand why there are so many different sizes for plates. To me, this is all a big scam!! As Bruce and Mike have stated, there needs to be 1 maybe 2 standard sizes. I have the Oak Park setup and I really like it. But, as with anything, personal preference.

Just my $0.02 worth!! :D
 

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Ok, so now which one of you is going to get all of the plate manufacturers together on a telephone conference call and get them to agree on plate size? Of course, the proper plate size coincidentally happens to be the exact same size as the Woodhaven plate. Imagine that. :D

I agree that having a plate for each router is a big convenience if you use multiple routers for multiple tasks. I have two routers but nearly always use my Freud FT2000 in the table. I just haven't had the need to use another router since it does anything I want it to in the table. But there are times where it would be nice to have a second or third when I'm switching back and forth between 2 or 3 bits. That would save having to reset the bit height. But I'm not usually in such a hurry that this is anything more than an inconvenience. But if I ever decide to switch to a plate with a router lift I'll either have to use something from Woodhaven, modify a lift to fit a Woodhaven plate, find another brand that's the same size as the Woodhaven plate, or make another table.

Woodhaven makes quite a few really cool products for routers including their, "Angle Eze" http://www.woodhaven.com/detail.aspx?ID=1546 . I don't think I've ever seen another one like this. Woodpeckers is another company that makes some really cool quality products and they just happen to match Woodhaven's plate size. Their Plunge Lift, http://www.woodpeck.com/plungelift.html looks great for anyone with a plunge router and they also sell some other lift plates for non-plunge routers, http://www.woodpeck.com/liftshome.html . They also have regular router plates without lifts and from what I've seen they use the Woodhaven 9 1/4" x 11 3/4" plate size. Coincidence that the two best router plate and accessories manufacturers share the same size? ;) Well, possibly but it sure is convenient since they both make numerous products that I consider to be the best in their category. That Woodpecker stuff sure ain't cheap though. It doesn't look cheap to make either though.

Anyone looking for an extremely versatile horizontal router table should check out the one from Woodhaven. http://www.woodhaven.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=29 They look to be very well thought out and constructed and if you combine one with their Angle Eze you get something that nobody else offers for any price. Wish I could afford one. :'(

The Ebay store, Big Leroy's, sells Woodhaven and Woodpecker stuff and he used to have a deal for the horizontal router table with Angle Eze and a router motor for a combined price that was less than you could buy just the table directly from Woodhaven. I don't think he still has that deal but I think he will make deals with you on things he doesn't list on his website. Nice guy too. Router stuff sure is cool, isn't it? :cool:

Bruce
 
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