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I'm a newbie hobbyist who's interest turned into a full-blown passion last year. Unfortunately, I've made far more mistakes in building my shop than I care to admit and I'm ready to correct another; the router table.

My table saw idea to use extruded aluminum on t-track and miter channel was comical so I sucked it up and bought a Shop Fox Aluma-Classic Fence. That ignited the fire! I was finally cutting straight lines and slim strips. I built two sleds and while I made more mistakes, they work. I learned. No doubt I could have invested in a legit table saw when you add the cost of the new Bosch job site saw, Shop Fox fence, and hardware I bought and learned doesn't work.

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I started working with 1/2" shank 45 degree lock miter bits and learned quickly that the fixed speed Kobalt wasn't up to the task. I couldn't lower the speed so I bought a router speed controller. While wonky, it reduced speed but the Kobalt bogged terribly on 3/4" stock at 1.5" width.

So, I installed my Hitachi 12vc in the table but of course, no bolt pattern. I built a router plate using 1/2" birch to see if I could lock miter. The Hitachi was night and day but the Kobalt table nightmare continued. I built a coping sled. My horizontal pieces came out nicely with the sled. The vertical......not so much. The lip around the insert ring caused a huge issue and the sled wasn't equipped to handle this. I butchered my way through and decided to test my luck by doing long 45 miter joints along 3/4" stock x 1.5" x 22". Again, the lip on the insert kept catching.

Tonight, I decided to rabbit 3/4" cedar strips using a 1/2" shank 1/4" bit and again the table stops the strips from sliding so no more!!!!

I picked a terrible time to fix this with Covid inflating tool and wood prices but I'm fortunate to be financially ok. I do not earn money in this wood-working hobby but I love it.

So, Kobalt is coming out. I'm not in-love with my Hitachi but it has been a fine tool. Heck, I dado'd 1.5 inch wide by 1" deep supports in 6" beams for floor rafters (18" oc on a 12'x24' office/shop) with the Hitachi. I have a Kreg 5000 lift on order but it's not set to ship for another 2 weeks. I decided an Amazon "like new" with $40 discount was acceptable and I'll be unable to touch this project until the end of next week. I still need to fix the router table so I'm bouncing between a Peachtree Table/Fence package and building out one with 1/2" Birch doubled up and possibly laminate. I have miter channel and t-track. But I can't shake the idea of cancelling the Kreg lift and getting a Triton and aluminum plate. Table still needs fixing but new router or lift and what I have already knowing that routers come and go.

I'm not tied to a budget but I am having a hard time justifying my hobby and the expenses. Assuming my out-of-pocket for the router fix is around $600, what would you do? I'm a fan of 1/2" shaft bits. Mostly Yoniko, Frued. My homemade dust collection is adequate.
 

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See in a Router Raizer will fit your router. If so cancel the Kreg and get the Raizer. Get a new Rosseau plate, ditch the table saw set up, and build a new table with a laminate top. Build a decent fence and your problems will be solved. One last thing, since you have a table saw this is where you should be making your dados.
 

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G'day Emsand1, welcome to the forum...
 

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Hi, you are not alone in kind of fumbling along. I've attached a pdf of a document I wrote on the 18 areas or things that helped ne accelerate my learning curve. It is long, but has pictures. My hope is that it will help others avoid some of the expensive mistakes I've made. It covers about 17 years or so, from when I first got serious about woodworking. So don't think you have to get all kinds of stuff at once. A decent table saw is, to me, the most important tool of all, and with a good one, you can do a huge amount of work. You have a router and table, which is good. I bought a sliding miter saw early on, but I rarely use it, but definitely a decent drill press is a GOOD idea. Any way, welcome to the fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
See in a Router Raizer will fit your router. If so cancel the Kreg and get the Raizer. Get a new Rosseau plate, ditch the table saw set up, and build a new table with a laminate top. Build a decent fence and your problems will be solved. One last thing, since you have a table saw this is where you should be making your dados.
Solid tips!!!! I recall seeing the Raizer on a site and passed over it without actually looking at it not realizing what it actually was. Great concept. My only fear is it sounds like I'd need to manage the plunge release lever, which would be a negative. It's a little tough to find right now unless I'm ok paying $109. It's definitely on my list.

The dado story....these were 6" x 6" x 12' beams. I can imagine sliding those over the table saw🙃 All joking aside, I built a 12' x 30' office/shop and used the beams as support for 2"x 10" x 12' floor joists. Same concept as portage buildings but beefed up. Came in handy last year when months of unusual rain left much of my property submerged for weeks at a time.
 

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Well I'm not sure why my post appeared while I was in the middle of typing it.But as I was saying I have the Hitachi MV12 and find it easy to release the lever. The Router Raizer is probably the least expensive lift you will find and the company is A+. As for the beam from the look of your set up you seem to have plenty of support on your saw. One last thing (I always have one) I have not found the router sled helpful. The thickness of the sled means that you have to adjust the bit higher. An ordinary miter gauge set into a parallel miter slot on the table will give you the accuracy that you need to keep things straight. For the table be sure to have feather boards on the fence and in the miter slot to keep things tight to the fence.
 

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Hi, you are not alone in kind of fumbling along. I've attached a pdf of a document I wrote on the 18 areas or things that helped ne accelerate my learning curve. It is long, but has pictures. My hope is that it will help others avoid some of the expensive mistakes I've made. It covers about 17 years or so, from when I first got serious about woodworking. So don't think you have to get all kinds of stuff at once. A decent table saw is, to me, the most important tool of all, and with a good one, you can do a huge amount of work. You have a router and table, which is good. I bought a sliding miter saw early on, but I rarely use it, but definitely a decent drill press is a GOOD idea. Any way, welcome to the fun.
Hi, I cannot open your pdf on any iOS device. Do you mind re-posting it or send me a copy? Thanks
 

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Hi, I cannot open your pdf on any iOS device. Do you mind re-posting it or send me a copy? Thanks
It opens just fine on a computer, Jay. I rarely use my phone or iPad for the forums but generally if it opens on a computer it will open on a mobile device.
 

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Hi, I'm not an Apple guy, but I think there are a lot of apps that will do that for you. Just in case, here it is again. The best thing I ever did was pop for my Laguna 10 inch table saw with it's great fence. Setting up the saw is a pretty precise process, but if you get it right, your results instantly become terrific.

Like you, I bought all my woodworking gear while at my peak income. Very nice to have all that stuff now. When it comes to rails and stiles, I now use a method I saw on the Marc Sommerfeld videos which are free on youtube. But I also have them on DVDs and will look at them before attempting something new, or that I haven't done before.

Sommerfeld and Freud make matched bit sets (maybe others, but I'm using both of these). These work because they are milled and shimmed so that when you set the first bit, all others align perfectly. The trick is to drop a half inch grommet (not an O ring) into the bottom of the collet. Lower the bit to the grommet and you should have perfect alignment.

When using these matched bits, I simply feed the pieces in, backed up by a piece of very square 3/4 MDF block. On the table, you work with finished face down. This makes alignment easier. Miter lock bits have a certain point that should be at the dead middle of the workpiece. Rockler has a little gadget for finding the center easily. Use a really sharp pencil.
Wood Gesture Finger Wood stain Hardwood


I'm married to a painter so I've made lots of picture frames. Getting miters just right is a challenge. Half a degree off means the frame won't go together. I have a special knife type miter trimmer for that, but you can also very carefully set up this Rockler gadget (table saw sled) to do the same. I first made certain my table saw blade was parallel to my miter slots. Then used a thick (full kerf), new saw blade and an engineer's square (accurate) to set the swinging fence to EXACTLY 90 to the blade. Locked it down and readjusted the little blastic hairline indicator. That thing is spot on.
Wood Wood stain Table Hardwood Engineering


I had a Bosch 1617 in my table with a Rockler lift, but the darn lift kept slipping and ruining projects. So I got a Triton and a nice plate for it. Sooooo nice. Accurate, good dust control. If you watch some Sommerfeld videos you see how he uses his. Great tool, lots of power. Good safety features too.

Here's a picture of one of my more interesting picture frames.
Bird Vertebrate Paint Rectangle Beak


One more little thing, I used to use thin kerf blades, but discovered they sometimes distort so the miter cut is off, or not quite straight, which means small gaps. So I started using one of these.
Font Circle Measuring instrument Metal Event

This is the best, clean cutting, flat bottoming saw blade I've ever used. Not all that expensive, and it has a lot of metal on each tip, so it can be resharpened several times. Great blade.

It's a great hobby, isn't it?
 

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Welcome to the forum @JayMN
 
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