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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I am in the process of setting up a shop (who knows how long it will take to get things all organized), but it may be a little crowded once all said and done.

My initial plan was a router table in the wing of my table saw, but having laid out the plans on paper I just dont know if it will work in the location I can want in the table saw. Because of this, I have been contemplating just doing a bench top router table for the time being, with the anticipation of doing the router wing in the future when the saw will be more centrally located for access.


With that said, I am having a hard time deciding on what to do. My first thought was to buy a top and build a little stand for my needs, but I am not locating any table tops that are, say 16x24". Everything is either a trim router table (11x16 or so) or going up to a 24x32 or bigger table.

I could, I suppose, just buy something like the Kreg benchtop, but $230 + the cost of a power switch just has me a bit miffed, and I dont know if the MLCS benchtop is the next best option.

I would prefer something like the old Benchdog pro-top enclosed option, so I guess the Bosch cabinet style may be a good work around for the time being, but I dont know if that is a good main plan.

Really, the Rockler bench top thing would be perfect if I could just buy the top without their leg assembly.


Does anyone know of a top that takes readily available router plates (and preferably standard size so later I can do something like a Peachtree acrylic plate with no holes and make a plate for a trim router in the future), and is also a more compact size for bench top use?

I am not in a position to build a top right now, and while I know I can do a board with a hole in it (and that may be the end result here), I figured I would ask if I am just not finding a mid-size router table. I have a few projects that need some routing between now and Christmas.
 

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welcome N/A...
 

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so get a piece of phenolic faced Baltic birch plywood and make your own table...
if you use particle board you'll regret it...
and use a metal plate... acrylic/composite plates...
the acrylic plates are fragile and crack.. the composite and polycarbonate plates sag after a while from the weight of the router...

.
 

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Paul
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I have the Rockler table and the size is nice. You could buy the top and stand and store the stand for later use. I also agree on the aluminum mounting plate. I have a Woodpecker plate because it's thicker than average and I use a heavy Triton TRA001 in the table.

You might consider making a two layer thick top, and cut the opening fit the plate in the top layer, and an inch smaller opening in layer two. Use a set of Craig leveling screws to make the plate flush with the top (see pix). This is more than adequate and will last years. Wax the top or add a layer of laminate. Make short legs for this top our of 2x and you have your bench top router table. You could do the same thing as a temporary stand for your Rockler table. I know it's easy to build a router table using Baltic Birch ply, but I bought the Rockler table before I retired and had more money than time in those days.

Nothing says you can't scour second hand shops for an ordinary table with a very flat top. Take a straight edge with you. Cut the opening, maybe add a second layer for the leveling screws. Cut the legs. Voila.

I've added a drawing of a shop made fence. I have the Rockler fence, which works well. The main thing is getting dust collection in place behind the fence. I found that without dust collection, the sawdust quickly built up and lifted the workpiece up and spoiled the cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the replies.

The reason I wanted a full size router plate hole was so I could add a palm router to it in the future when the big router is in the table saw. I do not really want a plastic plate for a full size router, but I am not too worried about a DeWalt 611 on an acrylic plate.

The reason for wanting a ready-to-use table is not related to my ability to make the needed items (table or fence), but rather not currently having the tools. The majority of my tools are in storage and I do not have access to the required tools to make my own table and fence.

The Rockler may be the easiest option, I just dont want that leg set-up at all. I am sure it works for what it is designed to be, but I would prefer to buy just the top and slap it on a mini-cabinet I build my own in the future.

I think I will just do a board with a hole until I have tools setup to do a real table.
 

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Rick
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Do you have an outfeed table on your tablesaw . You could build one into it .
I want to build an outfeed table that can be lowered and raised with dual routers and also triples as a work station .
I’m in the same position as you ,as am hurting for room. I also threw a router in the wing of my tablesaw just for the heck of it also .
It’s not a great height ,as router tables are typically a little higher , and you find yourself leaning a lot
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you have an outfeed table on your tablesaw . You could build one into it .
I want to build an outfeed table that can be lowered and raised with dual routers and also triples as a work station .
I’m in the same position as you ,as am hurting for room. I also threw a router in the wing of my tablesaw just for the heck of it also .
It’s not a great height ,as router tables are typically a little higher , and you find yourself leaning a lot

My plan was to do so once I have the shop set up, 220 ran, and my saw moved into the shop, but the layout in the little area I have now does not look like it will allow it. I will probably hang it there just as a project to get it done, but I suspect it wont actually live in that location permanently until I get into a bigger shop.

The downside of an 11' 6" wide space and a cabinet saw with a 36" fence sharing the width with a 17" bandsaw with space to move in between...

hey i thought i was n/a
Hey twin!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Tom,
The link may be redirecting me incorrectly (and I hope it is), but that takes me to their full size tables and wing extensions. I am specifically looking for a ~24x18 size table that accepts standard plates so that I can use it between make-shift stands for now, then when my bosch router is in the table saw wing I can buy an acrylic plate for my compact router for portable use.

This is the rockler table I was referencing in the first post:


The baseplates are not ideal, but at least it has options for both routers.

Basically, I am looking for a table that size (the table from the Kreg PRS2000 without the stand would be perfect).

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you Tom.

Those are all standard "full size" tables, and I am specifically looking for a smaller one for the time being. I just dont want to dedicate a full size router table and give up 6 square ft of shop floor space right now.

Only looking for those in the ~16-18 x 22-24" range. Bench top size only, but without the stands.

Thank you!
 

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Even if pushed for space , I don't think I would ever go down the wing of the table saw route ; I would be forever shifting things around and getting in a muddle. My Router table sits on top of a B&D Workmate , which is itself on wheels, so if it's really in the way I can move or even dismantle it.
 

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Get the cheapie Rockler table and cut it down. Or have someone cut it down. Later, you can put some edging on it, or spray it with laquer on the edges to seal it. The cheaper top was about $120, uses a standard Rockler plate and will be quite flat. Tape along the cut lines and cut it through the back with a jig or circular saw, or even use a Japanese fine tooth saw to cut through the laminate to minimize chipping. The aluminum T-track cuts easily with almost any kind of saw. Or remove the T-track and cut it separately, then reinstall it.

You could do the same with other brand tops.

The small bench top models that are near the size you want might do if you remove the legs. But I haven't seen one of those with a plate opening, and the ones I've seen are so thin you'd have to glue on a second layer to install a plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Even if pushed for space , I don't think I would ever go down the wing of the table saw route ; I would be forever shifting things around and getting in a muddle. My Router table sits on top of a B&D Workmate , which is itself on wheels, so if it's really in the way I can move or even dismantle it.
Ill look more into the ups and downs of a wing mount in a few years when that is an option, thank you Roger!

Get the cheapie Rockler table and cut it down. Or have someone cut it down. Later, you can put some edging on it, or spray it with laquer on the edges to seal it. The cheaper top was about $120, uses a standard Rockler plate and will be quite flat. Tape along the cut lines and cut it through the back with a jig or circular saw, or even use a Japanese fine tooth saw to cut through the laminate to minimize chipping. The aluminum T-track cuts easily with almost any kind of saw. Or remove the T-track and cut it separately, then reinstall it.

You could do the same with other brand tops.

The small bench top models that are near the size you want might do if you remove the legs. But I haven't seen one of those with a plate opening, and the ones I've seen are so thin you'd have to glue on a second layer to install a plate.

I had thought about this, but the loss of the fence channels (though I assume most are keyhole-bit routed, or even just through holes/slots with a larger T-nut would make that easy to replicate. Or just put in some more T track.

That may just work, ill have to do some more looking.

Thanks!
 

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...I had thought about this, but the loss of the fence channels (though I assume most are keyhole-bit routed, or even just through holes/slots with a larger T-nut would make that easy to replicate. Or just put in some more T track.

That may just work, ill have to do some more looking.

Thanks!
Cutting a channel and adding your own T track would work fine. Or, you could just clamp your fence to the cut-down table. Can't have everything, but cutting the cheaper table down is a pretty practical solution. The cheaper table is adequate since you're going to have to cut something off anyhow. Do remember to pre drill any screws you plan to install.

The other day, I saw some fold down shelf brackets that would allow you to fold the table down out of the way, and lock the diagonal supports when the table is up. If you have a bench, you could mount the fold down table on the back side or end and keep it folded down until you need it. Just thinking. I have a 20 inch wide extension hinged to the back of my workbench. It's nice to be able to pick up that extra bit of space in my 12x24 shop/shed when I need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Welcome to the forum.
thanks Ross! I realize I just signed up, but Ive been roaming this forum for probably 10 years on occasion!

Cutting a channel and adding your own T track would work fine. Or, you could just clamp your fence to the cut-down table. Can't have everything, but cutting the cheaper table down is a pretty practical solution. The cheaper table is adequate since you're going to have to cut something off anyhow. Do remember to pre drill any screws you plan to install.

The other day, I saw some fold down shelf brackets that would allow you to fold the table down out of the way, and lock the diagonal supports when the table is up. If you have a bench, you could mount the fold down table on the back side or end and keep it folded down until you need it. Just thinking. I have a 20 inch wide extension hinged to the back of my workbench. It's nice to be able to pick up that extra bit of space in my 12x24 shop/shed when I need it.
Im in a 12x16 (working on adding an extension off one side for a wee bit of storage space), with plans for a full size cabinet saw, 17" bandsaw, lathe, and a variety of other machines that will end up being compromises - I may have to do more than I want to right now! But that will be when I am in there with all my tools!


For the time being I ended up buying an 11x17 3/4 phenolic plate from Woodcraft, and just routing out a hole for a 6" base for my little Dewalt. That will suit my purposes for the next few months, and hopefully I will have plenty of time to make some decisions on the table itself (or maybe Black Friday/Christmas sales will make the decision easier).

If anyone in the future is digging and finds this thread, I did find one other mid-size table option - and it is bare. Home Depot carries a General International top, straight off its benchtop kit. They use a side mounted fence so the table has nothing for a fence, but a 3/4" cut and $12 worth of T-Track has that solved. That may be how I end up going, or I may just end up with a full size like Tom is suggesting above, but just wanted to get that info out there for anyone that might need it.
 
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