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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Longtime lurker here with a request for help.

I recently purchased a Rockler ProMaxRT Cast-Iron router top (stand-alone version) along with an Incra Master Lift II-R and a Porter Cable 7518 in the hopes I could use and enjoy this package well into my retirement. My current project will be our kitchen re-do and I'd like to be able to reliably and safely produce rail/stile doors with raised panels, which I guess is one of my biggest concerns about getting a sturdy, precise fence.

But I'm finding I'm kind of limited in the choice of fence I can use with this top. Some fences offer incredibly accurate adjustments, but I can't find one that fits this top.

Anyone out there have any suggestions that could offer some insight? I feel like if I'm in this deep already I don't want to be limited by the fence. Should I choose a different top so I could choose from more fences? I chose the cast iron top because my shop area is not A/C and I live in coastal SE Florida. Humidity would kill MDF in no time, and I've read here that the 7518 would cause sagging long-term in most tops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
DaninVan, Yes, thank you that seems like the only choice available to me. I tried woodpeckers, along with others and seem to be striking out.

Has anyone used this top in conjunction with a top quality fence system, say the Incra LS or the like?
 

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Hello Poplarguy - when you get a chance, update your profile and at the very least, put in a name you'd like to be called.

Have you considered building your own fence - here's a pic of a fence I built - has two sliding faces to close up the gap around the bit. The fence just clamps to the router table at both ends.
 

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The reviews are kind of interesting, they point to weaknesses in the face of the fence (MDF) and the lockdown method (easily slips), the relatively low fence height. But each seem fairly easy to fix to me. a couple of strips of non friction tape could eliminate the squealing as you move it. Cut a slot in the taller fence front to install T-track for featherboards or accessories. So it seems you must make your own, adapt anothe brand to your table or put up with this one, which is on sale just now for $129. The reviews suggest fixes for its weak points.
 

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Vince's is virtually identical to mine. Works very well and the dust collection also works well. When you need to make a fine adjustment I make a pencil mark as close to the fence as I can and then only loosen and adjust one side. Since you are only moving one side the adjustment is only 1/2 that much at the bit so you can make some pretty fine adjustments that way without needing extra hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guys, thanks for the input. I did think of using the recommended one and changing the MDF, but thought if there was a better one that fit without having to mod it would be simpler. The thought of building one really didn't hit my mind until some of you posted, and it's good to know that if I chose that route they'd be reliable.

I'm going to check a few other manufacturers and see if there is a way to adapt it, if I find other options I'll re-post here in the hopes it might help those in the future.

Seems crazy there is not a "standard" for these so you could pick and choose what you wanted to use across brands.
 

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Has anyone used this top in conjunction with a top quality fence system, say the Incra LS or the like?

Incra shows a work-a-round where you use angle iron to attach an extension to an existing table, although their instructions assume a top that can be screwed too, not cast iron.

If you decide to make a fence, you might want to consider magswitch magnets. http://www.rockler.com/magswitch-magnetic-jigs-magswitch-magjigs


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Incra shows a work-a-round where you use angle iron to attach an extension to an existing table, although their instructions assume a top that can be screwed too, not cast iron.

If you decide to make a fence, you might want to consider magswitch magnets.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
Wow.... learn something new every day. I wonder if they would slide on the top?? Anyone using them?
 

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I use them with a feather board and they hold fairly tight, they make a business model out of them so I would hope they are doing well. They do make different strengths of magnets for different applications, but they all release with a turn of the handle.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
 

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Tom there is no standard because we all have different things that work for us and that we like using. Some people like t tracks and some prefer to just clamp the fence to the table. I've tried both and have no preference. Some want a miter slot or like using sleds. I just use a square pusher block against the fence for those cuts. Things like that is why no one can come up with a standard model.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Guys sorry for disappearing on everyone, my login password got messed up and I didn't have the time to reset everything.

Some updates on the frustrations I've had trying to get this combo up and running: I purchased the Incra Master Lift from Rockler. When it showed up, one of the guide bars was poking through the box and was refused. I was shocked to see that they just placed a ~$400 piece of precision equipment in a box with virtually no protection. I sent it back and I waited for a new one to arrive. Meanwhile I also ordered the cast iron top from Rockler, and it took a bit longer to get here. Tracking said it would be here today, so I was anxious when UPS came today and.... he had no router top. Checked the tracking info and it says it was "damaged in shipment and returned to sender". So Rockler is 2 for 2 at this point with my orders, not sure who they have packing things but he/she might need some pointers.

I cringe to think that the 3rd order I placed with them was for the Bench Dog pro router table fence as it was quick, convenient and will get me going on some projects. Hoping it's not a 3-for-3 situation. I am going to replace the MDF boards with starboard or the like for stability.

In closing, I did find out that the Incra LS Positioner WILL work with this table but will have to be mounted off the rear of the table using some L-brackets on the sides and an extension on the top. All this could, in theory, be removable when not needed as it would create a very large router top indeed. I am attracted to some of the features of the LS, mainly the precision adjustments, and if I do add this to the top at some point I'll be sure to post additional photos.

I'll get my cabinet built and post up a few photos when I get everything running. Anxious is not the word!

Thank you all for your input.
 

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Tom you’ve sure had some bad luck with shipping, and I hope things turn around for you .
Looking forward to seeing your setup once it’s complete . The router has to be one of the most indispensable tools out there, and I’ve certainly had a ton of uses with mine
 

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Sounds like you've settled in your choices. I've had good luck ordering online and picking up at stores. I now compare prices on WalMart, big box stores, each of which allows store delivery. The boxes are not so beaten up that way, and the prices are sometimel lower. Delivery is generally 2-3 days at most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks guys, new top should be here tomorrow (Friday) which would be ideal and let me get started on making a cabinet for everything over the long weekend.

Fence showed up today from Rockler, box mangled and end ripped off but amazingly everything is in the box and it all seems intact. I have to do a bit of searching and find a T-track bit to let me make new backer boards from Starboard or UHMW to replace the MDF ones that came with it. Any input?

The cabinet I'm hoping to build is based on "downtoearthwoodworks" version on youtube. Different top of course, but the cabinet looks like it'll do anything I need. Ambitious project for a guy with my limited skill set but I'm looking forward to the challenge.
 
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