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noob router table dilema.

3394 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  DesertRatTom
A few years back i decided i wanted to try to make guitar bodies and trinket boxes and started buying woodworking tools including one of the $150 grizzly tables and an inexpensive skil router that came with both fixed and plunge bases. Before i ever even mounted the router though i started a new job and we had to move to a place with no space to spare.

I have since bought a house with a garage and started setting the garage up to do some wood working and this is where the dilema starts. I bought a new much bigger triton router for the above the table adjustment, and was told i would have nothing but trouble trying to use the plastic plate the table came with. So i ran out and bought an aluminum woodpecker plate that was completely incompatible with the table. While looking for the right aluminum plate i come to realize most of the high quality stuff is sized completely different than the grizzly table, and worse yet i start seeing fancy fences i liked the looks of too, then whole router table packages from woodpecker and incra catch my eye...

I have been bouncing back and forth for 2 weeks now trying to decide if i should just get any old aluminum plate i can find that fits the grizzly or if i should sink even more money into a fancy combo setup with all the bells and whistles. What makes it really difficult is that im a total noob whose only used a router once so i dont know if any of that fancy stuff is even going to help me or just help me and my money part ways... Buying a $500 basic woodpecker combo or $750 loaded inca combo is a long ways from a $100 plate.

Are the woodpecker super fence or incra wonder fence compatible with the grizzy table?

Are those more complicated fences really going to help with things like jointing 2" thick stock for guitar bodies or doing box joints?

I would have no problem throwing down the $750 for the loaded incra setup if its going to be something usefull and helps me but i'd rather not waste the money if its just a bunch of fancy gadgets ill never use anyway, since im not loaded and just starting out there are lots of other places the money could be used.
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Hi, I had the same situation. Here's how I resolved it.

Have a Rockler table with a somewhat small plate with 3 screws holding the insert. Got the Woodpecker plate that was set up for the big Triton specifically because of the twist lock insert--got the insert set too. The plate was larger and thicker than the Rockler plate, and it didn't have a hole drilled for the crank. These turned out to be minor problems fixed in about 2 hours (I'm a slow worker)..

First, I attached the router to the plate, and used a half inch drill bit to drill the hole for the crank. I simply turned it over and lined the drill up in the small depression in the circumference, and drilled it out. Used a rat tail file to smooth the edges a bit. Voila' that was done.

Next I lined the sides up with the sides of the hole in the table. It was the same width as the Rockler opening, but an inch longer on the short dimension. I snugged four straight boards around the periphery as shown in the drawing. If I had it to do over again, I'd have slipped a playing card or two between the plate and boards to give myself a bit of wiggle room when putting the plate in the opening.

You can also buy the Woodpecker template. Clamp the boards or template in place then use either as a template with a pattern routing bit (Bearing is toward the base or router end). Set the depth so it routs out slightly deeper than thickness of the plate. The Woodpecker plate is thicker than the old plate.

Make sure you cinch down the retaining screw on the router bit. Mine came off mid project. Everything worked, but it isn't pretty.

I didn't trim the height of the opening at all, so I didn't have to remove the leveling screws, just backed them off out of reach of the pattern bit. I think this increases the overall support for the plate.

The setup works perfectly, although I didn't do the card trick so it is a very tight fit.

While many here choose to use the complex accessory fences, I haven't found the need for one. Pursuit of precision in woodworking is a waste of effort beyond a certain point. If you watch a couple of Marc Sommerfeld's videos on YouTube, you'll see an old(mature) woodworker and cabinetmaker doing very precise work with a basic type of fence, and square chunks of MDF. He plugs his products, but don't worry about that, watch how he works. Elegant simplicity.

I like spending on tools, its fun shopping, taking them home and trying them out. But I've found myself wishing I'd not bought a number of fancy tools and gadgets because I rarely (if ever) use them. There are many here who love their Incra products, they make really good stuff. I have their box joint jig setup for the table saw and really like it. It makes sense to fix the wood to a jig and move the wood over the router rather than horsing the router over fixed wood.

I have a Rockler fence with dust extraction port on the back and an adjustable split fence. It does everything I want it to.

I attached a picture of the plate itself so people know what we're talking about. Clamp the heck out of that template!!!


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Put the spring in a safe place in case you want to use it as a plunge router, or sell it later. My smaller Rockler router plate worked fine, but I wanted a good twist lock insert, which at the time I got the Woodpecker plate, was only available in a couple of brands, the Woodpecker being the thickest available. I think a couple of other brands have that feature now, but you and I have the Woodpecker plate already, right? So other brands are moot. Good comments on the Incra products too.

I don't have enough room in my shop for a really large table with a large bar hanging over one end. Beside, I have a jointer out in the garage. Took awhile to acquire the tools. Happy to have the good ones now.
Good catch on the metal detector. However, small stones can also be imbedded in reclaimed wood. All it takes is a little chip in a blade or bit and it's toast, and that's what rocks do. So I also suggest you work over the surface with a wire brush as well. A set of jointer or planer blades for example cost $45-50 and up, a good resaw blade for a band saw runs from $50 to hundreds of dollars. Use slow passes with the metal detector and keep it close to the surface.
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