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I own a Bosch RA1181, and am experiencing the common problem where the red plastic insert rings are not flush with the tabletop, instead they are recessed by 0.02" (0.5mm). That is a problem when I'm doing any sort of precise cuts like sliding dovetails - as the piece crosses the bit, a nearby featherboard applying downward pressure may push the leading edge of the piece down, wrecking the first & last couple inches of the cut.

I emailed Bosch tech support, and this was their response: "The inserts are designed to sit 1/8" inch below the table top.....The reason why the insert ring set is not flush is because it was a product safety requirement."

Has anyone else found a good workaround for this? If this is by design, then getting a new set of rings won't solve the problem. I tried UMHW tape to shim under the ring and added a single layer of tape to the top of the ring which makes it almost flush, but I don't expect this hack to last. This is a shame too - it's a great value for a metal table, but its ability to do precision work is basically compromised by these silly parts that probably cost $0.10 to manufacture.

Gas Font Machine Composite material Auto part
 

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Welcome to the forum...
 

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Paul
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Lucky it's not really an 1/8 inch below. ;-) What if you use feather boards on either side instead of above the insert? If it's only an issue with small parts, maybe put a piece of hardboard across the table with a hole or slot to fit the bit. I'm not familiar with how the inserts attach, maybe cut strips of feeler gauge (or similar) and fasten them to shim it.

I'm familiar with the problem you describe... I had a similar issue with a saggy plate.
 

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I have the same table and Paul's suggestions work. For very small pieces I have a small parts holder that will hold the part flush to the table as it rides past the bit because the holder is significantly wider than the insert. Long pieces shouldn't be a problem but if you must have a dead flat surface, a piece of hardboard laid flush to the fence with a cutout for the bit and clamped to the top will give you that..
 

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Shimming it is likely your best bet. Try it first with some tape. Clean up the edge first. If there's a burr or some kind, maybe a drop of dried glue, that could be raising the insert. Is the insert flat? Lay it on a flat surface and check to make sure there's no warp on top or bottom. For it to be 1/8th high, there has to be 1/4 inch of warp or object raising it. If so you have a defect in either the table or the insert and Bosch should replace it.
 

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Take some aluminum foil or parchment paper and place it on the underside of the insert. Clean the bottom of the recess in the table and place several puddles of hot melt glue in the recess. Thread or push the insert down so its top is flush with the top of the table. Remove the insert. Take the foil or paper off. All of your inserts should now be flush when installed.
 

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I found some magnetic sign material on eBay several years ago that I use for dado and tenon blade shim spacers. I have a sharpened 12" compass leg I use for a circle cutter. Cut a donut or two and have a permanent fix. My material is about 0.010", so it'll take a stacked pair.
 

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This router table has endless faults. I own one and it works, but…

in addition to the rings problem there is an issue with the aluminium plate. It doesn’t match any standard plate on the market and because of that you cannot install a lift. Then it’s very difficult to level it with the table. Even if you adjust it correctly, after some time it moves and that’s a big problem when routing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys, I had searched the forum here but after writing this I found a couple other posts. One guy shimmed with some aluminum tape, which I bet would be easier & more durable than the narrow UHMW tape I just tried.
Lucky it's not really an 1/8 inch below. ;-) What if you use feather boards on either side instead of above the insert?
Yes, that's actually the workaround I had been using up to this point. It works well enough for long pieces, but not so much for shorter pieces or where I need to route a groove into the end of a narrow board for example.

Take some aluminum foil or parchment paper and place it on the underside of the insert. Clean the bottom of the recess in the table and place several puddles of hot melt glue in the recess. Thread or push the insert down so its top is flush with the top of the table. Remove the insert. Take the foil or paper off. All of your inserts should now be flush when installed.
That is a really interesting idea. Unfortunately with this table, the rings clip in, and I think this would prevent them from fully seating so I don't think they would be secure. I might try that if I ever accidentally break the clips off an insert.

Interestingly, I left a review on Bosch's website highlighting this flaw, and they responded that I should call their customer service number. Thinking they might have a fix, I was eventually forwarded from their call center to a tech support guy here in the US, and he immediately stated that it has always been that way and he has no idea why. He sounded as frustrated as I was.
 

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I own a Bosch RA1181, and am experiencing the common problem where the red plastic insert rings are not flush with the tabletop, instead they are recessed by 0.02" (0.5mm). That is a problem when I'm doing any sort of precise cuts like sliding dovetails - as the piece crosses the bit, a nearby featherboard applying downward pressure may push the leading edge of the piece down, wrecking the first & last couple inches of the cut.

I emailed Bosch tech support, and this was their response: "The inserts are designed to sit 1/8" inch below the table top.....The reason why the insert ring set is not flush is because it was a product safety requirement."

Has anyone else found a good workaround for this? If this is by design, then getting a new set of rings won't solve the problem. I tried UMHW tape to shim under the ring and added a single layer of tape to the top of the ring which makes it almost flush, but I don't expect this hack to last. This is a shame too - it's a great value for a metal table, but its ability to do precision work is basically compromised by these silly parts that probably cost $0.10 to manufacture.

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buy some brass shim stock the thickness you need. cut out a shim with scissors and place under the insert.
 

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For those who recommend shimming or glueing….that’s not how a BOSCH product should be sold. In my opinion this (and other) faults of this little table are unacceptable.
Bosch knows about the problems but chose not to do anything as long as it sales. Calling this or that customer service won’t change anything.

This little table wasn’t engineered and manufactured by Bosch. It’s a cheapo made long time ago by someone and rebadged with Bosch Logo and colours. A real Bosch product would be designed and manufactured to higher standards and carry a different price tag.
 

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Bosch isn't by themselves in this sort of racket. Delta and Dewalt have been known to pull similar capers. If you dig deep enough, you'll probably find most all of the big guys have used what means available to take money from those with more of it than sense.
 

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Delta, Rockwell, Stanley and others are not the companies they once were. Bosch on the other hand, is synonymous with German engineering and high quality.
Bottom Line - as people continue buying these items (thinking they are buying “cheap Bosch”) there’s no chance problems (like the insertion rings) will get solved.
 
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