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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I teach in a very small high school and need to add a router table and router. At the moment there is only a no-name quarter-inch router attached to a tiny table. All cutter changes and adjustments are difficult, with little room for hands and tools. Additionally, there are times we’d like to use a bigger cutter than we can now use.

The Industrial Tech Department at the University I attended subtly discouraged the use of, and teaching the use of, shapers or routers in today’s litigious society. (And the school I was at previous to this one had very tight restriction on router use…pretty much instructor use only.) As a result I do not have deep experience with many different machines to call on while spec-ing this thing out.

With budgets the way they now are, I will only have one chance to “get it right” and don’t want to make a mistake. I will have about one thousand dollars, I think, available for this project.

Important considerations: I must have excellent machine-guarding, stability and overall passive safety. I need durability (remember this is for high school students) first and foremost. Ease in changing tools and the ability to adjust from above are important. Beyond that anything else would be gravy.

Thanks, Lyle
 

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Hello Lyle, Welcome to the RouterForums :)

You can take a look at the one by our Sponsor Oak Park or this one from
Veritas® Router Table Sets
or you cna get the plans from one of the online stores and use it as a teaching project for your students and build your own Router table and Fence system. Depending on the type of router you have you can order plates for it from just about any of the wood working sites. The 2 I mentioned are the ones I have been looking at closely. But as a temporary fix and because I needed to run larger bits for a project and I have a Bosch 1617 EVS Router I purchased their Router table and stand on sale.

You will get alot of varying opinions and if time is not a option it would make a great project for your students to make their own. You can get Plans from www.PlansNow.com or use goggle to search for Router table plans. Here is one that I have been looking at also Professional Router Table, also here is some of the On Line Shopping web sites that we use and alot of them I have been through looking for info and pricing on Router systems and table.

What Routers do you use?
HTH
 

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Hi Lyle, I got to aggree with these fellas,,, having the students build their own router table would be an excellent class project,,, it would teach them how to be more self sufficent by making their own equipment. And it would increase their confidence and pride, in knowing they actually made an integral piece of equipnent of their shop. You could look at a lot of router tables and use the best design features from all of them,,, And besides,,, thet may be less apt to abuse a piece of equipment if they were the ones that put the sweat equity in it to build it in the first place.
And one more thing,,, if you got a thousand dollars to spend,,, you could buy lots of add ons and make one fantastic table, or just make a basic table Like the one they use on the router work shop show,, which works just fine,,,, and save a lot of money, and then spend your savings on router bits and have a nice big selection of profiles to use in further projects.
 

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I went to a college woodworking course a few years ago and we had student made tables. We used the Porter-Cable routers, and they seemed to hold up to all day use, but I personally didn't like the bit changing, nor the adjustment knob. I personally use the Hitachi M12V and think it is an excellent workhorse of a machine.
~Julie~
 

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Hello Lyle,

I have one more thing to add. If you build your table then Spend the extra money on a nice 3 1/4 or 3 1/2 HP Router for permanent mounting in the new table. To run larger bits you will need one with a 1/2" Collet and anywhere from 2 1/4 to 3 1/2 HP. This is my personnel opinion. I would stick with Porter Cable, Bosch, Dewalt or Hitachi. I personnally like the Bosch but we all have our varying opinions. I also think Milwaukee makes a good Router.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all,

Randy, the machines I have are:

That quarter-inch mounted in the table is a Ryobi. I didn’t look for the model number.

Since I posted my request, I discovered a larger Bosch while digging through the back of some shelves in a storeroom (didn't note the model, but looks like it holds half-inch collets). I plugged it in and it ran smoothly, but for the moment I can't find the collets or collet nuts. But, that's a simple fix.

Again, because of liability concerns we’ll probably not “manufacture” a router table. However, just in case I’d be happy to hear about favorite router table plates or inserts. But, in reality I’m almost certainly restricted to a pre-built unit. Thus my interest in getting the “best” one, first time around.

Lyle
 

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Hi Lyle like Randy said go to www.oak-park.com they have prebuilt and plates and everything you need they even have videos that use only router work it would be good learning tool for you and your class. The base plates for the routers are simple you can pull the whole thing out with the router attached and be able to adjust and change bits like a breeze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To update any interested folks, we’ve decided upon a Bench Dog system. They are just preparing to release their ProMax as a complete package.

It is a cast-iron table, with their ProLift (includes Porter Cable model 7518) and ProFence in a package that includes a Baltic Birch completed cabinet with some drawers, a door, a side shelf, casters, and a power switch that will meet school standards.

For anyone looking for something similar, they can be contacted at (800) 786-8902 or www.benchdog.com. I spoke with a very helpful lady named Pat Novicik, but I presume there are others just as capable. After we’ve used it for awhile, (maybe the rest of the school year) if anyone is interested in our experiences with it, I could note them here.

Again, thanks to all.

Lyle
 

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Lyle Wallin said:
I teach in a very small high school and need to add a router table and router. At the moment there is only a no-name quarter-inch router attached to a tiny table. All cutter changes and adjustments are difficult, with little room for hands and tools. Additionally, there are times we’d like to use a bigger cutter than we can now use.

The Industrial Tech Department at the University I attended subtly discouraged the use of, and teaching the use of, shapers or routers in today’s litigious society. (And the school I was at previous to this one had very tight restriction on router use…pretty much instructor use only.) As a result I do not have deep experience with many different machines to call on while spec-ing this thing out.

With budgets the way they now are, I will only have one chance to “get it right” and don’t want to make a mistake. I will have about one thousand dollars, I think, available for this project.

Important considerations: I must have excellent machine-guarding, stability and overall passive safety. I need durability (remember this is for high school students) first and foremost. Ease in changing tools and the ability to adjust from above are important. Beyond that anything else would be gravy.

Thanks, Lyle
Lyle
Purchasing a router table is not necessary the safest way to go. Find out about the use of template guides (I have just posted a free copy of Introduction to Template Guides
Like you I have spent 30 years in high schools teaching Tech studies and for years we HAD been using the router the wrong way I did exactly the same when we purchased our first router. I put it under the table. Certainly there is a need for it in some occassions.

Leaving the education dept Resigned !!! I started a Cabinet making business for the next 15 years. I am now back teaching woodwork one day a week and all my students are BLIND and they are using the router exclusively. email me for more information if you wish.

I will retire at the end of the year (Aged 72) I have a great knowledge of the use of the router and I do believe that they should be used in schools as long as they are used with safety. The only way I would teach the use of the router is when the template guides are used.

Best of Luck
Tom
 
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