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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
I have read several forum threads regarding what brand and models of router tables everyone has and likes. Unfortunately, I just can't decided. So I thought I would instead tell everyone my experience, budget, and intended application for the router and table I plan on getting...

Woodworking experience: I've drilled many things, I've used miter saws, band saws, and I have a kreg jig that I've used many times and love. I have never constructed anything that requires too much precision. Most of what I've done is low-grade and meant to be more functional than look good.

Why I want a router table: Picture frames. My daughter is an artist and photographer. Custom frames are ridiculously expensive, and I'd rather not get those cheap off-the-shelf frames with no matte border. I've run the numbers and feel I could recover the cost of a nice table and router in less than 10-15 frames (Less than 7 or 8 if they are 24x36 or larger).

Budget: about $500-$750 for the table, router, and any useful accessories.

Constraints: Time - I don't want to build a router table, and I would like something that I can quickly adjust.

Other reasons: I would like to eventually get more involved in woodworking in general. I see a router as an essential tool for that path... I'm sure you all agree :)

Current equipment: Kreg Jig, DeWalt power drill, and I have access to a friend's Makita 12" sliding miter saw (though I plan to purchase my own soon).

I've tried out a Bosch 1181 (I think) router table with a porter cable router and thought either I suck or I need something a little better (probably the former).

I've looked at several options online and was really interested in the Kreg Precision table (the $500 one). But there was another thread on this sight where someone was having issues with it... now I'm not so sure :(

Advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!!
-Jeff

One more thing: If you read all this, I thank you. I didn't realize how long it was!
 

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Hello all,
I have read several forum threads regarding what brand and models of router tables everyone has and likes. Unfortunately, I just can't decided. So I thought I would instead tell everyone my experience, budget, and intended application for the router and table I plan on getting...

Woodworking experience: I've drilled many things, I've used miter saws, band saws, and I have a kreg jig that I've used many times and love. I have never constructed anything that requires too much precision. Most of what I've done is low-grade and meant to be more functional than look good.

Why I want a router table: Picture frames. My daughter is an artist and photographer. Custom frames are ridiculously expensive, and I'd rather not get those cheap off-the-shelf frames with no matte border. I've run the numbers and feel I could recover the cost of a nice table and router in less than 10-15 frames (Less than 7 or 8 if they are 24x36 or larger).

Budget: about $500-$750 for the table, router, and any useful accessories.

Constraints: Time - I don't want to build a router table, and I would like something that I can quickly adjust.

Other reasons: I would like to eventually get more involved in woodworking in general. I see a router as an essential tool for that path... I'm sure you all agree :)

Current equipment: Kreg Jig, DeWalt power drill, and I have access to a friend's Makita 12" sliding miter saw (though I plan to purchase my own soon).

I've tried out a Bosch 1181 (I think) router table with a porter cable router and thought either I suck or I need something a little better (probably the former).

I've looked at several options online and was really interested in the Kreg Precision table (the $500 one). But there was another thread on this sight where someone was having issues with it... now I'm not so sure :(

Advice would be appreciated. Thanks!!!
-Jeff

One more thing: If you read all this, I thank you. I didn't realize how long it was!
Hi Jeff - Welcome to the forum:)
Biggest issue, IMO, with picture frames is getting the 45* (or other) angles right and getting the opposite sides absolutely equal. For that a good miter saw or table saw with a miter sled are the weapons of choice.
The 1181 table and the PC routers are generally pretty well percieved. Just exactly what kind of issues did you have with them?
Good news is for picture frames almost any 1-3/4 HP and up will do the job just fine. Some of the better ones for table mounting are the Craftsman (believe it or not), deWalt 618 (I believe) and the Triton MOF001. I believe some of the MIlwaukee ones include above table adjustments also as does the newer Bosch. Long term, getting into heavier work, you will likely want to look into a 3+ HP but those start getting a little pricey.
As far as a table goes, many like the Kreg table but I don't care much for the fence setup on it. It always wants to clamp down square to the miter slot. Sounds good on paper but many times I will make minute adjustments by just moving one end of the fence or the the other. The Kreg system will make very fine adjustments with the optional micro adjuster though.
In that price range I like the RT1000XL, found here
pricing cart.
It does want to have the optional aluminum router plate though.
Or, the INCRA sytem, found here
Router Fence and Table Combo - 4

Hmm, guess my response was equally lengthy. There will be other opinions along shortly:D
 

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I am leaning towards Incra it has precesion built in. Repeatability for setup. There machined parts very precise. I have there table saw sled love it. There fence is precise down to several thousands. Also good documentation.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Jeff
 

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Welcome
 

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Ok, here is where I upset the members who spent big bucks for "precision" tools and jigs. Wood moves. If a mosquito farts it can raise the temperature and humidity enough for the wood to change dimensions. Since this constant state of movement is a given why worry about a couple of thousandths of an inch? It is overkill. This is not metal, it is wood!
Jeff, take a look at the Router Workshop table from Oak Park. It is top quality materials and very well thought out. On board bit storage is a nice feature. The secret to getting good results is practice, not expensive add on's. Priced under $200 this table leaves enough in your budget for a top quality combo kit like the Bosch 1617EVSPK. Mount the fixed base to the table, use the plunge base for free hand work. Or you could buy a nice 3-1/4 hp router like the Hitachi M12VE or the Makita 3612C for under $200. I want you to succeed with your picture frame projects so I made a special arrangement for you. If you call and order this table before the end of the month and tell them "Mike from routerforums sent you" Oak Park will include the picture frame E-plan at no extra charge. This offer is not good on the web site, only by phone and expires 8-31-2011.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I decided to go with a Rockler routing table with the steel stand. I can't post URLs yet, but it's the $299 table/stand combo at the Rockler website.

There were a few questionable reviews on it, but most were good. The main gripe I think was the lack of assembly instructions, and a few people received the stand with a bent leg. There was only one person that mentioned anything negative about the quality of the table itself. I'm hoping that's an outlying data point... I got it at 20% off, too.

I haven't bought the router itself yet, but I'm still leaning towards the Bosch 1617 combo package (typically $219). I found a few places online that sell it cheaper. Any additional pointers for me would be great.

The jury is still out on the miter box I need to get, so any suggestions there would be great.

I'm not ready to drop the money for a really nice compound miter saw, and I'm not getting a cheap one. For framing only, I don't see the need for something that big and powerful yet.

-Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I am leaning towards Incra it has precesion built in. Repeatability for setup. There machined parts very precise. I have there table saw sled love it. There fence is precise down to several thousands. Also good documentation.
I forgot to mention that I looked long and hard at the Incra tables (I may have drooled, too). It's just not within my budget. However, I think I will plan on upgrading to this table in the future. I should be able to sell my Rockler table at 40%-50% cost within a year or two and get good use and learning experience from it.

Thanks for pointing me to this company's products!
-Jeff
 

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I decided to go with a Rockler routing table with the steel stand. I can't post URLs yet, but it's the $299 table/stand combo at the Rockler website.

There were a few questionable reviews on it, but most were good. The main gripe I think was the lack of assembly instructions, and a few people received the stand with a bent leg. There was only one person that mentioned anything negative about the quality of the table itself. I'm hoping that's an outlying data point... I got it at 20% off, too.

I haven't bought the router itself yet, but I'm still leaning towards the Bosch 1617 combo package (typically $219). I found a few places online that sell it cheaper. Any additional pointers for me would be great.

The jury is still out on the miter box I need to get, so any suggestions there would be great.

I'm not ready to drop the money for a really nice compound miter saw, and I'm not getting a cheap one. For framing only, I don't see the need for something that big and powerful yet.

-Jeff
Hi Jeff - may want to look at the Hitachi miter saws. I ran one quite awhile before I upgraded to a slider. IMO, most Hitachi tools are really underrated. I have several and all have been good. You can also save a few bucks going for the reconditioned stuff.
Miter Saws - Big Sky | Tool
:)
 

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2nd that mike i have that table and Bosch 1617EVSPK in their . I also have a couple pc-690's also and a couple ryobi routers in a couple tables for dovetales and pin's so i don't have change back and forth. I use the gifkin dovetale jig a little costley but it has never failed right out of the box. Lot's of tables out their and price also but i belive you can do everthing any other table will do . Jig's can make the job thanks for reading here is the link http://us.oak-park.com/catalogue.html?list=RT01--
 
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