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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short.
I want cast iron table, and have been searching. Planning on the triton tra001 as they seem to be popular, and will eliminate the need for the lift.
Rockler has the bench dog 24x32 table with fence, plate, and stand on sale for 599 right now.
Saw Stop has their RT-BT bench mounted, stand, fence, no insert, power switch for 550. It is a 16x27 table.
Saw stop is smaller, obviously. no insert. Bench dog is bolt in router and go. So, really about the same price as saw stop with insert/ plate.
SO... is the bigger table nice, required? I am just a hack. I have my grandfathers (subsequently my dads)craftsman table saw, circa 50's, craftsman joiner of same era. A dewalt radial arm saw... same age. All heavy, cast iron pieces... when quality existed in the world. I want to build some boxes... maybe jewelry boxes, storage boxes, and my casket. (I know... )
I need to upgrade the fence on the old table saw. Id prefer to stick with one brand of fences, jigs, etc., for interchangeability.
Oh, I'm really a metal fab guy. Wood is a nice alternative for a while. I understand precision. I know quality.
Thanks
Wags
 

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Welcome to Router Forums N/a. I have to called you that because you haven't completed your profile, so it calls you N/a in the panel to the left of your post. Please do this if you plan to stick around. A first name or what you like to be called makes our responses much more personal, so please do this, and please come back to tell us more about your tools and progress. Many of us, including me, do metal working as well. I think you will like it here.

The Delta Unifence and Biesmeyer fences are considered by many to be about the best you could want, but the Unifence is no longer being made, so finding a used one is about the only way to get one. The Saw Stop fence is supposed to be pretty good. The Delta T2 fence is still being made and is quite good. Also look at one by a company called VSCT Very Super Cool Tools. Do some internet searches to find information about them. My table saw is a Delta Unisaw and it came used with a Unifence. I quit looking at fences and table saws after getting it. I don't think I need to look any further as it is more accurate than I need and my son will inherit it, so I have no experience with any of these other brands that I've listed, except for the Biesmeyer, which I use where I work. I first learned how to use a table saw, and use it safely, on a 50's Craftsman saw that my uncle owned. His fence wasn't the greatest either, but the saw was rock solid.

In many cases old tools are better than some of the newer ones, if they have been maintained or fully restored.

There are other sources of cast iron router table extensions that are much more reasonably priced. Go to https://www.ptreeusa.com/rtr_router_tables.htm and scan down the page until you find them. Look for items #3040 and 3043. You will need an insert with them, but the price is much better. Peachtree Woodworking is NW Atlanta, GA, so if you live near there you can save on the shipping costs too. I've bought a lot from Peachtree over the years and they are a very good company to do business with. I prefer tables with no insert and like the Triton. My next router table will be a Marc Sommerfeld table with a Triton router and I'm planning to hinge up the table for router access and use gas springs to help lift it and hold it up while I make the changes. I like the Sommerfeld fence too. If you aren't familiar with Marc you should look at some of his YouTube videos and online catalog. https://sommerfeldtools.com/ His router table is extruded aluminum and quite large. I started with nothing more than a piece of plywood with a hole in it and a notched piece of 2 X 4 for a fence with C clamps to hold it in position. I used to attach it to the end of my bench with screws whenever I wanted to use it.

We would love to see pictures of your work, but until you have made 10 or more posts you will only be allowed to upload photos from your own computer. After 10 you can post links to photos etc. from other sources. It's an anti Spam rule. To add your photos, click on the "Go Advanced" button below your post. It will take you to a screen where you can attach the photos and if you go full screen and look way to the right you will find a button to upload them.They will be attached to the end of your post when you click on the "Post Quick Reply" button.

Charley
 

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CharleyL's post really covered it. I love the Triton you're getting. Not really usable by me for freehand use, so it lives in my table.

I have a Rockler table and stand I got about 10-12 years ago, I also have a Woodpecker plate, which is thicker than most. It is available pre drilled for the router, but you have to drill the half inch opening for the winder. It has a twist lock insert that makes changing bits easier.

I'm a Sommerfeld tools fan as well. Have several of their bit sets and their dovetail jig. Marc Sommerfeld is an experienced cabinet maker who went into the router tool business. His videos are on YouTube and are a really good way to learn how to use the router properly. I bought the full set of his DVDs and watch the appropriate one before doing something for the first time, or if I haven't done it for awhile. He uses only his own products, but really delivers the information.

Charlie's post was excellent. I've also heard really good reviews of the Very Super Cool Tools fence. Unique. My saw is a Laguna with their great Biesmeyer type fence, so I'm a happy clamper.

Precision in woodworking is different than with metal. Tolerances of a few thousandths are the norm. Perfection is impossible because by tomorrow the wood you cut today will have changed dimension slightly. So you have to account for that changeability. And there are plenty of odd things, like you don't set your fence perfectly parallel to the blade, it has to splay outward a few thousandths to make sure the workpiece doesn't bind and shoot back at you at 100mph.

You have to also pay attention to dust collection. That stuff will kill you, slowly, painfully, over time. Keep your eyes open for when Harbor Freight has their 2hp dust collection on sale. With a discount coupon mine cost $150 each!. Get one right away. And when you buy the hoses and plastic connectors, pick one brand (Rockler for me) because different brands are not interchangeable.

So, just in case, I've posted a pdf of the 17 things that helped me accelerate the learning curve for woodworking. You probably know a lot by now, but the pdf has pictures, and a few things that might be helpful.

Welcome, btw.
 

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One of the issues with saw table mounted routers is that you often can't use both without either moving the fence or the router. This can be a real pain if you have one set up for a job and you aren't finished yet. A router that bolts to the table means you have to lower it out of the way. At least with an mdf saw extension covered with formica and the router attached to an insert plate you can just lift it out and stick it back in later and it will at least be very close to the same setting. You also have to modify the existing fence somehow for use with a router as a router fence has to have a cut out in it where the bit will be. Doable but it has to be done so that one doesn't interfere with the other when you switch tools.

The old Craftsman saws were pretty good machines, similar to the old Rockwell Beaver saws and may have been Rockwells with a different nameplate. The fences weren't bad but you can do better. I bought a friends old Rockwell as a backup to my Unisaw/Unifence setup and I added a Mule/Accusquare fence to it. It is an excellent fence and cheaper than most other after market fences and it has t-slots in it which allows use of stops or hold downs, etc. Mule Cabinetmaker - Carpentry Tools for Carpenters that Need Precision & Reliability!
 

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I am really stuck for space and went with a full sized 32x24 router table with short legs to make it a benchtop setup (for now) on top of my industrial parts washer.

Speaking of fences, I recently found and purchased a used Excalibur high precision fence, just like one I had back in the 90s. Front and rear locking, runs on razorblade style wheels and uses a 4x4 alum extrusion for maximum rigidity and stiffness. $150 Canadian in mint shape with 78" rails and hardware; way nicer than any fence I saw instore for 3x or more than that. Was manufactured in Pickering, Ontario by Summerset Manufacturing and bought by General IIRC.

Welcome to the woodworking world, I'm really a car audio and car modding guy with lots of varying handy work experience from suspensions to interior mods and of course monster car audio installations. I am a hack welder and beater of metal, it's such a different skill and outlook than the wood/fiberglass world.

Welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here is the saw stop table I was talking about. It is stand alone (benchtop). I am not going to bolt a router table to the end of the saw. Sorry for the confusion.
So, I was wondering if the smaller table size of this piece (16x27) is a big disadvantage vs a 24x32 table.
I will check out links you guys posted
Thanks
Wags

well, I can't post links yet... sawstop rt-bt
 

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Size is relative to what you are doing and sometimes a larger table can work against you as when doing pieces with a little bit of warp in them. But if you are doing something like raised panels then the larger table is nicer. The last few tables I made had the router offset to one side so that I could stand on one side and have it close for working on narrow pieces or stand on the other side and have a wide table for better support.

Is this the page you wanted? http://www.sawstop.ca/saw-options/router-tables
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Size is relative to what you are doing and sometimes a larger table can work against you as when doing pieces with a little bit of warp in them. But if you are doing something like raised panels then the larger table is nicer. The last few tables I m
ade had the router offset to one side so that I could stand on one side and have it close for working on narrow pieces or stand on the other side and have a wide table for better support.

Is this the page you wanted?
I was trying to post a link to the bench router table. It is a stand alone bench mounted router table. Cast table, with stand and fence. But, I can't post links yet.
So, estate sales... excellent idea. I have more time to goof off now.. so I will try them.
I am mainly wanting to do "small stuff". maybe 24" long x 18 to 20 w for now...
I have plenty of room.
Oh, as much as you guys will cringe... I also will use the router table with a 1/4 round bit to finish pieces of aluminum... the edge. It makes a sweet finish on brackets, mounts, etc on the race boat stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have spend 5 million dollars (in my mind) over the last 24 hours.
Table saw fences... nice stuff.
Back to router table... I think I will slow down and keep an eye out at estate sales and see if anything pops up.

Router... I am planning on the triton tra001... any drawbacks? Is the adjustment and lock good or better? Not sloppy, etc.
I really like some incra stuff after looking. The router fence system looks great. Pricey, yes... I am not set on it, however. I love the box making jig and wooden hinge fixture. I will search for posts on them.

Like anything in life... an excellent machinist can produce excellent results with crap tools. A hack machinist only produces crap, even with the best of tools. It is a function of skill, detail, etc.

Oh, ebay, craigslist, estate sales, facebook marketplace... where am I missing used stuff?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I found a Sommerfelt table, hardware kit for the cabinet, triton 3 1/4hp router, fences, jigs, bit sets, shutter set, cabinet set, dovetail, and on and on and on....

It is an aluminum table... hmmmm…..

Brand new or excellent condition...
Tell me I should buy it, and sell wat I don't want... it is a pretty good price..

Advice??
 

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Is it the Sommerfeld table KIT? Is it assembled? Nice design. Not sure on the price. Sommerfeld has a new table top (only) out now with fence it's about $550, with more for some of the accessories. They stopped shipping the old model about 10 months ago while looking for a new manufacturer. Not sure what the older top pricing was, but somewhere in that ballpark. Ask Sommerfeld to send you a catalog.

Used stuff often goes for around half if it's still being made, but his is premium gear. The new top and fence do not include a cabinet, but cabinets are something you will want to make. You can start without the cabinet and just place it on some sort of support. My router table consists of an open steel stand, and some time ago, I "wrapped" it in plywood and inserted a couple of shelves.

I store my bits mostly in stackable flat plastic boxes, labeled on the end so I can pick the one I wand easily. My door making kits and a couple of specialty sets, are stored in the wood boxes Sommerfeld ships them in. I keep the sets together like that so I don't lose track of which does what.

You could probably find a stand at Harbor Freight that would hold the top nicely. I like mine about 35 inches high for the most part. The router table sits just off center in front of the table saw, and is the same height, so if I take the fence off, it serves as an infeed table for large panels.

I think you're going to like the combination, most of all the Triton. The power and finess of the Triton is a pleasure. You will be removing the spring from the plunge mechanism. Take care to store it safely, just in case. Read the instructions for the router a couple of times before you set it up and use it.

At some point, you may find yourself wanting a smaller, hand held router for some freehand work. Check out the Bosch Colt (plunge AND fixed base), light and does a lot of things very will. Or one of the slightly larger intermediate size with 1.25 hp. I prefer the table for most things, but I do enjoy my Colt. I replaced several doors in my house, and the Colt made cutting mortises for the hardware easy. I also used it to enlarge the rabbet for the larger router mounting plate for the Triton.

Member Harry Sinclair (Ausssie) first turned me on to the Triton, and if you have questions, he's always happy to deliver advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I ended up with the triton router, Sommerfeld table, fence, inserts, stand he had made, delivered 90 miles, kreg remote shut off switch thing, on casters, and ??? something else...
Not a bad deal. If I hate the table (which I am sure I won't), I can sell table/ fence and keep what I like.
 
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