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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I purchased my first router table a couple years ago, and do not know a ton about them. The table was hand-built and I really like most of it except the insert plate is 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" with a little shim (Old Woodcraft or Old Jessem size I believe), I have to take out 6 phillips head screws every time I want to change a bit, and not a huge fan of the fence.

I was originally going to try and template cut a new standard size insert plate when I stopped at MLCS today. I was very interested in their table top (Eagle America) with fence system. The one I looked at was a standard top at 9 1/4 x 11 3/4 I believe, but then I would also have to purchase the lift.

Does anyone have any recommendations or reviews on this? Is there something better I should be looking at? And lifts as well?

This is all hoping that I can get my table top off. I will include some photos. I run a 3.5hp Milwaukee fixed base production router in here.

Thanks!!
 

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Hey, Ryan; I'm the wrong guy to be offering advice on router tables...yours is a beaut incidentally...but my understanding is that especially with a honking big machine like yours, screwing it down shouldn't be necessary. That's a lot of weight pulling the plate down.
the only concern might be that the plate was a sloppy fit into the tabletop. As long as there's no side slop it ain't goin' nowhere.
Others may have better info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, Ryan; I'm the wrong guy to be offering advice on router tables...yours is a beaut incidentally...but my understanding is that especially with a honking big machine like yours, screwing it down shouldn't be necessary. That's a lot of weight pulling the plate down.
the only concern might be that the plate was a sloppy fit into the tabletop. As long as there's no side slop it ain't goin' nowhere.
Others may have better info.
Dan, thank you for the reply. That unfortunate sloppy cut for the insert plate and the insert plate size is my biggest problem right now. That is why I am definitely in the market for a new top (without making it) and router lift to accommodate and easy bit change. Thanks!
 

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Hey, Ryan; I'm the wrong guy to be offering advice on router tables...yours is a beaut incidentally...but my understanding is that especially with a honking big machine like yours, screwing it down shouldn't be necessary. That's a lot of weight pulling the plate down.
the only concern might be that the plate was a sloppy fit into the tabletop. As long as there's no side slop it ain't goin' nowhere.
Others may have better info.

yep, yep, and yep....My 3.5hp Milwaukee is a tank.....I almost need a lift to get the lift out :surprise:
 

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Ryan...

the good news is that Woodpeckers makes a lift for your router. I have it and got NO complaints!!! the bad news is, it ain't cheap!!

Precision Router Lift V2
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, it sure isn't cheap. It looks like I might have one of the last 5626's in existence. Haha. Now do I redo everything and put my Bosch in or get the Woodpecker or Jessem plate and attempt to cut the hole better? Decisions Decisions...


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welp,,, around here, those that know and even those that pretend to know overwhelmingly lean towards Bosch...Hard to beat a good product and excellent customer service. But, when it comes to a dedicated table router, I'll stick my my Milwaukee 5625. Been running mine for going on 8 years or so and I'll get another when this one dies off. Right now, you got a good lookin' table and an excellent router....Modify your table for a quality lift that'll work with your Milwaukee and the money you save by not going with a whole new setup will pay in large part for the new lift...

plan B: doesn't your router have a through the table height adjustment?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
welp,,, around here, those that know and even those that pretend to know overwhelmingly lean towards Bosch...Hard to beat a good product and excellent customer service. But, when it comes to a dedicated table router, I'll stick my my Milwaukee 5625. Been running mine for going on 8 years or so and I'll get another when this one dies off. Right now, you got a good lookin' table and an excellent router....Modify your table for a quality lift that'll work with your Milwaukee and the money you save by not going with a whole new setup will pay in large part for the new lift...

plan B: doesn't your router have a through the table height adjustment?


Yes it does.


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Made my own table, made my own router plates. All my routers are older 1/4" shank Craftsmen. The router plates are held in place nicely with just those small old routers. Personally, I would not have a router lift. I can pop my plates off, quickly and easily, adjust or change whatever, and pop it back in place.
 

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During our 3+ hp router comparison testing I found that the rubber strip designed to keep dust out of the adjustment hole kept binding when removing the wrench. The easy solution was to remove the rubber strip. Photo 2 shows the 5625-20 set up on a Router Workshop(Oak Park) mounting plate with a Musclechuck installed. The larger Oak Park and Lee Valley style guide bushings mount in a 1-1/2" through hole which allows the Musclechuck to pass through for easy bit changes. Note that like your set up the handles are removed so it is easier to get it in/out of the table.

The 5625-20 is a real work horse so perhaps this option is a good choice for you?
 

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Ryan...

You got a great router. Check and see if the lift mechanism still operates on your Milwaukee. If it does, do you still have the fixed base that came with it? If you do, WP has a plate designed for your router (not a lift) Router Table Mounting Plate - Aluminum Contact WP and see if the plate allows for thru the table adjustments. The first two Milwaukee's listed don't. If it does, all you need to do is get that opening squared away. WP has a MDF template for 14 bucks for the plate. You end up spending 125 plus and your good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all very much for the input.

Just as Bill said I think my next step is to square the current top away and either put the WP plate or Jessem lift in. Jessem also sells the template so that I can attempt to square that hole away. Jessem also sells the 8 1/4", but I do not like that shim in there so I might as well make it to he standard size. I like the Jessem lift and plate much better than the WP. I don't know I'm a huge fan of how they make adjustments on theirs. Just my personal opinion. And I have products from both companies and I can say I like them both a lot.

I can always go back later and add a new fence or top in the future. For now, it is probably best to save the money.

I did not know much about this router and table as I purchased it used. Just from some preliminary reading I think the Milwaukee 5626 is the 5625 with the control built in. I read that they teamed up with Jessem for a short period to produce this and then stopped? Just what I have read and someone else on here may know better...




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@USMCGRUNT

by control, do you mean remote speed control? When putting together my table, I wanted the Milwaukee/Jess-em router. At the time, they were pretty much phasing them out and were extraordinary difficult to find. So, I found a way modify my 5625. Of all the do-dads I've put on my table,,,I get the most use out of that one. Here's a link to my thread on the whole thing. Probably way more information than you want, but I'd like to think some good stuff in there..

http://www.routerforums.com/twoskies57-gallery/27851-soft-start-variable-speed-table-setup.html

As for Woodpeckers vs. Jess-em....hell, its six of one, half dozen of the other...both are excellent choices
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@TwoSkies57, that is what I read. I am not sure if it is accurate, but mine is the Milwaukee 5626 and has the Jessem speed control. I am assuming that is the one they put out for a little period of time? My speed control is hard wired directly into my router. I do not have a plug.

And just as you said, I read they were hard to find.


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I just blew up the pic of your table, and yep, you do got one of the Milwaukee/Jess-em factory setups with remote speed control. Very cool.
 
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You can fix the sloppy fit with either shims or by rabbeting the opening larger and then gluing wooden strips to fill them and then re routing the opening to the proper size. No need to scrap the table unless you really want a different one. I also leave my routers just sitting in the opening so that I can lift them out to make bit changes. Of course the Musclechuck fixes that problem. On my newest table I got the opening a little deep in one corner so I just drove a half dozen flat head screws in the lip of the opening and adjusted the depth of those to get the plate level. You can also drill and tap the plate for leveling screws. I didn't go that way because my substrate is mdf and I figured the set screws would dig into the mdf over time and I would keep having to adjust the set screws. I haven't touched the flat head screws yet.
 
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I was trying to make my own router table and after foolishly trying to cut out a nice tight "hole" for the router plate, I realized that there is a template for the hole that Rockler and many others sell, including amazon- you might check around. If you can get one for yours- then I used a 3 flute amana bit and it made it absolutely perfect in every way and I'm a complete novice with a router- Here is a link- this isn't the one I have- but this is for a woodpecker- there are several different kinds. Just a thought......... well it wont let me post the URL until I get "TEN POINTS" but you can find it at carbide processors, rockler, amazon, and many places. Router table template.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@Cherryville Chuck, that is what is in there now, a small shim. I used it today to router irregular shaped cradle legs with a 1/4" roundover, and it still works great. I am going to try and go the template route from Jessem and purchase their lift. If I fail miserably, then I will get the new top.
@mtsaz100, thank you. That is exactly what I am going to try.


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You've gotten some good advice. My solution to a similar problem was to buy a new aluminum plate (Woodpecker) which has a twist lock insert ring you can change out with different diameter openings. This makes it far easier to change bits. There are other, cheaper brands, but make sure you get the twist lock.

I use a Triton TRA001 router which has its own built in lift. It will cost you about the same for it as for a good lift, if one has even been made for that model Milwaukee (I don't know).

I had to use a jig to router a one inch larger opening for the larger plate with a pattern bit, but that was actually fairly easy. If you choose to get a commercial table, do try for one with a twist lock type insert ring.
 
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