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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good day all,
I want to thank you guys for the tips on leveling the mounting plate on my Bosch RA 1180 table. Turned out fine.

Next problem: Whenever I run some wood through to clean up the edges, the cross section of the wood comes out looking like a trapezoid. After closer inspection, I discovered the fence-to-table junction was not at 90 degrees. No wonder! It appears to be off by several degrees. I edge jointed a 5/8" thick strip of wood. the upper side of the cut edge was about 1/16" loger than the lower edge of the board. Is this acceptable edge routing?

I emailed Bosch "Performance/design/safety" department with my findings. The person who answered me did sympathize with me and sent a new fence. After assembly, once again, I have the same results. I emailed them again, with what I thought would be useful information about their product. You know, a revelation of some sort. Their reply was less than enthusiastic. One of their tech reps insists that this is "normal." They claim this table's top is not supposed to be flat. A covex or concave difference of .040" is designed into the table. They also claim "If you're wanting to make squared cuts on this table, it isn't going to happen."

What should I, as a consumer, think about this? Accept the fact that my wife spent $200 on an item that doesn't perform the basic functions any router table and fence assembly should? In your opinion, is this an acceptable response from them or acceptable product? Are my expectations too high?

Thanks for the input,
Woodendigits
 

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Woodendigits
I guess I just don't get it, the base plate should be FLAT no covex or concave .
How can the Mrg.know what type of router you are going to hang from it.
It can be 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 HP....router....
This is what I would do, 1st get a 1/4" drill rod about 6" long chuck it up and get the Sq. out and check to see if the router is set right in the plate. 90deg. to the base plate.
If not check the under side of the base plate to see if it's true (flat).....
The router base should be flat or to say 90 deg. to the motor but check it also.
In short start from sq.1 and work your way up to find the error, the fence should not make any difference it's just a guide or a good place to hide part of the bit or the bearing when making a cut it can be a 2 x 4 stock just about anything.
The router table can knock the cut out a bit of wack but that's a long shot but it's a easy one to check with a 3ft ruler on edge.
The bottom line is you are going to get a true cut on the router table after all that's why you are using the router table.

Good Luck
Bj :)
 

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woodendigits said:
Good day all,
woodendigits said:
I want to thank you guys for the tips on leveling the mounting plate on my Bosch RA 1180 table. Turned out fine.

Next problem: Whenever I run some wood through to clean up the edges, the cross section of the wood comes out looking like a trapezoid. After closer inspection, I discovered the fence-to-table junction was not at 90 degrees. No wonder! It appears to be off by several degrees. I edge jointed a 5/8" thick strip of wood. the upper side of the cut edge was about 1/16" loger than the lower edge of the board. Is this acceptable edge routing?

I emailed Bosch "Performance/design/safety" department with my findings. The person who answered me did sympathize with me and sent a new fence. After assembly, once again, I have the same results. I emailed them again, with what I thought would be useful information about their product. You know, a revelation of some sort. Their reply was less than enthusiastic. One of their tech reps insists that this is "normal." They claim this table's top is not supposed to be flat. A covex or concave difference of .040" is designed into the table. They also claim "If you're wanting to make squared cuts on this table, it isn't going to happen."

What should I, as a consumer, think about this? Accept the fact that my wife spent $200 on an item that doesn't perform the basic functions any router table and fence assembly should? In your opinion, is this an acceptable response from them or acceptable product? Are my expectations too high?

Thanks for the input,
Woodendigits
Hi,

I'm looking at your post and saying to myself something is way wrong here...

I looked at a picture of the table you have and the fence system. The fence is an extruded part and will never be to far from square. The top looks to be a cast part and again it should be held to a lot closer then .040" maybe in the order of a flatness of .010". Now they have replace the fence and the problem didn't go away so now we have to move on to what else can be happening.

You did not indicate a location but if you are near any of the members it would be nice to have someone else look at what you have and what you are doing. With the numbers you gave the fence/table would have to be really off... I made a quick sketch so you can see what it looks like... you would not even need a square to see that.

Bob gave you a couple of ideas but I'm seeing things that are so far off that it has to be a major problem. I'm going to ask a couple of things and please don't be offended..... but I have seen people do these things as beginners.

First, the router has a sub-base normally a black plastic piece that is attached to the housing, it is the part that rides on the work piece when using the router hand held. In most cases this needs to be removed to mount to the router plate from the router. The router should be sitting flat on the mounting plate and tight to it. Start here to check that the bit is at 90 deg (square) to the mounting plate.

Second, without the router or mounting plate in the table put the fence on and check for square. At this point let's talk about the fence, it looks to be two pieces that sit on the table and then a part across the top. It also looks like these came in pieces so you would have had to assemble them. Make sure all the parts are in the correct position and that the front face is flat between the top and bottom sections. If they are not flat then it might not be very easy to check for it being square. If this is the case please post and I'll get in to how to work around this. The follow assumes the face is flat. With the square flat on the table slide it up to the tighten down fence and look for a gap at the top or bottom. (If you don't have a good square go get one as you will need it again and again. A small steel machinist one works very well for these sorts of things.)

It looks like from the pictures that the table top has some slots for the fence to attach and slide on/in. So check several places and see if one spot seems to be more square then another.... Take a framing square (yes you should have one of these too... if you already have this stuff then sorry...) Look for spots when things might be high or low in relation to the rest of the top and look for bumps or dents which might be keeping things from being square. For a reference a dollar bill is about .004" or .005" (or if you have a set of feeler gauges??) and if you can slip one of those in the gap... or two or three you can have some idea of how far out of square you are. As a guess I would think $1 is not to bad but if you stuck $8-$10... We can fix that if it is off anyway... so let us know.

Third, put the router with mounting plate back in the table and repeat the second steps and see if anything changes. Maybe that router plate is getting in the way or??? Look for major things being wrong.

Last would be how you did the cut that seems so far off....... When you joint a piece of wood the infeed part of the fence (left side) needs to be set so you are taking off wood, let's say a 1/16", then the outfeed side needs to be forward by that same amount so things are inline. I don't know how the table you have is set up to do that but maybe the outfeed side flips around or some piece is added to it????? If this is not making sence please post again and I can get into more details. Anyway the work piece needs to be held against the table and against the fence and it should contact the fence all the way along.

The sketch attached shows the result of a 5/8" piece of stock being cut so the one side is off set by a 1/16" and how the fence would look if that were the case...... of course the angle could be the other way but either way something is way off.

Ed
 

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Woodendigits, The Bosch table's mounting plate has a slightly convex shape that imitates the Rousseau mounting plate. This will not effect making a true cut. When you check your fence to the table to make sure it is mounted square do so over the table, not the mounting plate. My guess is your router is mounted off center to the mounting plate. This is easy to check. You can purchase a Rousseau centering kit for about $3 or make your own. First thing is to remove your mounting screws from the router. Install the 1/4" centering pin in your routers collet. Insert the centering disk into your mounting plate. This is designed to snap fit into a Rousseau plate but since the Bosch plate accepts the same size guide bushings it should still be a snug fit.(I will check this today and report back) Slide the mounting plate over the centering pin and I am sure you will find your holes are not located properly. The centering kit will have pointed allen screws with the proper thread for mounting your router, install them so the points face towards the mounting plate and adjust them to a uniform 1/8" projecting towards the mounting plate. Turn everything upside down and lightly tap the edge of the routers base to mark the proper screw hole locations. Drill new mounting holes and coutersink on the opposite side and reinstall. This should give you nice straight cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All, thanks for the great responses. Maybe I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I was not talking about the demension of the fence to the mounting plate, but the fence to the table top. It looks like a solid, precision piece, but it is not. The mounting plate is as level as it can be. Not only did I drive myself nuts with a straight edge, but I also ran different pieces of wood along it to make sure the boards didn't hang or jump as it slid onto, and off of the mounting plate. The measurements I took with a square (when I discovered bad cross sectional cuts) was at the juncytuion of the fence and the aluminum table top. According to the Bosch tech rep, the table top will have a/ up to .040" convex, or crown to it. Here, here is the reply from these people:

From: Robert Bosch Tool <[email protected]>
>Reply-To: [email protected]
>To: [email protected]
>Subject: RE: Bosch Tools Contact Us Form [#1089446]
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 11:32:10 +0000 (GMT)
>
>Dear Randall,
>
>Thank you for your patience. The RA1180 table top is crowned, it is not
>perfectly flat. So, if you're trying to achieve a square from the fence to
>any point on the table top, it's not going to happen.
>
>Here is the official explanation from product management:
>
>None of the tops are dead flat, but that is by design and if the tolerances
>are correct the table works fine.
>
>Regarding your inquiry relative to the flatness of the Y2K router table
>top, the top is to be within .040" flatness overall, preferably convex.
>However, the .040" could be entirely concave and still be within
>specification.? In addition, there are many combinations and possibilities
>in between the maximum limits, i.e., .030" vertical and
>.010" under nominal.? If the table is evaluated with a straight edge, the
>measurements must always be from any outside edge to the center.? If the
>table is crowned .040" in the center the measurement is only to be
>taken to the center.? If the measurement is taken across the diagonal or
>side to side and the table is crowned, the measurement observed must be
>divided by 2.? If the table is concave then any reading would be measured
>to the center and be the measurement observed.
 

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No offense meant here but I purchased the very same tables that Rick and Bob use in the show. It takes something major to create a "out-of-specs" from a phenolic plate.
I'm not fully understanding why one wants or needs a convcave or crown in your plate. Or have I misread this? I'd think flat an square is the way it should be.

Just my $0.02 worth.
Ken
 

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Maybe you need to invite the bosch tech person to explain why a die cast table that is machined can be + or - .040" off. Maybe they would like to know that over 8000 readers might be viewing this post.

OK even with the top being off by .040 it will be off for both the fence and the table so the net difference is "0". And to keep this in prospective over the 18" of the table width the angle is about .3 degrees. Yea get out the old plastic protractor and see how much that is. It wouldn't work for a trip to the moon but for a router table that isn't much and still does not explain things... from the information given something is way off, like by looking at it one should see it with no problem.

Now if you look at what it says in the Bosch ad:

# Die-Cast Aluminum Table Top - Large precision machined 27"x18" work surface
# Precision interlocking 27" aluminum fence - with fully adjustable bit opening
# No-flex" mounting plate pre-drilled for a wide variety of routers

The red I added. I have three cheap junky sears router tables and I can assure you none of them are near .040" off and they are made just about the same way as the one in question... Just like to pull the chain on all the bosch router lovers we have here....

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again for the repies, even though some I believe were intended to be a "tongue in cheek" insult, but maybe I deserve it. ;) Here's what I did tonight:

I removed the router and monting plate, since the idea the plate could be interfering with the fence. Nothing changed. The upper fence portion is secured to "L" brakets that slide fore and aft. There are lower fence pieces that slide in and out to and from the router bit. In order to slide these lower fences (or slide the left out to reverse it for straight edge jointing) they must be loosened, via knobs on the top of the upper fence. With the lower fence knobs loose, and a square butted against them, it's square. Once the knobs are tightened, you can see the lower fence (as sighting down the length) slowly shift back, away from the square's edge. Once the knobs are tightened, with a square held against the fence and table, I can insert a feeler gauge into the gap formed at the bottom of the fence. On the left side of the fence I got about .035" gap. On the right fence, I stopped measuring at .050" because it was boring me.

At first I thought the fence pieces must be twisted, but they sent new ones with the same results. I removed the "L" brackets that secure the upper fence assy, and found them to be square. You would think with square brackets and 2 new fence assemblies all would be well, but it's still off. I laid a straight edge across the table top and found the trueness of the top not so bad after all. Since I didn't see any flaw so gross as to warrant a feeler gauge, I "guesstimate" the concave parts just a few thousandths inch. However, with the "L" brackets monted secure and without the fence mounted to them, I'm getting a slight out of squareness of the bracket to table relationship. I really think it's a SLIGHT flaw with all 3 components (table top, brackets, and fence) that are adding up to one large flaw in the assembled product.

My posting of this thread was intended to gauge everyone's feelings of what I should realistically expect Bosch to do for me. The details give you an idea of what I've encountered, and therefore, let me know what YOU would expect Bosch to do for YOU if you were in my situation.

Oh, bobj3, I forgot the check you mentioned in your reply. It makes so much sense, and I do intend on doing it tomorrow. However, if my router isn't squared to the table top, what to do? If I adjust it via the mounting plate, won't it throw off the levelness of the plate to table?

Thanks again,
Woodendigits
 

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Ken, The reason for the slight crown in the Rousseau mounting plate is to allow for variations in the wood or table. A detailed explanation can be found in the Wood Magazine review of mounting plates done in 2005. Many people say this mounting plate is junk and not worth the money. I have no problems making accurate cuts with it, but don't take my word on it. Norm used a Rousseau mounting plate in his original router table on the NYW for 10 years until Rockler became a show sponsor. Trend sells this plate with their name on it in the UK under a licensing agreement.
 

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Great I think I can "see" what is going on now. Just so I really understand the system now... The top part of the fence has a "L" shaped bracket attached that mounts it to the table and the bottom of the fence attaches to the top of the fence so the parts can slide. Before you tighten the fence it is sitting square to the table but as you put pressure to the bottom of the "L" it tips the fence. Have I got this right?

If so then one might think that if you loosen the screws that attach the "L" to the top bracket they might move enough to get the fence a bit higher? The idea being that either the fence is tooo tall or not assembled correctlly. If this doesn't work then is there room to add a washer under the bottom of the "L" (between the "L" and the table)? Since I really don't know what this looks like maybe this is not something that can be done??? The other option would be to make the top hole of the "L" larger so the fence can be mounted higher. It might even need to be adjusted so the bottom of the fence is higher the table some amount.

Another interesting test would be to take the "L" brackets off the table and measure then for squareness. If that is off you might beable to shim them with some foil to adjust for that.

Is any of this making sense? If you could post some picture or if you know of a site that has anything but the stock shots I found on google it would help.

Ed
 

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Woodendigits, I hope you didn't think I was trying to insult you. With a convex plate it is very easy to be mounted off center and I suggested what made the most sense to me. Since you have proven the problem is with the fence/table I would return it for a refund or exchange for a unit that functions properly. They should have no problem with this, a manufacturing defect is just that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
aniceone2hold said:
Woodendigits, I hope you didn't think I was trying to insult you. With a convex plate it is very easy to be mounted off center and I suggested what made the most sense to me. Since you have proven the problem is with the fence/table I would return it for a refund or exchange for a unit that functions properly. They should have no problem with this, a manufacturing defect is just that.
No problem I had the little winkie face going: ;)

As for sending it back, well the Lowes 30 day refund periond is over by a long time. I'm waiting on Bosch's Warranty department to get back with me over it, but I'm not holding my breath. My problem with sending it back is to get the same thing back, after I suck up some major shipping costs. As tempted as I am to check the 90 degree squareness of the router and bit, I have reservations. The reason is that it's not my job to transform this item into something better. It was Bosch's job at the factory or design stage, or whatever you want to call it. I imagine I could use something like shims between the base plate and table mounting plate to bring the vertical alignment into that of the fence. Wouldn't be too hard if it is off, but like I said before, it's their job to give the good goods.

Thanks again.
 

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I know that this will sound a little excessive but: if they continue to drag their feet, call the Attorney General's office in your state. Here in Washington, they are very responsive to consumers that are getting the shaft so to speak. Also, you might make some calls up the Lowe's corporate ladder. Explain the situation. Most large chains like that want to keep you happy.You are their best advertiser. -Derek
 

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I sent an inquiry to Bosch and hopefully they will make a better response. All my experiences using their service centers and tools have been good ones. They promise 100% satisfaction for 1 year on their website. The ball is in their court.
 

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Hello,
Help! Here's another question from (the novice) in the forum. I've just purchased the Bosch RA1171 router table, which from what I can see in photos, is different from the RA1180 in both the fence and the table itself, although the mounting plate looks similar. I still haven't used it, because I still haven't decided on which router to buy for it yet. Does anyone out there have the RA1171 table, and if so, does it have the same alignment problem that's being discussed in this thread?
Louis
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
LBrandt, I'm not quite the authority on this, seeing as I'm still wrestling with my 1180, but it looks like a better table to me. I believe the mounting plate is machined aluminum, so will probably be better than the phonellic hunk of mass the 1180 has. The MDF table top is probably truer than the 1180 also. Remember, these are all assumtions on my part. Best part is that it's cheaper than the 1180. Now, if Bosch would make a deal to trade my 1180 for that table, I'd be a happy camper and say nice things about them again.

MAybe I'll hear back from these ladies/gentlemen around Tuesday or so.
 

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Thank you Mike, I now understand the reasoning behind having the "crown".
I guess I believe too much that if it's not square from the start, then nothing else will be either. <shrugs>
Woodendigits, I hope that bosch will get things settled correctly for ya.

Ken
 
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