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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Guys, with everyone I know opting for expensive router lifts, I must say that I like being able to pop out the router with plate, swap a bit, change height etc and then drop it in like you do. What kind of plate is that you're using on the show episodes? If homemade, what are the specs and where can I get the material? Also, I have an inclination to use aluminum or steel to ensure there is no deflection over time. What has been your experience with the plate material you used?
 

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paulcomi said:
Guys, with everyone I know opting for expensive router lifts, I must say that I like being able to pop out the router with plate, swap a bit, change height etc and then drop it in like you do. What kind of plate is that you're using on the show episodes? If homemade, what are the specs and where can I get the material? Also, I have an inclination to use aluminum or steel to ensure there is no deflection over time. What has been your experience with the plate material you used?
Paul, are you asking about what plate Bob and Rick use on, "The Router Workshop"? If so, it's the plate that's available on the Oak Park website. I think it's made from phenolic. That's a plastic-like laminate that's similar to, "Formica" countertop material. There are different types but usually it's made from layers of some type of paper and phenolic resin that's pressed together with heat. Most router plates I've seen are made from phenolic, aluminum, or acrylic. I use a phenolic plate made by Woodhaven. It's 3/8" thick, which is a standard router plate thickness. I have a Freud FT2000 router attached to it and in a few years it's still as flat as the day it was new. Rockler and Woodpeckers sell a plate made from aluminum and it's more expensive than phenolic. I'm not sure why it would be necessary but if you're really worried about sagging then that's a way to go. I haven't used an acrylic plate but I have worked with acrylic and it seems more flexible than either phenolic or aluminum. I've seen a few people mention using MDF for a plate but unless you're using a fairly light router I'd go with something more durable. I have an old '70s era Craftsman router that is pretty light and I made an MDF plate for it. I rarely use the router anymore but when I do the MDF plate is stiff enough for the weight of the router. But, like I said, it's very light and I have only had it mounted in my table maybe a half a dozen times. There are quite a few places online that sell phenolic in various sizes if you want to buy some to make your own but it's not cheap. You might as well buy one already made up with replaceable ring inserts for what you'd pay for the blank phenolic stock. Rousseau makes a phenolic plate and it comes with a built-in crown. At least one person on this forum recommends this plate but I prefer a flat plate. The plate that Bob and Rick use on, "The Router Workshop" is flat as are the majority of the other plates available. But as with many things in woodworking, YMMV. Some people want flat, some people want crowned. They both can work for you.

Bruce
 

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Let me also add that most places that sell router plates also sell a template that allows you to route a perfectly sized hole in your table to fit the plate. If you decide to make your own you'll have to make your own template. The Woodhaven plate I bought fits perfectly inside the hole I made using the Woodhaven template and they also sell some very slick plate support, "Brackets" that allow for very easy leveling of the router plate.

Bruce
 

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Paul, here is a link to the oak park web site. You will find the flat phenolic plates there in two styles and a couple different sizes. http://www2.oak-park.com/
 

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I am using the router workshop plate with the vacum ports to the side and front of the bit. It works great with my shop vac and very little clean up after. I find it easy to flip in and out of the table for changing bits and adjustments, it takes a little longer but I am not in any hurry or doing production work.
 

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Paul

I have just made a new router table that's has many new items.
I started with a top from
http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/products.asp?ID=6
It's a Unique Phenolic Top that they have on sale for 100.oo bucks,it has the same pop out plate like the Oak-Park setup but you can also remove the bits from the top with out removing the fence if you want,it's a swing type fence with one lock down L knob and one snap down pin that hold the fence true and it's quick and easy to setup.
The plate hole is set to one side of the top ,not dead center, this lets me turn the fence around so when I run wide stock I more room on the table top for it.
Also it has a tee-track (on the top) that can be use for other items(see ID=6) i.e. if I'm using a match set of bits (male & female) and have setup the male and I want to run the female,I just move the fence a bit and pop in the female bit and push the fence back to the zero stop block and all the setting from the male setup are all the same.
The cabinet is open in the front and back so I can just turn the router base and drop it in and use it from the back side or the front of the cabinet with the power switch and the lock device are where I need them to be.
Then If I want to use it like the Oak-Park table it will also work the same way with all of the Oak-Park fixtures.
I have set it up for the Porter Cable and the FT2000 3 1/4 HP.
I will post a snapshot or two in the Show & Tell in a day or two if you want to take a look see...
Still need to do a bit of elec.work, main power switch,2ea. 2 ways switchs and a grounded outlet for the router motor.

I have made many router tables and this one looks like it will be the best one so far because it's a quick and easy one to make and it's cost is the lowest , at about $250.oo with FT2000E 3 1/4 HP router.

Bj :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wonder if that would work in my table saw extension...I was also considering the benchdog router table extension made of cast iron.
 

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Bob,

I would love to see this table set up you have described. I like many of the things you have discussed. Looking forward to the pictures when you post them.

Opps.... I just noticed that the fence is no longer available on the web site?????
 

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Hi Paul
I would pass on the Cast Iron top,,,Today I had to drill a hole or two for the box jig that Oak-Parks sells and I use it all the time and with my luck the holes would need to be in the web support casting on the back side of the cast iron table top.
As you know that can screw your day up, I'm always making jigs to make the job go quicker and to do the same thing over and over, most don't bolt to the router table top but some do... :)

Have good one mate
Bj :)
 
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