Jamie McGannon

Opinions wanted: Router table-fence-lift-router

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Hi guys and gals, I'm in the market for my first router table and have reviewed many of the different brands/models and would love to hear the opinions from the online community. 

 

What do you like and dislike about your router table? Please indicate which model.

 

Which lift do you have? Pros and cons?

 

Which fence system do you have? Pros and cons?

 

I know you have opinions on your router, let me hear them!

 

 

Lastly, after you gained more experience in woodworking, would you have purchased the router table configuration. 

 

 

I am a hobbyist woodworker who prefers to invest in good tools rather than buying just to get the job done. 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and for sharing your opinions.

 

Jamie

 

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I currently have a hybrid off-the-shelf / DIY router table station based on a modified version of Norm Abram's router table base. A good while back when I was more inexperienced and had limited tools, I had purchased the Kreg fence, eventually purchasing the Kreg table top and then building my own base. The Kreg fence has some nice features, the top is nicer than any laminate I've used for shop stuff in the past and the micro adjusting capabilities is more handy than you might think. However, I found that my fence was just a hair out of square on both sides, requiring me to shim it to get it perfect. It has a jointing capability using two rods, but I have no use for this now that I have a jointer.

 

Likewise, I put a straightedge across the table top and it was bowing out in the middle just a bit. Two possible reasons for this, the first being that the top is 3/4 MDF. So many manufacturers use 3/4 material and call it a day, IMO a good top should double up on the MDF for stability, weight and prevent sagging. The second is that the perimeter of the top connects to the Kreg Universal base, which would likely stabilize it flat. As my base was different, I essentially had to create my own solution to the above by adding a sheet of baltic birch to the bottom of the Kreg top that had an outline that would fit the top of my base. This not only flattened it dead perfect, but made for a far more sturdy top.

 

These days, if I had to do it again I would probably build entirely my own DIY table, I'm more than capable of doing so now. But sometimes you just want to get going, so if considering the Kreg, I would get the entire package (fence, top, base).

 

I don't have a router lift, I currently just manually do things myself. I'm hoping to have one of these someday if I have some extra money lying around: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JTYFKQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1UTH9GIZXGMKE&coliid=I1GLM9JBOHXHM3

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It's the 17.  I thought about the 25 but ultimately couldn't justify it.  Still haven't encountered a need for more capacity.  Maybe I will one day.  Oddly the 25 is about 40 bucks cheaper on AZ right now.

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I use Woodhaven's 365H plan - shop built, PRL lift, PC 7518 motor

 

The PRL and 7518 are about the best out there.

 

If I build another, I'll keep the PRL and 7518, but use the Incra system.

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I've had a few different sizes layouts with my Craftsman 17543. It is a motor and base arrangement like the 1617 and 7518. I haven't had a standalone table for nearly a year now, and I'll soon be able to add it back. 24x32 is a great size, and I'm going to go offset like Eric has done above and get the Incra positioned like he has as well.

When I was looking at routers, I had my eye on the 7518 motor and a lift from Woodpeckers. However that combination is over $600 alone usually. Add the Incra system and you're close to $1000 for three components. I had heard great things about the big Triton 3.25HP unit, and have decided to go that route instead. Lift built-in, automatic collet lock for easy bit changes. I'm going with a Kreg plate pre-drilled for it. I like my Rockler aluminum plate, but don't like having to get the screwdriver out to change inserts.

That combo will set me back about $300 total, which is the smarter buy for me. Gets me everything I want and saves some money toward my new tool habit (Those evil green German things).

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I have the Woodpeckers PRP-2. The table is phenolic. It has the lift with side mounted crank, micro adjustable superfence which has been great, and the PC 7518 router. It was expensive, but it does everything I need and is as close to a shaper as I'll probably ever need. I have a lot of the Woodpeckers tools and I like them all - except for the box clamps which I've never been able to get to work right. Anyway, that's my two cents worth.

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Eric, did you really add curves to the case sides of your router cabinet? :)

 

:D

 

Indeed I did.  Anything worth doing...

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I'll try to take "odd" as a compliment. :)   The curves (and casters) were stolen from the Bench Dog design.  As usual, I blended the elements from a few cabinets that I liked.

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I like it. Breaks up the standard box that most people have. And by most, I mean close to everyone else in the world. Eric, you are a true pioneer. ;)

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No, before i realized they were curved, i thought the ply was warped haha, then i looked at the other angle and went jeez, the other side is too! Then i saw it, it looks very nice just played a trick on me at first glance.

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Nice looking table Eric. I have the incra also. I bought the 25in and found I never needed the extra length it also took up a bigger foot print in the shop so I switched to the 17in. I built my table from plans I got from Woodsmith. I modified the top for the Incra fence. I have the woodpeckers router lift which I love. and a porter cable router. If I was to do it over I probably would not get the Incra fence seeing how I don't use all the features of it.

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Nice looking table Eric. I have the incra also. I bought the 25in and found I never needed the extra length it also took up a bigger foot print in the shop so I switched to the 17in. I built my table from plans I got from Woodsmith. I modified the top for the Incra fence. I have the woodpeckers router lift which I love. and a porter cable router. If I was to do it over I probably would not get the Incra fence seeing how I don't use all the features of it.

 

Really nice looking table, Bart. It not only looks great but proves to be very accurate and functional. Do you have a link to the plans?

 

thanks,

Jamie

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Here you go Jamie

http://plansnow.com/dn3105.html

I did a few mods. I put drawer slides on a couple of the shelves so i could pull them out and have easy access to my router bits I installed these in the shelves http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2081361/30401/WoodRiver-6-piece-Magnetic-Router-Bit-Holders-12-Shank.aspx?reviewPage=0&Anchor=pTabs

I also did not like how the mobile system in the plans worked so I used an after market mobile base, shop fox I think.

Bart

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