Fence or Lift... Which is more important to you?


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I am in the market for a new router table.  I have about $500 to spend so I was wondering, what do you find more important, having a lift or a good fence.  The reason I ask is...  I am looking at either the Rockler 59870 or the Kreg Precision table.  The Rockler incorporates a lift system for the router, however, the ability of the Kreg fence to act as a jointer, plus the 4 1/2 star reviews are swaying me toward that option.  BTW, this will be my first "good" router table.  Please let me know what you think.

 

Thanks,

Aaron

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Thank you Cochese, I did not realize that was an option.  Not a bad price either.  

 

Does anyone think the table saw like fence on the Kreg has an advantage over the Rockler.  Does anyone know if it really does stay truly square to the miter slot?  Does the additional micro adjuster work well?  I had my heart set on the Rockler, until I reconsidered the Kreg. Now I am at a crossroad. Ugh.

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I personally would go for the lift.  I have the Jessem Mast R Lift, fence, and top.  But if I had to give one of them up I'd give up the fence before the lift.  Half the time I'm clamping auxiliary fences to the regular fence anyway to avoid tearout or to use an extra long fence with stop blocks.  Sure having some fence features like micro adjust or the various jigs you can use in the T track are cool, but I'd never give the lift up.  Without a lift the plates inevitably sag (I dealt with that on my last router table), not to mention the pain in the butt to change height.  

 

I can see it go either way, but if we're voting I vote for the lift.

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You would not typically use the miter slot and the fence in the same operation. But if that was a concern, a piece of MDF with parallel edges would be your huckleberry.

 

Agreed with Cochese.  I can't remember a time when I needed the fence parallel to the miter slot on the router table.  

 

That being said, I have a piece of MDF with a runner screwed to the bottom that I use to check that my fence is parallel to the blade on my table saw.  I recommend having one of them around the shop anyway, and it could be used for the router table too.  

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Ha!!!, No... but I appreciate the input.

sorry for the pun but, a easy turn of the router will get you your cutting depth and some routers still have the micro adjustments, don't they? The fence might be a better choice though. I would rather make my own table and spend the dollars elsewhere, but thats me

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If it helps your decision you can get the Kreg table from Hartville tool for 15% off with free shipping using code 'wn15'. I had plans to build my own router table but after building my shop, then shop projects, said screw it and ordered the Kreg on Friday. I went with it because my Woodpeckers plunge lift will drop right in.

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What about t tacks or miter slots?  Kreg seems to have both where the Rockler has only t tacks on table and one on very top of the fence.

 

It is a dual track on the Rockler table.

 

 

I have a Kreg plate in a homemade table with a Rockler fence. I think that's the best combination of all, but that's just me.

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I have the entire Kreg table, stand, lift, fence, etc. Since most of the bits used on a router table have a bearing on the you don't have to worry about the fence being square to the miter slot, I can't think of any real benefit to that. The Kreg MicroAdjust is absolute crap, it's made well but doesn't function too because of the how the fence is designed. Kreg's customer service is fantastic though. When I was assembling my table and putting my fence in I messed up the measuring scale for the fence so you can zero the fence to the bit. Called Kreg and they sent me a new scale and all the other parts that tough that scale. 

 

The Kreg lift is identical to the woodpeckers lift. Honestly, if I could do it over again I would have gone with an Incra LS17 fence and table.

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Rookie here: From what I went through last summer/fall, I'd want both.

There were too many bit changes where height was important.  Without a lift the adjustment time is too long/tedious for me.

(And that from a guy who likes b&w darkroom.  Go figure.)

Not having a jointer, at an auction last summer I picked up a 2" high straight bit, 1/2" shaft, that could be used as a jointer on common stock.

Having a split fence would be very useful for taking of 1/128 or 1/64 as needed.

 

Right now my router table has no capacity for a fence.  I'm thinking of modifying it should I continue this skill as a hobby once our remodel is completed this summer.

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Very few features on router tables and fences are anything more than gimmicks. The miter slots are really only handy to hold feather board. Split fences are not needed at all with a router. 99% of the time no fence is needed at all. A scrap of plywood is probably the best fence. Most every feature is just there as a convenience but are not needed at all.

 

A lift is handy and since its the 21st century the only accessory I would require of a router table.

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Very few features on router tables and fences are anything more than gimmicks. The miter slots are really only handy to hold feather board. Split fences are not needed at all with a router. 99% of the time no fence is needed at all. A scrap of plywood is probably the best fence. Most every feature is just there as a convenience but are not needed at all.

 

A lift is handy and since its the 21st century the only accessory I would require of a router table.

 

Is it a gimmick or a feature for those with less well equipped workshops?  I couldn't imagine depending on the bearing for a raised panel bit, and vertical raised panel bits require a split fence.

 

Festool seemed to think a sliding feature on a router table was useful enough to build it right in.

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Is it a gimmick or a feature for those with less well equipped workshops?  I couldn't imagine depending on the bearing for a raised panel bit, and vertical raised panel bits require a split fence.

 

Festool seemed to think a sliding feature on a router table was useful enough to build it right in.

 

They don't require a split fence. A vertical raised panel bit requires a tall fence not a split fence. A horizontal raised panel bit requires a flat fence not a split fence. For a horizontal raised panel the safest fence is a stacked plywood fence to house the entire cutter. No equipment needed other than a saw to cut the plywood. 

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They don't require a split fence. A vertical raised panel bit requires a tall fence not a split fence. A horizontal raised panel bit requires a flat fence not a split fence. For a horizontal raised panel the safest fence is a stacked plywood fence to house the entire cutter. No equipment needed other than a saw to cut the plywood. 

 

I was thinking adjustable so that it could conform better to the width of the bit so that It could be supported near the bit.  I guess I wasn't thinking about a disposable piece of plywood held perpendicular to the table.  A basic frame might be useful still to maintain squareness.

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Wow!! Thanks for all the great tips and advice.  Very much appreciated.

 

What about material for plate.  Phenolic or Aluminum? Does one have an advantage over the other?  Looks like Rockler is aluminum, with the lift option.  However, Kreg is phenolic without a lift.

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