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It's time to purchase a new router table. My old one is a Craftsman that's about 25 years old and breaking down. I purchased a new Craftsman router last year after the bearings in the old one died. It was a Craftsman that lasted 26 years and a lot of routering over that time. So I can't complain about the quality of Craftsman tools.

I'm looking for a table top model that will allow me to make precise cuts, especially for raised panel doors. It must have an accurate fence that allows fine adjustments. I can't go to a floor model. My workshop is not that big.

I've looked at the Craftsman ones, Rockler, Bosch and Kreg. Not sure which one to go with. Questions abound about metal table tops versus the other types plus accessories.

So woodworkers, what do you recommend?

Thanks for your help!
 

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Hi eal51. Looks like your JD stole your hat and is wearing it around the yard in your avatar. :)

Well I can't comment on the other brands but I have a Rockler table with the laminate top and it makes a nice surface to slide the wood over. I did wax it with automotive wax as well. Went with it due to it being a reasonable price and we were buying the router at Rockler and I wanted a table. I made my own plywood cabinet/cubby hole underneath to store stuff. I also added locking casters so I can move the table around or out of the way when not in use.

I have this one:


Fence seems to be accurate but I'd imagine you could go with an Incra fence if you really want the extremely finite control (though I've seen people modify fences with threaded rod and such to make their own). The fence I have is the bump-to-adjust type. I do also have an incra jig that's pretty finite - you lock it down to the table and then lift and move the fence forward on little teeth that ensure accuracy. They make a more expensive model with micro adjusters.

My jig (the cheaper/smaller model):


I also bought the Rockler shims that go behind the fence to let you use the table like a jointer.
 

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Mine is similar to the Rockler table, but I got mine from a guy that advertised it on craigslist. I think I paid $175 for it with the Incra fence. I added some stabilizing bars on the sides and it works great. I have mainly used it to make raised panels for wainscoting around the house.

I have a Bosch 2 1/4 hp router in it now, but will be putting in a Hitachi 3 1/4 in it after we move.

You can make a router table yourself, and really get fancy, or just a simple MDF top and a hole. I would spend more time getting a good fence, but there are simple ones that also work too.

The router table is a great tool, and I wish you luck.













This is my "original Incra" fence, on a spare Rockler table.



Be sure to have a good dust collection system, because you will need it.

Uncle Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for help guys. It's great appreciated.

Pigbear - that's my work hat. I couldn't resist since my wife is a Bosox fan. She wanted pics to send to the relatives and they are in Rhode Island, as is most of her family! It's a standing joke around the house that my sweat stained hat won't last much longer and I refuse to wear my good one - unless its to a game!

Greg - the dust collection is a definite. Routers certainly make a mess.

I should order a table today at some time. I wish I had the time to make a table. Right now I have to finish a big cabinet for the wife. The one she purchased and put together pulled apart - particle board. She had too many music books in it. Only doors and draws left to do. Then time for staining and all the hardware.

And I have another problem to solve first. The set screws that hold the plates on have rounded heads and are causing me problems because the don't sit flush with a couple of plates I use for decorative work. Probably going to need to purchase 3 or more flat heads that fit to cure the problem.
 

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I'm just making a new router table for myself; I thought I wouldn't need one anymore now that I have a shaper.
The trouble with the shaper is that I need about $2000 worth of cutters for it to equal what I have in my router bit box.

Mine is [leftover] 3/8 alu plate on a frame added to my Robland x31 combo workbench. it doubles as an extension table.
the X31 is a shaper/ planer/ thicknesser/ mortiser/ tablesaw with 3X 3hp motors, 3 cast iron tables, and a sliding side table [that will work for the router table too].
Pictures will be added if anyone wants them.
 

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I bought a dust port at Rockler that is held on by the screws on the Rockler fence. It lets you attach your shop vac to it to suck up the dust - works well.

I also saw plans to build a dust cabinet in WoodShop Plans magazine that you hook up your shop vac or dust collector to.
 

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What kind of tablesaw you have? Bench Dog has a really good cast iron that replaces the extension table on the right side of a cabinet saw or even a contractors saw. If you go that route you wont lose any floor space with a seperate piece of equipment.
 
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