cast iron router table top?

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Hello all,
I'm about to buy a router primarily for table use, plus a table! I don't have a lot to spend, so...
I've pretty much decided on the larger Triton (TRB001) because it looks like the height adjustment will work reasonably well under the table and the bits can be changed above the table - this way I can avoid any fancy raisers or tilting table tops etc. I know Triton went bust a while back but it looks like they're back in business - does anyone know if they're still being msde in Oz and if the quality is still there?
The table is a bigger problem - it seems they easily cost more than the router. Oh dear. My initial plan was some cobbled together birch ply thing, but at the least I'd have to get some kind of inset plate, and I'd probably always struggle to get the thing flat. And if it's not flat it's going to be a total pain to use! So I thought maybe I should buy the top, and a fence, and just build the base. Maybe the veritas top, though it's pricey and small. But if I'm going to do that wouldn't it make sense to just buy a large cast iron top, because that would be, and stay, reliably flat? Here in the UK the choices seem to be: Record Power - http://www.recordpower.co.uk/index.php?section=product&seqf3&cat 7&sef=ROUTER%20TABLE%20WITH%20SLIDING%20TABLE for around 300 Charnwood - http://www.charnwood.net/ProductDesc.jsp?cat &stockref=W015 for around 280
I wonder if anyone has any experience of these, and whether they're worth bothering with. I have the Record Power drill press and it's pretty rubbish, and even though a flat bit of cast iron shouldn't be too much to ask my guess is that the rest of it will probably be fairly ropey.
All opinions gratefully received. graham.
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Have a look here they have several
www.axminster.co.uk/category-Router-Tables-553898.htm
MeltRod
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I will say that if you buy a good insert plate you should be able to easily get it well placed in a table of your choice. Some plates include leveling screws themselves and if not there are a few very easy and very good was to add some set screws. It will be your least expensive method.
Does the Triton support above the table height adjustment? Many routers now days do and many router plates are already setup with the appropriate access hole. I know the Freud routers have the capability although some people will rail against them, I am happy with mine and use it in this way sometimes with the plate that came with it in a bundled kit.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote on 05/03/2010 17:20:

When I mentioned the problem of flatness, I was thinking of the table as a whole. The preferred method of construction seems to be a thick piece or two of MDF with some kind of smooth surface layer laminated to it. Especially if glueing 2 pieces I can see it being tricky to ensure they are absolutely flat (without a suitable reference surface to glue on, which I don't have).

yes it does, and that's a big attraction, along with some kind of rack-and-pinion height control which should be easy to work when it's under the bench. When the router is cranked up the shaft lock engages automatically. I believe the newer model also has above table height adjustment, though a number of people seem to have problems with it.
> Many

The Triton was the only one I was aware of, until I happened across the Freud 3000 just before your post!

The Freud looks reasonable, and the 3000 appears to have some kind of above-table adjustment too - can anyone comment on whether it's any good?
<snip>
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way sometimes with the plate that came with it in a

If you glue two pieces of 3/4 mdf together they can pretty much only be flat. They are not going to warp unless you really work at it.
I think if you do a search on this newsgroup for Freud you will find up and down comments. I have no prob with it accept for the on-off switch which seems flakey until you figure out how to use it. But if you are in a table and have it connected to an external switch, no problemo.
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On 3/5/2010 4:20 PM, SonomaProducts.com wrote:

;)
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On Fri, 05 Mar 2010 17:39:58 +0000, graham wrote:

MDF will sag over time, but you can avoid that if you're willing to remove the router when not using the table. Or build a torsion box and use that for the table.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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On 3/5/2010 8:06 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

Mine has had a 3 HP Porter-Cable hanging under it for going on 10 years now and hasn't sagged. If your inch and a half thick MDF is sagging you got ripped off.
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On 3/5/2010 7:06 PM, Larry Blanchard wrote:

In the same way that Sonoma suggested elsewhere in this thread, I made my router table about 10 years ago by gluing two big 32" x 43" x 3/4" pieces of MDF together (using contact cement), then covered all six surfaces (top, bottom, and sides) with thick white phenolic laminate (i.e., "formica"; and again, using contact cement). That sumbitch has stayed dead flat ever since, and my big 3HP 3612C never leaves the table.
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On 3/5/2010 10:08 AM, graham wrote:

http://www.recordpower.co.uk/index.php?section=product&seqf3&cat 7&sef=ROUTER%20TABLE%20WITH%20SLIDING%20TABLE
First, read through everything on <http://www.patwarner.com . Pat's one of the good guys and he knows his stuff with regard to routers.
That said:
Make your own top. Getting it flat enough from two pieces of 1/2 or 3/4 ply or MDF is no trick at all. You can buy an insert plate or make one from acrylic or polycarbonate or phenolic that will work fine. It's just not that hard to do and it's a good exercise in using the router. A sheet of melamine on top gives you a nice smooth working surface.
New Yankee Workshop has plans and a howto video for a very nice router table <http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct.php?0301 .
"Woodworking with the Router" <(Amazon.com product link shortened)67809827&sr=8-1> has plans for a very similar design and IIRC for a couple of simpler ones.
Pat's site refers you to an issue of Fine Woodworking with a howto on his quite excellent fence, which is a thing of beauty--that article is available online but you have to have a subscription to Fine Woodworking Online Edition. If you want something with more range of adjustment an Incra or Jointech would be a good bet--you'd do better to spend there than on a top IMO.

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I'd spend more money on a router lift and fence before a cast iron top, but that's me.
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wrote:

I'd spend more money on a router lift and fence before a cast iron top, but that's me.
Actually a Triton comes with built in lifting and adjustment provisions, there would be no place to attach an aftermarket lift.
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My lift attaches to the base plate. But that still leaves the fence.
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On Fri, 5 Mar 2010 09:52:41 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

The Triton router is built into the router. There is no need for a lift fence. Moreover, it works great.
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I would hope so! ;-)

It has a fence built in too? ;-)

I thought about buying one when WoodCraft had one on clearance for $100, or so. I probably should have, but I really didn't need it.
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I am not so sure they went bust as they have always been available in the US. I heard about their marketing problems however I think it was a region thing.
Anyway, I have a Triton hanging under a BenchDog table, not the cast ioron one. Actually, BenchDog table fence and free stanging cabinet.
I want for nothing different.
www.benchdog.com
CMT markets a very similar set up.
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Build it http://www.codesmiths.com/shed/workshop/techniques/router_table /
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"Andy Dingley" wrote:

------------------------------------------------ I'm with you.
I'm curious, who built first, you or Norm?
You have a lot of common features in your designs.
Lew
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In article

It's nice to see someone else has so much clutter around they can hardly move and is that a "Black sheep" bottle in one of the photographs?
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On 3/5/2010 9:08 AM, graham wrote:

I've admired this shop-built table since I first saw it:
http://www.woodcentral.com/shots/shot666.shtml
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