A homebuilt one, made exactly to your specifications. Here's one
I built one similar to Norm's first design. The updated version is
If you have a table saw you can do what I did. You can use your table saw
fence as your router table fence. As much as I would like to take credit
for the idea, it is very common in the small woodshop. Heck, David Marks
does the same thing.
It will cost you well under your $200 budget.
If you are going to build your own table, I highly recommend an aluminum
plate (will support the heaviest of routers with no warping).
I bought this one: http://www.woodpeck.com/aluminsert.html It is a good
idea to buy it first and build your router table top around it, not the
other way around.
good luck with our decision.
When I used a featherboard attached to the fence to keep some stock down, I
had a problem of it pushing the fence up. It is fine sideways, but being
clamped to the table saw fence, it is just too easy to rotate.
I don't know what to do about that, except maybe clamping the router fence
to the table once I have it in the right position.
Anyone else have this problem?
I have built several over the years. They were Ok, but it is hard to
level the plate and if you add things like a T-track it adds up
quickly. I finally broke down and purchased a Bench Dog Becnch Top
model. It is in your price range and does not take up much space. It
has an aluminum miter slide and T-track included. It also has a metal
based fence with a T-track and dust port. I put this on my list of
tools I wish I would have purchased a long time ago. Good Luck, Herb.
I would recommend the Rockler router table top and build your own base. I
have owned one for ~6 months, and have been very pleased with it. Very easy
to build custom fences, and comes with a 1/4" alumin router plate (you
select it, very suitable for <=2hp routers).
Downside is fence adjustment. Just a couple of slots in the table to align
the aluminum fence, so bumping ( and re-bumping) is necessary to align. The
top is really not that hard to make, but with the included fence and
accesories, I don't think I could have built it for much cheaper.
It's not the router table that'll cost you-
it's the fence system - ala JoinTech and
I've got the former - specidically the
Cabinet Maker System. Kicks up the
"router table" capabilities up a few
notches. Specific examples
- the fence is split into infeed and outfeed
each moveable independently - allowing
for light duty joining
- replacable inexpensive zero clearance
inserts between the two fences... You
can flip one over and therefore have two
profiles per insert. An easily cut zero
clearance stops the bit from pulling
the leading corner behind the fence
and doing something like snipe on
a planer Also reduces splintering
at the start of a pass.
- fence can be moved "in" or "out" in
0.001 incrments so you can sneak
up on dadoes and rabbe/rebates for
non-standard (ie 1/2", 3/4" and
the "plywodd thickness" special
bits that may or may not match
the plywood YOU are using) stock.
Also really handy when using
Drawer Lok and Lock Miter bits
where bit height and bit exposure
are critical to a good fit.
- do half blind and through dovetails,
"outlined" dovetails )
If you've got a decent plunge router
you really don't NEED a router
raising and lowering device like
the RouterRazor etc.
Made your choices more difficult?
Sorry - but a good fence system
can save you a ton of grief over
a nudge/bump and C-clamp in
place fence with a 1" opening
in its face for the bit.
get the freud, russso, rockler or whatever. At that price range I think you
could possibly be best served by a mixed approach. Build your own but get a
nice lift or at least plate. And buy the fence. I spent about $30 on a
plate, $90 on a fence and who knows how much on hardware and melamine for
the top. The table is built into my table saw. Has a switch on the side,
remote from the router, and dust collection below and in the fence. All told
I'm probably out $200 to $250 and I have a pretty decent setup. What I would
really like is a lift so I can adjust from up top w/o having to lift the
router out of the table but oh well. Check Rockler for parts, I got my
Russou (spelling?) plate and fence at woodcraft (I'm sure I over paid).
That's not enough for a router table, although you can build a decent
one for that money. For a poor-man's table, you can use a piece of
ply with a hole in the middle and clamp on a straight edge. I built a
router table and used Norm's plan with a few custom modifications.
Building it was a fun project. I put an extra electrical outlet on
the front of the cabinet which proved to be very useful. All these
parts add up; probably spent around $300.
A sheet of 3/4" ply, $60
A sheet of MDF, $35
Router plate, $50
Switch, outlets, wiring, electrical boxes, plates, $35
PVC pipe, $12
Miter track, $40
Leveling feet, $8
One pair drawer slides, $25
Oak (for trim), $25
Laminate and contact cement, $25
1/4" Plexiglass, $10
Magnet catches for Plexiglass, $3
Scrap wood pieces
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