Router Table Choice

Right now, I am using a home made router table. It does some of what I want, but is lacking in some areas.
I have bee going over the various tables available from the normal supply sources. There seems to be only minor differences in the details but nothing that jumps out and says, "Buy ME!".
One table that I have received literature for is the hinged top table manufactured by Hawk. There are a lot of interesting features, but is it a pig in a poke? Before I say anything to Mrs. Claus, is there anyone in this group who has used the Hawk RouterShop and can provide an unbiased critique of the unit?
Thank you.
Bill Waller New Eagle, PA
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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Hi Bill. Why not make your own? Then you can incorporate the features you want into it . A good starting point is the one that Norm made a few years ago.Or if you like drop me a note and I can send you a few pic's of a couple I've made. One along the lines of Norm's and one with the Lee Valley router base in it. I can't comment on the Hawk one as I've never used nor seen it. Jim
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"Bill Waller" writes:

SFWIW, I built the first version of the one shown on The New Yankee Workshop.
Didn't have access to a table saw so cut out all the parts proud using a saber saw, then cleaned up with a router and a straight edge.
It was a fun project.
It's also a better table than I am a wood butcher.
You might like it.
HTH
Lew
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Lew Hodgett wrote:

Isn't this a punchline to a "real men don't use tablesaws, they just...?" ;)
-BAT
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pig
I cannot help you with experience, but your post got me interested enough to look at the web page and order the video. There was a shop built router table in Fine woodworking a few issues back that included mounting the router in horizontal and over-the-table orientations, in addition to conventional under-the-table. I was intrigued by the design. It looks like Hawk has taken that concept to a more flexible commercial implementation.
Bob
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My 1st 2 router tables were home made. The 2nd better than the first, but there was no end to making more parts for it. Some parts were quick'n'dirty, others time consuming but close to precise.
My 3rd table is a Lee Valley table system (steel table, fence and cross sled) with all the bonus parts offered during a wood show special. It was not cheap, but it wasn't more than other vendor systems.
That was 3 years ago. If I have any complaint, it is that (rarely) I find the size limiting. I find the table and components are accurate, easy to setup, adjust, clean, and importantly, use. If I had to replace it, I would buy the same components, but would have to decide about the steel table vs their new insert plate which would allow me to make a larger table, but probably stay with their table. However, most of my work is small parts that easily fit on the table. For work on big parts, the router leaves the table and goes to the parts.
I like other vendor tables but many of them are wood. The Lee Valley table has no wood - steel plate table, aluminum fence system, brass stops and micro adjuster - it can withstand abuse, seasonal humidity and.
My router is a small one - a PC690. If I had a bigger router, then I might have had a different experience.

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How about a hybrid? I have a Benchdog table and I like it a lot. Easy to adjust fence with a lot of features. Buying a table is quick and easy, but you can also build a cabinet and buy a top and/or fence for it.
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wrote:

So did my first table, so I built another, with improvements. If I'm going to pay for a commercial table, I'm buying a shaper.
Barry
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I'm about to buy a CMT Router Table top from Sommerfield that I saw at the Woodworking Show last year. I should have bought it last year. It is slick. You can read about it by typing in Sommerfield or CMT.

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Wed, Dec 1, 2004, 7:53pm snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (BillWaller) mumbles: Right now, I am using a home made router table. It does some of what I want, but is lacking in some areas. <snip>
For me, the solution would be automatic. Modify the existing table; or, if that wouldn't do it, make a new table that would.
You buy one, you get someone else's version of what you want. You make one, you get your version of what you want.
JOAT Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind dont matter, and those who matter dont mind. - Dr Seuss
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