Router Table Plate - no crown, no sag? Aluminum? A Lift?

I'm building a big new router table and would like to get an insert that is flat (no crown), but also one that won't sag or easily deflect. I'm going to be hanging a pretty big router under it permanently (Milwaukee 5625 3.25hp) so I'm guessing that aluminum is the way to go. Any suggestions? I've seen several different plates, but I've also seen a couple of router "lifts" too, that look pretty slick - and pretty expensive. Given that I can raise and lower the Milwaukee with a wrench, from above the table, why would I need (want?) a lift? What additional functionality does it offer me?
JP
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I use a WoodPecker Al plate with a permanently hung PC7518. It's very beefy. They (WoodPecker) also sell them with lifts.
http://www.woodpeck.com/aluminsert.html

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1/4" MIC6 plate cut to the dimensions you want. 8x12 would run about 21 USD or so depending on where you buy it/what country you're in.
Drill the appropriate holes and your good to go.
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I should add Mic6 is an extremely high tolerance tool/jig plate. You want flat You got flat. This is the route I went with my router table. I even took a little bit to file radiused corners. Looks and works great.
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I did a bit of googling, not being familiar with Mic6. That's definitely a nice material, and I can see myself making table saw sleds with it someday. (Right after I figure out the complexities of clamping cauls, right Morris?!)
I'm now at the stage where I'm seriously thinking about a router lift. The offering from Bench Dog gets really good reviews, and I like that it's so heavily constructed. A good router table can be such a valuable tool that I really don't want to sell it short...again.
JP
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UPDATE: The ProLift is not compatible with Milwaukee routers. That seems a bit wierd, but that's what their website says. So I can cross the *most* expensive lift off the list anyhow! JP
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I have had an old large Bosch plunge and the big Triton hanging for years non stop from the, about 1/2" thick, phenolic plates. In particular the Bench Dog brand. No sag.
http://www.benchdog.com/proplate.htm
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Me too, but I bought laminated phenolic (almost looks like micarta) as an off cut from a guy for $25. It was enough to make 2 bases for my big DeWalt.
The only downside is no quick insert changeout.
Robert
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I have the same Milwaukee mounted to a Rockler plate. Works for me.
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 85
Max
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Sink cutout from a corian job works nice for this. So does a junk tablesaw top.
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I have the Rousseau 3508 phenolic router plate and lately have a big problem with it. I installed the plate in my 1 1/2 MDF w/laminate router top about 5 years ago. and it worked well until recently when I noticed that the crown on the plate was rising and preventing my wood from sliding easily. The company acknowledges a 1/32 crown built into the plate. I contacted the Rousseau Company and at their request sent them pictures of the problem. Here is their response:
"I'm sorry but your pictures didn't help me much. Below is a sketch of the way our specification is measured. (sketch not attached or sent) Pinching a straight edge to one end of the plate gives a specification that is hard to control therefore we measure the warp on a flat surface against a straight edge as shown. Measuring to the top of the straight edge is handier than trying to measure to the bottom. The measurement should be made between the insert ring hole and the edge of the plate. Measure the height of the plate in the center and at about 3/8" in from the two other edges. We allow a maximum of 1/32" and a minimum of .010" warp measured this way. We measure this with a dial indicator but a dial caliper works well also. Please let me know what your plate measures this way.
I'd also like some detail on what kind of problem this warp is causing. From my experience I've never seen a problem caused by this warp that couldn't be easily solved by changing the setup slightly. I view this warp as a good thing not a bad thing because it helps keep the distance from the plate to the top of the cutter constant where the wood touches the base plate in the same place as the cutting takes place."
Measuring across my plate plate resulted in a 1/32 drop measurement from center to rear and a 3/32" drop center to front. Does anyone understand the part about the warp as being a good thing ... keeping the distance constant? I don't understand this reasoning. However, as I told the Rousseau engineer I got my money's worth out of this $40 plate and am square with them. Am thinking about purchasing a Woodpecker metal plate 3/8" thick that is advertised as being flat. BYW my router is a PC690. Anyone have long term luck with the Woodpecker plate?
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Jay, I have been looking at this for a while. so far scared to jump in. It looks slick.If you need quick change from table to handheld it is the best looking thing out there. the small diameter should reduce warp. If I try it I will post results. Good Luck Lyndell

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wrote:

What plate is it? JP
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Sorry Jay, The paste (or me) didn't work. Here ya go! http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&cat=1,43000,51208,41776&pA776 As always watch the word wrap and the lee valley item number is 05J25.01. Good luck and let me know what you think about it. Lyndell

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Lyndell Thompson wrote:

Ive been looking at this one also! Its relatively cheap, looks like it would be perfect. Let me (us) know how it does. Its from Lee Valley, it cant be too bad right?!
Andy
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