I am wondering what are some of the most important features that you
look for in a router table?
My second question is, if you could make any improvements to the
current router table systems that are on the market right now, what
would they be?
good dust collection
big enough table
sturdy fence with split faces
There are any number of systems out there that would be great....but
they're all more expensive than I was willing to pay.
I made mine out of MDF, plywood, some free laminate, 2x4s, chipboard,
and some T-track and cam levers. Works very nicely, has held up for
several years now.
Pat has already provided a lot of good info, and I can't add many
technical details to that. But very briefly, IMO the priorities are:
1. Square and straight fence, easily adjustable (can be simply a board
2. Flat table (no sags, surface should be fairly smooth)
3. Decent dust collection through fence (and possibly under table as
well, shopvac is plenty)
4. Ability to add featherboards/holddowns/etc is nice, but for most
hobbyist router operations, I'd say these things are a ways down on
the priority list.
Just my thoughts - not an exhaustive list. Hope this helps,
I just finished this and, at some point I expect to build my own top.
The one shown is from Rockler. I would like a slightly larger top with a
larger fence. Additionally, the Rockler top is melamine and I intend to use
a laminate for more durability.
With the acquisition of the Milwaukee 5625-20 http://tinyurl.com/2gs535
which has a feature allowing height adjustment through the top (with a T
handle) I see no need for a "router raiser".
A couple of years back I built a router table based on Pat Warner
Best router table I ever had plus I've learnt a bit while building
The most important features? - sturdy and flat top. I have a 3.5 HP
base router hanging under with no problems. Add a good fence and you
are in business!
The right height for me, an easily adjustable split fence with easily
made replacement faces, and a flat top. I didn't bother with a lift,
but I understand why lots of folks buy them.
I simply built my own with a 1 1/2" laminated both sides MDF top, which
sits on an MDF box.
I'll pay big bucks for tools, but as a Frid-esque type of guy, I find a
lot of store bought router tables to be rather overpriced.
My router table is home made from birch ply covered by mdf and then
formica. MDF is smoother than plywood so I get a smoother top. The
plywood under the MDF keeps the table from sagging. I had to thicken
it up because it's an extension to my table saw. I have an insert
from Wood Peck's and a DeWalt 625 router that I picked up from the
pawn shop for $80. The insert was a couple hundred. I made my own
split fence with removable inserts. I would probably want to improve
on any type of fence system that I bought anyway...
I've made good use of the large table by routing oversized plywood
sheets (up to 4' in length) so I would suggest making sure your table
is sized to the kind of work you do. My only disappointment with the
current setup is that I was unable to get a 100% flat surface when I
put on the formica. The glue puddled up in some areas and I have a
couple of bumps under it. They're not in a critical area but they're
still annoying. It may have been caused by old glue or my piss poor
application of it. I like the formica as a work surface. Mine has a
fine texture that makes it easy to move wood across it.
I made a NYW base and spent the money on a phonalic (sp) top, lift,
large router, and micro adjust fence (jointtec). Being enclosed gives
better noise reduction and dust contol from both the box and the fence
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