Router Table

Hi,
I've seen a lot of talk on here about routers, tables etc, so time for my first question!
Never used one before, but want one for making work such as garden furniture construction easier. ( e.g. mortice / tennon joints and rebates etc etc )
So I foudn this:
http://www.tooled-up.com/Product.asp?PID 4310
Is it true that if one buys a complete router table, that the router can always be removed to use as a normal hand held device too? I presume so...
Anything particular to look out for?
Thanks! Dan
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wrote:

Most routers sold in Europe are plunge types and in most cases you buy a router and fit it to a table, so it is detachable.
In the U.S. it is more common to have routers with a non plunge, adjustable height and even to have separate motors and bases. So there you can buy a router motor only and fit it to a table permanently.
Either way, it does take time to mount a router on and off the table and if you are doing a lot of work becomes a huge PITA.
Early on with woodworking, I had a Trend T5 and a DeWalt DW625 together with a Trend router table. The table is quite respectable for its size and type. However, I left one router or the other permanently fitted to the table.
Nowadays, I have a spindle moulder which will also take a router spindle and hence the Trend table doesn't get used much any more. The routers are used as hand held tools.
Turning to the package you mention above, there are a number of limitations that you should be aware about:
- A price point of 100 is just about OK for a 1/4" router on its own. I am very dubious about this price point for a package including a router table as well.
- Having said that, from the photos, the router table looks of reasonable construction for small work. Really it would be necessary to look at one inb= the flesh and check things like how good a fit the mitre gauge is in the slot, how firm is the clamping and is everything square and accurate.
- The router at 1/4" and 3/8" is really too small for making joints on reasonable sized pieces of outdoor furniture etc. This really does need a 1/2" model or progress will be very slow with lots of small cuts. This is a Chinese router and generally the mechanical power in relation to a given electrical input power is not that good. In other words, an 1100W product of this type is likely to be equivalent to only about an 800W one from somebody like Bosch, DeWalt, Makita or Freud.
- The router table only appears to have a small number of fixing holes and seems to be suitable only for the Ryobi router mounting. This may be OK for other brands but is not as flexible as more generic tables if you want to switch router brands.
- From the photos, the router table does not appear to have a no-volt release safety switch. It's pretty important to have one of these, so that you can just bang a button and kill the power. They are 10-20 separately.
- For the type of work you are considering, as I mentioned, a 1/2" router is a much more sensible proposition. Experience has shown that the low end ones are a disappointment in terms of power. There have been good reviews of the Freud FT2000 at 165 from Screwfix. The sub 100 1/2" products really are a disappointing waste of money.
- In terms of a router table, you could get much better results in terms of quality for outlay by buying a router table insert, slotted tracks etc, and making your own table. Axminster Power Tools sells a range of accessories for this.
The Ryobi package may be OK as far as it goes. The problem I see with it is that it is likely to be inadequate for what you want to do quite quickly and there is then not really a sensible upgrade path.
I think that you either need to set your work expectations down to this product and price level and accept that you will need to start again with a new investment later for larger work, or bit the bullet and consider spending about 200 - 250 for a reasonable 1/2" set up.
--

.andy

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I've had the Ryobi table and router for about a year and am generally pleased with it - though I do have two other routers for free-hand use.
Neither of my other two routers can be fitted in the Ryobi table, but It HAS got an NVR switch.
The one problem I had was the 1/4 collar getting stuck in the chuck (or whatever it's called in a router!) - eventually it got stuck solid and when MachineMart couldn't free it either they kindly replaced the router. Since then I keep a small piece of foam rubber in the chuck to stop the collar going in too far.
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Connor T wrote:

Following on from what Andy said, you may find some helpful information in the Router FAQ:
http://www.diyfaq.org.uk/powertools/router.htm
--
Cheers,

John.

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