I'm going to begin building my ultimate router table and am looking for
recommendations, warnings, deals, etc... on router table inserts. I'm on a
budget (who isn't?) so, much as I'd like to, I can't put one of those fancy,
above-table, height adjustment mech's in, but recommendations on a plate
would be appreciated.
oh, by the way, this is for my brand spanking new Hitachi 3 1/4 EVS plunge
routah (neener) which replaced my new boat anchor nee crapsman router.
Budget? why not make it out of a scrap of plexiglass or Lexan, maybe from a
Anything 3/16 or more should be fine. Of course you could use aluminum if
you can work it. A hacksaw blade in a sabre saw would cut it, as would a
handsaw. You can rout out the table with a small guide at the center of the
hole. Rout a groove, then use a sabre saw to take out the center and leave
the shoulder. There's no saying the plate can't be circular, so how about
using a small wood disk as the pattern? Tack it in place and rout around it
with a straight bit. Use two disks of different size to make the groove
wider, if you don't have a large bit.
If you're on a budget, then I agree w/ Wilson, make your own from
Lexan. There's probably a plastics shop in your area (look in the
yellow pages under plastics) that will sell you a piece for a
pittance, if they don't just give it to you from the cutoff pile.
I would suggest using the thickest you can easily obtain. Don't
make it any larger than you have to (the size will be determined
by how large a hole you need in the router table top for the router
to pass thru). These will avoid any problems with the router
I would make the insert square, and take the time to get the router
exactly centered in it. This makes a convenient base for following
a guide batten or a jig when the router is out of the table. If
you center the router on the base, then you don't have to worry
about always holding the router the same way around (mine is 1/8th
off center, which is annoying...one of these days I'll do it over).
Make the insert the same size or smaller than a lift. You can always cut
the hole larger if you decide to add one later. Benchdog, as well as
others, do sell phenolic inserts for about $20. Check them out at
I've gone through a couple of router table inserts and my last one was
the Rockler insert. It's aluminum and doesn't deflect much at all. But
I have to tell you, if your planning on doing any furniture making I
would recommend the rout-r-lift or something similar. These devices
are worth every penny if your doing precise work. I switched over to a
Rout-R-Lift and making .002 inch changes is heaven sent. Just my 2
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