Reply by NiteWalker

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Posted on Bench Dog / Rockler Quality- **BIG THUMBS DOWN**

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2739 posts in 3055 days

#1 posted 06-25-2013 10:20 PM

Skip the router plate. It’s not necessary. You could instead rout a spot for shop made inserts. I did just that on a quick router table to test out the idea; I’ll post a pic when I get back up from the shop. You can make it as big or small as you’d like. I made mine 5” square and offset it a bit so the router base mounting screws would be under the inserts. My initial ones were made of 1/4” polycarbonate, but I ordered some 1/4” phenolic on ebay as it’s stiffer. 4screws, one in each corner are used for leveling the inserts. I made a few inserts with different hole sizes so I can change them to suit the task at hand. I very often use 1/2”, 1 1/2” and 2” diameter bits in the same day, so I made inserts with 1”, 1 5/8” and 2 1/8” holes. So far it’s been great and I see no need for a router plate. That’s why you’re seeing sagging where the insert plate hole is; those big holes compromise the structural integrity of the table top. You could make one with a plate and design it to stay flat; you would just need proper bracing underneath.

Some will say otherwise, but I like t-track in a router table. A piece along the top of the fence for featherboards is all that’s needed though IMHO. The fence can be held down with a shop made clamping system. I made mine just like in the plans here, and they hold great.

Miter track is not needed IMHO. Anything you think you’d need a miter slot for can be done without.

A couple of other things too.
The mdf and laminate sheets will be very useful in the shop. You won’t use all of each on the router table, so I see a tablesaw outfeed there too. I would get the 4’x8’ sheet of laminate btw. At lowe’s, a full sheet is only $42 near me.

Now, to answer is there a cheaper way to build your own, aside from skipping the router plate, you could skip the laminate and use shellac or oil based poly with a coat of paste wax after on the table top. I used dewaxed shellac followed by paste wax on my tablesaw zci made out of mdf and it’s held up amazingly. For a router table top I’d probably go for oil based poly since it will likely hold up better than shellac.

You also don’t need a full 1 1/2” thick table top; using thick hardwood braces underneath you could get away with 3/4” or even thinner for a table.

Sorry for the long post; much of it is from studying various designs across the web and in magazines and in videos. A lot comes from pat warner, probably the most influential router guru I’ve studied. I’m on my own quest for the perfect (for me) router table. I’m close…

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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