Router table gouge ?

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Forum topic by willhime posted 09-14-2015 09:12 PM 1469 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View willhime's profile


161 posts in 2346 days

09-14-2015 09:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig tip question trick router joining

Is there a justifiable reason why router tables are so expensive? Basically, it’s a plate, zeroed in to a laminated surface with a fence, and optional miter slot, right?

The Kreg base model, is over $200
Kreg precision table around $800
even the cheapy box store ones, (by Bosch/Craftsman/etc..) are all over 150.
And to me, the worst part is, none come with a lift…

It just comes across to me, and feel free to tear apart my notion, that it’s all kind of a ‘emperor’s new clothes’ racket.

As in, taking a flat panel, rout your plate, laminate ( or not ), stick a fence on (and I say that somewhat dismissive due to the simple setup a router table fence is make for), cut a miter slot. ....
And then a lift? As in, either jig up a 4 nut, hose, turning contraption/ scissor car jack, or heck, if you want to get fancy, a window motor from a car..

-- Burn your fire for no witness

13 replies so far

View jonah's profile


2124 posts in 4106 days

#1 posted 09-14-2015 09:33 PM

They are expensive because they’re ultimately fairly complicated. Especially lifts. Sure, you can make your own, but that’s true with any tool, really.

They’re also very low-volume things that don’t sell a lot of units, so there aren’t great economies of scale at work.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6645 posts in 2528 days

#2 posted 09-15-2015 01:31 AM

I agree that what you get for your money is disproportionately low compared to many other things we woodworkers could spend a comparable amount of money on. Then again, if they have people willing for fork over the cash, it certainly doesn’t make sense for any of the manufacturers to lower their prices. Woodpeckers is just 5 minutes from me and I’ve always wanted to peek in there and see if they have anything neat in the works, despite that fact that I’m in no position to start shopping for jigs and accessories with those kind of price tags.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 2231 days

#3 posted 09-15-2015 02:53 AM

It all looks so expensive until you try and go out and buy the materials that will give you a flat surface when finished. Not many of us have a 50 ton press superheated to bond mdf together. Baltic Birch with a BB\B grade is hard to find for some. Lifts and routers add a lot of weight. Cut away some of the material so the lift\plate sits flush and its time for a torsion box to support it properly over time. Then you need to get a sheet of melamine and edging to finish it off. Of course, none of this stuff is sold in small sheets so you will have some extra. Dont forget the hardware for the miter gauge, glue to laminate it all together, adhesive for the melamine, etc. It all adds up and that is assuming you know what you are doing. How many stories have I heard that someone screwed up when they cut the plate slot. Buy a template if you really want to build one yourself. Make sure you use the correct bit diameter.

Fences are as varied as the operations in a work shop. If you love fiddling with a simple one, then yeah, no sense spending much on one.

-- Brad, Texas,

View bondogaposis's profile


5804 posts in 3158 days

#4 posted 09-15-2015 03:21 AM

There is no point in buying one, they are easy to build.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Texcaster's profile


1292 posts in 2481 days

#5 posted 09-15-2015 04:13 AM

The thread title suggested a very esoteric tool.

I’ve always made everything I can. Gearing up to build flat top guitars can be over $1000 plus shipping.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Nicky's profile


698 posts in 4899 days

#6 posted 09-15-2015 04:19 AM

+1 for timbertailor.

I bought a rockler table and used it for over 10yrs. I think I paid $160. Seemed like a lot at the time. It was well used when I recently retired it and I believe now a good value. I wanted an incra ls system and recently pulled the trigger. I thought about making my own table, but in the end bought one with the new fence.

-- Nicky

View CincyRW's profile


165 posts in 2458 days

#7 posted 09-15-2015 12:55 PM

I bought a router extension top for my table saw about a year and a half ago from MLCS. It was about $200 with shipping. I’m sure I could have made my own, but my time + the materials + the hassle = Net, to me it was worth it to purchase the pre-made one (which still required an enormous amount of fiddling to attach to my table saw)

I agree that it really does seem silly, though. Its a table… with a flush insert… for several hundred dollars…?!?

View jar944's profile


132 posts in 2245 days

#8 posted 09-15-2015 05:28 PM

$229 for the Jessem lift, the torsion box wing was made from scrap laying around my shop. I personally cant see buying one.

Especially when this setup worked for everything I wanted prior to getting the lift.

View OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2917 days

#9 posted 09-15-2015 08:30 PM

Time is finite.

You can build things for the shop, or build things from the shop…

The choice is very personal, and can change depending on the item in question.

View Redoak49's profile


4806 posts in 2796 days

#10 posted 09-15-2015 09:12 PM

I built my own but it too time. It was two layers of plywood, hardwood edge band and Formica top. I put a miter slot in the top.

I also added a lift to it.

The fence was built to make certain it was 90 degrees, adjustable, had an variable size opening and replaceable fences. It had an opening for dust collection.

You can make one very simple or more complex.

You can spend time making one or making other things. At the time I had more time than money and have pride in what I built.

View Gentile's profile


362 posts in 2626 days

#11 posted 09-17-2015 05:01 PM

This one I built out of scraps I had laying around.
I use an older router. I use the table saw fence and attach a board to the existing fence when needed.
If I need to rip something wide I just remove the router…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View Tedstor's profile


1691 posts in 3440 days

#12 posted 09-17-2015 05:32 PM

If a widget costs $1 to build… it better to sell 1,000 widgets for $5 or 500 widgets for $9?
Its better to do less work while still making the same revenue. You also don’t want to flood the market with your durable good product…...otherwise you’ll get killed by the used market in the long term.

View buildingmonkey's profile


242 posts in 2355 days

#13 posted 09-17-2015 05:46 PM

I built 2 router tables, with cabinets and drawers, then I bought a shaper, with power feeder, and now I hardly use the router tables. Of course, it would be nicer to have 2 shapers when making cabinet doors. Or even 3, then I would not have to change cutters.

-- Jim from Kansas

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