What Tolerance Using JessEm's Router Table Template?

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Forum topic by jivers posted 01-16-2018 05:06 AM 1739 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 1659 days

01-16-2018 05:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router table router table top template router question

I’ve purchased the JessEm Router-Lift 2 and with it the template they produce for routing the plate cavity. This will be installed into my first homegrown router table. All four of my practice cuts have resulted in a gap of 1/32” in both directions (forward / back, left / right). The cavity is dead-on according to the specs provided by JessEm.

JessEm claims this is normal. I spoke with a customer service person who claims to have measured the product herself. In the process, she confirmed my observation that the plate is shy of the advertised specs by 1/32” in both dimensions.

I expected a tighter fit, given that everything is (1) produced by the same company and (2) machine-cut. Is 1/32” normal for this scenario? Is it acceptable? Again, this is my first homegrown table and I have no practical context.

For anyone else considering this purchase:

A second issue involves the snugger buttons integrated into the plate. They’re meant to tighten against the lip material on which the plate sits, but in fact come nowhere near to contacting said lip. JessEm tried to sell me larger snugger buttons. I’ll have to glue hardwood blocks in place in order to use these things to secure the plate in place.

And a third issue is that the half inch lip (created by using the guide and bit size prescribed by JessEm) does not leave enough material for the leveling nuts to have full contact with the lip simultaneously on all four sides of the plate.

Given the cost of this thing, I’m less than impressed so far and having written this and summarized all of the issues encountered, I’m now strongly considering returning it as well as the additional Bosch router I purchased to dedicate to this table. But, maybe the tolerance is normal?

Thank you,

5 replies so far

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14 posts in 1659 days

#1 posted 01-21-2018 05:11 PM


View davezedlee's profile


59 posts in 1675 days

#2 posted 01-21-2018 06:16 PM

i just clamped four pieces of MDF to the actual outside edges of my plate and used a template bit, but made sure to leave enough of a ledge so the lift fits, but there’s lots of support… the corners have gaps, but everything fit nicely

the second picture shows the “top” of the plate on the bottom edge; otherwise, my measurements would appear upside down

using their template means the “pinchers” wouldn’t reach, which was pointed out on a youtube review i saw

View jivers's profile


14 posts in 1659 days

#3 posted 01-21-2018 06:22 PM

My table top is formed and laminated at this point, so the method you describe isn’t applicable.

However, my question is about the 1/32” tolerance and if others think it normal given the template and plate are form the same company. Again, I expected something tighter.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2846 days

#4 posted 01-21-2018 08:11 PM

I bought the Incra verrsion of the mast-r-lift, at Rockler, which has its own plate size. (i did not know that at the time, but probably would have bought it anyway since I could only afford it due to the 20%off coupon). Anyway, I bought the rockler pre made MDF template and did like Dave with a pattern bit. Fit pretty snug.

If it is too loose for you, you can coat the edges and a portion of the top and bottom of the plate around the perimeter with a good coat of wax, and then use some 2pt epoxy to ‘bed’ the opening to your plate.

I don’t think the 1/32” 0f an inch is too big a deal. Strange that they do not match more tightly than that, yes. A lot of those plates are made assuming they will be bolted through the table top, so it won’t move anyway. At that point, the clearance is nice because it is easier to get in and out. It is a minor pain to get mine in and out, but I don’t do it often.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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14 posts in 1659 days

#5 posted 01-21-2018 08:56 PM

I misunderstood Dave’s response on first read but now get it. I think I’ll give that method a go, as it seems to be a bulletproof way to achieve a tight fit. Another advantage is I can use a pattern bit with a greater diameter than the bit / guide combo required for the template. I’ll then end up with a wider shelf, eliminating the issue with the plate’s leveling nuts possibly not having enough material beneath them.

Thanks for the feedback on the tolerance I got using the template.

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