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Router table - looking for an upgrade

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Forum topic by BB1 posted 03-29-2018 01:09 AM 794 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BB1

1384 posts in 1267 days


03-29-2018 01:09 AM

I have a benchtop router table that I purchased used (think it is a Skil). I’ve had to do some modifications to help with a few issues. I’m considering looking for an upgrade. I realize that building my own is an option. I did see that Rockler has an item on sale -Rockler table on a stand plus a Triton router. Just wondering if anyone has experience with this unit (was only one review on the Rockler website). Thanks.


20 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22878 posts in 3524 days


#1 posted 03-29-2018 01:42 AM

Hi Barbara
I would suggest getting a router lift first and build the table to fit it. I have a Woodpecker quicklift and I love it.
The other thing would be to have a split fence with the top fixed and the bottom in two halves so you can slide it open for larger bits and not have bit cut it up you fence when you are close and raise it.

I have to make a table for our Az shop and we don’t have the money for a lift so I’m making a top with a hole to fit the insert base that is on the bottom of the router base and then I’m putting in some T tracks for adjusting the fence front to back and then the fence will be made out of a T8020 extrusion 40×40mm ( https://www.ebay.com/itm/8020-T-Slot-40mm-X-40mm-Aluminum-Extrusion-40-Series-40-4040-x-1000mm-N/331840380709?hash=item4d433a5f25:g:A34AAOSw9mpaBJyT )

Check out mine on my router station.: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/32587
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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BB1

1384 posts in 1267 days


#2 posted 03-29-2018 01:55 AM

Jim – thanks for that link. Your looks great! I was attracted to the Rockler setup because it seems like all the “pieces” are ready to fit together (plus a router with more power than any I have). I’m not confident I can assemble a table from various sources (getting the right router with a lift, etc) but haven’t seriously investigated that. Saw the sale at Rockler and that got me thinking about improving my setup. One of those issues that has been on my mind but brought to the “top of the list” by the ad. Thanks for the feedback.

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builtinbkyn

2939 posts in 1359 days


#3 posted 03-29-2018 02:15 AM

Barbara I guess I’ll chime in since I was in the same position. Like Jim, I built my table. But I did so utilizing an Incra plate paired with the Triton. I looked at the Woodpecker table options, but they didn’t impress me enough to earn my money.

The Woodpecker throat rings don’t provide for dust/chip extraction. The Ingra rings have large slots that work as intended. I rarely have a mess of chips and dust to clean up from doing work at the router. Additionally, the Triton is a one-handed bit change. Once the collet is raised above the table, it locks. One wrench is needed to change out a bit. It has similar adjustability to the Woodpecker lift, but not some of the bells and whistles which IMO don’t justify the cost differential.

Building my table allowed me to tailor it to my needs and allows for modification. It was also fun ;) Oh the Jessem fence is really nice and was worth the dollars as is the Triton. I added the Jessem Stock Guides to the kit. They also work as advertised.

Click for details

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

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BB1

1384 posts in 1267 days


#4 posted 03-29-2018 02:33 AM

Another great table example. I will admit I have one router that requires two wrenches and it isn’t my favorite for that reason. Saw the Triton in the ad and saw the “one wrench” mentioned and liked that feature. I think I need to dig deeper on what the cost would be of the individual “parts” and what router, etc would work well together. I appreciate the link to your table.


Barbara I guess I ll chime in since I was in the same position. Like Jim, I built my table. But I did so utilizing an Incra plate paired with the Triton. I looked at the Woodpecker table options, but they didn t impress me enough to earn my money.

The Woodpecker throat rings don t provide for dust/chip extraction. The Ingra rings have large slots that work as intended. I rarely have a mess of chips and dust to clean up from doing work at the router. Additionally, the Triton is a one-handed bit change. Once the collet is raised above the table, it locks. One wrench is needed to change out a bit. It has similar adjustability to the Woodpecker lift, but not some of the bells and whistles which IMO don t justify the cost differential.

Building my table allowed me to tailor it to my needs and allows for modification. It was also fun ;) Oh the Jessem fence is really nice and was worth the dollars as is the Triton. I added the Jessem Stock Guides to the kit. They also work as advertised.

Click for details

- builtinbkyn


View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2335 posts in 3363 days


#5 posted 03-29-2018 05:52 AM

I built my table too, which includes the router box underneath.

The table is nice and big (2’ x 4’), making wide and long stock easier to work with.

A little laminate from the Restore (Habitat for Humanity) and the top is smooth.

It sports a Benchdog Lift, which makes bit changes even quicker and easier than an unmounted router.

With Porter Cable’s big boy, hogging through materials with big bits is a breeze.

On top is a Freud fence. I love it. I can adjust one or both sides by merely turning knobs. No shim nonsense.

With collection at the fence and the router box, dust collection is wonderful (I use a collector and spit to shop vac hoses.

Of course, you can pick and choose some or all of these options.

View BB1's profile

BB1

1384 posts in 1267 days


#6 posted 03-29-2018 10:45 AM

Thanks. Another great sounding setup. I’ll need to start doing some research on this and likely will be back at some point with more questions. I’m in the middle of building a murphy bed so may be a while before I can even start dreaming of the ideal setup for my shop. I appreciate your response.

For those who have built their own, did you track cost?


I built my table too, which includes the router box underneath.

The table is nice and big (2 x 4 ), making wide and long stock easier to work with.

A little laminate from the Restore (Habitat for Humanity) and the top is smooth.

It sports a Benchdog Lift, which makes bit changes even quicker and easier than an unmounted router.

With Porter Cable s big boy, hogging through materials with big bits is a breeze.

On top is a Freud fence. I love it. I can adjust one or both sides by merely turning knobs. No shim nonsense.

With collection at the fence and the router box, dust collection is wonderful (I use a collector and spit to shop vac hoses.

Of course, you can pick and choose some or all of these options.

- Kelly


View LazarusDB's profile

LazarusDB

36 posts in 584 days


#7 posted 03-29-2018 11:41 AM

Another vote here on building your own table. I too used the Incra lift and am very happy with it.

-- Aaron - Aspiring Craftsman

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BB1

1384 posts in 1267 days


#8 posted 03-29-2018 11:58 AM

Another great looking setup! Thanks for sharing.

I think that part of my interest in a “set” is that I am a weekend woodworker (until I can retire!) and so when I get in the shop I love to jump into my projects. This may be one of those situations where a shop construction project is what I need to focus on…after the Murphy bed construction is done, and I have time to research options.


Another vote here on building your own table. I too used the Incra lift and am very happy with it.

- LazarusDB


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BB1

1384 posts in 1267 days


#9 posted 03-29-2018 12:02 PM

As a followup question…I’m gathering aspects that are desired (types of lifts, fence system, etc)...but for those who have self-designed, what are some things you would suggest avoiding, or wish you could change after working with your setup?

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2939 posts in 1359 days


#10 posted 03-29-2018 01:45 PM

Well I’d probably not use the Incra Clean Sweep and just make a compartment for dust collection to occur in. I purchased the CS for a table I was already using – a modified Workmate – but it didn’t fit. So I already had that when I was building the table and used it. It works perfectly well, but you can get the same results from just incorporating the router compartment in the design, which I may end up doing. I’ll get additional closed storage under the dust collection compartment.

The only other thing I would suggest based on experience is – dust collection hookup immediately behind the bit. I was using an Incra fence – still have it stowed in the garage – and the dust collection was never that great as the dust collection happens at one end of the fence and away from the bit. The dust collection on the Jessem fence is right behind the bit. It’s night and day better.

My router table went from being the biggest mess maker in the shop to the best collector of chips and dust. It’s a pleasure to use.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View LazarusDB's profile

LazarusDB

36 posts in 584 days


#11 posted 03-29-2018 02:48 PM

Not really anything I would change with mine other than not screw up the drawer height. I messed up when making it and the drawers for holding router bits are really short so I can only fit smaller bits in them. I was going to make my own fence then when I added up the cost of everything it was the same price as the Rockler fence so I went with that instead. When I made the table most people thought I was nuts for making such a large table but I really like it. I’m able to keep a couple small tools or push blocks on the top and also push through any size piece of wood.

-- Aaron - Aspiring Craftsman

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2335 posts in 3363 days


#12 posted 03-29-2018 03:08 PM

Lazarus, my bit storage is a metal drawer set. It’s drawers are not deep enough too, so the big bits mount on their sides. The wood base they mount in are not secured, so the entire run can tip up. They all rest on shelf liner.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2335 posts in 3363 days


#13 posted 03-29-2018 03:16 PM

This Freud fence was not too bad a price and is easy and reliable to use.

The in and out feed fences adjust independently via the turn of large, metal knobs. Most others require you to add or remove shims. Some even have just a single fence, so you cannot set the two sides at different depths.

Dust collection, in conjunction with a box under the table, is excellent.

View dday's profile

dday

172 posts in 1848 days


#14 posted 03-29-2018 03:16 PM

Have you thought about building a table in one of the wings of your table saw? Just finished building one from scrap, has a home made lift underneath—-

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6210 posts in 1131 days


#15 posted 03-29-2018 03:46 PM

now that I’m drooling all over my keyboard from looking at these beautiful tables i shall go into my shop and stare at my VA cheapo table with NO LIFT and craptsman router LMAO :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

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