LumberJocks

Where to find Router Plate Inserts

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by EarlS posted 06-08-2018 05:37 PM 1241 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2879 posts in 2767 days


06-08-2018 05:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router bench dog insert plate

I have a Bench Dog Router cast iron table with the cast iron lift plate and the whole deal. The table is OK, so is the lift and the router plate. The problem is that the only insert plate that fits the router plate is a flimsy, very poorly made, cheap piece of plastic garbage that Rockler sells. I can’t say enough negative things about the insert. It is so bad I considered getting rid of the entire router set up and getting something else. Reality set in and I decided to live with it. So I shimmed the insert with tape to get it somewhat flat and close to the height of the router plate. However, the plastic continues to deflect every time I use it resulting in messed up cuts and a lot of re-work and annoyance.

I called and complained and the person I spoke with told me that Bench Dog was bought by Rockler and these garbage inserts were developed to “cut costs”. Really – on a $1000 router table set up? At any rate, while he agreed that the inserts were garbage he didn’t know of anything internally that was being done about it.

Here are my questions:

Does anyone else have the same set up and if what do you use for an insert plate?

Does anyone know of aftermarket shops that make inserts?

Any other ideas on where to find inserts that have the 3 hole pattern for inset screws?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"


16 replies so far

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2939 posts in 1359 days


#1 posted 06-08-2018 07:08 PM

Woodpecker makes them, but they’re also plastic. Maybe they’re better quality? But Rockler also has phenolic inserts. Didn’t the Rockler rep mention these?

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

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2377 days


#2 posted 06-08-2018 07:10 PM

Aren’t there several options available, even at Rockler?

I am using an Incra Lift (made by Jessum) and it came with 5 or 6 metal plates that lock into place with magnets. Super nice. The inserts may have been separate, but I bought it at Rockler.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2879 posts in 2767 days


#3 posted 06-08-2018 07:44 PM

I’ve looked at all of the major sources and none of them look like they would fit.

The biggest problem with insert plates is that every router plate manufacturer makes a slightly different diameter, thickness, or locking arrangement.

There are pictures of the original version the Bench Dog lift that have what appears to be a really nice metal (aluminum?) insert. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find that version.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3214 posts in 2676 days


#4 posted 06-08-2018 09:39 PM

Earl, find someone with a machine shop and have them fabricate a bunch of them from aluminum. I would guess that they could even be made by someone with a CNC. FWIW

-- Art

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2879 posts in 2767 days


#5 posted 06-09-2018 02:11 AM

Art – I talked to a friend that works in a metal fabrication shop. Their quote was nearly $100/insert. There has to be someone out there that has this same set up and has found a better solution than the plastic garbage Rockler is selling.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2939 posts in 1359 days


#6 posted 06-09-2018 03:11 AM

Earl you can probably make them yourself with more than acceptable results. It’s really no different than making a ZC throat plate for a table saw. I mean we make stuff.

You can use phenolic boards or aluminum plate as Art suggested or even hardboard. Just need to get the proper thickness material or use leveling screws or sand to thickness.

A few 3 – 4 inch round disks with center holes of different sizes shouldn’t be all that difficult to make. Make a bearing template for the disk and then route them out.

$100/insert sounds insulting but I guess their shop time is more valuable to them than making something with little return on that time.

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

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2728 posts in 1641 days


#7 posted 06-09-2018 01:19 PM

I’d be tempted to make my own out of something that can be routed for the circle and any lip along the edge. Having a lathe would be even easier. Ideally you would add thickness where you can and hopefully the lip is fairly deep so any non-metal creation has strength in this area.

Another approach would be an aluminum plate, more like a skin, that sits flush when resting on the lip, Then you could screw on a thick backer for stiffness.

My lift (woodpecker PRL) uses some twist-in aluminum inserts. I’m glad I bought a full set when they had a “last call” before they went to molded plastic.

View Robert's profile

Robert

3436 posts in 1899 days


#8 posted 06-09-2018 03:22 PM

If your router allows above table bit changes, the best option is a pre-made plate because they will have insert rings for different bits.

I have a Kreg and its well made. Had to do over I would probably go with Incra. If it doesn’t fit there are ways to attack that. Either rip down to size or use the existing as a template and route to fit.

Where do you find them, on Amazon, where else? LOL

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)

CaptainKlutz

1494 posts in 1913 days


#9 posted 06-09-2018 04:16 PM

The $100 each from machine shop is not ridiculous IMHO, works out to about 1 hour a part? There are a lot of holes and several of machine setups required to duplicate that part, regardless if done by hand or on CNC.
If the OD is non-standard size and tolerance is tight, this requires cutting final diameter separately (.vs. using cheaper stamped edge or water/laser cut edge)

My suggestion is like several others. Make it yourself.
Cutting thin plates with a lathe is challenging, so I would work with flat stock.
Use phenolic plate (Leecraft sells it for zero clearance saw inserts). Super easy to machine, doesn’t warp like wood. Easiest method is to make a couple of templates from some MDF, or figure out how to use the existing plastic insert as a template. Pattern route OD, drill mounting holes, and then Forster drill center hole.

You could do almost same thing using aluminum plate. Would have to be more careful about depth of cut for each pass with router, and would need to get carbide Forster bits for center hole.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View cebfish's profile

cebfish

160 posts in 3107 days


#10 posted 06-10-2018 09:49 PM

Has anyone tried using Corian for a router plate? I got some scraps for free from a place that makes countertops. I have been thinking about trying it. just haven’t got around to it

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1120 posts in 4032 days


#11 posted 06-10-2018 10:20 PM

Woodpecker makes them, but they’re also plastic.

Odd you should mention that. I bought my Woodpecker lift 10 years ago (OMG! Has it been 10 years already?). It came with 3 quality aluminum inserts and I loved them! I should have ordered the entire set (they offered another 8 inserts for $80) when I bought the lift. Then they moved to cheap plastic crap that I just wouldn’t buy!

Almost exactly two years ago (June, 2016) they offered a one-time tool buy of a set of the original aluminum inserts. They cost me $105 + shipping and tax =~ $120. Worth every damn penny!

I even knocked together a carrier to keep them organized in the drawer:

I have taken to leaving the solid ring in place when I am not using the router table – it turns the router table into a nice work surface.

I don’t know if these actually fit your router lift as someone else suggested but if they do, I would subscribe to the mailing list at Woodpecker’s and then jump on the next time they offer them as “one-time tools”.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2939 posts in 1359 days


#12 posted 06-10-2018 11:03 PM



Has anyone tried using Corian for a router plate? I got some scraps for free from a place that makes countertops. I have been thinking about trying it. just haven t got around to it

- cebfish


If you’re talking about the plate that supports the router, I guess it depends upon the thickness and the weight of the router. It’s possible you may get some sag. But free means it can’t hurt to try.

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

2879 posts in 2767 days


#13 posted 06-11-2018 05:12 PM

I was hoping to hear from someone that has a Bench Dog cast iron router plate and lift to see what they use. One of the problems with the insert plates is that every manufacturer seems to want to make theirs slightly different. The Bench Dog version has 3 little, tiny, inset screws to hold the plate in place, as opposed to the Woodpeckers version with 2 holes and a locking channel.

I have started looking for aluminum rounds and also custom fab shops online. I’ll probably also look for phenolic insert plate stock and try to make something myself. Not exactly the kind of thing I wanted to spend my wood working time doing, but a necessary evil if I ever want to get better results out of the router table. Alternatively, I could sell the lift and plate and buy a different one, assuming it will fit in the plate hole in the cast iron top.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

9950 posts in 1557 days


#14 posted 06-11-2018 06:19 PM


Has anyone tried using Corian for a router plate? I got some scraps for free from a place that makes countertops. I have been thinking about trying it. just haven t got around to it

- cebfish

If you re talking about the plate that supports the router, I guess it depends upon the thickness and the weight of the router. It s possible you may get some sag. But free means it can t hurt to try.

- builtinbkyn

I made my own router plates from plywood laminated with Formica and from UHMW. Too much going on with a large router to find the right balance of thickness to avoid loosing too much cut depth and strength to avoid sagging. Plus getting it flush everywhere and fabricating your own inserts. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t make sense IMHO. Even if the material is free, your time and frustration have to have some value. I eventually just coughed up $60 or so for a Kreg plate and levelling brackets and have never regretted the purchase for a second. Quite the opposite actually, that and my Router Raizer took my router table from something I used when nothing else would work to one of my go-to tools that gets used often. Just my $.02!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

9950 posts in 1557 days


#15 posted 06-11-2018 06:27 PM



I was hoping to hear from someone that has a Bench Dog cast iron router plate and lift to see what they use. One of the problems with the insert plates is that every manufacturer seems to want to make theirs slightly different. The Bench Dog version has 3 little, tiny, inset screws to hold the plate in place, as opposed to the Woodpeckers version with 2 holes and a locking channel.

I have started looking for aluminum rounds and also custom fab shops online. I ll probably also look for phenolic insert plate stock and try to make something myself. Not exactly the kind of thing I wanted to spend my wood working time doing, but a necessary evil if I ever want to get better results out of the router table. Alternatively, I could sell the lift and plate and buy a different one, assuming it will fit in the plate hole in the cast iron top.

- EarlS

Try this guy= Earl. I bought some inserts for my bandsaw table and the thin plastic ones sucked but that was all I could find. This guy custom made me a few at a very reasonable cost. They’re still plastic but he works with Delrin and UHMW so it’s not cheap molded stuff. And he cuts them on a CNC so they’re precise and he actually mailed me one to test the fit before he made the ones he was charging me for. I don’t know if he’ll want to take on the job, your’s are a bit more complex than mine were. But he is a really nice guy and does excellent work so it may be worth a shot. I know he said he likes to get size info for common machines too because then he can batch them out and sell ‘em on eBay. So it may be worth his while to make some for you and make more on the back end…

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com