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Looking for info/advice on Old Bosch Deluxe Router Table RA1200, no miter track or fence

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Forum topic by SoCalBonnie posted 08-21-2019 11:57 PM 1063 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SoCalBonnie

32 posts in 188 days


08-21-2019 11:57 PM

So mine looks a little different than the one written up here: https://www.finewoodworking.com/2006/03/01/router-table-ra1200-review. In all the stuff I’ve found online, I’ve found several variations but none that look like mine.

See the photo below (and forgive the mess; I’m just digging out of a months-long home improvement project where everything got dumped in the garage).

I got it a couple of months ago, a good deal with a Jointech Smartlift Digital Router Lift, a Porter Cable Router 890, and that heavy duty dust collection box. It was a buying frenzy and I guess I wasn’t really paying attention when I put it in my car with all the other incredible goodies I bought that day.

The router is on the left side of the lengthwise run of the table, rather than centered on the table. And there is no fence or miter track. There are holes on the right as you can see in the photo below (where the arrows are) but they aren’t typically in a place where I’ve seen fences installed (near the top of the lengthwise run of the table, and centered).

The holes seem like the manufacturer made them there, too, I mean, they are finished like the ends of the table are. Certainly not home-made drilled holes.

And the inset ledges that hold the router lift look like they were manufactured to be this way, rather than a home user routing them out. So I’m thinking it was built to be this way.

What would you do with a table like this? Wouldn’t a fence on that side of the table (where the arrows are) be too far away from the router? Or maybe those holes are for some other device that someone might recognize? Like, maybe, a fancy Incra router fence?

And would you add a miter track or a t-track? I mean, the table top seems pretty tough—maybe it’s not supposed to have a track. The article says the top is MDF but my table feels more like a rock solid polymer, especially around the part that holds the lift.

Basically, I’m wondering what to do with it… buy or build a fence and install it where the old holes are, or what! Maybe I could just sell it, but frankly I’m at a loss at how to describe it to a buyer. I mean, is this a special kind of router table layout, for a special kind of job, or what?

BTW, the original owner was an elderly gentleman who’d only been woodworking for five years or so before he passed away, according to the relatives who were selling his possessions. I got so many wonderful things at that sale for extremely cheap prices, so I won’t upset if this table is a loss.


14 replies so far

View Robert's profile

Robert

3516 posts in 1960 days


#1 posted 08-22-2019 10:37 AM

Ive never seen a router set up like that. But, it is usable. The holes may have been related to a fence system. Try researching the model # of the table for a manual.

If it were me, I would ignore the holes and build a fence that runs lengthwise. You’ll just have the router offset to the left instead of the middle. You can always add a support wing if needed.

Only other option is build a new top to suit your preference.

I’ve built 3 router tables and found t tracks in the tabletop of limited use other than for a featherboard. IMO you should not use a miter gauge in a router table, but rather a coping sled that rides along the fence. A T track in the fence, however is a useful feature for hold downs and stop blocks.

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

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1440 posts in 3329 days


#2 posted 08-22-2019 10:59 AM

Have to agree with building a fence. Since the bit is spinning in a horizontal plane and not a vertical one like the TS, there is not a need for worrying about dead on alignment. You can build a box style fence with adjustable faces that will span the top and clamp the back edges to the table. To adjust depth of cut you only need to pivot one end. Take a look at the Router Workshop on YouTube You’ll be surprised to see how simple a router fence can be and learn to use your own, “Fine Adjustment Tool”

I’m on my second fence, I built a box style like in the pic but redesigned to use a 4” port for my DC on the top, I don’t have an enclosure on my router and the CFM from the 4” on top gets most everything when I’m doing edges.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

10744 posts in 1617 days


#3 posted 08-22-2019 02:29 PM

I would also be inclined to build or buy a fence and just use clamps to secure it on the edges of the table. And, in this case, a “fence” could be as simple as a board with a straight edge. It really depends on how often you use your router table and what kinds of things you use it for. If it’s a heavily used machine in your shop, I’d just start from scratch with a more robust table with better structural support and dust collection. The router being positioned as it is on that table is really just a waste of table space unless you have an Incra or similar fence system mounted back there.

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

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6369 posts in 1191 days


#4 posted 08-22-2019 02:47 PM

I am wondering if he did not change the top for his needs

if I where you maybe i would mount a sander or some other tool back there so as not to waste all that top and still clamp a fence on it :<)))

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

View kroginold's profile

kroginold

38 posts in 1528 days


#5 posted 08-23-2019 01:41 AM

The configuration of the table and placement of the four holes at end opposite the router are similar to positioning is the Incra LS positioner system

View SoCalBonnie's profile

SoCalBonnie

32 posts in 188 days


#6 posted 08-23-2019 02:00 AM

Robert, HokieKen and Kroginold, I think you are right; this must be for an incremental fence system.

ChefHDan, I really like that fence, thank you for the link!

Gr8Hunter, for a little bit I thought I might go ahead and do this, but now I’m thinking I’m either going to 1) find a used incremental fence system or 2) sell the table and build my own!

Thanks to you all for the advice, it was very helpful.

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

1440 posts in 3329 days


#7 posted 08-23-2019 12:44 PM

I got some pics of the actual fence I built. I built a wing into my TS for my router, I use the TS fence and clamp the “box” to the fence to secure it. I used threaded inserts on the back side of the faces and they are adjustable with the wing nuts inside the “box”. initially I thought I’d close the box up some but the 3/4 cabinet ply has plenty of structure to keep it all square and I’ve found myself using the open space to put collet wrenches push sleds etc, and the 4” DC does not allow the “box” to just fill with saw dust. I’ve seen the Incra do amazing things but they’re pricey even on the used market. I don’t recall the exact situation of your shop but recall you’re trying to maximize the square footage. If you go with the build idea, consider a TS wing.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View SoCalBonnie's profile

SoCalBonnie

32 posts in 188 days


#8 posted 08-25-2019 02:39 PM

ChefHDan, that looks amazing, I like how it is clamped to the TS fence. I have a jobsite saw, built into a bench, so no extra wing, but this is something to consider for the future.

I’m trying to free up more room in the garage, about to give up our garage gym and spend the money on a membership so I can have more room. Gym memberships are pricey, though, so not sure yet.

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

3607 posts in 1053 days


#9 posted 08-25-2019 05:50 PM



I am wondering if he did not change the top for his needs

- GR8HUNTER

Guaranteed that isn’t a stock top. Looks like whoever had a piece of melamine and used that, drilled holes and all. That is pretty far away from the bit to be much of a useful fence, unless maybe one of those Incra positioners was on it.

I agree a home made fence would work great here, provided that top is heavy duty enough to support the router placed in it without sag.

-- Think safe, be safe

View SoCalBonnie's profile

SoCalBonnie

32 posts in 188 days


#10 posted 08-26-2019 04:33 PM

therealSteveN: OK, so you are probably right in that is melamine, it definitely feels like a polymer of some sort. But am not sure about it being a homemade top because everything is finished very professionally, lovely edges on the table, even the holes are perfectly drilled… but then, I realize there are people out there with skills much better than mine, haha!

And the color of the surface—yellow—is so odd. I can’t find anything like it online.

And after reading everyone’s comments I researched Incra fences and I think the original owner must’ve had one on this table.

I will probably sell this offset router table or donate it. It was an impulse purchase because I could get it for such a very inexpensive price, but I can’t see myself using it or spending money on a fancy fence.

And yet I could probably build a fence system for it, though—I do like what ChefHDan has got going… I’m not sure yet what to do.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

10744 posts in 1617 days


#11 posted 08-26-2019 05:10 PM


ChefHDan, that looks amazing, I like how it is clamped to the TS fence. I have a jobsite saw, built into a bench, so no extra wing, but this is something to consider for the future.

I m trying to free up more room in the garage, about to give up our garage gym and spend the money on a membership so I can have more room. Gym memberships are pricey, though, so not sure yet.

- SoCalBonnie

I don’t know your situation Bonnie but, you might be surprised if you have health insurance. In the past several years, a lot of plans have started to offer significant discounts if they have a contract with a chain of gyms. In my case, they knock my premiums down because I have a membership to a gym that I pay for. The money I save on premiums pretty much covers my gym dues.

And, I can see from your picture that you’re obviously in your mid to late twenties. But, when you retire in 40 years or so, AARP and Medicare both offer significantly discounted memberships. My in-laws have free memberships to Gold’s Gym through Medicare.

Just thought I’d throw it out there because lots of people don’t think about seeing if their insurance offers such “wellness” incentives or benefits :-)

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

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)

therealSteveN

3607 posts in 1053 days


#12 posted 08-26-2019 05:51 PM

The yellow was why I thought melamine, possibly the wrong word. I actually thought it might be some substrate with some left over, very cheaply purchased, Formica (ugly color = cheap). Looking at the edge, it just looked too thick for Phenolic. Most of that stuff us mere mortals can afford is 3/8” to 5/8”.

Finishing the edges (router with roundover bit), and drilling correctly if you used the provided template probably aren’t as hard as you are giving someone credit for.

Before you sell it, Google “Ready2Rout” It’s a next wave deal that turns a router table into a CNC for joinery, dovetails mostly. It works better based on the size of the table you have, so a huge table would allow larger drawer pieces. Watch a video or 2. I don’t have one? I should say yet…... not sure, the next time I have a thousand bux “woodworking expendable,” if I want to add a Domino, or this.

-- Think safe, be safe

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SoCalBonnie

32 posts in 188 days


#13 posted 08-26-2019 09:45 PM

HokieKen, you charmer. I need to change that photo, it was taken last year when I was 58. Me in my favorite wig after I got through chemo. Now I’m sporting a nice head of gray hair.

Our health insurance does give employees (like the hubster) a gym membership—but not spouses. Still, I can mentally calculate that the cost of a gym membership for me would also be paying for a bigger workshop area, so it’s worth it.

therealSteveN: I just watched the Rockler video on the Ready2Rout… FANCY. I’m nowhere near that speed, not yet anyway, haha! Getting one of those would be like getting a sports car for a teenage driver!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

10744 posts in 1617 days


#14 posted 08-27-2019 02:21 PM

You could also take up hand tool working Bonnie ;-) A few hours with hand planes and saws and you’ll have cardio, arms, shoulders and back covered. Throw a few boards on your shoulders and do a few squats and you’re good!

Gray hair is way cuter than blond. Great call!

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

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