New Router Table Features

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Forum topic by Nicky posted 04-14-2013 09:20 PM 1671 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4702 days

04-14-2013 09:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router table question router

I’ve had a Rockler router table top for many years. It’s served me well. It’s mounted to a simple cabinet with storage for bits and accessories. The table is showing its wear, so I think time for a new table. I’m using a Triton router, seems to work very well in the table. I’d like to hear about features that you think are important. If you were building a new router table, what features would you include?

I have viewed (and bookmarked) many of the tables on this site (and I’ll be stealing some of these ideas.) A few thoughts and questions that I have:

1. If I can change bits and make height adjustments on top, what advantage would a router plate have? Inserts, of various sizes would be needed.

2. Most of the tables I viewed have a rather large cavity where the router is installed. Why? Seems to me this space is wasted.

3. I’ve seen some really nice INCRA fences installed. Has this been a worth while purchase?

-- Nicky

8 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3187 days

#1 posted 04-15-2013 01:59 AM

1: I’d skip the plate with a triton router. I would simply rout my own inserts for the table, much like doug stowe’s router table.

2: I agree that the space is wasted. I think it has to do with the fact that most of the cabinet style router tables are based on norm’s design. When I build mine, which will also be based on norm’s design, the router compartment will only be big enough for necessary router access.

3: I’ve never felt the need for an incra fence, and still don’t. Just my preference. 90+% of my routing is done at the router table.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3746 days

#2 posted 04-15-2013 02:14 AM

I think an INCRA fence is nice & very accurate, but more of a waste of valuable space…

I love my INCRA MagnaLOCK Plate with all 11 interchangeable insert rings…

-- Rick

View oldnovice's profile


7517 posts in 3978 days

#3 posted 04-15-2013 03:39 AM

I use the router mounting plate as the base for my router when it is out of the table as a bigger base is more stable. I have several plates each with a different router, so when I make a set up I don’t change bits, I change routers. I found an increase in accuracy and repeatability doing it this way.

I have two PC 690 each on its own mounting plate and the Bosch Colt on its own plate. My 40 year old Craftsman is not plate mounted but it could be as it has the same mounts as my PC routers.

That’s just the way I do it since I don’t have a router lift … as yet!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Bill7255's profile


428 posts in 2895 days

#4 posted 04-15-2013 05:36 AM


1. Not exactly sure what you mean here. A plate gives you a flat surface around the bit to work from. Without using inserts not sure how that would work.

2: For my router table I have boxed in the router and added a connection to th DC. So it serves a purpose to me.

3. I have the incra LS 25. I am very satisfied with this fence having use other normal fences for many years. I can adjust in 0.001 increments and come back to the exact setting days/weeks later. Having used it I would never go back to any other fence.

-- Bill R

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4702 days

#5 posted 04-15-2013 02:39 PM

Thank you for your replies.

The sole purpose of the post is to help me work out some features in a new table. I’d really like to hear about ideas that you have to improve its functions. I’m just fishing, looking for new ideas.

I don’t see a need for a new router table insert plate. Of course I would use smaller inserts, but not a full plate. I don’t need to remove the router from the table, it is dedicated to this function. I can adjust and change bits from the top. I just may be lacking imagination as to why I’d use a plate, and I’m asking what advantage I’d gain by using one.

Some of the features that I want are…
Integrated dust collection, from the router housing cavity and the fence.
A larger, and thicker table top (more mass, less vibration etc…)
More versatility in the fence (vertical raised panels, expanded joint making capabilities)

-- Nicky

View Marty5965's profile


161 posts in 2555 days

#6 posted 04-16-2013 11:41 PM

I don’t have a lift either and I just have a cheapo Ryobi table. What annoys me is the dust that falls down on the router itself (even though I have fence mounted DC) if the insert ring doesn’t match the bit very well because eventually I can no longer use the micro adjuster to raise and lower the bit and have to take the whole thing off to clean it out.

-- Marty, Wilmington, OH, learning every day....

View SawTooth1953's profile


343 posts in 3916 days

#7 posted 07-08-2013 01:39 AM

I think the plate serves 2 purposes: 1)for those that find it awkward to change bits from below, the plate lets you lift the router out, and 2) it lets you use the router by hand with the attached plate as an enlarged aux. base for stability. For routers with fixed base and wide handles, the plate (and cavity) needs to be large enough to fit the router in and to lift it out. (My first table was Rockler’s and my first router for it was too wide and I had to disassemble the handles to get it to fit through the opening… that meant I couldn’t use the router by hand without reassembling the handles, which contained the on/off trigger… not good! If I’m not mistaken, they use wider plates now. Also, since many routers can be had with multiple bases for the same motor, leaving one base attached under the table and removing the motor to use with a different base is the easier way to let one router do many things. But if those 2 reasons aren’t applicable to your situation, then skip the plate because it is also a potential source for unevenness with the rest of the table. And the table is stiffer if there is no cutout for the plate. So if you can get away without the plate, things will be definitely simpler and cheaper and somewhat better. Making removable inserts to go around the bit is a separate issue from a removable plate…it makes no difference if the inserts go in a recess in the plate or in the solid table.

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3746 days

#8 posted 07-08-2013 02:06 AM

The majority of plates today are 8.25×11.75 – 9.25 X 11.75...

-- Rick

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