Buy or build router table.

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Forum topic by OasisArt posted 02-15-2014 03:57 PM 3117 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 2175 days

02-15-2014 03:57 PM

I’m need some advice. New to routers and just purchased the Triton router. So do I build a table or buy the triton stand and table? The problem I keep running into is I don’t have enough experience using a router to determine which choice would give me more value.

One advantage that I think I saw in a video is that if using the Triton table you don’t have to remove the router base plate to attach it to the table, which if you only have one router-advantage buy.

However, if you have two routers then that would be a non-issue and since a base and table together cost the same or more than buying another router-advantage neither.

I am leaning toward buying the table and stand simply because it is probably better quality than I can build at this time. A year from now maybe not. Well any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. And yes I did quite a few searches before I posted this, sorry if it’s an old conversation for you I simply could not find enough information to make a firm decision.

Thanks for reading.

-- Sawdust making artesian

26 replies so far

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4196 days

#1 posted 02-15-2014 04:02 PM

I bought the axminster power tools uk router/spindle moulder fence it can be used for both machines according to them so I bought the table the fingers and the hold downs so I need to make my own table and this year I intend to do just that. Here is my set up see the attachments for this set up regards .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 2681 days

#2 posted 02-15-2014 04:14 PM

I found myself in your position some time ago, albeit not with a triton! I decided to buy the first time around. I got the veritas steel plate table top, and LOVE it. Couldn’t be happier. IMO its the best table on the market because of how it is engineered, by being milled flat with a 10lb weight hung from the middle. When I am ready for my next table I will build it for sure but I will never regret that purchase. If you are unsure of your skills, buying is not a bad idea, because you want the router table to be very precise and accurate. What I would not do, is buy a cheap one.,43053,43885

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4188 days

#3 posted 02-15-2014 04:17 PM

I prefer to make my router tables because most of the factory made router tables are to small .When you build your own you can build it to the height and width so that’s comfortable for you to work at, plus you can include lots of spaces and drawer space for all of your router bits and accessories .


View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3287 days

#4 posted 02-15-2014 04:30 PM

so many variations of a router table…so many phases you will go through in woodworking that will require different types of router accessories.

After 36 years of building stuff, I’ve gone thru several up grades and have one to go. The last detail is more about showing off my cabinet skills and burning another item off the bucket list – a full blown maple router cabinet.

The fence is so important, adjustability in the opening, track for feather boards, formica finish and a good dust collector in back. I’d buy one. I bought the Jessem fence….so sweet.

Just as important is the router insert. I’m not familiar with the triton, I hear it’s a good unit. I have a Kreg router lift now with a designated PC 3 1/2 beast which I love but it was over 500.00 and took forever to justify spending that much. so many other tools to buy. But, man is it nice!

I used a Rousoeau router insert with a 3hp Makita before that which worked good. No flex, the changeable opening rings make the difference. It wasn’t that hard to switch plates as it lifts right out. But, eventually, you’ll leave that 3 hp in the stand and buy a decent 1 1/2 to 2 hp. unit for hand work.

The stand – if it’s stiff and doesn’t move… it works. I ended up buying the solid maple 1 1/4” leg stand for 99.00 bucks at a wood show, years ago thinking it would be temporary till I build this wonderful router table. But, it works great, it was well built, it was the same price as the materials to build one and I still use it.

The top – buy one. They’re 1 to 1 1/4 thick made of sold MDF and melamine coated with a track and the insert cut out is done perfect. The holes are predrilled for the stand… it’s a no brainer.

but, many would say there’s nothing like making it yourself. Hard to argue with that.

hey! be sure to post a picture of your new stand.

Have fun and welcome to Lumberjocks!

View lepelerin's profile


495 posts in 2936 days

#5 posted 02-15-2014 04:37 PM

I would say built it you will learn something. This is the point isn’t it?
Search this site or the web and you will see gazillions of router table plans or model. Pick what you like and go for it.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2971 days

#6 posted 02-15-2014 05:05 PM

I haven’t built my own, but use a home made one I bought…if that makes sense.

I will build when the time comes….right now I hardly use the thing.

FYI- if you want to DIY the plate, Menards has cutting boards that are made out of corian…they are engineered flat and cut very well.

Would be a good route if you don’t want spend a lot on the plate itself.

-- Steve

View bondogaposis's profile


5613 posts in 2962 days

#7 posted 02-15-2014 05:51 PM

If you want to be a woodworker, why would buy something that you can build? There must be a gazillion plans out there, most for free. If you are going to get into this, in the end, you are going to get more than one router; so removing it from the table will soon be a non-issue. Building a router table is great entry level project.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile


542 posts in 2475 days

#8 posted 02-15-2014 05:58 PM

I went through this a while back. I priced it all out and to build the table, I would have spent $100 more than i did to buy this one:”":

It works great. I have no complaints and I saved money and time I needed for other projects.

-- “If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” ― Lenny Bruce

View Todd's profile


413 posts in 2287 days

#9 posted 02-15-2014 06:45 PM

I bought the top and built my own base. I also have a Triton and love it!

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 2504 days

#10 posted 02-15-2014 08:10 PM

Building your own router table is a rite of passage for any woodworker. Avoiding this route may be at your own peril [insert dramatic music here].

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View MrUnix's profile


7601 posts in 2810 days

#11 posted 02-15-2014 08:50 PM

Build one.. it can be as simple as a piece of plywood sitting on top of a couple saw horses to a full blown dedicated cabinet with storage. If you are worried about having to take the base plate off when mounting, then build it using toggle clamps to secure the router instead of screws.

PS: I’m guessing it’s not.. but if space is a concern, consider making an extension for your table saw to mount the router in. Saves space and allows you to use the existing fence and miter slot setup already there.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1089 posts in 3676 days

#12 posted 02-15-2014 11:30 PM

I also suggest building one. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be super helpful. The only luxury that I have in my shopmade router table is a router lift that I picked up on clearance. Other than that the total cost of my setup was nearly free, and it imposes no real limitations on my woodworking. Don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy using a high end decked out router table with a cast iron top, but I don’t feel that it would give me more capabilities than I currently have with my Fred Sanford Special Edition.

-- Paul Mayer,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3301 days

#13 posted 02-16-2014 01:46 AM

A1Jim pretty much summed up the reasons that I built mine (and I’ve never regretted it). I was a total newbie when I built mine with very few tools.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View bannerpond1's profile


397 posts in 2510 days

#14 posted 02-16-2014 01:51 AM

I bought a Jess-Em because it had the features I wanted and wasn’t too expensive. I was not willing to spend the time making a table. You can buy the lift and the T-tracks, etc, but if you are making “stuff,” you may not want to devote the time to the table.

However, if I were, I’d make a combination router table/ cut-off extension for my table saw.

-- --Dale Page

View Texcaster's profile


1286 posts in 2285 days

#15 posted 02-16-2014 03:44 AM

Mine is pretty basic compared to most. I make a new one every year or two. Most of my work is done on the shaper. All I use the router for these days is the dovetail/ dovetail block on instruments.
I like the bolt pivot one clamp setup, easy for me to adjust. On the shaper and router table I always use a throw away zero clearance fence.

gaping hole

my quick release

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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