|Review by Vrtigo1||posted 08-05-2010 04:20 PM||2540 views||2 times favorited||4 comments|
Let me start by saying that I bought this plate for my first router table, so I don’t have any frame of reference for comparing it to other products. With that being said, I was impressed with the quality of the plate and the cutout template.
The price was right, at about $50 from Amazon. I was a little worried about getting a phenolic plate and the possibility of it warping when I hang my Hitachi M12V from it, but the plate feels very strong and stable. Only time will tell, but I’m less worried now than I was before I actually held the plate in my hands.
The cutout template is just a piece of MDF, but it worked well. I think the price could be a bit better, $25 seems a bit high considering it probably only costs them a dollar or two to make. I used double stick tape to attach the template to the table and made 3 or 4 passes around to remove the material, lowering the bit a little each time. After the first pass, I cut around the inside edge of the groove with a jigsaw to remove the center waste section so I could set the plate in the hole and get an idea as to how much more material needed to be removed. I continued making the groove just a little bit deeper until the plate sat about 1/16” lower than the table surface, then I used the leveling screws to raise it to be flush.
The plate is absolutely flush with the table top and the fit is pretty good. There is a very small amount of play from left to right. If I push the plate back and forth, it does move about 1/16” or maybe slightly less, but I don’t think it will be a problem and am not worried about it. If it didn’t move at all, I’d give it 5 stars, but it’s possible this is by design to make removing the plate easier.
I also like the fact that the Rout-R-Plate uses the same size cutout as JessEm’s various lift systems, so down the road I can simply take out the plate and replace it with a lift.
The plate comes with two inserts and a wrench to install/remove them. They seem to be sized about right for the majority of bits considering they only include two inserts. They also have a set of 5 different size inserts, and I think I’ll probably end up purchasing it. It’d be nice if they included all of the inserts with the plate, but at the price point, I understand why they’re sold as an add-on.
The plate doesn’t come predrilled, so you have to drill your own mounting holes, but this proved to be really easy. I removed the subbase from my router and used it as a template on the bottom side of the plate. Once I had the hole locations marked, I drilled through holes, then flipped the plate over and countersynced the top of the plate so the mounting bolts sit slightly below the surface of the plate.
Overall, a solid product, easy to install and easy to use.