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LJ Router Table mounted router recommendtions

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Blog entry by tennjock59 posted 1610 days ago 841 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello again, fellow LJs. Planning to get a router table for the shop and am fishing for table/router recommendations. I know the only way to go on the router is 3-1/4 HP. That much power should handle about anything.

Please share your inputs, as the recommendations I get from you guys are what I rely on to help make my purchase decisions.

Thanks,
tennjock59

-- jselrahc, east Tennessee



6 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2161 days


#1 posted 1610 days ago

My router table is shop made and the main feature is that it has a long top about 40” and that the top is hinged to get to the router easily. Another option is to install a router lift. If you do a search here on LJs you will get a lot of good ideas.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

947 posts in 1691 days


#2 posted 1610 days ago

I’d also recommend building your own, there are plenty of great designs here on LJs, and considering the cost you can save ALOT of money on the table that you can put towards shiny new toys like lifts and bits and such (I was going to buy a rockler table unit until I realized building my own would save me enough to pay for a nice PC router!) Frankly there is nothing that the retail tables have that you can’t quite easily make yourself. If you go that route and need help designing one you’ll find no shortage of help around here!

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View PflugervilleSteve's profile

PflugervilleSteve

98 posts in 1626 days


#3 posted 1610 days ago

Router:
The latest version of the Triton 3 1/4 has above the table height adjustment, which means you can skip the lift and save a bundle. I’ve got the slightly older version and have to reach below to adjust, but I’m ok with that. I’ve owned Porter-Cable and tried friends Hitachi and Craftsman routers. The Triton is by far and away the best and most comfortable of any router I’ve owned or used so far. If you’re only going to own one and migrate it between table and hand held as needed, this is an excellent choice.

Table:
Build it/Buy it… kind of depends on your confidence level and how much room you have. I’m using a table saw extension router table I got from routertabledepot.com. I added it on the far right side of my table saw. Works well for me. Quality’s fine, especially given the price. I’m not sure I could have gotten all the materials together for building one for much less than the cost of the “dent and ding” table I got from them. I had to completely redo the mounting setup on it, but that’s life.

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4896 posts in 1892 days


#4 posted 1609 days ago

Height adjustment from above the table is a tremendout plus…makes life easier…especially on your back. I have a jessem/Incra lift and it is great. A 3 1/4 hp router is the way to go but a 2 1/2 will be a fine second choice.
I have 2 store bought table tops but the only reason i did not build mine was that i had too many other projects going on at the time. You can easily build one with MDF and some plastic laminate. Not hard. Ust be cautious cutting the plate insert.
Do like a Zillion other have done, including myself, and build a good router table cabinet to use with the top. Dust collection is important.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View CCWoodcrafts's profile

CCWoodcrafts

36 posts in 1627 days


#5 posted 1609 days ago

I have a router built in to a 7 ft table top (an old craftsman that just wont die!), a portable (sears I think) router table and I just bought a Freud 3 1/4 with table and fence. I got it for the router (as i have another Freud 3/14 that is a beast) and fence actually. Like everyone said you can easily build a nice router table, probably nicer than you can buy for much less, but this time I just bought the package as it was fairly cheap ($399) and time was of the essence for me as I am doing production. Hardware prices just keep going up so when you take the time planning and making it, and the hardware cost out, especially with the precision of that fence, it was the way to go for me this time. I had an issue with the router (collet wouldn’t like down on some 1/2 inch bits) but my local Woodcraft replaced the entire router when we just couldn’t make it work. The table is mediocre, the mounting plate is good but the hardware for the fence and vacuum attachments are incredible. The through table controls, as with most other set ups, are a pain, too much spinning, etc. which is why I’m sure most these guys have the router lifts. BTW if you do build you can usually get a discounted piece of kitchen formica that broke for a good discount at Home Depot or Lowes. That stuff is great for router and workbench tops! Let us know what you do!

-- Jim, http://carolinacustomwoodcrafts.building.officelive.com/default.aspx

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2353 posts in 2021 days


#6 posted 1609 days ago

There are some great stand alone and extension router tables made here on LJ’s. One that I’m seeing a lot that is really nice is the one with two sets of small drawers on the sides of the table.
My low cost solution to this was to build my own and put a triton 3 1/2 hp router into it. A planed laminated top is rigid and flat. I’ve been doing raised panel doors lately for my sister’s kitchen rebuild and it’s worked out nicely. Beyond the cost of wood it’s the router and mounting plate that are the cost.

Here's my build that works well and was as cost effective as I could make it.

And my review of the Triton router with built in lift.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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