benchtop routing table???

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Forum topic by wood1988 posted 07-23-2015 01:43 AM 1103 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1062 days

07-23-2015 01:43 AM

Hello Lumber Jock members

I am looking to get into woodworking and have done some with limited space since I am currently in the process of remolding the house. I will have a shop one day but right now I have a couple tools and a router that I purchased 2 years ago and it has never seen action. I am to the point of my remolding that I am wanting to build a shallow cabinet to hide an electrical panel with a better look than what I currently have. I am going to open up my router LOL 2 years later. It is the Dewalt 618 pk. I have read everywhere on the forum when someone ask about a router table they all tend to brag about the one they made. This is great but I will make mine in the future when I have a dedicated shop built. So right now I am wanting people to comment on the following if they had experience with them or know of anyone that has. The four that I am considering are as follows:

Kreg PRS 2100 ($199.99)
Kreg PRS 2000 ($229.99)
Bench Dog Pro top Contractor ($299.99)
Bosch RA1181 ($179)

I have always heard great things about Kreg and Bench dog. I was wondering what the difference is between the Kreg 2100 and the older 2000.

I also heard that the Kreg 2100 in the miter slot the screws would not lay flat is this true? The Closed cabinets I heard creates more noise and that is a little confusing since it is confined to the box.

I like the Bench dog but $299.99 is a little much for what I need it for and the fact that I will one day build my own. Any advice to help with a better decision for me to pull the trigger on a purchase.

I have seen the plywood version of a cheap router table and I really think for my first one with no experience I should stick with something above to have a better starting experience.

Which one would give me the best option in my adventure into routing?

13 replies so far

View bandit571's profile (online now)


20212 posts in 2706 days

#1 posted 07-23-2015 01:47 AM

counting the router, this cost me $23

Yard sale finds. Also found the mitre gauge for it, at another sale.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Paul's profile


5 posts in 1102 days

#2 posted 07-23-2015 10:52 AM

I’m in the same situation and decided to go with the Bosch RA1181 (which Amazon has for $169 right now with free shipping) until I’m ready to build my own. I will order the table very soon and the only thing that’s really influencing my decision is brand loyalty, I love my Bosch tools.

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1067 posts in 2872 days

#3 posted 07-23-2015 01:32 PM

I started with a benchtop before I put a wing in my TS. I found that the Vermont american table I had was a bit tall on my work tables and wound up building a stand for it and then it became a bit of a pain to work with for longer pieces as it was a bit “tippy” ( I didn’t build it wide enough for the wings) I think you may want to look at the Rockler basic table package on sale for $199 for the money and the folding abillity I think it’s a great starter for the price + the extras to boot in the package

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

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1564 posts in 3266 days

#4 posted 07-23-2015 02:12 PM

Just a note on the Rockler table, the legs do Not fold up. I visit my local Rockler often and have seen that table and the portable Benchdog ones.
You can make the Rockler one have golfing legs but it will take work. That Benchdog is really nice but, it is pricey. You Adee passing for portability and accuracy though.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View dawsonbob's profile


2882 posts in 1778 days

#5 posted 07-23-2015 02:26 PM

You might want to take a look at this table

It is a full size table, and it’s on sale right now for about $130. When you do decide to make your own cabinet, just put this top on it and you’ll have a great set up.

I’ve had this table for several years, and it’s a good table.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View helluvawreck's profile


31351 posts in 2889 days

#6 posted 07-23-2015 02:34 PM

If I were you I would build my own. If you take a look at a small router table the first thing that you will note is that the table (cabinet) is basically just a box and the fence can be a strait piece of wood with a rectangular cross section for a strait fence or two strait pieces of wood for a split fence.

The base of the router table doesn’t have to be anything special. It consists of a couple of uprights and a couple of shelves. You might have a couple of skirts or rails at the bottom to control the racking. The top is just a piece of plywood or fiberboard.

You say that you want to get some practice with your router. That’s good. The first two things that you will do is rout a circle in the top for the router bit to come through and then you can put a dado across the top so that you can use a sled with your router. You can also rout dados in the sides of the base for the two shelves so that the base has a nicer and better structure.

Buy a good router book. That will cost maybe $15 or $20. There should be plans for a simple router table in the book – else you can get plans on the internet for free. Go to the library and no need to buy the book. Once you get the book you can do a little reading and look at the pictures and learn all sorts of things about what you can do with a router. One of the simplest things Is the cutting of all of your dados. You’ll also see how you go about cutting the circle in the router table top. The book will also show you how to make and mount the fences for the router table. You might choose to rout some slots for your fences. The router bits would cost maybe $30 to $40 for decent bits that you will need to make your table. You will need these anyway if you are going to use your router for other things.

I’m going to stop with the details because all of the info is readily available. However, the point is that you can save some money and gain a lot of experience which is a goal of yours. Once you build your router table you can use the first router table to build a nicer one right around the corner.

I’ve seen more than a number of simple router tables in small shops and in woodworking plants and there is nothing fancy about most of the ones that I have seen. I assure you that you can build a simple router table that will serve you well until you build a better one. Most importantly, you will gain some experience and build some confidence about how to use your router and table.

You’ll also save enough money to maybe buy something you might need more than a router table. You haven’t mentioned many tools so you probably need some tools that you don’t have.

I’m just trying to give you another option.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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1594 posts in 1447 days

#7 posted 07-23-2015 02:53 PM

I suggest you stroll over to the Router Forums and look around. Site has a lot of photos, reviews, and helpful members.

I use a Woodpecker top.

The key is to plan ahead. Not even sure if the DeWalt is fixed base or not. You also want to do some research on fences and router lifts.

The table you buy may limit what fences or lifts you can use with it now or in the future so planning is key.

Do not rush this. One purchase affects another in the router world so do a lot of homework before pulling the trigger on anything.

-- Brad, Texas,

View jonlruss's profile


116 posts in 1136 days

#8 posted 07-23-2015 03:14 PM

Brad beat me to suggesting heading to Router Forums. Lots of good info there. I also want to echo Charles’ advice about building your own. There’s lots of good DIY benchtop router table plans out there. Find one you like and make whatever changes necessary to make it fit your needs. You get the router table you want now, and get some hands on experience using the router Also it should give you an idea of what you’ll eventually want in a full size table. A win-win IMO.

View bonesbr549's profile


1557 posts in 3090 days

#9 posted 07-23-2015 03:46 PM

I use to watch a couple guys (father/son) that had a show that was “the router workshop”. They had a little benchtop router table and a super simple fence and did a lot of good things.

Personally, I think you should build a full size router table. I use mine as much as I do the TS&BS. Lots of surface area and storage for bits. I have the wood pecker PRL and its going on 10+ years and is in perfect shape the other item. I also invested in a used woodpecker fence and that precision has come in handy on so many occasions, Its paid for itself a thousand times over.

Here’s my version from Norm’s plans modified for my needs.

I made it as my getting back into woodworking project.

Good luck and cheers!

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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20212 posts in 2706 days

#10 posted 07-23-2015 04:24 PM

That one I posted? Seems the New Yankee Workshop started out using a similar one.

I have the fence and it has a dust collection port. I also have the mitre gauge that goes with it.
There is a place to plug the router to, and it can be controled by the switch on the front edge. Router I am using in it needs two wrenches to change bits. Plenty of room to do it. Router has a rack and pinnon gear to raise or lower the bit.

I built a stand to step it on. It can be just clamped to a bench, to.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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2602 posts in 3020 days

#11 posted 07-23-2015 04:28 PM

I have several benchtop routers. The smaller ones are okay for small profiles. I leave a 1/4” round over bit in one just to take edge of drawers.
When I need to do cabinet door profiles or larger mortise cuts I use my SHOP built STEEL top with a 3 1/2hp dewalt router.
IF I were YOU, I would save your money TILL you can buy the bench dog top. I still want to put a bench dog cast table on one of my table saws.
“just my thoughts”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View NDakota's profile


72 posts in 1569 days

#12 posted 07-23-2015 07:42 PM

Helluvawreck posted everything I was thinking. I did exactly what he suggested 20yrs ago and never did change. When I started I thought I needed a “good” router table but when I was done with my temp table I realized I had built a good one already! I used salvaged wood and learned how to use my new router, so it was a win-win. Good luck, and remember its supposed to be fun not something to lose sleep over!!

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5702 posts in 2836 days

#13 posted 07-23-2015 08:22 PM

I had a benchtop router table briefly, but it never did any useful work for me. I use a Bench Dog top and a shop built cabinet. Works great.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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