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Any experience with Vermont American router tables?

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Forum topic by namrufmot posted 02-20-2016 10:51 PM 1138 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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namrufmot

54 posts in 327 days


02-20-2016 10:51 PM

Working on a budget so finding a decent router table setup seems impossible…I need both the table and router. So combing through CL I find a Vermont American table and craftsman router for $150 (asking).

Never heard of this company and not much info is available online. Any experience? My other option would be to buy a Bosch on Amazon and a HF router.

Thanks as always!


21 replies so far

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Rick M

7907 posts in 1840 days


#1 posted 02-21-2016 01:49 AM

Had one, they are junk. I gave it away. Vermont American is a peddler of low end tools.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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redesigningwood

139 posts in 294 days


#2 posted 02-21-2016 02:06 AM

Vermont American makes a lot of blade type stuff (router bits, bandsaw blades, etc.) right in the same ballpark of quality to ryobi/craftsman stuff (in my opinion). If you Know what you’re doing pretty much any router will serve basic task type functions, and in term of a router table, I literally mounted a board to my workbench, cut a hole in it, and voila! table. Can’t get any cheaper then that!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDDFsZPhMTc
something like this -

-- Mat

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runswithscissors

2176 posts in 1485 days


#3 posted 02-21-2016 07:14 AM

You can make a much better router table than that. And they mistakenly moved the decimal one place to the right when they said $150. $15 would be more realistic.

The Craftsman router appears to be in the handyman category, which means it has a 1/4” collet, and no way to make it larger. Not being able to use 1/2” shank bits limits what you can do. I’d stay away from all over those C’man routers with 1/4” collets. I had one, long ago.

If you can’t find a decent used router, Harbor Freight has a 2 hp (at 11 amps, about equivalent to Porter Cable’s 690 series routers) for $53, less with a 20% coupon. It’s not actually a bad router, in spite of what some may say. I bought one for a specific use, and keep it around as a backup.

Don’t waste your money on that deal.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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Rick M

7907 posts in 1840 days


#4 posted 02-21-2016 07:17 AM

My router table is a piece of salvaged countertop with shop made fence, been using it for 15 years or better. The VA table was given to me and it was sturdy but total crap otherwise and the top wasn’t flat. Jay Bates uses a 2hp harbor freight router in his table. I use a Porter Cable.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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bandit571

14540 posts in 2144 days


#5 posted 02-21-2016 07:31 AM

Hmmm..

Both the table ($20) and the router ( $3) were from yard sales. I made a stand/bench to bring the top up to where I can use it ( and have) Router is an all metal B&D 1/4” professional. IF I need to use a 1/2” chuck..I already have a 2 hp router “kit” where I can swap out the 1/4” to a 1/2” collet.

Hey…look at what Norm Abram started out the New Yankee Workshop with….

The V/A table will get you started, while you build one of your own. use it to find out what YOU want in a router table. There are some of those, that one can also hang a sabresaw underneath. With the V/A table, you are not hurting some high dollar table if you go drilling into it to attach whatever you want to it.

Get some bits by Bosch instead of the V/A ones, BTW, the ones from Vermont American will go dull in about…three trips along a board. Then they will burn the boards after that.

Mine was branded as SKIL, took a bit of fussing to get the B&D router to hang from it..

And this is the Big Router I also use..

Soo, IF you just need a router table to just start out, fine. Use it while you build one of your own. BTW Norm did have plans for the ones (2!!) that he made.

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

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MadMark

976 posts in 913 days


#6 posted 02-21-2016 10:17 PM

Sink cutout w/ router mounted, stacked on a garbage can with a stick & two C-clamps will work better than your current table. The ridged tops on most cheap router tables catch chips and snag while feeding stock – not a good thing. The sink blanks are usually free for the taking and provide a smooth even surface. You can get fancy and add a router plate if you wish.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

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conifur

955 posts in 612 days


#7 posted 02-21-2016 10:47 PM

The problem with all these little bench top tables is they are too small in both dimensions, when working on cabinet doors or using them to dado.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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bandit571

14540 posts in 2144 days


#8 posted 02-22-2016 12:33 AM

Really???

Worked fine for me..

Of course, I do happen to use the cordless kind to make rebates and dados…...

Of course, I also clean the top after I make a cut…...doesn’t everybody?

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

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conifur

955 posts in 612 days


#9 posted 02-22-2016 02:01 AM

Then live with it and dont post here for help and confirmation that you bought the right thing. Then when you need to do a bigger bit, 1/2in shaft dont post a Wo is Me, since you already think you know all you know, so why the original Thread? To tell us all about the ”’Bargain”’ you thought you got a few months B4 you ask how to fix and up grade. Simple F.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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conifur

955 posts in 612 days


#10 posted 02-22-2016 02:04 AM

That was not a dado, it was a groove, a dado is on a panel for a shelf. Dummy!!!

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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bandit571

14540 posts in 2144 days


#11 posted 02-22-2016 02:05 AM

^Now THAT is the “helpful” type of post you are so famous for…....as usual, a less than first class tip.

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

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conifur

955 posts in 612 days


#12 posted 02-22-2016 02:06 AM

How is the vibration and chatter with your toy router table??

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

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bandit571

14540 posts in 2144 days


#13 posted 02-22-2016 02:19 AM

Have none on mine….

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

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MrUnix

4207 posts in 1659 days


#14 posted 02-22-2016 04:05 AM

My other option would be to buy a Bosch on Amazon and a HF router.
- namrufmot

Kind of curious as to why you think that is your only other option, when there are a lot more out there you could consider. Do you have a table saw? If so, a simple router extension can be made pretty easily, and would allow you to use your existing TS fence (and table for extra surface area). Building your own table is another option. You can find routers on CL all day long for not a lot of cash, and the material for a table can be sourced for free if you are creative.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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bandit571

14540 posts in 2144 days


#15 posted 02-22-2016 04:55 AM

From a LONG time ago. The cabinet with the blue door was my first router table…back when I also was based in a friends pole barn. It held several different routers, including one with a 1/2” collet. I could also set up a dovetail jig to make drawers. Times change, no longer have the room for all those larger “toys”.

That table started out as a “table” that was then enclosed. There was an outlet inside, to plug the router into. Lead to a outlet box, with a regular “light switch” to turn the router off/on. Router was placed into the table with it’s own switch locked “on”. Top was a layer of 3/4” plywood, and a layer of 1/2” plywood, glued and screw together. Blue door was hinged along the bottom edge, to help clean out the insides. The hole for the routers was cut out to just allow them to fit through. A rebate was cut around the edges to allow a router plate to sit flush with the top’s top. At first, it was a piece of 3/8” thick Lexan, later got a commercial style plate. had to readjust a few times to fit as things changed.

Table is still in use, my friend that owned the pole barn moved it to the new barn shop when he moved to a new place. There was also a groove to fit the mitre gauge from my 113 Craftsman tablesaw. Never really used it there. Table height was the same as the top of that saw, and could work as an out-feed table as needed.

Nowadays, just isn’t the room for such LARGE toys. Sooo, I have to make do within the size of the Dungeon Shop.

Underneath those planes is the old router table top, and a look at the plate that was used. If the OP was close enough, he can have that router table….all he’d have to do is drive over and pick it up,..router and all.

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

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