Router tables-Shop Fox vs. Bench Dog Pro Max

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Forum topic by AWood posted 02-24-2008 07:17 AM 11004 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AWood's profile


51 posts in 3948 days

02-24-2008 07:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I just join the Lumberjocks recently and I am kind of feeling my way around . In the process I have been doing some research on the above mentioned router tables. I am not going around again on tool purchases and I have serious considerations for the above. Does anyone use the Shop Fox 1728? Most of the time popular items have reviews and ratings on Amazon but there is no listings at this time. The price out the door is around 400-500 and the construction of cast with aluminum sliding table with all the clamp downs and safety I like. Also is there a phenolic plate with the Shop Fox.? The Bench Dog Pro Max is another sound piece of equipment and would mount nicely on my cabinet table saw. It would accommodate my Freud 3 1/4 hp router but I would want to replace the phenollic plate with aluminum. Cost would be about the same. There is also the options of the Bench Bull power lift in the future should a budget permit. Anyone!

-- AllWood

6 replies so far

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3981 days

#1 posted 02-24-2008 08:27 AM

Alot of us have built our own. If you have the time to build, you might end up with something nicer for possibly less money. I’ve found you need dust collection about and below the table to trap the most of the dust.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View Rob McCune's profile

Rob McCune

123 posts in 4301 days

#2 posted 02-24-2008 11:28 AM

I was very wary of putting a router table on the end of a table saw because I really wanted dust collection at the fence. Also a split fence is a really nice feature for working with larger bits, and you just don’t see those on table saw fences.

The cast iron top seems nice, but it doesn’t appear to accomodate a liftplate. I have found that my woodwpecker 421a has been an invaluable resource in respect to accuracy, time savings,and repeatability. I built my own table and feel I got the better end of the deal for it. I glued two 2’ x 3’ sheets of mdf together and laminated the top. It is proving to be very durable. I would say the choice of a 3+ hp router was a good one, I don’t know how I lived with a 1 hp ryobi for so long, but I just can’t go back. I went with the Porter Cable, but I am interested in knowing how the Frued is working out for you.

-- Rob McCune

View Dano's profile


222 posts in 4234 days

#3 posted 02-24-2008 07:01 PM


I have the Bench Dog attached to a Craftsman contractor saw. It is a great piece of equipment…but, if I had to do it over again I think I opt for something else. The router plates seem to require an off size from other manufacturers and thus you’re stuck with Bench Dog products. I have a Hitachi router and would like to use a different brand of router plate but can’t.

What is the Bench Bull power lift you mention?

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

View AWood's profile


51 posts in 3948 days

#4 posted 02-24-2008 09:28 PM

Dano Here is the website that I found It is the Bench Dog 40-016 Pro Lift. It works with a straight router such as the Porter Cable. If you go on there are quite a few reviews on the attachment . If there isn’t on the indiividual powerlift you will note several that are made with the Bench Dog router table. If I decide to go with the Bench Dog cast iron attachment (attach it to a Cast Iron General 3050 cabinet saw) I won’t go with this power lift since it only takes straight router motors. I invested already in a new Freud 3 1/4. Just a note with the bench dog if you still have the phenolic plate that came with the attachment they have aluminum plates (Group 1; Group 2 etc. depending on your router). If I buy it I’ll invest the additional $89.00 I hope that is some help,and I appreciate your insight.

-- AllWood

View gerrym526's profile


275 posts in 4011 days

#5 posted 02-25-2008 01:42 AM

My vote goes to Dave Herron’s suggestion-build your own router table.
Router table tops are either hardwood plywood, underlayed with MDF, or simply glued up double thickness MDF (ie. 2-3/4” MDF glued together). If you wax the plywood or MDF with paste wax, it has the same slickness as plastic laminate.Bases can either be heavy lumber frames with stretchers, or you can build a cabinet for router and bit storage with drawers. Fences can be made from baltic birch plywood faced with MDF and can have multiple “sacrificial” faces of MDF with different zero clearance inserts cut in them.
I’ll try to put mine up on the photo gallery when I have time. You gain lots more flexibility by building your own. You can use different fences for different bits, for example, as well as fastening feather boards, hold downs and guards easily (I use C clamps usually, and build a jig or fixture out of baltic birch or MDF if I need one for a project). I have two separate router table tops-one that has the base of my trustworthy Porter Cable 650 in it, the other has the base from my Porter Cable 7519 (big 3hp model) mounted in an aluminum plate from Rockler. I can remove one top from the base, and pop in another, depending on the HP needed.
When you mentioned the $400-500 cost of the router table, I kept thinking about how that could sure buy a lot of new router bits, or lots of cherry for the next couple of projects. It takes a little extra time to build, but you have exactly what you need and save money in the process

-- Gerry

View CedarFreakCarl's profile


594 posts in 4256 days

#6 posted 02-25-2008 02:26 AM

Hi AllWood. There are lots of combinations and permutations of routers, router tables and router related products. I guess the decision making process (at least for me) boils down to how serious a wood worker you are and where you’re going with woodworking. Sounds like to me if you’ve already got a 3hp router to put in a table, you’re going the serious route. I started with a Rockler table top that I mounted on an old table bottom in which I put a 2 1/4 hp Ridgid. While it has served me well, I’m in the process of upgrading and have come to the conclusion that I’m going to build my own table. I’ve looked at Kreg, Rockler, Shop Fox, Bench Dog etc. and would all probably serve my purpose well. I’ve got a Triton 3 1/4hp to go with the Bench Dog 3/8” aluminum plate. I haven’t started on the table yet as I’ve got some dust collection issues that I’m going to address first. Anyhow, if I were going to buy a ready made table, I’m not sure what I’d get. I really like the Kreg table. It’s got a nice Biesemeyer sytle fence. The microdot table surface is nice also. The Bench Dog is a really nice table also. If you haven’t looked at Woodpecker's they’ve got some nice tables. I’d at least look at their router plate. It looks really nice to me.
I guess in the end, most of these more expensive tables are all very capable systems and will probably do the same jobs equally well. It will no doubt boil down to what tickles your fancy and your billfold. Good luck

-- Carl Rast, Pelion, SC

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