Horizontal Router Table vs Verticle Router Table

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Forum topic by Blakep posted 03-08-2011 06:05 PM 4749 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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232 posts in 2828 days

03-08-2011 06:05 PM

Ok guys I would like your opinions. I have an upcoming project that will require several raised panels. I have only made one raised panel in the past and I did it on the table saw with stile and rail bits for the rails. My question is the versitility of the Horizontal Router Table by MLCS. Do you think I would be better off buying it or upgrading from my benchtop router table to a bigger one that will except a raised panel bit? My opening in the one I have now is not big enough for a raised panel bit. I just saw the MLCS Horizontal table for the first time and thought it was a really great idea but didn’t know how much I would use it or how much you can use it for in place of a verticle router table. Please give me your advice and opinions and thank you in advance for all of your advice.

7 replies so far

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2788 days

#1 posted 03-09-2011 04:33 AM

IMO I would they are worthless If your going to do a lot of panels then you going to want a horiz panel bit not a vertical best reason you cannot do arch panels with a vert bit or a horiz router table

-- As Best I Can

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3779 days

#2 posted 03-09-2011 05:07 AM

I have both, each one has it’s uses. I ran about several hundred feet of trim through the horz a wile back. In doing stile and rail doors, some of the bits are smaller, and cheaper as well. If cutting panel doors feed rate is a lot faster.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4948 posts in 3986 days

#3 posted 03-10-2011 12:54 AM

Make your own table and put in an insert that will fit your needs. I made mine from some laminate countertop pieces glued back to back and edged with wood. Used a Lee Valley insert. Didn’t spend much $, and got just what I wanted. Been using it for 10 yrs. now.


View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#4 posted 03-10-2011 01:27 AM

I like horizontal tables, but the regular kind lets you do tombstone and
arched door panels. If all you want to raise is rectangular panels,
the horizontal table will do it well.

I like using a horizontal table for trimming bandsawn tenons. It can
also be used as a horizontal mortiser.

View Steve2's profile


75 posts in 3597 days

#5 posted 03-10-2011 02:41 AM

I don’t understand some of the comments above… a horizontal router table will handle about all types of raised arch, cathedral, rail and stile, flat back cut, or thicker front raised panels… and more, given of course a proper bit and router motor. Also thumbnail corner boxes; you name it.

The (MLCS) vertical setup has unique benefits – and also a unique price. Given your stated needs and experience level I am hard put to see the need for a vertical setup like the MLCS.

Question above “I like horizontal tables, but the regular kind… ” HUH??

-- Regards, Steve2

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#6 posted 03-10-2011 03:16 AM

We may have a difference in terms we’re using. I apologize
for any confusion.

I didn’t establish the terminology for router table designs, I’m just
following the most common usage I’ve seen. The horizontal table
design is presumably named that because both not only the work
table but also the spindle are on the horizontal plane. In a conventional
under-mount router table the work surface is horizontal and the
spindle is vertical.

Here are images of horizontal router table designs:

Many things that are easy on one type of table are not easy
on the other, and vice-versa, but no cut I can think of is actually
impossible on either. Some cuts are merely easier to set up
for a consistent, low-reject end result in each table type.

It would be possible to rout tombstone doors and arches on a horizontal
a table of course, but if using a bearing or guide pin the work must
be held in the vertical which, to my way of thinking, puts gravity
working against you in controlling the cut. If using a “horizontal”
panel raiser, a guide jig could be made to route the curved part
held in the horizontal plane of course, but would require steely
nerves. I actually do have nerves of steel and wouldn’t be afraid to
give it a try but I’d expect to wreck some doors in the process and
anyway, screwing a router to a piece of melamine and using a bearing
guided cutter is a faster setup and more predictable way to to
achieve the cut.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2868 days

#7 posted 03-10-2011 04:33 AM

Well you learn something every day. The only kind of router table I had ever seen before now was a flat table with the router hanging under it. Thanks for teaching me something new guys.


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