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What Router Table System is the Best???

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Forum topic by Maddhatter posted 04-18-2011 12:11 PM 11222 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Maddhatter

126 posts in 3041 days


04-18-2011 12:11 PM

Looking for a little help with router systems. I have been using the Delta Router/Shaper for several years now and it is time for an upgrade. I have been looking at the router lifts and I am kind of taken to the JessEm Mast-R-Lift II table system.

Here is my question, if money was not an option, what router table lift system would be the best? I am planning on buying the complete system, table top, stand, fences, router lift, and the PC 7518 motor.

Let me know your thoughts.

-- Norm (AKA - The Maddhatter), Middletown DE


11 replies so far

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 2131 days


#1 posted 04-18-2011 02:39 PM

Routerfor your table http://lumberjocks.com/bubinga/blog/22293

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2474 days


#2 posted 04-18-2011 10:35 PM

This is just my opinion, but I am partial to the Woodpecker PRL-V2. However, I think the Incra version of the PRL-V2 has a better plate (with magnetic rings instead of plastic twist-lock). Also, for fences, can’t go wrong with the Incra LS positioner. Certainly handy if you don’t already have a good dovetail jig like Leigh or Akeda. Also the repeatable accuracy of the fence is a thing of beauty. IMHO, the positioner comes before the lift (like bubinga pointed out you can get a router that already offers much of the benefits of a lift) , but together it’s quite the amazing setup.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1061 posts in 3077 days


#3 posted 04-18-2011 11:18 PM

plastic? The rings that came with my woodpecker quicklift were machined aluminum. Truth be told, I trust them a lot more than magnets holding the rings. I hope woodpecker hasn’t cheapened that up!

If price is no object, then certainly I would suggest the Woodpecker PRL-V2, also. Much heavier duty than the Jessem and the Quicklift feature will win you over with about 3 bit changes.

As for using a plunge router with built-in rather than a lift? The only reason is price and you already stipulated that price is no object. I have used both (although not with the speciifc router that bubinga mentioned) and the actual router lift seemed smoother, more solid and had finer control of bit height.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View jusfine's profile

jusfine

2405 posts in 2390 days


#4 posted 04-18-2011 11:49 PM

I have a couple of the Jessem setups as you describe, including the PC routers mounted in them and really enjoy them. Haven’t seen anything better yet…

All the Best!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 2734 days


#5 posted 04-19-2011 12:11 AM

This is a loaded question (everyone will have different likes and dislikes here – and there are a lot of great DIY tables with plans around that are very capable).

I like the Incra LS system. I have the Incra Table (it is offset to enable room for the positioner fence), and a Jesem Lift. The LS positioner is a nice fence system for making repetitive cuts and decorative joinery. I have tried several tables….made one or two of my own….but this one is working great for me.

I use a router table a lot and it is one of the key machines in my shop….the best recommendation is to get the best table you can but don’t scrimp on the fence – a cheesy fence will ruin even the best table.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View bubinga's profile

bubinga

861 posts in 2131 days


#6 posted 04-19-2011 01:47 AM

Maddhatter

I have added more to my blog about the router table I am in the process of building.
This is just my blog about what I’m doing, I’ve been looking at the plates extensively, as of right now I think the woodpeckers is the one I will use, it is not cheap, but I want this table to last.
Here’s the link to the second part of my blog. —-http://lumberjocks.com/bubinga/blog/22679
if you want to just buy a top and get working rockler has a bare-bones,top for $89
Right now I think I will take another look at the Incra plate
if you really want to get going quick you could put the Triton router on one of these tables-you would have to drill one hole in top for the lift crank, that comes with the Triton—-ROCK SOLID Heavyweight Router Table & Fence——-Precision Sliding Router Table & Fence-http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/router_table_2.html#heavyweight_table_anchor

-- E J ------- Always Keep a Firm Grip on Your Tool

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Maddhatter

126 posts in 3041 days


#7 posted 04-19-2011 03:08 AM

Wow talk about overwhelmed with information. Keep it coming.

Bubinga – thank you for the information on the triton, it is on the short list.

Live4ever, EEngineer and Reggiek – after checking out the Woodpecker site, the Quick Lift 420A seams like the only choice in a router lift with the quick release to full extension.

My question is for you and anyone else that may have experience with the Incra LS System. It looks like a great system either in the 17 or 25 model. I have the PC 4516 dovetail jig and three routers (PC 690 system, dewalt 2 1/4 hp and the new Dewalt compact.

It would appear that the LS system is more for dovetailing and box joints and or speciality joints. Does anyone have any experience with the other woodpecker fences, is the LS system overkill with the PC 4512 dove tail kit?

I only want to do this once, I know this is a lot of questions and I appreciate the time you have taken to educate me in this process. It is always better to get the information from someone who is using the different systems. That is what makes this site great.

-- Norm (AKA - The Maddhatter), Middletown DE

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 2474 days


#8 posted 04-19-2011 03:30 AM

Norm, depends what you mean by overkill. If you already have good methods of dovetailing and making box joints, then it might be overkill in terms of money spent and space used. However, just the ability to move your fence to a particular measurement and being able to come back to that EXACT same position later is handy. Again, it might not be worth the $$ or the space (your table has to be significantly bigger), but I know I personally enjoy having that repeatability and accuracy. For me it was a no-brainer simply because I had no DT jig and hadn’t made a box joint jig for either the router or tablesaw.

I don’t think it’s the right joinery system for dovetailing, say, a blanket chest or really large drawers. However, the system shines for smaller joinery like boxes and small to mid-sized drawers. If you’re making multiples of one part, you can cut dovetails or box joints in them all at once. This is a huge timesaver.

BTW, the LS positioner shines on the TS as well. :)

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Maddhatter's profile

Maddhatter

126 posts in 3041 days


#9 posted 04-19-2011 05:27 AM

Live4ever, thank you again for taking the time to write. You make a valuable point, thank you for the insight. It would appear that a little more research is due, but the decision is clear. I will let you know how it turns out.

-- Norm (AKA - The Maddhatter), Middletown DE

View Maddhatter's profile

Maddhatter

126 posts in 3041 days


#10 posted 04-23-2011 03:38 PM

Good Morning to all, after a week of advice and web page reviews I made the decision and best of all the purchase. Where is the delivery truck, I got some doors to make.

I ended up with the Woodpecker LS RS Package #2 with the 17 ” LS System and long table assembly with the quick lift 420 and the PC 7518. As an extra gift to my table saw, Ms. Steel City, she received the Incra Miter 3000SE. I did not want her to get Jealous of the New Router Table. There will be a party in the shop soon and I expect the sawdust will be flying.

Thanks to all for the advice and guidance, this is truly a valuable site. I will probably post the blog of the arrival and assembly process.

BTW has anyone seen my delivery truck?????

-- Norm (AKA - The Maddhatter), Middletown DE

View Beeman's profile

Beeman

1 post in 1668 days


#11 posted 05-13-2012 06:33 PM

Maddhatter, I just saw your post and tried to find the Woodpecker LS R/S Package #2 on the woodpecker site and couldn’t. Could you let me know what site you made your purchase on? I am in the same position you were when you were seeking info. Thanks

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