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Forum topic by Nate L. posted 07-07-2014 08:48 PM 966 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nate L.

95 posts in 736 days


07-07-2014 08:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router table saw extension

My Laguna Fusion TS should be arriving tomorrow. I have been trying to determine what the best way to go for a router table extension. I know cast iron would be best as far as reducing vibration etc but not sure if that is really the best way to go. I currently have a Ridgid router and really don’t want to buy another router. It seems like my options are to:

1. Make my own table and install a plate and lift

2. Buy something like the Bench-dog, MLCS or Peachtree cast iron model

3. Buy a non cast iron extension from MLCS

4. Any other ideas?

I would kind of like to make my own but also don’t want to get it built and then regret not getting cast iron.

Nate

-- Nate, Las Vegas, http://nateswoodshop.com


19 replies so far

View jonah's profile

jonah

453 posts in 2022 days


#1 posted 07-07-2014 09:09 PM

Anyone who tells you that you need a cast iron router table top is full of it.

You need a sturdy plate than you can either purchase or make yourself. Aluminum is great for that.

The top can be melamine-coated particle board, plywood, plywood topped with laminate, reinforced MDF, or some kind of solid surface material (people use corian sink cutouts sometimes). As long as it’s stiff and pieces slide across it, it’s fine.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1300 days


#2 posted 07-07-2014 11:07 PM

You definitely don’t need cast iron.
My router table is a sheet of 3/4” plywood with countertop laminate on top and oak braces underneath to keep it flat. No plate for me; it’s a luxury IMHO. That said, is I were to use a plate, I would get one of incra’s aluminum plates. They have the best insert system available.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

2011 posts in 1000 days


#3 posted 07-08-2014 12:18 AM

Save your $$ and make your own. NiteWalker’s method is the way to go inexpensively. I made an extension table in similar fashion as Nitewalkers but not for a router as I have a dedicated router table. Here’s a project link for some ideas, but for you imagine adding a router

Click for details

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Richard Hillius's profile

Richard Hillius

146 posts in 404 days


#4 posted 07-08-2014 12:27 AM

Something to keep in mind about the MLCS is it’s not a standard plate size so will not work with most lifts and plates. I didn’t realize it when I bought it and now I can only find one lift for it from them. I believe the bench dog one is however. I am at the point of trying to decide do I sell the cast iron top and get something standard or spend the money on another non-standard item in the lift and hope it all works out. I’m leaning towards selling the thing at this point and cutting my loses to be honest.

Overall I think the cast iron top is a ok item but as others have said it’s not required. I would take a high quality laminate table from Jess’em over my MLCS cast iron table in a heartbeat after using both for sometime. Also building one is a good option as well.

View Nate L.'s profile

Nate L.

95 posts in 736 days


#5 posted 07-08-2014 12:39 AM

Thanks for the feedback! It looks like it would probably be best to build my own. =) So the next question would be, should I go with a standard Incra plate or get the lift? I am looking mostly at getting something that will serve me well for a long time and then how much it costs (to a degree). For example, am I going to be happy with a plate or would it be better to invest in a lift? All I have used in the past is the built router extension on my TS that I just sold, so my experience is very limited. I finally have a bit of money to invest in upgrading my shop but don’t want to just blow it all because I have it.

kdc68: That is a nice set up! I will have to keep that in mind. I have not made an extension before, so it will be a learning experience. The Ryobi BT3100 that I just sold, had the ‘extension’ built in.

Richard: That is good to know. One of the main reasons I wanted to ask the question is because I don’t want to end up regretting getting the wrong thing and wanting to sell it either because I don’t like it or feel like I need to upgrade.

-- Nate, Las Vegas, http://nateswoodshop.com

View Richard Hillius's profile

Richard Hillius

146 posts in 404 days


#6 posted 07-08-2014 02:09 AM

You don’t need a lift and you can do just fine without one for a very long time. However once you start to use a lift you will enjoy the connivence of having it. I lived without a lift for years but after using a Jess’em table for a time really don’t want to go back which is why I’m faced with selling my MLCS table or buying their lift. The Jess’em table had a electronic height adjustment that was dead on accurate after you zeroed it. Setting up to cut a 1/4” groove is very easy and accurate. Really more accurate than a router table needs to be honestly.

View Nate L.'s profile

Nate L.

95 posts in 736 days


#7 posted 07-08-2014 05:34 AM

From what I have read after reading the above comments, the JessEm and Incra lifts are one and the same. It seems like it might be a good idea to go with one of those lifts and make my own table and fence. The BT3100 didn’t have a lift and it was a real pain to change bits and adjust depth settings. I can get the Incra for 20% off at Rockler.

-- Nate, Las Vegas, http://nateswoodshop.com

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

388 posts in 1573 days


#8 posted 07-08-2014 11:20 AM

I haven’t used the JessEm or the Incra, and I bet I’d love either of them if I did but $$$ vs. use I couldn’t swallow the price tag For $100 I installed the Router Raizer into my 3hp plunge PC and I have been very happy with the way it works. I built my wing and use the Rousseau plates so I can switch between multiple routers. With the Raizer I can crank the motor down very easily and change bits under the table.

-- Sssshhhh, I'm pretending to be working

View jonah's profile

jonah

453 posts in 2022 days


#9 posted 07-08-2014 11:32 AM

Which Ridgid router do you have? Mine has an above-the-table depth adjustment, so while a life would be nice, it wouldn’t be absolutely essential.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1455 posts in 1822 days


#10 posted 07-08-2014 12:02 PM

Here you go. No cast iron
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/24508

-- When I was a boy, I was told "anyone can be President", now I'm beginning to believe it!

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

2071 posts in 1954 days


#11 posted 07-08-2014 01:12 PM

Check out my work table that has dual routers.
http://lumberjocks.com/projects/101964

I am loving the big Triton. The Kreg insert plate has a hole redrilled for the height adjustment crank to fit through. Crank the router up, it locks the spindle automatically. Change bits or collets/bits. Crank it back down and your are ready to go to work. You do have to reach under the table to lock the spindle before routing.

I bought a pair of paddle switches from Rockler to operate the routers. So far, everything is working great.

Dummy plates cover the holes when I pull the routers and use the table as a workstation/outfeed table/clamping station, etc.

Hope this helps.
Mike.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Nate L.'s profile

Nate L.

95 posts in 736 days


#12 posted 07-08-2014 03:07 PM

Jonah:
I did not have time to look at it on my way out the door this AM but I believe it is the 2920.

Thanks to everyone for all the ideas and input. It definitely seems like I can go a cheaper route and still get great results.

-- Nate, Las Vegas, http://nateswoodshop.com

View Delain's profile

Delain

28 posts in 647 days


#13 posted 07-08-2014 04:28 PM

Nate,

Depending on the router, I don’t see that you would need a lift. Simply reach under the extension wing and unlock(?) your router and lift/raise by hand.
Save your money on a lift and buy the “blue cup”. Here is the build I did for my Triton beast:

Click for details: Workshop Solution - Table Saw Router Table Extension

I’m very happy with the setup. Will probably modify the fence later to add in a t-track so I can use hold-downs such as the Jessem types.

Delain

View Nate L.'s profile

Nate L.

95 posts in 736 days


#14 posted 07-09-2014 08:41 PM

Delain:
The blue cup looks great! I cannot seem to find any place that sells it though. Do you have source? Disregard. I found it on Amazon. =)

-- Nate, Las Vegas, http://nateswoodshop.com

View Delain's profile

Delain

28 posts in 647 days


#15 posted 07-09-2014 09:09 PM

I updated the project posting also.

Sources for the Keen Dust Collector (aka The Blue Cup):
Amazon
Woodcraft
No, I’m not affiliated; just helping those who have asked for a supplier.

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