I Need a router table, where should I start

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Forum topic by EggMan posted 02-12-2015 01:02 PM 1224 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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70 posts in 1771 days

02-12-2015 01:02 PM

Hey all

I need a good router table set up and wonder where to start

I have been staring at CL and haven’t seen much of anything. It seems like a tool that people don’t sell too often.

I know I could make one like many here have done. And that is what I am leaning to. But I need a starting place.

Should I get a rockler top and start working around that? Or the kreg top? Or what to do

Any input will be appreciated,
Thanks in advance.


14 replies so far

View pjones46's profile (online now)


1001 posts in 2639 days

#1 posted 02-12-2015 01:41 PM

IMHO if you have the money, look at the Bench Dog cast Iron Table. You will still need a router lift so you would have to get one which would add to the start up cost.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2994 days

#2 posted 02-12-2015 02:36 PM

Start with a large area top with groove for miter attchment & good adjustments on fence. I would also attach a vacuum to suck dust away from bit and fence.. The Bench Dog is an excellent start. Bite the bullet and spend the money. I satrted with a fabricated one out of melamine counter top, then upgraded to steel top later on. My finances dictated what I could have !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Jerry's profile


2635 posts in 1645 days

#3 posted 02-12-2015 03:29 PM

Here’s one that I built, I have the plans for it if you’d like to have them.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View EggMan's profile


70 posts in 1771 days

#4 posted 02-12-2015 04:15 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone

What’s the differences between different lifts? I’m sure it all comes down to quality and you get what you pay for.

What about a package deal like this,


View EggMan's profile


70 posts in 1771 days

#5 posted 02-12-2015 04:17 PM

Like canadianchip said. I could start with something like the package above and upgrade to a heavier steel top later.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

597 posts in 3314 days

#6 posted 02-12-2015 05:37 PM

I ran a “want to buy” ad on CL and got good response.

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View ChefHDAN's profile


1062 posts in 2846 days

#7 posted 02-12-2015 07:24 PM

FWIW, I’ve got a small garage-shop, and my router table is a wing in my TS, but if you dont have a TS that wouldn’t be an option. It’s nice for me for the mobility and the abillity to use the TS fence to build my router fences off of. Just a thought, router table can get real $$$ real $$$, I use the plunge PC 3hp with a router raizer installed instead of a fancier lift. I’ve never had a chance to play with one of the fancy lifts which is why I’m most likely satisfied for the Router Raiser.

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View pintodeluxe's profile


5657 posts in 2810 days

#8 posted 02-12-2015 07:27 PM

Bench Dog Melamine top, and shop-built enclosed base.
Router with a built-in lift such as the Freud FT1700 / 1702 or a Triton.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1421 days

#9 posted 02-12-2015 09:02 PM

I generally do not like redirecting people to other sites out of courtesy to LJ’s but I think it would be wise for your to visit the router forums website. Specifically under table top routing and a thread that is titled “Wanted-Pictures of your router table”.

Should provide you with all the eye candy and custom designs from some of the most dedicated router owners.

Here is my “router table”, if you would like some ideas.

Good luck!

-- Brad, Texas,

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8037 posts in 2325 days

#10 posted 02-12-2015 09:14 PM

I’ve been using a Rockler top for years, and now I have a second one that I built into a TS extension wing. I have Rockler AL plates in both of them and like them a lot.

I personally don’t see why guys think it’s two hard to reach under the table and adjust the height. And if it is, many of the new routers have below the base adjustments built into them (my Bosch does), so that all you need to do is drill a hole in your plate and use the Allen key provided with your router.

Dust collection is an important issue to me, but again, many OEM router manufacturers have it built in, or sell an accessory snap in window with the DC hook up.

For me personally, I can’t see spending $500+ hundreds of dollars on a cast top with a fancy lift.

But then again, others use their router tables more and do more demanding work than I.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View MT_Stringer's profile


3168 posts in 3228 days

#11 posted 02-12-2015 10:08 PM

I built my own adjustable height work tabe with dual routers. Check my projects.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View firefighterontheside's profile


18163 posts in 1853 days

#12 posted 02-12-2015 10:43 PM

I just built a new top yesterday using the parts from my old hand me down Rockler top. The Rockler worked great for about 10 years, but I finally had worn thru the laminate in numerous spots. Rockler has a pretty good price and you can get a plate from them that matches the router you have. Eventually when you wear it out, you can make a new one using all the old hardware. The cabinet is really a preference as to what you want it to do. Mine is a simple cabinet out of 1×12’s with dust collection from my shop vac.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View GT350's profile


368 posts in 1978 days

#13 posted 02-13-2015 05:29 AM

I built the one that Norm Abrams of New Yankee Workshop designed and I just finished it about a month ago. One big advantage to this one is that it encloses the router for dust collection and also it cuts the noise down alot.

View EEngineer's profile


1102 posts in 3610 days

#14 posted 02-13-2015 04:17 PM

I built the one that Norm Abrams of New Yankee Workshop designed…

+1 on Norm’s design. I have one and love it! Fact is, you can build an entire router table for less than you would spend on a quality pre-built router top. All it takes is your time. And then I would take the money you save to go buy a real commercial router lift.

I wouldn’t listen when people tell you that any router with a “built-in lift” is an acceptable substitute for a real router lift. A real router lift will give you the ability to dial in increments of .001” bit height reliably. The extra mass in an all-metal lift makes up for some of the lack of mass that leads others here to suggest the cast iron router table.

I have used the QuikLift 420 from Woodpeckers for several years now. Sadly, they don’t even make it anymore. Instead, you would have to purchase a PRL-V2 at almost $400. Still, I would recommend it. The QuikLift feature on Wood pecker’s lifts allows you to insert a handle, turn it 90 degrees and pull the entire router head up to do bit changes above the table. When the bit is changed, the same handle allows you to drop the router back beneath the table.

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

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