LumberJocks

Router table- which one?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by jklingel posted 03-27-2015 05:06 PM 3220 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jklingel's profile

jklingel

41 posts in 621 days


03-27-2015 05:06 PM

(I hope I have not posted this here recently. If so, I apologize and have lost track of said info.) I am looking for a router table, and am overwhelmed at the reviews I have read (most of which are a few years old). Is there a “best” router table in terms of precision and durability right out of the box? I have read about some higher end ones, up to the 1 grand woodpeckers, and don’t see any that are reviewed as “super”. I am new to woodworking, but neither to tools nor life. I can afford any table on the market, but am concerned w/ quality before price. I am not going to be the next woodworking guru, but what I make I want right. I am looking very hard at the Milwaukee 5625-20 router for under the router table, but am open to suggestions there, too; there are several that look real good. That said, pls zap any recommendations for a quality router table. Thanks for helping me wade through the plethora of tables out there.


44 replies so far

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

6572 posts in 1614 days


#1 posted 03-27-2015 05:18 PM

Build your own table, and use a router lift in the top. Add a precision fence like an Incra and you’ll be all set.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1039 days


#2 posted 03-27-2015 05:58 PM

second that. If your new to woodworking, building jigs and stands and benches are skill building exercises. like the apprentice of old, to become a craftsman one of the tests were to build a toolbox and the master would grade/judge the workmanship to decide on advancement.And since it’s a shop tool, beauty isn’t a big deal and the wood you use is cheaper than the nice wood you’ll use for projects. yes some on here build mahogany works of art work benches, that are nicer than the furniture in your house.but it doesn’t need to be.
and if you google router tables every woodworking site has drawings plans for one.I would bet rockler,woodcraft has free plans for one.(they want/hope you to buy parts from them).

View TDH's profile

TDH

14 posts in 815 days


#3 posted 03-27-2015 06:00 PM

If you do not what to build your router table. Look at the RT1000 at RT1000.com

View PaulJerome's profile

PaulJerome

57 posts in 2497 days


#4 posted 03-27-2015 06:16 PM

+1 on the RT1000.

-- Paul, Central Illinois

View ScottKaye's profile

ScottKaye

471 posts in 1417 days


#5 posted 03-27-2015 06:24 PM

Excalibur tables and lifts were rated best in a fine woodworking shoot out but are on the pricey side since the top is cast iron.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View jklingel's profile

jklingel

41 posts in 621 days


#6 posted 03-27-2015 07:49 PM

thanks for all the replies. FANTASTIC info and products i have not yet seen. man, that rt1000 is sure nice looking and sounds quite solid. i will give making my own table some thought. i have several door blanks (3’ x 7’ x 1 3/4”) commercial, birch veneer) that may just work for that and i can weld or wood a table. i’ll look at the costs of buying parts separately. john

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 888 days


#7 posted 03-28-2015 12:58 AM



...........I am looking very hard at the Milwaukee 5625-20 router for under the router table, but am open to suggestions there, too; there are several that look real good. That said, pls zap any recommendations for a quality router table. Thanks for helping me wade through the plethora of tables out there.

- jklingel

Something like this.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1423 days


#8 posted 03-28-2015 02:01 AM

Brad – beautiful table. What is that lift>

Curious what everyone else thinks. I thought that the PC 7518 was the best table router you can buy. I am wrong about that?

I use an Incra master lift and it is perfect. Don’t think there could be anything more precise or convenient than it. I would also like to build my own table some day. Using a Rockler Pro top now, it is fine, flat as you can expect. But a nice wood top would be beautiful and will be a fun project.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2194 posts in 945 days


#9 posted 03-28-2015 10:48 AM

Build your own table and fence. Definitely worth the savings.
Double sided formica gives a lot of stability.

I cheaped out on my router lift (Router Raizer) and now I regret it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View greenacres2's profile

greenacres2

251 posts in 1632 days


#10 posted 03-28-2015 12:48 PM

When new, i bought a nice table, 24” x 32”. Very good table, came with a very good fence. Then a few years later i went down the Incra fence path. I’ve had to add an extension off the back to mount the carriage—still nice but it’s time to build something more along the line of Brad’s set up.

Moral of that story—if you want accuracy and (more importantly) repeatability, Incra makes great stuff but it requres a footprint on the table top. If space and money are not issues—their big tops are sweet. You could still build your own cabinet to go under it, with storage.

You don’t mention what types of projects you expect to work on, and you may not even know yet. As your hobby evolves, your wants will become needs that may or may not fit your prior wants.

I will say this, i’ve seen a few RT-1000’s in person—their cabinets are first rate and look like great bank for the buck.

earl

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 888 days


#11 posted 03-28-2015 01:45 PM


Brad – beautiful table. What is that lift>

This is the Woodpecker PRL V2 router lift. A really nice bit of kit hooked up to my Milwaukee 5625-20.

Curious what everyone else thinks. I thought that the PC 7518 was the best table router you can buy. I am wrong about that?

The consensus in the router forums is that PC is no longer the company it once was. To be fair, most are not the companies they once were like Craftsman, DeWalt, etc. I think most agree that Bosch is the best among those in its price class. I use a Milwaukee and I am very pleased with it but I bought mine several years ago. Time does affect quality and it is hard to say if the Milwaukee made seven years ago is the same company.

I use an Incra master lift and it is perfect. Don t think there could be anything more precise or convenient than it. I would also like to build my own table some day. Using a Rockler Pro top now, it is fine, flat as you can expect. But a nice wood top would be beautiful and will be a fun project.

- BroncoBrian

Building your own table top is a fun project. You can buy templates to help you cut out the router lift and you can not go wrong with a couple of pieces of laminated birch and some melamine.

Good luck. Building your own does have its advantages.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 641 days


#12 posted 03-28-2015 02:19 PM

++1 on the Incra. They make great fences!

The first table I made started to sag. The moral is to make sure that the top is thick enough to hold the router and lift for an extended length of time.

My second table had a top of 3 pieces of 3/4” MDF glued and screwed together. It is still in use and has never sagged.

My third table came from Sommerfeld tools as three pieces of extruded aluminum that fastened together. Others have had great results with this top but I could not get the three pieces to properly align. I won’t buy another table top from them. (I do love their cabinet making bit sets)

When I replace one of the two tables, or get a larger workshop where I could have a third table, I will go with a steel or cast-iron top. I like the Mag-Jig magnetic system which would allow me to place jigs or featherboards wherever I want.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115202 posts in 3041 days


#13 posted 03-28-2015 02:57 PM

Welcome to LJs
As a woodworking instructor, I’m asked this question all the time. I agree with those who have said build your own.
Why build your own when you can afford any of the ready made router tables out there? There are a couple good reasons, the first being,building a router table is a great project for new to intermediate woodworker. You gain experience with design,cabinet making and the use of the tools necessary to produce a router table. You also get to have a design that is specialized for your use and location in your shop. Another issue I have with store-bought router tables is that they are too small for many projects. When you design and build your own router table you have bragging rights for an actual piece of equipment you have built in your shop. You can also design features that are not in store-bought router table.
If you build a router table and your not happy with it you can build another design or then buy a factory made table.
What new woodworkers don’t always realize is that as time passes you will be upgrading and changing your shops layout and tools and equipment.
Good luck with what ever route you take.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1423 days


#14 posted 03-28-2015 03:05 PM

Brad, thanks for the pics. That is beautiful.

As far as the companies moving manufacturing oversees, I don’t think it is all bad. Too expensive to build a router in the US and I am not sure it would be that much better. If companies gave us options to pay for the level of precision we wanted that would be enough for me. For a motor that just has to spin fast for a long time, that PC is great. No vibration and easy speed selection.

Best advice for any router table: build it on a flat surface!

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View jklingel's profile

jklingel

41 posts in 621 days


#15 posted 03-28-2015 05:02 PM

First, I really appreciate all the information and opinions, as mind boggling as they are, and the welcome. At this point, my tendency is to get that RT1000, or similar, and get going. I understand the concept of “build your own”, as I’ve done that my whole life. But, I am presently burned out (finishing my second, and last, house right now) and I am impatient to just get to smaller projects for “house things” and gifts for grandkids, etc. If/when time and expertise arrives, Brad’s table looks like an excellent way to go. If this RT1000 (or whatever I get) is quality, it will resell for good $$ when I replace it with a home-made one; the $$ loss is not of consideration right now. No, I am not in the Bill Gates/Warren Buffet club, but $100 really just means less for my kids. Time is beginning to become a more valuable commodity. My hunting buddy also does woodworking, so among him, magazines, youtube, and here, I am looking forward to a different way to pass the long winters; Fairbanks. cheers. john

showing 1 through 15 of 44 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com