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Thread: Router table bites the dust.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Router table bites the dust.

    I just cant win. I have this nice new shop that has taken me forever (it seems) to get completed and now I'm in the mood to make something. About two weeks ago the on-off switch went bad on my shop heater so I had to order a new one that took about 10 days to get here. Got that fixed now so I found a couple nice small projects in "Wood" magazine so I thought I would start one of them tonight. I set up my old metal Craftsman router table to use it and discovered that one of the legs has rusted away to the point that it is no longer safe to use as it is. I think I paid a whole $5.00 for this table abut 20 years ago.....it's time for something better. I shut out the lights and came back inside to shop around. Wow, I had no idea good router tables were this expensive . I have become a believer in buying good quality tools though so I do want something of quality.
    My question is.......are the newer craftsman tables any good? I looked at Harbor Freight but the only table I see from them comes with a router and I do not need another router......at least I hope not. Craigslist is not much help with this in my area right now either.
    It's always something.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  2. #2
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    So make that first project a home built router table!!! I don't think I could purchase one that allows me the versatility I have with mine. Storage and mobility...Just a thought. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    ...I think I paid a whole $5.00 for this table abut 20 years ago...
    Man, it's a shame you didn't get your money's worth out of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    ...are the newer craftsman tables any good?...
    Twenty years ago Craftsman tools were pretty good. These days, with so much work going to the lowest bidder, their quality has really dropped, in my opinion. (There are some exceptions, but still...) I bought one of their aluminum benchtop router tables a few years ago, and ended up giving it away as soon as I built something better. I'd think you could make your own for less money and end up with something better. Several years ago I made a pretty serviceable router table insert for my tablesaw out of two layers of melamine-covered particle board with an aluminum router plate from Rockler.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  4. #4
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    Well space is a big factor. I have very little of it. So I need to be able to set it up on a bench, use it, then tuck it away under a bench. So I need a simple bench top model.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  5. #5
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    Delton, Michigan
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    tom use the old one as a pattern, make a new one the same size or a touch bigger.. use a rockler insert and your old router and your ready to rock and roll..yu dont need to make ahug one of the little one worked for you before..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
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    I just replaced my old porter cable bench top table. It's just missing the on off switch. I used it on my new able. You are welcome to it for the cost of shipping.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    Well space is a big factor. I have very little of it. So I need to be able to set it up on a bench, use it, then tuck it away under a bench. So I need a simple bench top model.
    Here's mine, Tom. Cost maybe $20 in bits and pieces to build. Works fine. Pick it up and put it away when I'm done. Light and portable.

    But if you want to buy there are umpteen choices. My brother bought one of the Jessem tables and he was very pleased with it. I've also heard good things about the Kreg tables, as well as the Lee Valley top+kit. (and so on...)
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  8. #8
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    I find a board with a hole in real hard to beat. I really do..

    Garry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Tom i am in the camp of make your own.
    I am sure i could find the plan i used but at the core of it was a simple router plate insert from lee valley
    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...=1,43000,512it

    By the way The Router Lady in her book uses a portable router table so you not alone.


    from my MB860 using Tapatalk
    cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    Well, since the Router Lady got invoked...

    Here are the principles involved. The top must be and must remain dead flat. It can be any size you like as long as it meets that one parameter. Regarding inserts, either a top inserted into a table or an insert to accommodate different diameter router bits, see above about table flatness. That rule never changes.

    Second, to help the above, provide support for the router as close to the router as is practical. Make the sides and back of your table in as close to the router as you can and still be able to adjust the router.

    That's it. Everything else associated with a router table are just additional features. As long as the table stays flat, you are golden.

    Yes, my table still is portable, though I am currently putting my big PC7518 in a Woodpecker lift in the TS outfeed. It doesn't fit in the portable table and it is too heavy for me to use handheld. In the lift, I can use big bits with work pieces fed by my baby power feeder. Works for moldings really well.
    ++++++

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