Is Freud the Best Value Router Table Top, Fence and Lifter?

Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
It's opinion time my friends. Come on now... I know you have one.

Don't be shy. That means you Tod ;)

What do you think of the Freud router table top, fence and lifter?

How does it stack up in terms of value? How about quality?

If not Freud then what would you suggest?

Here's the question that got me posting over here:
Hello, I need a router table top, fence and lifter. The Freud top and fence system look like a good value. Will the Rousseau lifter fit the opening in the Freud top?

Also... sneak preview... shhhhh.... our beta site is up: http://beta.toolcrib.com.
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,993
Location
ozarks
garrett, i use a shaper......all my routers are hand-held unless i jig-`em up for a specific task....but my pat answer for most issues is "cast iron and horsepower are hard to beat;)
the only routers i use are portercable, specifically the 690`s 310`s and 78 series......i don`t have anything nice to say about their 800 series so won`t....tod
 
Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
Tod - educate me please:

What's the difference between a shaper and a router that's attached to a table?

Also, on what kinds of jobs would you jig a router? vs. using your shaper?

G
 

Travis Porter

Member
Messages
292
Location
Wake Forest, NC
I have both a router lift/table and a shaper. Shaper is fairly new, but it is one powerful machine. A 3 HP shaper has no comparison to a 3 HP router. With the shaper I can raise panels in a single pass. I would never try that on a router.

As for the best router table/router set up, I think the Jess'em mast-r-lift with the mast-r-top along. I have the mast-r-fence, but I think a jointech or an Incra might be better. For the router, the 7518 is nice with this type of lift. FranK Pellows set up is very nice as well and does not require a seperate lift.
 

Mike Jory

Member
Messages
59
Location
San Francisco East Bay Area
Hi.
Due to space limitations, I settled on a Bench Dog table extension for the table saw. I keep a Porter Cable 890 mounted in it. No lift, I do it the old fashion way, not very convenient, but ok. I may get the PC handle kit for a lift.
I think the Bench Dog split fence is fine. You can put them together for zero clearance insets, or squeeze the sides just close for better dust/chip removal. I've adapted the port to 4". If I have to, I can use the large T square style fence from the large table on the saw.
If I could afford the space for a stand alone table, I'd probably build one similar to Norm's plan, and get a cast iron Bench Dog top.
I think I'm better off with the table extension. The cast iron is high quality and has a T slot for a miter gauge. I don't believe there are many stand alone tables made of cast iron.
Good Luck
Mike
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,993
Location
ozarks
Tod - educate me please:

What's the difference between a shaper and a router that's attached to a table?

Also, on what kinds of jobs would you jig a router? vs. using your shaper?

G

sorry man:eek: ....busy day! the big difference between a shaper and a table mounted router is "cast iron and horsepower".....a shaper uses a "real motor" whereas a router uses a universal motor.....a shaper has spindle bearings that are usually twice as big or larger than even the biggest-n-baddest router....on most shapers the spindle is raised and lowered in accurately machined cast iron housings or ways......where the best router "raisers" use small diameter hardened rods and oilite or bronze bushings set into aluminum castings.....in the world of shapers a 3/4" spindle is small.....in the world of routers a 1/2" diameter shank is as good as it gets......bottom line is that shapers are far more robust and generally intended for medium to heavy production work.......routers though are versitle in that they are a small-self contained powerhead that can be easily mounted to jigs (look at shop-bot) or castles pocket hole machines.....but when a fellow mounts a router in a table most are hoping to achieve some of the usefullness of a shaper....i`d sugest that folks build a homemade router table and use it for a while....if they find it usefull then they`ll know the shortcommings of their design and what to look for in a "store bought" version........but they need to keep in mind that a shaper can actually cost less money than a store bought table/lift set-up......just stuff to think about....tod
 

Paul B Cresti

Member
Messages
95
http://familywoodworking.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4033&stc=1&d=1170116010
Cnv0159.jpg

First picture is my shaper minus the outrigger table I have. I have used my shaper for custom millwork (BIG crowns & coves), tenoning, dados, rebating, pattern shaping, joint making, panels rasing, cope & stick, etc. All of my cuts/shapes are done in ONE pass...thats what you can do with a 6.6hp 3ph machines. Everything I do is done very safely via my sliding table/outrigger or via my power feeder.

http://familywoodworking.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4034&stc=1&d=1170116010
Cnv0192.jpg

Second picture is my double router table. I use it for quick round overs, very small bead molding and rabets. I use it with my slider for dadoing. Any of the bits I have for profiling get used in the shaper...it plain and simply does a 100% better job in accuracy and safety. As far as router tables and fences...geez man make your own, you are a woodworker are you not??;) The only router that sits in my table is a PC7518 and thats that
 

Attachments

  • Cnv0159.jpg
    Cnv0159.jpg
    50.3 KB · Views: 34
  • Cnv0192.jpg
    Cnv0192.jpg
    62.6 KB · Views: 35

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
33,842
Location
ABQ NM
http://familywoodworking.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=4033&stc=1&d=1170116010First picture is my shaper minus the outrigger table I have. I have used my shaper for custom millwork (BIG crowns & coves), tenoning, dados, rebating, pattern shaping, joint making, panels rasing, cope & stick, etc. All of my cuts/shapes are done in ONE pass...thats what you can do with a 6.6hp 3ph machines. Everything I do is done very safely via my sliding table/outrigger or via my power feeder. ...
Wow, look who the dog dragged in...gonna need to have a talk with the dog. :p :D

Long time no see, Paul...glad to see you popped in for a visit. :thumb:

We now return to your regularly scheduled forum thread...
 
Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
Word on the street is that our visitor went with the following set up:
"I finally chose the Jessem Mast-R-Top, Mast-R-Lift and the Freud SH-5 fence. With the Porter Cable 7815 (3.25 horse) router I think I'll have a versatile and powerful setup."
Tod thanks for your explanation - I appreciate the maxim of "cast iron and horsepower" too. That actually helps quite a bit in thinking about tools.

This bit especially deserves a mention I think:
"when a fellow mounts a router in a table most are hoping to achieve some of the usefullness of a shaper....i`d sugest that folks build a homemade router table and use it for a while....if they find it usefull then they`ll know the shortcommings of their design and what to look for in a "store bought" version"

Are there good free plans for building a router table? I'd rather someone know for sure if a router table is what they need than try and half-mimic a shaper.

Paul - thanks for images of your shaper and router... and for how you use them.

Travis and Mike - thanks for your router vs. shaper insight. This will go a long way towards helping our visitor make an informed decision.
 

Travis Porter

Member
Messages
292
Location
Wake Forest, NC
I don't know about free, but I do know Woodsmith and Shopnotes have published and sell many low cost plans for some very simple and basic router tables. My first router table was bolting the router to the bottom of a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood and putting it between two saw horses.
 
Messages
64
Location
Tennessee
Hey Travis,

Now you're talking ;) I'm of the frugal aka cheapskate persuasion so you're speaking my language.

Just don't tell my boss at ToolCrib.com, seller of fine router tables!! ;)

I'll dig for those plans and repost once I find them... just in case any web wanderers stumble upon this thread at some point down the road.

G
 

tim Rowledge

Member
Messages
103
Location
Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
Guys don't forget that a number of routers obviate the need for a lift, thus appealing both the simplicity minded (not simple minded!) and economical (not cheapskate!) among us.

I just got one of those newfangled aussie Tritons for example. Seems a nice little machine for the purpose. The Freud 1700-something-or-other looks pretty good too.
 

Paul B Cresti

Member
Messages
95
Please enlighten me but why is everyone so enamured with router lifts? Yes I know what they do but I have never had a use for them. I have a PC7518 in my table and I simple turn the whole motor assemble to raise or lower....WOODWORKING is not an exact science! It is akin to a form of art working with a living medium. The most important thing is that if you are running profiles per se, that you run an entire batch sufficient to serve your needs for that particular project. This way the whole run should be the same. (another reason why a shaper with a power feeder is so efficient & safe) I can honestly say that when I run a profile for one piece and then run that same profile for another piece I really do not care if they are the same. I make my own jigs, including router table, plate, inserts, etc.....and I use my "router table" for both my PC7518 and for my PC OSS. I would much rather spend my machine dollars on machines not jigs.
 

Travis Porter

Member
Messages
292
Location
Wake Forest, NC
This is just my perspective, but with a router lift (at least most) you get a "perceived" level of precision that is hard to duplicate with twisting a 7518 in the base. I started with a 7518 in its base and had the urge to get a lift to make it easier to get my settings right in doing cope and stick joints for raised panel doors.

Since then, I have gotten a shaper, and it is now easy to understand and see the difference. Shapers get a lot of bad press and they take up a lot of space. If you don't have the space and solely using a router in say your table saw extension wing then a router lift or a router like the Triton is a fair compromise.
 
Top