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By HomeyJay
#1332944
I need to get a router table. Yes, I know I can make one for £25 but I don’t have the time to do it.
I’m looking at the Axminster benchtop model with the cast iron fence or the large Kreg Router table (not the benchtop model). Both of these are approx the same price.
I’m pretty torn between these - I’m worried that the small Axminster will eventually become too small and I’m worried that the MDF Kreg will swell up and buckle in my garage workshop!
The fence on the Kreg is amazing though!

I’m using a Triton router by the way.

Can anyone offer any advice regarding the cast iron / MDF tables? Is one better than the other?
By D_W
#1333059
What is the surface like on the MDF table? Is it melamine faced?

I no longer have a router table, but made my own (it took only part of a day in teh shop - just 2x4 base and an MDF sheet with jointed boards glued to the bottom to keep it rigid). I made the base quickly, just bolted it together and then planed the top of it into a single plane so it wouldn't cause the top to twist, and bought a table plate. It was a big and cheap router table that worked great.

The MDF swelled by year two with it and I hand planed it flat just checking high spots with a straight edge, resealed the top (with wax) and it never did it again. I've gone away from power tools, or I'd still have it.

If you use your router table to do doors or anything of size, you'll end up wishing for a bigger table or building something to supplement yours later, anyway. I've since gone to building guitars and wish I'd have kept my router table as they're generally template routed around the outside. I bought a tiny cheap table about 24x16 to do the template routing (which isn't the final step, or it wouldn't be suitable) and would never want to do any significant work on it - it would result in more ruined stock and wasted time with that than it would've taken to build one like my original.
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By ED65
#1333068
HomeyJay wrote:I need to get a router table. Yes, I know I can make one for £25 but I don’t have the time to do it.

Yeah you do. The simplest router table is a piece of thick ply or MDF with a hole drilled in the middle somewhere, clamped to the edge of a workbench or heavy table. I'm not kidding:
http://www.startwoodworking.com/post/ho ... uter-table
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/proj ... ter-table/

As you can see a functional fence can be an equally simple affair. You'll even see an unmodified 2x4 used as a fence sometimes.
By heimlaga
#1333595
I have a very solid large and cast iron table and I am never going to replace it with anything else....... but I honestly think the size of the table is even more important than the material.

Mine weighs around 150 kilos and costed some 300 euros..... plus several weeks of fabrication work. The table and router lift are remnants from a small wood framed line shaft driven spindle moulder from the 1910-s or 20-ies which was beyond the point of reasonable restoration.
By sunnybob
#1333597
Word of warning if you do decided to buy tables and or fences. Different makes have different sized T tracks.
Kreg especially. very few other make clamps or accessories fit into the kreg tracks, so make sure you buy all from the same maker.

My table is home made. its a almost a metre square made of melamine board edged with hardwood to stop breakout. Tracks installed as and where I want them.
My table is not show quality, but it is a brilliant spare table for layout, glue up, and anything else i want a table for when I am not routing. A tiddly bench top table just takes up space.
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By Brandlin
#1333675
I have a Triton router too and i spent some time looking for a table and then built my own. I bought a pre-drilled Kreg plate (resin) with holes for the above table height adjuster. I used an old kitchen cabinet carcass for the table (reinforced with sheet material across the back panel to resist racking).

The top is from a laminated kitchen worktop. Everyone will tell you that is not ideal - and they are right. But it is cheap and in the 3 years I've had it nothing has appreciatively moved or swollen. I'm not attempting to make fine furniture, nor am i checking accuracy to NASA tolerances, so it does me fine.

The fence is made from melamine faced recycled wardrobe doors (split fence adjustable style) and simply clamped tot he table top.

But the table cost me almost nothing apart form the router mounting plate and maybe a day in the workshop. The bit i like best is that the table size is around 1400 x 700. Even when working on some large projects i feel a great deal of security with work pieces on the table... at no point to do i have large amounts of over hang or a potential imbalance in the work. I really don't see how the smaller tables are sufficient when you might be passing large stock over the table and most of it is unsupported.

As always, your needs, available time, resources and skill level will mean you have a different solution...
By sunnybob
#1333708
My Mk1 and Mk2 tables were kitchen countertops.
They are fine if you are using long pieces or planks of wood, but not so good if you use smaller pieces, because the standard counter tops are nowhere near flat if you put a straight edge across it.
Likewise the resin plate. My first was a Kreg and it did buckle slightly. Give Kreg 5 stars for service, they replaced it without question or asking for the old one back.
I dont know if its because of the extreme temperature swings here, but the second one also warped. Again, if youre running 2x2 x 3 ft or more across it, you wont notice it, but if youre into small boxes or model making it does affect the finish.
I've now bit the bullet and bought an incra alloy plate and perforated rings (xmas and birthday present combined :lol: ) and am extremely happy. I wont need another.
By Richard_C
#1333765
I've often thought about a diy router table, simple for occasional non-precision use, and the designs linked from the post above look fine.

What stops me is the on/off switch - with the router running under the table you really do need a way to switch it off quickly if something goes wrong - scrabbling round trying to unplug it seems uncertain and risky.

What do others who have made their own tables do?
By Woody2Shoes
#1333766
Richard_C wrote:I've often thought about a diy router table, simple for occasional non-precision use, and the designs linked from the post above look fine.

What stops me is the on/off switch - with the router running under the table you really do need a way to switch it off quickly if something goes wrong - scrabbling round trying to unplug it seems uncertain and risky.

What do others who have made their own tables do?


https://www.charnwood.net/products/prod ... -240v-w026 ?
By sunnybob
#1333794
My NVR switch is on the front leading edge of the table. I can reach it without even looking for it, and if push really comes to shove, i can hit it with my knee. =D>
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By Helvetica
#1334036
Speaking of Charnwood I just bought the w015 with sliding table (w020 is same without the slider). It’s a cast iron table, dust extraction, gas struts to lift the table, and comes with shims to step out the outfeed. It’s very heavy and well built. I bought it with the NVR switch mentioned above and a collet extension.

Weak point is the fence unfortunately. It is not dead straight out of the box and I will need to make shims to sort it. Once that is done it will be a brilliant router table providing you can leave your router base locked in place, as it’s a faff centering and clamping it.

It’s pretty basic, but the large cast iron table will never warp and when set up right will be great value for money. I think bench top will break your heart.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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By MikeJhn
#1337056
Who forgot to put the slot in the bottom rail before assembling the doors then, #-o but does show the table top extension, made by Triton for the T2000 Workbench.

2015-06-11 01.43.02.jpeg


One thing to consider when choosing a top for any machine, how damp is your workshop, makes a difference, if the top is cast iron it will need protecting, the resin top shown in the pic above has not been a problem in the eleven years it's been in the barn.