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Advise on a Router table please

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Anonymous

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Hi all newb to this woodworking lark so I need some help guys. The Mrs bought me a nice new router for xmas its a DeWalt 621K my idea was to use it for internal door hinge cutting but that seemed a waste when it can do so much more, but looking at it, most things you do with a router are done using a table. The thing is I like nice things so I look at the most expensive tables money is a issue but the way I am I'd sooner go without than not have the best. So I've saved some money up to get this table BUT which one ? I've looked at the Rutlands webby the first thing that sticks out there is of course the Jessem complete table with Router lift now its £500 which is a lot of money when you look at it maybe to much for my first table? but I don't intend to get another. Then theres the Trent PRT thats £300 but looks like its worth £100 to me? Then theres the other option of making my own table I've been looking at the Incra Twin Linear 21 which looks a lot of money but if I can use it as a normal router table fence as well as a jointing system it may work out cheaper because I don't need any dovetail jigs and things like that. Thanks for any help maybe there some different tables I've not seen.?
 
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Anonymous

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Stevie alot is down to personal choice ,some prefer to make a table while others like to buy a ready made one . The best thing to do when parting with any amount of money is to go out and look at it in the flesh so to speak that way you can see where your money is going. Pictures are all well and good but there is no substitute for having a good look at one first
 

Alf

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Stevie, welcome to the forum.

Gee, getting your ultimate router table, first shot... :shock: Never been done to my knowledge. :lol: I know it goes against what you said, but I'd really recommend getting/building a cheaper, simpler table to start with, learn what features you want and don't want, and then buy/build The Big One. Maybe look for a s/h one in the woodworking mags and then sell it on again the same way. And AP's right; if you can see them "in the flesh" that helps an awful lot. Maybe at one of the shows?

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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Many thanks for the reply Neil I'll have a look. Thanks
 
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Anonymous

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Some good advise here thanks I'll look out for some shows this year. I'll build a simple one to start with and like you say see what type of things I'm likely to build. Is Phenolic expensive just thinking I'll build the top from that if it doesn't cost the moon?
 

frank

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shame on you alf :oops: not a mention or a word about the rat ,ratters of the world unite down with r/tables :D


i dont mind r/tables honest guv
 

Midnight

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Steve
When I went through the "which routertable" process a couple of years ago, I decided that the plans available from NYW gave me the best flexability. The table is big, strong, perfect height and cheap to build. Additionally it has tons of storage space for router bits and tools. Adding locking castors to it gave me the mobility that my small shop demands. I bought the construction plans without the video and found them excepionally clear, the cut list helped get the most from the materials needed and the hardware list was really comprehensive. You can see the finished item here:-
http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct3.cgi?0301

Lately I've been thinking about making a more precise fence based on this one:-
http://www.patwarner.com/routerfence.html
 
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Anonymous

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Yer Norms table looks the biss only thing I'm afraid of is can I make it with the few tools I have? I'm training to be a plumber at the moment so woodworking is just a hobbie really so my tools are limited to - Metabo 105plus jigsaw, DeWalt router 621k with Dakota 1/4 box set, cordless drill, 300mm compound mitre saw, just bought 2 Miller dowel sets I have access to a lathe and miller at work. I like the idea of making my own table though. This is something I'd like to make it has the Incra fitted as well. http://www.delorie.com/wood/projects/router/
 

Midnight

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Steve...
Straight up.. Norm's table is a walk in the park to make. Saw with a straight edge guide, router, cordless drill / screw driver and you can do it.
Only time I'd some head scratchin to do was when trimming the fence edges but they're purely decorative. My tool list at the time wasn't near as big as yours.... honestly.
 

Alf

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Frank,

I did actually start typing Woodrat, but decided against it. I don't want to be deafened by groans now, do I? :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

The Wizard

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Steve

I bought the Trent CRT II when I first started with the router and, as previously mentioned it has now pointed me in the direction of a self build table but I can't deny that it was a good place to start. If you want to drop me a line so you can see it in the flesh then let me know, I can talk you through its pros and cons.

Cheers


Wiz
 

Adam

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Forget your snazzy router tables, go for a woodrat - it'll do everything you need AND more. Mortice and tenons, raised panels, dovetails, finger joints, dowels? (not tried those though yet) decroative edges, rebates, and on and on.

see

www.woodrat.com

Order the video. It's very useful. (can't remember if its free or not) - the CD-rom is though I think.

It's basically a milling machine - but you use your router as the power source, and it's manual control.

You'd never look back.

Adam
 
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Are these WoodRat things any good they seem expensive for what you get?.
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Steve

Stevie C":xevgbj4g said:
Are these WoodRat things any good they seem expensive for what you get?.
Yes and no. It depends who you ask. :?

The Ratters swear by them and wouldn't use anything else. :wink:

Personally, I have seen it demonstrated twice and can't believe how bad they are at demonstrating the product. This has completely put me off the Rat.

I think the CD/Video is five pounds and is probably worth spending to give you a better idea of what they can do.

Cheers
Neil

PS Alf is another long time user of the Rat. :roll: :roll:
 

Adam

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I have to agree, woodrat are absolutely abysmal at demonstrating them. Is it Godfrey? who turns out at the shows? Anyway, the bloke makes you feel like an silly person for not understanding how they work, nor do they actually seem to show the dovetailing ability, in a simple enough fashion for everyone to understand in the few minutes they normally watch for. I honestly think they would be better off paying Mike Humphreys (who runs private courses on them) to demonstrate it for them, he's easy going, full of tips and tricks, has a really neat method for setting them up for dovetailing, and seems better at getting his message across.

However, despite the cost, they do allow you to do everything your router table does, and dovetailing and joints without buying any jigs like the trend mortice tenon, finger and Leigh dovetail jigs, and can do lots of things the tablesaw is good for, e.g. housings etc.

So if it replaces a say, £100 router table, a £300 leigh dovetail jig, a £200 morticer, "and a table saw" (gulp, well, I used it for all sorts before I got my table saw - I have to admit it can't rip timber!!)

Actually, I think it's really rather cheap.

I'm surprised you haven't for one - as you seem to be up on all sorts of gadgets and bits and bobs. It's worth every penny and more.

There, I'll let ALF take over.
:lol:
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gidon

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'Ratters - don't take this the wrong way. I'm sure you all find the Woodrat a very useful machine. I too have seen it demonstrated and agree with Neils comments - put me right off. I also have the cd with the videos - they didn't inspire me too much either. That's not to say it's not capable of some impressive stuff - but then would I be with just a hand saw and some chisels if I had the time, patience and skill!! Same seems to go for the woodrat - you seem to have to invest a lot of time (and expensive courses!) for any benefit. A fair few people I know just seem to end up using it as a dovetail jig. With the recent price hike (it was a fortune before) - that's an expensive dovetail jig!
And I don't agree that it replaces a morticer or leigh dovetail jig or router table for that matter. You have to build an extra jig to use it as a morticer - and you still get round edges - and have to take several passes etc. Router tables are simple to use - you don't need to really think to use them. Etc etc.
I know we all how to justify our purchases ( :)) - but I'm not sure advising that someone gets a woodrat (who's new to this game) may not give the wrong idea. A router table is far easier to get on with - not to mention cheaper and you can if you so choose build it yourself.
I like the table Neil pointed out - looks superb for the price.
Pop woodworking have a nice one to make - just mounted on your workmate:
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/features/fea.asp?id=1108
It's worth having a go at making one if you have the time. But it's likely to be something you use a lot - so take your time! I didn't and am on something like my 5th version! If I had found a decent table under £200 I prob would have gone for it. More time to make furniture.
Whoops this sounds like a rant - not meant to be!
Cheers
Gidon
 

Adam

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>'Ratters - don't take this the wrong way.

Don't worry - we won't!

>I'm sure you all find the Woodrat a very useful machine.

Correct, very useful, more so than any other machine in the workshop possibly.

>I too have seen it demonstrated and agree with Neils comments - put >me right off.

I agree! As I said, the demo is awful.

>I also have the cd with the videos - they didn't inspire me too much either.

Well, they are the same people as demonstrating, but granted, perhaps they are difficult.

>That's not to say it's not capable of some impressive stuff

I pointed a good few out. Mainly dovetails etc.

>- but then would I be with just a hand saw and some chisels if I had the time, patience and skill!!

Yes, and it's the time one, which for most people is the ultimate limiting factor. It speeds repetative tasks up signficiantly.

>Same seems to go for the woodrat - you seem to have to invest a lot of time (and expensive courses!) for any benefit.

No, to get the basics out, you can use it out the box - if you have used a milling machine, you will "get-it" immediately, for basic stuff. For more advanced use, you will have to delve into the manual. The same applies for anything mind, you want to do clever joints on your table saw, - you gotta read up.

>A fair few people I know just seem to end up using it as a dovetail jig.

Thats whats it is most marketed as. However, its a infinately variable dovetail jig - and I'm making a dovetailed box at the moment, you can increase the pin size on one pin only a fraction, so when you cut all the way round, the dovetails all appear the same size - now thats smart - it looks more professional - and its what you would do if you were hand cutting them.


>With the recent price hike (it was a fortune before) - that's an expensive dovetail jig!

No quite sure why they are not using it for cutting the shoulders on tenons, for rebates, raised panels, housings, etc. I agree on its own, its expensive, but in the future they may choose to extend thier capabilities, and they won't end up with router table AND a woodrat. It's covering for the future perhaps?

>And I don't agree that it replaces a morticer or leigh dovetail jig or router table for that matter.

Why ever not, certainly it replaces the Leigh Dovetail jig, in fact (ok, trying to overcome my bias) in many ways it surpasses it as it is infinately adjustable (so is the leigh I know) but over a wider width, and with infinately different kinds of dovetail bits. Thats means you don't have to use "manufacturer" specific cutters. I cut all my precision housings, rebates, finger joints and mortice and tenons on it. I also use it for raised panels. So it is a replacement in my workshop. Without trying to stir too much what do you think it is for as I consider it to be exactly for the things mentioned above (morticer or leigh dovetail jig or router table)

>You have to build an extra jig to use it as a morticer

Nope. Not neccesary although it makes it quicker though. I do all my mortices on it without any jig.

>and you still get round edges - and have to take several passes etc.

As you do with the trend M/T for example. And square edged mortices are only like that for historical hand-cut reasons. Round can be just as good. Although I do like mine square!!

>Router tables are simple to use - you don't need to really think to use them. Etc etc.

I agree, but coming from an engineering background, it's just a "wood" milling machine, and I think thats very intuative. And it is a lot safer and accurate for things like tenon shoulders as well.

>I know we all how to justify our purchases ( :)) - but I'm not sure advising that someone gets a woodrat (who's new to this game) may not give the wrong idea.

:shock: :lol: :oops: . I feel perhaps slightly able to comment, as I bought a woodrat before I had any other tool, or even a workshop. I used to use it strapped to a workmate on the lawn. I had only two chisels and a claw hammer to assist me with everything else. I think it was a *great* purchase as a beginner and really pleased I plumped for it so early in my purchases.

>A router table is far easier to get on with - not to mention cheaper and you can if you so choose build it yourself.

Certainly. And building one is itself, a lot of fun.

>Whoops this sounds like a rant - not meant to be!

me too - I hope you don't mind me replying to your reply. I won't continue on as this thread will turn into a woodrat thread instead!!!!

Non- 'Ratters - don't take this the wrong way. (esp Gidon!!)

Adam
 

The Wizard

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I started out with a router table CRT II and have recently got a Woodrat. Due to a broken hand, drinking injury :oops: , I have only used the rat for the first time this weekend to cut some finger joints for a small box for the workshop. I personally think it is quite straight forward as long as you spend a bit of time to understand how it works, I built a finger joint jig for my router table that worked well but it has nothing like the flexibility of the Rat. I have not tried dovetailing yet, walk before you run and all that but thus far I am very pleased with my purchase. Next job is to cut a rebate for the bottom, I will feedback the results if anyone is interested.

Cheers

Wiz
 
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