Quick review: Trend MkIII Craftpro router table

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

AJB Temple

Finely figured
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,773
Reaction score
1,133
Location
Tunbridge Wells
Quick and brief router table review just in case someone finds it helpful in the future. I needed a router table that I could fit my heavy duty ½” Elu router too and also my smaller ¼” Elu (mainly because of the cutter I happen to have). A router table is a pretty simple bit of kit and if I’d had scrap materials handy I would have made one. But my workshop is pretty new and I have not acquired surplus supplies yet. Costing up the material needed to make the table top, legs, router plate, raising and lowering mechanism, NVR switch, fence etc was weighed up against buying a table retail. Taking account of my time running around getting materials and making one, retail worked out cheaper, though not necessarily better.

Having looked at a range of alternatives from about £40 to over £400, I ended up buying a Trend Craft Pro Mk III. Usually Amazon is more expensive than specialist tool suppliers, but their price was competitive at just under £200 and was delivered in pristine condition the next day. I use Prime so postage was not extra. Recently a Trend Mk II table, with a number of bits missing, sold on the bay for £144 plus £24 postage, so that’s £168 for an out of date product with bits missing. The extra £32 for the latest version brand new seemed a no brainer.

The reason I chose it was: it was in stock and readily available; has a heavy duty plate that will not bow when a big router is attached; takes a range of different routers easily enough; has safety guards, finger fences, push stick, mitre fence and dust extraction included. It also included the crucial NVR switch.

It comes flat packed and self-assembly took 30 minutes in my freezing cold workshop. They supply tools for this purpose, but using them would add about 20 mins to your assembly time! Socket set and impact driver makes short work of the job. Some reviewers on Amazon have said it is difficult / fiddly to assemble and the instructions are not clear. This is nonsense. And is so basic that instructions are virtually superfluous.

In use:

Dead easy to set up. Plenty sturdy enough. Includes bolt down plates for bench mounting.
Router plate is a excellent. 8 mm thick alloy by the look of it and very robust especially for the money.
Fences are easy to adjust and the guards are sensible and practical.
Mitre fence is not brilliant, but I doubt I will use it anyway!
Dust extraction is OK rather than brilliant. I may see if I can modify it a bit. It pulls from above to one side past the vertical fence through an angled pipe, but quite a bit of dust still drops through the table I find. I suspect that routers are quite tricky to do effective dust collect for.
It is really designed for Trend routers, and is set up to push a fine raising / lowering adjustment tool through a hole in the top. However, it was not that difficult to make some modifications to enable me to do the same with the big Elu. There is a list of routers that it will fit without drilling (including Elu and DeWalt) but it is now big deal to drill the plate to fit others.

Overall: if making one is impractical for some reason, then this is a good alternative at a sensible price for a good quality and well made table. It would easily stand light trade use and plenty for the skilled hobbyist. Recommended.
 

Attachments

  • imgres.jpg
    imgres.jpg
    8.1 KB · Views: 283
Richard Morley has a video of a dust collection mod he did on his MKIII that should work in most tables. According to the comments under the video the original idea came from some bloke called "Steve Maskery"... whoever he is!

I plumped for the same table and a T11 to go with it; mainly because I'd heard they were good and I didn't have the knowledge to set about making my own.

Fitting the T11 underneath can be a faff (and that's with the "KIT T11" quick release accessory) as some times the router slots straight into place and other times not. Still, it's quicker than screws and only a minor niggle that's likely down to me anyway.

Getting the fence aligned is "fun" and more time consuming than I'd want. I can see why folk go for Incra fences and the like, but that's way out of my scope for what I'm doing just now.

The table fits under my bench when I need it out of the road. Otherwise it sits on a fold down stand with a bit of MDF over it giving me some extra tabletop space.

All in all a good buy for my needs I'd say.
 
Interesting video. Thanks for that. I was not thinking of doing it that way: my intended solution is to cut an elongated slot (roughly where he has his hole) and fit an angled chute (made of aluminium or stainless steel probably) beneath it that is itself connected to the shop vac. This is to give wider collection and give less of a problem with fouling the router handles beneath the table. I have my brother on the case currently (he has commerical metalworking facilities) to make up a chute with a flange (to enable securing it to the plate) and a hose connector at the other end. If it works I will post pictures here. If it doesn't I shall pretend it never happened.
 
Hi
Your post is good timing for me if I can ask a favour of you. Could you give me the length x width dimensions of the insert plate please?

I've just built an Xact router table on to the end of my tablesaw, sawbench-router-table-extension-t94635.html but the insert plate is poor. I've been looking at the Incra magnalock which looks superb though expensive at £105 but have found I can buy a Trend plate from the Mk3 as a spare part for about £45 which might be an option however I can't find the dimensions anywhere.
The current table apperture is 230 x 305 so the Incra will be short and I'd have to infill and rout the depth a little which isn't the end of the world. I'm waiting for delivery of a Router Raizer and extension from Peter Sefton which will with a bit of luck arrive from the US later this month

Much appreciated
Bob
 
Hi Bob,

Just measured the baseplate on mine and its 305 * 230.

If you need any other dimensions let me know.
 
RHob":1doywau0 said:
Hi Bob,

Just measured the baseplate on mine and its 305 * 230.

If you need any other dimensions let me know.

That's great, will fit my table so just have to decide now whether the magnalock inserts are worth paying for as the incra would be twice as much.
I'm kind of lusting after the Incra tbh but my head says don't be a bloody silly person. :lol:

Bob
 
Mk III plate is 230 wide by 305mm deep and 8mm thick aluminium with a brushed finish both sides. Corners rounded off. Twin insert plates (inner and outer) made of very tight fitting plastic where the bit goes. Very tight fit. 5 hex key bolt levellers. Pre drilled and tapped to mount Trend, DeWalt, Elu and various other routers.

Adrian
 
Back
Top