Router table choices

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Sporky McGuffin

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Morning all; apologies for another thread on a well-discussed subject, but I'm getting nowhere trying to make a decision.

Mostly I make boxes. I use a little Bosch tablesaw, mitre guillotine, bandsaw and suchlike. There are things I think I could do better or more safely with a router table - grooves for bases, hinge rebates, maybe the fancy corner joints and so on. I have an Axminster router lift that was embedded in my old bench, but the lack of a fence made that only moderately useful, and it won't fit at all easily into my new workshop's bench. It has a 1/2-inch Bosch router.

I'd rather buy something decent that'll last me forever, but no point buying something I'll only use 50% of.

I'm thinking the Axminster or Incra, but have no real inkling on the real-world advantages of each. The Incra looks more expandable, but I'm not sure I'll ever need the extras. I am open to other options, but in general I like making stuff more than I like making tools, so something I can buy and get on with would be good. Budget in the Axminster cast iron range. Ta in advance.
 

Tezza1

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Morning all; apologies for another thread on a well-discussed subject, but I'm getting nowhere trying to make a decision.

Mostly I make boxes. I use a little Bosch tablesaw, mitre guillotine, bandsaw and suchlike. There are things I think I could do better or more safely with a router table - grooves for bases, hinge rebates, maybe the fancy corner joints and so on. I have an Axminster router lift that was embedded in my old bench, but the lack of a fence made that only moderately useful, and it won't fit at all easily into my new workshop's bench. It has a 1/2-inch Bosch router.

I'd rather buy something decent that'll last me forever, but no point buying something I'll only use 50% of.

I'm thinking the Axminster or Incra, but have no real inkling on the real-world advantages of each. The Incra looks more expandable, but I'm not sure I'll ever need the extras. I am open to other options, but in general I like making stuff more than I like making tools, so something I can buy and get on with would be good. Budget in the Axminster cast iron range. Ta in advance.
Hi There,
I started with a basic Rutland's own make router table with a Ryobi 1/2" router which had a lot of limitations, however 2 years ago I visited Woodworkers workshop open day and ended up purchasing a Jessem Excell router table - the one with no insert plate together with the dedicated motor. Yes I know it's expensive but the quality is exceptional and will outlast you. The backup from Woodworkers workshop is first class.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I did one of Peter's hand tool courses about 5 years ago - I'm more than confident the stuff from WWW is good. I s'pose for the price it's cast iron table vs all the Incraness of the Incra.

The dedicated motor looks ace, and is a potential future upgrade in any case.
 

accipiter

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Sadly unable to offer any advice to your thread but I'll be reading with some interest as I'll be looking for something myself at some point. Not intending to take away from the OP's thread but give the reasons for my interest.

I have three (may drop to 2 soon) routers at present. My 1st was/is an old B&D "starter" I've had for 40+(?) years, an Elu 96e and a Bosch 1600 e (1/4", 3/8" & 1/2" collets). These last two are about 30 years old. The 1st one is probably on the way out as some recent use has had thin metal slivers found in the wood debris - bearings?

I really need to decide what I can do with the other two in a router table... even if home built, and using a table lift system - if they or one of them will easily fit - - - or do I go for new because of the age of them and the way "newer" routers/tables have changedand fit table lifts over the years? I may ask in a new thread at a later date as I don't want to distract from this post from @Sporky McGuffin (apologies if it does)
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Turns out my Axminster lift won't fit the Incra table. My first thought was "Axminster it is then", but then I had a look at all the stuff the Incra positioner enables, so I think I'll be selling the Axminster lift and a few other bits and going for the Incra. It's a chunk of money but it appears to make a lot of things quite straightforward.
 

MikeK

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I've just ordered the Incra combo #2, with the Incra lift and wheels. Happy to post updates as I get used to it if that'd be of interest.

Congratulations on your purchase! Which version of the LS positioner did you order? I started with the Combo 3 with the LS 17 positioner, but eventually added to it to effectively make it the Combo 3 "The Works".

I have a project thread on the Festool Owners Group forum showing how I added drawers to the table. As soon as I complete the Wixey DRO cable, I'll create a new project thread on UKW.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Comes with the LS17; I'll see how I get on with it before deciding if I'll upgrade to the wonder fence - the latter is out of stock until January anyways.

Probably the AUK router is worth adding - I have a Bosch GMF1400CE which will fit the lift in the meantime. Also the CleanSweep rings, but I'm inclined to make my own dust hood as part of boxing out the stand with storage space.

Edit to add that your table build is most impressive/intimidating. Lovely work!
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Most if it has arrived - one more package coming this afternoon with the top. It's lovely chunky heavy stuff. I'm resisting the urge yo assemble everything before I've got the ply to box out the base.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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...and now I'm not so impressed.

The wheel kit is awful. Attaching the fixed wheels to the table base requires you to get a spanner inside the wheel mounting, which is very, very tight. Even my Proxxon slimline spanners were difficult to get in, and the bolts are close enough together that the spanner frequently fouls one nut while trying to tighten the other - you've got to do a bit from one side, reverse the spanner, a bit from the other, reverse the spanner again. Just making the wheel housing a bit wider and taller would solve that.

There are also several bolts that need another washer, and some split washers that are described as shake-proof - split washers are not shake-proof so I swapped them for some shake-proof washers, and added 8 other washers where they were needed to stop bolt heads being straight onto the paint. It's also fiddly getting the fixed wheels lined up at the same height on the legs.

So if you're buying one of these, don't buy the wheel kit, put the whole thing on a wheeled machine base instead. It'll save a lot of assembly time and be far easier.

Bit of a saga to get the base built square too - it relies on the side stringers being mounted into the legs (which are aluminium extrusions) via a set of square 1/4-20 nuts. It'd be a lot easier to square it with long runners instead, and it's not a cheap kit. Even with a set of engineer's squares it's not easy because the stringers aren't actually straight. Despite what looks like very careful and thorough packaging, three of the stringers turned up scuffed, and one had a gouge right through the paint that must have happened before it was packed, but Incra packed it anyway - so much for QC.

Enough moaning for now. The positioner stuff and the lift do seem well engineered so hopefully things pick up from here.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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The lift is indeed quite nice, but the crank is a nasty cheap pastic moulding. No effort to clean ip the moulding marks, a sharp bit where the sprue wasn't trimmed correctly, and the knob screwed on so tight that it wouldn't turn. The crank that came with my Axminster lift is enormously nicer - anodised aluminium, free spinning knob. And it's blue.

The table top is also pretty nice, except for the frankly rubbish job they've done of the edge banding, which is badly trimmed with plenty of sharp bits.

Really does come across as a lack of attention to detail in a lot of places, and at £1300 all-in it's pretty depressing. I don't feel inclined to chance the CleanSweep cabinet based on what's arrived so far.
 
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