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HJC1972

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My first posting here.

I'm an antique furniture restorer and french polisher by trade and I've also done a fair bit of cabinet making in my time. Untill recently I had the large cast iron router table that's sold under various badges: Record, Axminster, CMT etc. I liked the table but decided to sell it on acount of its infrequent use and also it's large workshop footprint. I now need to get another router table, again it will be used very rarely and this time I'd like somnething slightly more compact. I've been looking at a few, namely the Fox F60 100A, the Trend Craftsman MK 3 and some of the other bench mounted models. I was wondering if anyone here had any advice on pros and cons of any of the above mentioned or any others that I should consider. I will be mounting it with a Hitachi M12 V router, if that makes any difference.

Your thoughts appreciated.
 

pswallace

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I would do what Shultzy suggests and build one. You can buy A good quality insert plate for £40 or so,then its just A matter of using the plate as A template and inserting it into A cut off of kitchen work-top or similar and A simple fence out of MDF. If you are going to buy one I would recommend the Bench-dog bench-top model or the kreg bench-top which is similar to the trend one.
 

devonwoody

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HJC, welcome to the forum, interesting occupation you have, would love to see some of your output. I assume a lot of the restoring must be handwork.

(You can post pictures after 6 insertions)

I think I would make my next router table.
 

HJC1972

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Thanks for replies chaps. I decided to opt for the Dakota from Rutlands in the end. Resons being time, convenience and I just plain figured that I wouldn't be able to make what I needed for the same money. I am, however, going to make a cabinet for it to sit on, as opposed to the metal leg assembly supplied. I did want a bench mounted unit after all and the MDF unit I intend to knock up will be good for holding the cutter etc.

Devonwoody, yes it's all handwork, or least most of it is. These days I seem to end up doing rather too much fire and flood work, which is not exactly why I got into restoring - I much prefer working on proper antiques but thesedays there seems to be much less of this type of work about.This forum looks like a pretty good place and I shall put some pictures up at some point.
 

HJC1972

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Update:

Took delivery last week of the Dakota table, as previously mentioned. Thought I'd just mention that I'm pretty happy with it. Yes, it's far from perfect, particularly if it was being used every day, but for the occasional user or beginner I thinks it's a decent bit of kit. Considering that prior to buying this I was using one of the Record cast iron ones, albeit mine was the original and now no longer trading CMT Woodcut version.

This may come as a bit of surprise, given the vastly differing costs but I actually prefer the Dakota. The trouble with these Rocord/Ryobi/Woodcut tables is that the fence is terrible and needs constant fettling to keep both infeed and outfeed sections aligned. The hold downs were ok, rather than good and I can't begin to tell how much I hated changing cutters in one of these old beasts: resons being the horrendous weight of the table, which, when trying to drag it about on your own, and then lift the tilting top and clambering about underneath in the full knowledge of how much damage the top could do it was to come down.... Loading on and off a vehicle by yourself is impossible. On the plus side, the sliding table was pretty well machined and handy(ish) for panels - if not always entirely needed.

By contrast, though, the Dokata is for more pleasing to use. The fence is one piece and therefore requires no fettling once set up. The removeable insert plate makes cutter changing far, far easier, and even though I can easily pick up and load the Dakota, complete with Hitachi M12V router onto my van, the table is still stable with very little, if any vibration in use.

At £99.00 it took little thought to decide to buy rather than to make. An insert plate is £40, and then sourcing all the parts: worktop material, T-slots, fence, dust outlet etc. all in all, it makes it a good buy.
 
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